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Portrait of Duncan Weston

Duncan Weston

CMS Executive Partner

CMS Legal Services EEIG
Neue Mainzer Straße 2–4
60311 Frankfurt
Germany
Languages English, French

Duncan has 25 years 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, Turkey and the Middle East. It was also a period of change and innovation introducing new processes and technologies to the business including the groundbreaking 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 a doctorate 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.

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Education

  • Dauphine University
  • Keele University
  • London School of Economics
  • IMD Business School
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September 2020
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...
7 October 2019
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...
18 June 2019
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
08/02/2016
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...