U.K. law firm Norton Rose has expanded its presence in Canada and South Africa by agreeing to merge with Ogilvy Renault and Deneys Reitz respectively.

Post-merger, the Norton Rose will boast of 38 offices worldwide and a combined revenue of more than $1 billion. It will also rise in ranks and be among the top 10 global law firms in terms of number of lawyers as it will boast of more than 2,500 lawyers.

Last year Norton Rose merged with Australian law firm Deacons.

Ogilvy Renault and Denys Reitz will merge with the Norton Group on June 1, 2011.

However, both Ogilvy and Renault will maintain their own remuneration and partnership structures independent of the main Norton Rose LLP. In the future, however, the two firms may opt to merge their profits.

Ogilvy Renault Managing Partner John Coleman and Deneys Reitz Deputy Chairman Rob Otty will join the Norton Rose executive committee. Norton CEO Peter Martyr will continue as the group chief executive and Don Boyd as its deputy chief executive. Stephen Parish will officiate as group chairman.

The latest mergers will give Norton increased strength and depth of resource and legal expertise in areas of life sciences, energy and resources, infrastructure, transport, technology, financial institutions and insurance.

Deneys is one of South Africa's top-tier law firms. It specializes in commerce, industry, mining and finance. The firm has 142 directors and associates across its offices in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

Ogilvy, one of Canada's oldest and leading law firms, boasts of 450 lawyers and has offices in London, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Toronto and Calgary. It specializes in business law, litigation, intellectual property, and employment and labor.

This is a very exciting move for the group and constitutes a significant step towards realizing the group's global ambition of becoming one of the world's leading providers of legal services, with offices in the world's principal business and financial centers, Martyr said.

These firms (Ogilvy and Deneys) have a substantially similar practice focus to ours, which is obviously a large part of the reasoning why we have chosen to tie up with them, he added.