First Canada, now the world

After taking Ogilvy Renault LLP into the Norton Rose Group and then merging the Canadian arm of the global legal practice with Calgary-based Macleod Dixon LLP, Norman Steinberg is tackling yet another challenge in becoming the chairman of the Norton Rose Group.

The move represents the first time Norton Rose will have a group chairman from outside Britain.

Despite the flurry of changes, Steinberg — who will continue in his role as chairman of Norton Rose Canada LLP — tells Legal Feeds he’s excited to take on yet another position. He notes the move reflects the Norton Rose Group’s positive view of its Canadian arm as well as Canada’s economic success more generally.

“We are taking more of a leadership role in the world,” he says, reflecting on Canada’s good economic record given the strength of the banking and resource sectors here.

Steinberg replaces Stephen Parish, who steps down as global chairman today. Steinberg says the move also reflects the importance of showing the former Ogilvys’ clients that the Canadian firm would have a “central role” in the Norton Rose Group’s global management and activities.

“My primary focus will be on the continued business development of our clients internationally and I look forward to working with the global partnership in my new capacity,” he says.

Despite the new role, Steinberg, who has been with Norton Rose and its predecessors since 1976, notes he’s staying put in Canada.

“There’s no necessity to relocate anywhere,” he says.

He adds that while businesses and law firms face greater uncertainty due to the ongoing economic challenges, Norton Rose’s global position allows the firm to expand and set up offices in countries where there are opportunities.

“In changing times, there are often opportunities that are of great interest to us,” he says. “We’re going to continue to grow.”

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