Gowling Lafleuer Henderson (Gowlings) and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co have agreed to a trans-Atlantic merger due to go live in January 2016.

The new firm, to be known as Gowling WLG will create a new entity of over 1,4000 lawyers in 18 offices. The two firms will have to combine offices in Russia and the United Kingdom, though in the latter Wragge Lawrence Graham staff will make up the bulk of the practice. The firm will also operate in Brussels, China, France, Germany, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

The move comes less than two years after legacy firms Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham combined their practices to create a more substantial UK offering. 

The move mirrors previous UK-Canada combinations undertaken by Dentons and Norton Rose Fulbright. In both cases however the moves were part of a wider global strategy of mergers and new office openings. There is as yet no word as to whether the Gowling WLG combination will result in expansion into new jurisdictions.