Law firms Norton Rose Fulbright and Chadbourne and Parke are to merge, creating a global firm with more than 4,000 lawyers across 32 countries.

The merger is to go ahead in the second quarter of 2017, with both parties viewing the areas of energy and infrastructure, corporate finance and project finance as those that will benefit.

Nick Grandage (pictured), a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright specialising in trade, commodity and project finance, tells GTR that he hopes to be able to leverage Chadbourne’s strong reputation in South American trade finance to conclude more deals there, while his own practice’s capabilities in English-law jurisdictions will help them collaborate in other parts of the world, such as most of Asia.

“I have known Charles Johnson [the head of Chadbourne’s practice in São Paulo] for many years: we’ve worked with them on trade deals in South America and I think they’re the number one firm for trade work in the region. We have many common clients and we hope that we can work on more deals together through that,” he says.

Grandage views it as a “huge opportunity” and says that the firm hopes to utilise Chadbourne’s capabilities in the resources sectors, while his own team will be looking to add value with their expertise in trade and commodities.

He adds: “By virtue of our presence in Washington DC, we do a lot of work with the development institutions. Through this relationship we would hope to strengthen that.”

The managing partner of Chadbourne and Parke, Andrew Giaccia, says: “Coming together will give us the ultimate advantage of offering superior legal service in virtually all of the world’s key business and financial centres. Our firms share a strategic vision and client focus, and we have highly complementary practice and industry strengths. Following the combination, our global offerings will be virtually unrivalled in many areas, from energy and infrastructure to finance, bankruptcy and restructuring, litigation and regulatory work.”

Peter Martyr, Norton Rose Fulbright’s global chief executive, adds: “We are delighted to unite Norton Rose Fulbright with Chadbourne and Parke to create a global law firm that few can match. Chadbourne has a proud history, and is known for its world-class practices in energy, infrastructure, banking and finance.

“Joining forces with our new colleagues, we can offer our clients significant new capabilities in New York and Washington DC. We will benefit from new offices in Mexico City, São Paulo and Istanbul, and we will be able to offer our clients expanded capabilities in London, Dubai, Latin America and other key markets.”