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November 11, 2011 4:42 PM

DLA's Burch Dismisses Fraser Milner Tie-Up Report

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

DLA Piper global cochairman Frank Burch dismissed as "completely made-up" a Canadian publication's report that his firm is set to merge with Toronto-based Fraser Milner Casgrain in a conversation with The Am Law Daily on Friday.

Citing a "well-placed source," the Legal Post reported Thursday that the world's largest firm by lawyer head count might absorb Fraser Milner.

Burch's reaction? "It is completely made-up," he told The Am Law Daily Friday. "Are we looking at the Canada market? Yes. But, there is zero truth to that." (The Legal Post followed its initial report with a Friday story that a DLA spokesman has denied that the firm had held merger talks with Fraser Milner.)

A Fraser Milner spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The firm provided LP with a statement for its original story in which it said "FMC continues to be invited to participate in discussions with global firms."

As The Am Law Daily has previously reported, DLA is looking to expand and is specifically eyeing both the Asian and Canadian markets. The firm's newly appointed cochair, former Linklaters managing partner Tony Angel, is expected to play a significant role in advancing DLA's ambitions in those regions. DLA, which now boasts 4,200 lawyers, claimed the distinction of being the world's largest firm by lawyer head count in March when it combined operations with DLA Phillips Fox in Australia.

According to its Web site, Fraser Milner has roughly 500 attorneys in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. 

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