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CMS in France

About our law firm

Our combined expertise: delivering solutions to your challenges

CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats is one of France's top business law firms. It belongs to CMS international network which is located in more than 73 offices in 41 countries across the world, CMS employs over 4,500 lawyers of which 1000 are partners.

We offer a multidisciplinary service, reliable advice, a comprehensive grasp of each case and a responsive, attentive and personal relationship with our clients. This is what our clients, whether they are companies or private individuals, are entitled to expect. Our solutions go even further to keep pace with the increasing complexity of the law.

We work with you over the long term and aim to anticipate your needs and ensure the successful completion of both your day-to-day business and special projects.

We combine the expertise of our international CMS network to provide long-term guidance and support for your activities worldwide.

We provide you with all the expertise you need to confidently make informed decisions in order to strengthen the effectiveness of your business.

CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats - Key dates

Beginnings (1925-1950)
Jacques and Roger Lefebvre opened a tax consulting firm in 1925 and named the company after their father, Francis Lefebvre. In addition to the consulting business, the founders also established a publishing business and, later, a training business under the same name.

The consulting business, primarily for tax matters, was promoted in quality publications. It built a loyal client base and expanded, hiring several new employees.

The legal and tax consulting business became more structured and continued to grow (1950-1990)
As a result of increasing legal and tax changes and growing demand from clients during a period of economic expansion, the firm became more structured and continued to grow as a legal and tax advice specialist. In 1972, it became a société anonyme, a French public limited company, which meant the founders and main employees became partners and its future was ensured.

The consulting activity expanded further into the legal field with the creation of the employment law and litigation departments.

Early on, the firm added a Legal Intelligence team to support its client advisory activity.

In 1990, the firm had a total staff of 250, including 165 legal and tax advisors (compared to just a few dozen in 1950).

The firm continues to grow as an international law firm (1990 to 2015)
Subsequent to the reform of the French legal profession in 1990 and the merging of the professions of lawyer and legal advisor, the firm became a SELAFA law firm (a limited liability company for self-employed professionals). Non-lawyer shareholders from the founders' families were bought out in 1991. 

Since then, the company's equity has been held exclusively by lawyers working for the firm, who have also comprised the membership of its governance bodies, the Board of Directors and Supervisory Board.

The firm continued to expand, both internationally with footholds in other countries, and in France, by taking a majority holding in a law firm in Lyon which now bears its name.

The firm had revenue of €92 million in 2001 when it joined the international CMS network and took the name CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre.

To manage its growth, the firm created operational divisions to support its various activities.

It strengthened its Intelligence Department by recruiting outside talent and knowledge management specialists and it now has thirty professionals who are experts in these fields.

It ensures the development and integration of new practices in litigation, banking and finance, capital markets, energy and life sciences.

In 2015, the firm moved to 2 rue Ancelle in Neuilly-sur-Seine. This meant that all of the teams, a total of 580 people, could be brought together on a single site.

In January 2018, our law firm changes its name into CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats. With this new name, we reaffirm that our firm is an international business law firm. As a major stakeholder in CMS, over the years we have adapted our skills to our clients’ increasingly international needs.