The firms will join together in McInnes Cooper’s St. John’s, N.L., office with a combined complement of 48 lawyers.
“We are very excited about the move,” says Doug Skinner, regional lead partner at McInnes Cooper for Newfoundland and Labrador. “We feel it’s a good move for our current and future clients above all.”
Preliminary talks began in “early autumn,” Ray Adlington, managing partner and chief executive officer at McInnes Cooper, tells Legal Feeds, and more serious discussions took place over the last three weeks.
“The economic growth in Newfoundland overall has been significant in the last two years and our demand has risen very rapidly” over that time, adds Adlington. He sees the merger as a way of capitalizing on the future, which he predicts is very bright for Newfoundland.
Adlington says it is their “fastest growing market across Atlantic Canada” and draws attention to the Atlantic Provinces Economic Counsel’s major project inventory.
“APEC lists projects that are planned, and for Newfoundland and Labrador over the next five years — an $18-billion capital investment.”
This increasing level of economic activity prompted the merger as both firms say helping their clients continue to grow along with the province was top of mind.
“The skills and experiences of our lawyers complement each other and the clients we serve are similar,” says John Baker, a partner and chairman of the partnership at Ottenheimer Baker. “As part of the McInnes Cooper team, we can grow the opportunities we all have and better serve our clients.”
The firm, which has more than 200 lawyers in offices throughout the Atlantic region, aims to be ready to capitalize on the upcoming growth opportunities.
“This move allows us to grow our service offerings in Atlantic Canada by adding to our depth in Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Skinner.
Ottenheimer Baker will join McInnes Cooper effective Jan. 2, 2014.