12 Norton Rose Fulbright
In 2015 Norton Rose Fulbright announced 51 partner promotions, 19 of which were women. The promotions across the firm’s global practice and industry groups emphasise the firm’s continued investment in its core markets. The firm’s strength in specific industries continues to be its focus according to global chief executive Peter Martyr, as the firm utilises this as its route to advising clients on matters that affect them most.
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
The infrastructure, mining and minerals, and commodities practice at the firm is “market leading”. Clients benefit from the firm’s deep expertise, global footprint and industry know-how, ensuring their projects are “handled with great delicacy and attention”. Recent work includes advising a syndicate of Canadian and international lenders on the financing of the Gahcho Kue Diamond mine in the Northwest Territories, Canada: the largest diamond mine currently under construction globally. The firm is particularly recommended for its experience in emerging exchanges such as Hong Kong and Johannesburg, and its work with outbound Chinese mining finance through its offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Global head of the practice Nick Merritt in Singapore is a “reassuring advisor” who has experience in the development, financing and acquisition of mining assets. Jorge Neher practises across the Caracas and Bogotá offices and specialises in mining and environmental matters. He is the Latin America leader of the practice and extensive experience in the development of mining projects. Senior partner Marvin Singer in Toronto is a “font of knowledge” on mining law, and is praised for his experience in negotiating with governments and regulatory authorities in emerging markets. Also in Toronto, David McIntyre is “superb” on the full range of mining law issues. He is a former in-house lawyer at Vale, having held the positions of deputy general counsel and vice-president marketing.
Norton Rose Fulbright’s energy practice covers every major energy market, and its lawyers are considered to be “at the top of their game”. Simon Currie is the global head of the practice and moved from London to the Sydney office in January 2015 to focus more on the APAC region. He is “always up-to-date with the latest developments” and clients praise his “experience across the entire value chain”. Head of energy for Europe, Middle East and Africa and co-manager of the Casablanca office, Anne Lapierre is an “incredibly gifted lawyer” who “smoothly handles projects”. She advises a host of players in the market from developers and industrial clients to investment funds and banks. Most recently, she has been active in the carbon markets advising on emissions trading. George Kutzschbach is of counsel to the firm in Houston and is a “revered practitioner” with a “wealth of experience” advising on energy law matters.
With 400 lawyers at its disposal, Norton Rose Fulbright’s transport practice is “world class”. In April 2015, the firm advised Emirates on a $913 million sukuk, the first transaction using a UK Export Finance-backed sukuk for an aircraft financing. Global head of transport Harry Theochari is based in London and he specialises in shipping and asset finance. He has advised on some of the most innovative ship finance structures in recent years and is a “point of reference” for many in the market. Head of the US transport and equipment finance practice James Tussing represents financial institutions, leasing companies and airlines in domestic and cross-border equipment finance and lease transactions. In recognition of his experience in equipment financing he has also been appointed an arbitrator and expert witness on related matters. In the aviation contentious market, Patrick Farrell and Heather Manson are highly recommended. Farrell in London advises on contentious matters relating to lease termination, mortgage enforcement and asset repossession. He is a “tough negotiator” and “someone you definitely want on your side”. Johannesburg-based Heather Manson heads the aviation team at the office and has particular experience in insurance claims.
The firm takes part in a number of schemes worldwide. For example, the New York office provides legal services on a pro bono basis to the World Trade Center victims; in London, it is compulsory for trainees to work with law centres to provide weekly clinics; and in Australia, the firm assisted World Expeditions, by advising on the formalisation of its not-for-profit division, the World Expeditions Foundation, into a company limited by guarantee. Furthermore, the firm has been advising World Vision UK on the drafting, negotiation and execution of a memorandum of understanding between themselves and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, to govern how the two organisations will work together over the life of a three-year, multi-million-pound grant.
Norton Rose Fulbright established its global diversity and inclusion advisory council in December 2012 with the aim of coordinating consistent best practice across the firm’s network. The firm has a number of initiatives and networks including Compass, which launched in London in July 2013, aims to build an accessible, dynamic and cohesive network to educate and support both Muslim and non-Muslim employees and clients through networking, business development, community engagement and professional development. In November 2014, the council set a target for female partners to constitute 30 per cent of both the firm’s partnership and management boards by 2020; the target was achieved for the Global Executive Committee and Global Board in 2015, and each of the regions are now implementing action plans to meet the target.