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Law firms merge to form Bay Street giant


July 5, 2001   by Canadian Underwriter


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Law firms Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP and Smith Lyons LLP have agreed to merge, forming the second largest practice in Canada. The new firm, operating under the Gowlings name, will have about 690 lawyers, second only to McCarthy Tetrault which has 730.
Both firms practice insurance law, and are headquartered in Toronto. Over the past several years, Gowlings has merged with other firms to increase its national presence, including most recently Calgary firm Ballem MacInnes LLP.
For Smith Lyons, a firm of 130 lawyers which also has an Ottawa office, the merger is a chance to join one of the nation’s largest practices. According to a press release issued on behalf of both firms, the merger is a response “to a growing demand for integrated business law, technology/intellectual property law and litigation service delivery across Canada”.
The merger is effective September 2001.