CMS combines with Nabarro and Olswang in largest UK legal merger to date

Penelope Warne, senior partner for CMS UK
Penelope Warne, senior partner for CMS UK

Partners at CMS UK, Nabarro and Olswang have voted to combine their firms to create what will become the world’s sixth largest law firm by headcount and sixth largest in the UK by revenue.

The merger, which is due to complete on 1 May 2017, will be the largest merger ever in the UK legal services market.

Nabarro and Olswang will join the CMS UK LLP partnership. The new firm will trade as CMS, and the name of the UK LLP will be CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP.

Penelope Warne, senior partner for CMS UK, said: “This is an important merger for our clients and for our people.

“For our clients we want to be a firm that delivers excellence, industry knowledge, thought leadership, and the exceptional talent that will help to meet their needs in a complex and changing business environment.

“And for our people, we want to be a firm that is dynamic, progressive, technology-led, with a good culture which supports diversity and inclusion and all aspects of our colleagues’ careers. We believe that if we can deliver on this vision we will be an even more successful, world-class firm.”

Stephen Millar, managing partner for CMS UK, said the merger “presents a unique opportunity for us to create a new City of London and UK powerhouse, building on CMS’ deep City heritage and impressive international footprint”.

Andrew Inkester, managing partner of Nabarro, said: “This is a UK legal merger that makes sense. It creates a firm that is more than the sum of its parts, bringing together our market-leading expertise in six strategic sectors. Our international scale and ambition will deliver a global sector law firm to meet the future needs of clients and inspire our people.

“Our combined talent and economies of scale will also deliver the resources we need to invest in new technologies and transform the way we deliver legal services.”

Paul Stevens, chief executive of Olswang, said: “We are delighted to be a part of this game-changing new business with CMS and Nabarro to form a top-quality, modern law business, which has superior client service and strategic sector alignment at its core.

“Together, we materially strengthen all of our practice areas in the context of a firm with 65 offices worldwide. This new partnership will provide our new firm’s clients with a cutting-edge service in our strategic sectors as they grow their businesses and brands in the future.”

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