Norton Rose Fulbright and Henry Davis York combine to form a powerful new force for the Australian legal market

  • A Top 5 firm in Australia with the substantial depth and breadth of a global law firm
  • One of the world’s largest law firms, one of Sydney’s largest legal practices, and also offices in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth
  • Market leading practices in key industry sectors, particularly financial services, government and infrastructure
  • A distinguished client base of Australia's most iconic businesses, and federal and state government departments
  • More than 30 per cent of our partners are women

Henry Davis York managing partner Michael Greene (left) and Norton Rose Fulbright managing partner Wayne Spanner
Deputy managing partner Michael Greene (left) and managing partner Wayne Spanner.

December 2017

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright and Australian law firm Henry Davis York announce today the official completion of their combination, creating a new powerhouse firm for Australian, Asia Pacific and global clients. From today the combined business is known as Norton Rose Fulbright.

Our valued clients, who have been enthusiastic supporters of the combination from day one, will benefit from the increased scale and depth drawn from two highly compatible firms. This will be particularly evident in the key industry sectors of financial services, government and infrastructure, where the combined firm has established and well-respected teams.

A core focus is on assisting corporate and government clients to manage their exposure to risk through a comprehensive team of risk advisory and regulatory experts who will be market leaders in this growing area, along with restructuring and insolvency

Wayne Spanner continues as managing partner, while HDY’s former managing partner Michael Greene is now deputy managing partner and national head of the government practice. Our two overall practice group leaders continue to be Alison Deitz (business law) and Cameron Harvey (disputes).*

Tricia Hobson is the chair of our Australian Partnership Council, and from 1 January 2018 will take on the role of global chair. HDY’s Scott Atkins today assumes the role of deputy chair in Australia, as well as head of risk advisory.

HDY is represented in four Australian Partnership Council, four Management Committee and four practice team leader roles. Both Michael Greene and Scott Atkins are also now members of global leadership teams at Norton Rose Fulbright.

Norton Rose Fulbright global chief executive Peter Martyr commented:

“This has been a big year of growth for our firm, with the completion of combinations in Canada (with Bull Housser), the US (with Chadbourne & Parke) and now Australia with HDY. These deals coincide with important strategic investments we are making through our 2020 business transformation strategy. The increased scale and depth we now have in Australia and Asia Pacific in general are helping to bring that strategy to life.”

Norton Rose Fulbright managing partner in Australia Wayne Spanner commented:

“Our new business will be able to offer clients the benefits of the increased scale and depth drawn from two highly compatible firms. Across Australia, our lawyers will have access to the market insights, expertise, global platform and modern IT infrastructure you would expect from a top tier firm in Australia, Asia Pacific and globally. This day marks an important milestone. It builds on our achievements to date and incorporates the very best of HDY and its proud legacy into our business.”

Norton Rose Fulbright incoming global chair and Asia Pacific head of insurance Tricia Hobson commented:

“There are many things to be proud of with this combination, such as our increased depth of expertise in industry areas and our capacity for even greater client service. But as a champion of diversity, it is also pleasing to see the rapid gains we have made in our proportion of female partners. The diversity lens we applied on our pipeline of lateral hires and partner promotions has seen us break the crucial 30 per cent threshold for large law firms, which is a testament to the quality of our senior lawyers.”

Norton Rose Fulbright deputy managing partner and Australia head of government Michael Greene commented:

“My partners, staff and I are thrilled to be embarking on this exciting journey with Norton Rose Fulbright, but we will also pause today to mark the proud 124-year legacy of Henry Davis York. From the sole practice started in 1893 by Henry Davis, to a leading national law firm and now a global one, we have forged a respected reputation for high quality legal advice and excellence in client service.

“Through this combination, we now have the platform to fold the best of what we do into a modern business with a clear growth strategy, for the benefit of our clients and our people.”


Wayne Spanner Michael Greene Peter Martyr
Wayne Spanner 
Managing Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia
Michael Greene
Deputy Managing Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia
Peter Martyr
Global Chief Executive
Norton Rose Fulbright

*The business law practice group encompasses the banking and finance, corporate and M&A, financial restructuring and insolvency, financial services and real estate teams.

The disputes practice group encompasses the construction and engineering, dispute resolution and litigation, employment and labour, environment and planning, intellectual property, and insurance teams.

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³ Mohammed Al-Ghamdi Law Firm in association with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

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