Portrait of Duncan Weston

Duncan Weston

CMS Executive Partner

CMS Hasche Sigle
Neue Mainzer Straße 2–4
60311 Frankfurt
Languages English, French

Duncan has 25 years of experience in managing professional service firms and he is currently the Executive Partner of CMS. CMS is one of the top 10 global elite firms providing law and tax services worldwide. Duncan and his executive team are responsible for steering the firms’ global strategy and its business development.

Formerly the Managing Partner of CMS in London he was responsible for seeing the UK firm through the global financial crisis and was the architect of a number of mergers including the largest 3 way UK merger with the firms of Olswang and Nabarro. During his eight years as Managing Partner, the profits of the firm increased considerably and the business grew substantially.

The firm under his leadership opened offices in Brazil, Russia, China, Turkiye and the Middle East. It was also a period of change and innovation introducing new processes and technologies to the business including the ground-breaking outsourcing to Integreon and relocating the firm to a new cutting edge office in London. Duncan was also a founding partner of the CMS Academy, in partnership with IMD business School, which has pioneered training, learning and development across CMS.

Prior to becoming managing partner, Duncan was a leading private equity lawyer bringing his characteristic dynamic and innovative approach to the deals. He was also head of the European Private Equity Group specialising in cross-border investment in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2006, he was named by Private Equity International as one of the 30 most influential private equity lawyers in the world. He moved to Prague and later to Geneva, and managed and led the large scale expansion of the firm’s Central and Eastern European Practise bringing together some 400 lawyers across eight jurisdictions in 12 regional practise and sector groups.

More recently in 2021 he received an Executive PhD in digital business model innovation for professional service firms at the Dauphine University in Paris which was the inspiration for Lupl. Duncan co- founded Lupl in 2019 as the first open industry platform in legal matter synchronisation for legal departments and law firms globally.

Board positions include CMS London Management Board, CMS Global Executive Committee, English National Ballet Board of Directors and Lupl Global Board of Directors. Duncan was appointed an Executive Fellow of IMD Business School in 2021.

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  • Dauphine University
  • Keele University
  • London School of Economics
  • IMD Business School
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40th Anniversary European General Counsel Forum
CMS proudly supporting European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA).
BigLaw’s Big Changes
This article was originally published on The Impact Lawyers. Vast, global law firms, with upwards of 1000 partners and thousands of staff in cities around the world, have been a feature of the legal...
CMS expands in Africa
Frankfurt, 7 October 2019. CMS announces that RM Partners and Daly & Inamdar Advocates, based in South Africa and Kenya respectively, have today joined the leading global law firm. Going forward, they...
Annual Review 2018 – 2019
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
UK Private Equity
CMS has a longstanding and close relationship with the private equity industry, domestically and across Europe. Our specialists have built a strong reputation advising private equity funds, venture capital...