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CMS, Nabarro and Olswang merger momentum gathers pace as lease is signed for Cannon Place

30 November 2016

CMS, Nabarro and Olswang have signed a lease to take the remaining space at Cannon Place ahead of their combination effective on 1 May 2017.

CMS currently occupies the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors at Cannon Place in London. The agreement will see the firms take up an additional two levels on the 6th and 7th floors.

CMS moved to Cannon Place in June 2015. It was recognised as a bold move, pioneering an innovative way of working and changing the traditional structure of typical law firm office space. The building offers a much more effective layout and at the time of the move allowed for 15% more capacity. It is designed to facilitate mobile working and cross-team collaboration, achieved by innovative use of space and cutting-edge technology.

The signing of the lease at Cannon Place marks the next key stage in the integration of the three firms. Having all London staff under one roof will create greater flexibility and collaboration, ensuring the new firm, and its key practice groups and sectors, are better able to work together to service clients.

The merger, which completes on 1 May 2017, will be the largest in the UK legal services market. It will create a firm differentiated by sector expertise, driven by technology and with global reach. Since the announcement, the complementary nature of the firms’ client base has been evidenced in a number of ways. In addition to working together on many joint pitches we have seen the following significant referral activity:

  • Sectors: Over 50 referrals between the firms across core sectors including energy, financial services, lifesciences & healthcare, real estate and TMT
  • Global platform: Referrals across the UK and internationally including Beijing, Brussels, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Oman, Spain, Switzerland and France

Penelope Warne, The Senior Partner of CMS comments: “Our relocation to Cannon Place in June 2015 was reflective of our strategy and vision to create a modern, sector-focused, dynamic law firm driven by technology. For our people we want to be a firm that is successful progressive with a good values based culture, supporting diversity and inclusion and allowing careers to thrive. Cannon Place is an excellent collaborative working environment and we are delighted to be welcoming our new colleagues in May 2017, many of whom are already familiar faces.”

Stephen Millar, Managing partner of CMS comments: “We are integrating for excellence. Cannon Place offers a very efficient use of space. Bringing together our three firms into one building ensures we continue to deliver on our ambitions to respond to client needs through efficient service delivery as well as creating a great collaborative working environment for our people.”

Andrew Inkester, Managing Partner of Nabarro comments: “This is an important step in delivering a successful merger. Our people in London will be under one roof as one team in May. The technology and collaborative work space at Cannon Place will help the new firm make the most of its combined talent.”

Olswang Chief Executive Officer Paul Stevens comments: "A key consideration in the combining of our three firms is the alignment of our vision, values and culture. One of the principles we share is the way in which we aspire to work – to move away from the traditional notion of lawyers at desks and toward a fully agile platform that allows us to work more synergistically alongside clients from anywhere. Olswang's move to open plan in London throughout the last year will not only position us well to collaborate with our new colleagues at Cannon Place, but it will put us better in line with the way our clients work now and in the future."