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CMS, Nabarro and Olswang complete groundbreaking merger

Creates materially strengthened offering across APAC

2 May 2017

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 is firmly positioned in APAC, with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.

Penelope Warne, The Senior Partner for CMS in London 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. Diversity & Inclusion, CSR and top quality training through our CMS Academy will continue to be a priority for the firm.”

The new firm has six specialist sectors – Energy, Financial Services, Infrastructure & Project Finance, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Real Estate, and Technology, Media and Telecommunications and is working at the cutting edge of sectors 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 the cross fertilisation of our market-leading practices and sectors 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.”

Significantly enhanced Asia-Pacific offering

The addition of Singapore to CMS' APAC offering marks a strategic step in the firm’s global growth strategy. The combined team will have considerable strength and experience across APAC in Construction, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Energy, Funds, Infrastructure, Projects, Public Policy and Technology, Media and Telecoms.The firm will continue to procure Singapore law advice through its association with Holborn Law LLC.

Andrew Stott, legacy Olswang Asia managing partner and CMS managing partner for Singapore, comments:

"Olswang Asia launched in Singapore in early 2012, and we are proud to have become widely recognised in the region as a top-tier legal advisor, with a strong focus on TMT. We are delighted to be merging with the Nabarro Asia team to form the CMS Singapore office and together comprise a team that aligns precisely with the practice and sector focus of the global combined firm. Both of the Olswang and Nabarro teams have put client relationships at the heart of our business ethos and our intention is to continue to use our Singapore base as our operating HQ for the work done with international, regional and local clients across APAC.”

He continues: “We are pleased to be joining together with Nabarro and CMS – renowned for their sector specialisms and stellar reputations throughout the region – and excited about our new offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai which will increase our operating capability substantially and enable us to better support our clients. Our service offering will further be supported by the ability to call on thousands of specialists across 70 offices worldwide and we strongly believe that our increased scale and sector focus will enable us to better support your growth in APAC.”

CMS has been developing its presence in Asia-Pacific, and the past year has been transformational for CMS in the region. Its office launch in Hong Kong in September 2016 has bolstered the firm’s capability, adding to its established presence in the key business centres of Beijing and Shanghai. Its Lifesciences Asia Pacific (LAN) Network, developed in 2014 to offer a one-stop shop to lifesciences clients across the Asia-Pacific, has grown to a 1,300 lawyer, 20-office network and now covers Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Nick Beckett, CMS’ Beijing-based managing partner, comments:

“Our strategy in the Asia Pacific region is to provide clients with a legal and commercial advisory service that mirrors the high levels of innovation demonstrated in their own businesses. Our collaborative and sector-focused model gives them access to the best advice whenever and wherever they need it. The combination with Nabarro and Olswang will further enhance our offering across the region, providing our clients with more and better choice.”