Norton Rose Fulbright issues statement following the passing of the former Prime Minister of Canada and senior partner of the firm

Canada Press release - Firm February 2024

Toronto, February 29, 2024 – On behalf of Norton Rose Fulbright, where The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney began and concluded his legal career, we want to extend our deepest condolences to his family, his friends and our fellow Canadians on the loss of a great man and leader. Mr. Mulroney will be remembered as a statesman, a visionary, and a humanitarian.

Before entering politics, Mr. Mulroney practised law at our office in Montreal and served as President of the Iron Ore Company of Canada. Throughout his time in office, his sharp legal mind, astute business acumen, and fierce strength of character propelled Canada forward with bold new initiatives and strong partnerships that have stood the test of time. Under his leadership, Canada negotiated the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, and later NAFTA, demonstrating strategy and perseverance in the face of considerable political opposition. A former businessman and fiscal conservative, he also had a strong environmental record, ushering in the Environmental Protection Act, the Acid Rain Treaty with the US, and several new national parks.

When famine struck Ethiopia, and the world was slow to react, he had the humanity and moral conviction to mobilize resources that saved millions of lives. And when faced with Apartheid in South Africa, Mr. Mulroney had the sense of justice and integrity to denounce it and the determination to influence other leaders to form a strategic alliance that helped bring the system of institutionalized racial segregation to an end.

Mr. Mulroney knew that “leadership requires the capacity to stand alone against the tide, to see possibilities others ignore, and to pursue your goal against all odds,” as noted in his memoirs.

At a private event with the firm’s Ottawa associates in 2021, when prompted to share the most enjoyable moments of his career, he recounted his first phone call with Nelson Mandela the day after he was released after 27 years in jail. “Mandela said: When I was in prison…I heard that a young Conservative Prime Minister had come to office in Canada and had decided to make my liberation and the fight against Apartheid the main foreign policy objective of his government. And so I followed you all these years…I’m just calling to tell you that if you wish – and because of the kindness and support of the Canadian people, and [as] you were ready to take on my fights when I couldn’t fight for myself – that I would like to make my first speech as a free man, before a free parliament, in a free country, in Canada…He delivered, I thought, the greatest speech in the Commons since Churchill in 1942 and….it was a glorious moment.”

After he stepped down from a highly successful career in public office, Mr. Mulroney’s vast experience, sage counsel and natural leadership were instrumental in helping to grow and strengthen our law firm. He was an early supporter of the mergers that created the firm as we know it today, recognizing the opportunity to offer a global network to support Canadian clients in their ambitious international plans. He was an outstanding negotiator, able to build trust and consensus in his legal practice. And he was a role model and mentor to countless lawyers, from associates to senior partners.

We extend our deepest condolences to the Mulroney family, and we join all Canadians in mourning as we say goodbye and remember an exceptional person, leader and friend.

Issued By:

Jennifer Teskey
Managing Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright

Walied Soliman
Canada Chair
Norton Rose Fulbright

For further information please contact:

Basia Radomski, Corporate Communications Manager

Tel: +1 416.333.3865