Gowlings joins forces with Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co to launch new international law firm: Gowling WLG

TORONTO, July 8, 2015 /CNW/ - Gowlings, a leading Canadian law firm, and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG), a leading U.K. law firm, are joining forces to create a new international law firm called Gowling WLG. The new firm will launch in January 2016.

With more than 1,400 legal professionals in 18 cities across Canada, the U.K., Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Gowling WLG will be a Global 100 law firm from day one. It will also be the first international legal combination to be co-led by a Canadian firm.

Gowling WLG will provide clients with world-class legal expertise and multi-jurisdictional support in key global sectors, including life sciences, manufacturing, power generation and distribution, projects and infrastructure, real estate, resources (mining, oil & gas), and technology and communications. It will also be home to one of the world's premier intellectual property practices, and a full suite of business law and litigation services.

"This is an exciting and historic step forward for our two firms that will enable us to better serve our clients in Canada, the U.K. and around the world," said Scott Jolliffe, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Gowlings. "Gowling WLG will provide clients with a broader service offering, a deeper pool of legal expertise and greater multi-jurisdictional support — all while delivering the same personal, responsive service and value that both its founding firms are known for."

"Gowling WLG is a true coming together of like-minded firms," said David Fennell, Chief Executive of WLG. "In addition to complementary practice and sector strengths, a strong commitment to client service, and a shared vision for international growth, both WLG and Gowlings have fostered internal cultures that champion a people-first approach, innovation and collaboration. Together, we look forward to building one of the top sector-focused law firms in the world."

Both Gowlings and WLG have reputations as innovation leaders, giving clients creative and flexible options in service, pricing and delivery models. Earlier this year, Gowlings launched Gowlings Practical™, a groundbreaking approach to legal project management that gives clients greater cost-certainty, efficiency and value for their legal spend. In March, WLG received the Legal Business award for "U.K. Legal Technology Team of the Year" for its industry-leading use of technology in the delivery of legal services.

Gowlings and WLG also share the distinction of being repeatedly ranked as top employers in their respective markets: Gowlings has been named one of the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt for five straight years, and WLG has been a fixture on the U.K.'s Best Workplaces list, appearing every year since the list began in 2001.

"Both of our firms see this as just the beginning for Gowling WLG," said Jolliffe. "Over the next few years, we will continue to enhance our global platform in strategic areas by adding other like-minded firms to Gowling WLG, with the goal of providing our clients with world-class legal expertise, seamless service and unparalleled value wherever their business takes them."

About Gowling WLG

Upon launch in January 2016, Gowling WLG will:

  • Be a Global 100 law firm
  • Have more than 1,400 legal professionals in 18 cities across Canada, the U.K., Europe, Asia and the Middle East:
    • Canada: Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Waterloo Region, Calgary, Vancouver
    • U.K./Europe: London, Birmingham, Paris, Brussels, Monaco, Munich, Moscow
    • Asia: Beijing, Guangzhou, Singapore
    • Middle East: Dubai
  • Be the first international legal combination to be co-led by a Canadian firm
  • Provide world-class legal expertise and multi-jurisdictional support in key global sectors, including:
    • Life sciences
    • Advanced manufacturing
    • Power generation & distribution
    • Projects & infrastructure
    • Real estate
    • Resources (mining, oil & gas)
    • Technology & communications

Gowling WLG (the "firm") refers to Gowling WLG International Limited, an English Company Limited by Guarantee, and/or one or more of Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Gowling WLG (UK) LLP or any of their affiliated firms, each of which will be a separate legal entity. Gowling WLG International Limited will promote, facilitate and co-ordinate the activities of its members but will not itself provide legal services to clients.

Gowling WLG will be governed by an international board, comprising each of the founding firms' CEOs and two additional representatives from each founding firm.

About Gowlings gowlings.com  

  • Founded in 1887
  • Over 700 legal professionals across 10 offices in Canada, the U.K., Russia and China
  • Provides a full range of legal services to meet the needs of a Canadian and international clientele — from business law and high-stakes litigation to intellectual property matters
  • Represents a diverse clientele, including one-third of the Fortune 500
  • One of the world's premier intellectual property practices
  • Ranked No. 7 in the 2015 Acritas Canadian Law Firm Brand Index
  • Canada's busiest M&A law firm three years in a row — advising on more Canadian M&A transactions than any other firm (Thomson Reuters' Mergers & Acquisitions Review: Legal Advisors – Full Year 2014; Full Year 2013; Full Year 2012)
  • Winner of four major awards at the 2015 Benchmark Canada Litigation Awards — more than any other firm (including "Firm of the Year" for Insurance and Medical Defence/Health)
  • Home to one of the U.K.'s leading capital markets teams through its London office, with particular strength advising AIM-listed clients
  • Top-tier IP practice in Russia: through its Moscow office, Gowlings is home to more Chambers-ranked intellectual property lawyers in Russia than any other firm
  • Repeatedly recognized as one of Canada's Best Employers by Aon Hewitt

About Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG) wragge-law.com

  • More than 700 lawyers in 10 offices: Birmingham, Brussels, Dubai, Guangzhou, London, Monaco, Moscow, Munich, Paris and Singapore
  • Trusted adviser to FTSE 100 and 250 companies, Fortune 500 corporations, entrepreneurs, financial institutions, government departments and high-net-worth individuals
  • Core strengths:
    • Broad range of services and enhanced capability in core areas: leading real estate and equity capital markets practices and top-tier expertise in investment funds, private capital, IP, pensions and construction
    • Commercial solutions based on strong relationships and in-depth sector knowledge
    • Committed to innovation — in client service, pricing and delivery models
    • Focused on people — distinctive client service delivered by outstanding individuals and teams
    • Flexible, cost-effective service
  • Award-winning:
    • Patent Contentious Team of the Year (Managing Intellectual Property Global Awards)
    • Real Estate Team of the Year (Legal Business Awards)
    • Legal Technology Team of the Year (Legal Business Awards)
    • Private Capital Specialism Team of the Year (Legal 500 Awards)
    • Private Client: Effective Team (WealthBriefing GCC Region Awards)
  • One of the top 30 large best workplaces in the UK (Great Place to Work™ Institute) — Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co is a 'Master' organisation, having been ranked every year since the list began in 2001
  • Formed in 2014 following the merger of Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham

SOURCE Gowlings

For further information: Erinn Steringa, Gowlings, erinn.steringa@gowlings.com, +1 416 862 4380; Kathryn Hobbs, Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, kathryn.hobbs@wragge-law.com, +44 (0)121 393 0315

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