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Penelope Warne secures second term as The Senior Partner

24 January 2020

Global law firm CMS is pleased to announce the re-election of Penelope Warne as The Senior Partner of CMS UK LLP, following a vote by the firm’s partnership. This will be Penelope’s second term, effective for four years from 1 May 2020.

Penelope became the firm’s first woman Chair and Senior Partner in 2014 – and she is one of the first women leaders in the top global law firms. During that time, she has steered CMS through two ground-breaking mergers, including the UK’s largest-ever legal merger, which cemented the firm’s position as the fifth-largest global law firm.

Penelope Warne comments: “I am honoured and excited to have the opportunity to continue leading the firm for a second term. The firm is in a very strong position, having accomplished a truly extraordinary transformation through mergers and strategic growth, and I look forward to building on this success as we enter a new and exciting phase. My priority is our clients and our people and to lead the firm with an outward looking, global, fast paced programme. I will also continue promoting a strong and supportive culture of trust, teamwork and innovation where all our people feel empowered and new ideas, initiatives and diversity and inclusion all flourish.”

Stephen Millar, CMS UK Managing Partner, comments: “I am delighted to be working with Penelope for another term. Penelope has a passion for our firm, our clients and our people and brings incredible energy and vision to the role of the Chair and Senior Partner.”

Penelope, an Energy specialist, joined the firm in 1993 to set up the Aberdeen office and has played an integral role in the transformation of CMS. Under Penelope’s leadership, the firm has achieved a number of significant milestones:

  • Two successful mergers: with Scotland’s market leader Dundas & Wilson in 2014, and Nabarro & Olswang in 2017;
  • Triple-digit revenue growth in the UK over a five-year period;
  • Enhanced global footprint, building and leading the opening of new offices in the UK and internationally in the Middle East, Asia and South America;
  • Transformation of its people strategy, with standout D&I initiatives introduced including TimeOut, enabling all employees to apply each calendar year for a ‘timeout break’ – a period of up to one month’s unpaid leave;
  • Significant initiatives to support women’s careers in law at all levels both internally in the firm and externally working with clients. The firm’s UK board is now made up of over 40% women and over 30% of the firm’s UK partnership are female. The firm has been named in the Times Top 50 Employers for Women report for four years running. 

Penelope is renowned for her bold vision, swift delivery and profound impact. She is well-known for the importance she places on the culture of the firm, to support and empower all careers. She is also a great promoter of women’s careers. She has been recognised as one of only 20 ranked in the law category of The Sunday Times/Debretts “Britain’s 500 Most Influential” and is celebrated by the First 100 Years project. She currently sits on the Board of The Law Society and is a member of the Foundation Board at IMD, the highly acclaimed international business school based in Lausanne, Switzerland.