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Our history

Norton Rose Fulbright is a top global law firm with offices in more than 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Norton Rose

The origin of Norton Rose dates back to 1794 when the sole practitioner Robert Charsley opened for business. In 1821, Charsley formed a partnership with William Barker, creating Charsley & Barker. Later that century, Phillip Rose (later Sir Phillip Rose) joined the firm, creating Barker & Rose. In the years that followed, a new partnership between Phillip Rose and Henry Elland Norton was formed under the name Barker, Rose & Norton. By the turn of the 20th century, the firm was called Norton, Rose, Norton & Co., and had maintained its position as a powerful force in the City of London for six decades.

In 1960, the firm, by then re-named Norton, Rose & Co., amalgamated with specialist shipping firm Botterell & Roche (founded 1861) to form Norton, Rose, Botterell & Roche. With its expertise in shipping, the firm benefited from the growth of the international shipping market in the early 1960s, and was involved in the nationalization of British Steel and the after-arrangement of its subsidiary companies.

The firm continued to grow, and in 1976 established its first international office in Hong Kong, followed by Bahrain in 1979 and Singapore in 1982. By 1988, the firm had shortened its name and over the next ten years Norton Rose commenced a programme of international expansion, with the establishment of offices across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, taking the firm’s international operations to 22 offices. In 2007, Norton Rose converted to a Limited Liability Partnership.

With a vision to become one of the world’s top global legal brands, Norton Rose embarked on the first phase of rapid expansion when it combined with Australian firm Deacons in 2010, adding to the strength and size of the firm across the Asia-Pacific region. In early 2011, Norton Rose Australia announced an association with a firm in Indonesia.

By June 2011, Norton Rose had combined with Canadian law firm Ogilvy Renault and South African firm Deneys Reitz, creating a top 10 global legal practice with 38 offices and 2500 legal staff, totaling more than 5000 people worldwide. The combination was followed by the opening of new offices in Europe and Africa.

In January 2012, a combination with Canadian firm Macleod Dixon made Norton Rose Group one of the largest law firms in Canada, and established a presence in Latin America (Venezuela and Colombia) and Kazakhstan. Later in 2012, the opening of a full practice in Tanzania added to the firm’s offering across Africa.

Norton Rose Fulbright

On June 3, 2013, Norton Rose combined with Fulbright & Jaworski to become Norton Rose Fulbright, establishing a market leading presence in the United States and a global law firm with 3800 lawyers and legal staff, and a worldwide headcount of more than 7000 people.

Today, Norton Rose Fulbright provides the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We pride ourselves on the strength and diversity of our services and experience, and our people. Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity.

Adapted in part from ‘A History of Norton Rose’, by Andrew St George, 1995