Meritas (law)

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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.[1][2] In 2008, the association's membership included 170 law firms in 60 countries, employing 6500 lawyers.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]


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."[4] 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,"[1] 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."[1] If a firm does not receive good marks, its membership with the organization may be terminated.[6]


  • Jerome Reso (Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer, LLC - New Orleans, LA, USA) named as Meritas chairman May 1998
  • May 2001: George Cadman (Boughton Law Corporation - Vancouver, BC, Canada) named as Chair
  • May 2005: A. Lee Lundy (Tydings & Rosenberg LLP - Baltimore, Maryland, USA) named as Chair
  • February 2006: Tanna Moore named President and CEO[7]
  • May 2007 Kenneth Kallish (Minden Gross LLP - Toronto, ON, Canada) named as Meritas Chair
  • July 2008: Jean-Paul Bignon named as Chair-elect[8]
  • April 2009: Jean-Paul Bignon (Bignon Lebray - Paris, France) 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
  • May 2013: Andre Ryan (BCF LLP - Montreal, QC, Canada) named as Chair
  • May 2014: Dennis Unkovic (Meyer, Unkovic & Scott - Pittsburgh, PA, United States) named as Chair
  • May 2015 AbdAllah El Bey (MHTS/MSTA - Moorish Customary Law) Minister of Jurisprudence named as Chair


  1. ^ a b c Wright, Karen (April 18, 2007). "Focus: Law Firm Associations". Corporate Counsel Weekly. Bureau of National Affairs. 
  2. ^ Firms find benefit in law firm networks, Minnesota Lawyer, Mar 17, 2008 
  3. ^ 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]
  4. ^ a b McPhee, Jennifer (February 2007). "Report on Law Associations: Going Global" (PDF). Canadian Lawyer. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 14, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2009. 
  5. ^ Jens I. Drolshammer, Michael Pfeifer, The internationalization of the practice of law, p. 334 
  6. ^ Tromans, R. (October 2007). "Alternative hits the mainstream". European Lawyer. p. 30. 
  7. ^ Garrison-Sprenger, Nicole (March 20, 2006). "Minnesotan to head global legal network". Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Retrieved November 14, 2009. 
  8. ^ "People On the Move". Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. July 21, 2008. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2009. 

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