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Founded in 1990, Meritas is a professional services network consisting of a global alliance of business law firms formerly known as Commercial Law Affiliates. In 2008, the association's membership included 170 law firms in 60 countries, employing 6500 lawyers. Meritas is a non-profit corporation headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Membership is extended by invitation only, and regular recertification by all firms every three years is a requirement of membership. There is a staff of about 13 who handle the organization's administration and review referrals to ensure that the organization's standards are maintained.
Jennifer McPhee, writing for Canadian Lawyer, described Meritas as one of the "more established by-invitation only legal networks that do extensive research before carefully selecting one firm per jurisdiction." Corporate Counsel Weekly also wrote, "Meritas determines significant business or economic centers where member firms' clients may need local counsel in order to determine where it will have its members," and that "...all member firms provide Meritas with quarterly referral reports, listing all Meritas-originated referrals made to and from the firm for the stated period and cooperate in evaluating specific matters." If a firm does not receive good marks, its membership with the organization may be terminated.
- February 2006: Tanna Moore named President and CEO
- July 2008: Jean-Paul Bignon named as Chair-elect
- April 2009: Jean-Paul Bignon named as Chair
- April 2010: Judith Lockhart (Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, New York, NY) named as Chair-elect
- May 2011: Judith Lockhart (Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, New York, NY) named as Chair
- Wright, Karen (April 18, 2007). "Focus: Law Firm Associations". Corporate Counsel Weekly (Bureau of National Affairs).
- Firms find benefit in law firm networks, Minnesota Lawyer, Mar 17, 2008
- Middlemiss, Jim (April 9, 2008). "Alliance extends reach of regional firms: Meritas tax group even works jointly on files". Financial Post. Retrieved November 14, 2009.[dead link]
- McPhee, Jennifer (February 2007). "Report on Law Associations: Going Global". Canadian Lawyer. Archived from the original on February 21, 2007. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
- Jens I. Drolshammer, Michael Pfeifer, The internationalization of the practice of law, p. 334
- Tromans, R. (October, 2007). "Alternative hits the mainstream". European Lawyer. p. 30.
- Garrison-Sprenger, Nicole (March 20, 2006). "Minnesotan to head global legal network". Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
- "People On the Move". Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. July 21, 2008. Retrieved November 14, 2009.[dead link]