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Annual Review 2018-2019 | Advising across borders


Crossing borders is both the theme of this year’s CMS Annual Review and a guiding idea that we had when we established CMS 20 years ago. At that time, we decided to create a high-quality, expert and multijurisdictional law firm. This Review shows what we’ve achieved over the last year in pursuit of this goal.

Since 1999, working across borders has become a daily task for all our lawyers. We are one of the most international law firms, with more than 70 offices in over 40 countries. Our 4,800 legal experts worldwide work as one team across jurisdictions, practice areas and sectors to ensure that you get clear, actionable and business-focused advice. You can read about our multijurisdictional support for clients in the stories throughout this Annual Review. For example: an international CMS team advised Advance / Newhouse Partnership on its purchase of Stage Entertainment, one of the world’s largest theatre producers and owners. Our lawyers specialising in corporate, media, real estate, tax, employment, IP, competition and banking all worked on the transaction.

Globalisation continues to impact the business environment profoundly, as do the key issues on the global agenda such as the US trade talks with China, Brexit and the consequences of climate change. With our global firm structure and mindset, we help you anticipate the problems you face in your daily operations. On page 28, you can read what some of our partners around the world have told us about the challenges their clients are currently facing.

Another major factor shaping our daily work is the impact of technology on all businesses. This year, our annual event in Davos on the occasion of the World Economic Forum (see page 18) focused on how increased digitalisation is affecting conventional business models.

Today, introducing more advanced technological tools into legal practice is a must in order to meet clients’ quality and efficiency expectations. For CMS, it is about more than just using artificial intelligence software or digital tools. To us, innovation means developing technology to offer our clients new high-quality services and to provide new ways of delivering all our legal offerings. Our scale and presence across many jurisdictions, coupled with our deep understanding of client needs in their locations, means that we are very well qualified to devise such solutions. On page 16, some of our key innovators describe the ways in which our technology is benefitting clients.

I hope you find some interesting and thought-provoking stories in this year’s Annual Review and wish you an enjoyable read. My colleagues in the CMS executive team and I are always happy to hear from you if you have any comments or questions.

Cornelius Brandi, Executive Chairman


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