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CMS, Nabarro and Olswang complete groundbreaking merger

Strengthening CMS' position across Middle East and North Africa

1 May 2017

London, 1 May. CMS UK, Nabarro and Olswang today announce the completion of their transformational merger, creating the 6th largest law firm globally by headcount. Trading as CMS, and with 70 offices across 39 countries, the new firm blends scale with an exceptional depth of sector expertise, and will create a new legal force across the Middle East and North Africa.

Penelope Warne, The Senior Partner for CMS, comments:

“Today is an important day for the firm and for our clients. We have made this bold move with one goal in mind: to build a new kind of future-facing law firm. By combining top quality sector expertise with international scale and a strategy to become a progressive technology driven firm, we are better equipped to deliver excellence for our clients in a rapidly changing market.

“We are united in our vision and values, and are focused on building a successful, dynamic and modern law firm with a supportive culture so that careers at CMS can thrive.”

Enhanced presence across Middle East and Africa

With over 100 lawyers in the MENA region, the merger builds on the firm’s combined expertise across its core sectors, with particular focus in the Middle East on Construction, Energy, Infrastructure & Projects, Banking and Islamic Finance, Hotels and Leisure, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Education, Real Estate, and Technology, Media and Telecommunications. The combination's natural synergies allow the new firm to work at the cutting edge of sectors such as Disruptive Technologies, FinTech and EnergyTech, and expand its market-leading expertise in PPPs into the Middle East to meet growing client demands.
Stephen Millar, Managing Partner for CMS, comments:

“Today we are presenting a new and dynamic firm to the market. I look forward to exploring the opportunities that arise from both of our market-leading practices and our expanded global footprint.

“It has been an exciting journey so far and we have been impressed by the high level of collaboration between colleagues. We have big ambitions for the future and see today as a launch pad for greater things. This merger is about a real collection of histories and cultures coming together, and achieving great things for the benefit of our clients and our people.”

In Dubai, the team is excited to announce that it will be relocating to a new office in Burj Daman in the DIFC in summer 2017. Partners John O’Connor (CMS) and Mark Rocca (legacy Nabarro) will lead the new 9-partner strong UAE practice, which over the last year has advised on a combined $1.1 billion of regional M&A transactions.

John O’Connor comments:

“CMS has a wholly unique set up covering some of the most exciting growth markets in the world. By combining our unique footprint with Nabarro’s market-leading expertise across Construction and Infrastructure, and Olswang's technology prowess, we are providing our clients with a very compelling proposition. MENA continues to be an important growth region for the firm and for our clients, and we look forward to embracing the opportunities that the merger brings.”

Mark Rocca adds:

“This combination marks an exciting time for the firm, our staff and our clients. It brings an opportunity to add renewed momentum to our growing MENA offering, giving our clients greater access to sector specialists across our 70 offices worldwide.”

CMS has a number of offices across MENA in Algeria, Morocco, Oman, Turkiye and UAE, with associated offices in Iraq and Lebanon.