In one of the most challenging years in the financial markets,
our international expansion through our key strengths in financial
institutions, energy, infrastructure, mining and commodities,
transport, technology and innovation and pharmaceuticals and life
sciences enabled us to sustain and grow our business.
A single gateway
As a result of our expansion into Australia at the beginning of
2010, we have the best resourced Asia Pacific legal practice and
on-the-ground access to big ticket cross-border deals, particularly
in the mining sector. On 1 June 2011 we established a presence in
South Africa to create Norton Rose South Africa (incorporated as
Deneys Reitz Inc) and moved into Canada to create Norton Rose OR
LLP. This makes us a top ten global legal practice by number of
lawyers, offering clients a single gateway for their growing need
for one-stop cross-border legal services.
Both Canada and South Africa are increasingly influential
economies for our clients in each of the sectors in which we have
key strengths and we have now increased the depth of our resources
and expertise there. We are seeing a considerable increase in the
amount of business flowing between Europe, Asia Pacific, Canada and
Africa; the enlarged Group will be ideally positioned to support
this business growth and to provide our clients with the highest
quality of legal services.
Strong industry focus
Countries including China remain hungry for energy supplies and
natural resources and our strong sector focus helped us win
business. Governments are securing long-term commodity supplies for
periods of up to 50 years, a key driver for our business in the
year to April 2011 and beyond. In addition, we are well positioned
as the only legal practice with the on-theground expertise to
advise companies seeking to list on all the traditional resources
stock exchanges – Hong Kong, Johannesburg, London, Sydney
Regulation and risk come to the fore
The corporate world is changing and we are helping clients adapt
to tougher regulation by developing audits and compliance
processes. Risk remains a key issue, emphasised this year with the
introduction of the UK Bribery Act, which potentially
applies to all foreign businesses carrying out a part of their
business in the UK. We have developed new products to help clients
manage risk, including RiskMaNageR, which identifies the level of
risk for clients' transactions and how to mitigate it.
After a fair amount of restructuring, companies now have leaner
structures and less debt so we expect them, in time, to re-enter
the acquisition market. Our reach has grown both by geography and
sector knowledge after expanding into South Africa and Canada and
as, with the assistance of our Canadian colleagues, we develop our
pharmaceuticals and life sciences expertise. Our expansion is
creating the building blocks for us to effect a step change in our
ability to service our clients' global needs. We look forward
to moving into a new chapter in our development and theirs.
This part will cover the legal position in relation to promotional materials and misleading and deceptive conduct.
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