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CMS announces revenues of EUR 1.36 billion for 2018 and appoints new chairman


International law firm CMS today announces revenues for the financial year 2018 of EUR 1.36 billion. This translates into growth of 5%.

CMS created 49 new partners in the 2019 global promotions round. The new partners span 23 cities across Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, and sit across a wide range of practice and sector groups. Women have accounted for 47% of all CMS promotions globally.

In 2018, the firm also achieved leading positions by deal count in the following M&A league tables: #1 by Bloomberg (Europe, Germany and UK), #1 by Mergermarket (CEE, DACH and Germany) and #1 by Thomson Reuters (Germany and UK).

Outgoing Executive Chairman, Cornelius Brandi, said, “We’ve had a very strong year as we have helped clients manage and capitalise on change and uncertainty. This reflects the individual efforts of each of our 72 offices and the international collaboration which multinational clients rely upon.”

Profitability improved
In the Netherlands CMS acted on many prominent cross-border deals. For example, CMS advised Advance on its takeover of Stage Entertainment, Europe's largest live entertainment provider. CMS also assisted Breevast on the sale and transfer of the so-called Mesdag Delta Portfolio, consisting of 56 prominent objects in the Netherlands, to the American investor Highbrook. Another unique national case that CMS supervised and advised was the bankruptcy of the Slotervaart Medical Centre in Amsterdam.

Willem Hoorneman, Managing Partner at CMS in the Netherlands, about the financial results: “CMS has grown and flourished in the past year. In the Netherlands, as well as internationally, we have been able to realise substantial growth in revenue and increase our profitability. Our continuous expansion ensures that we can optimally keep serving our clients with cross-jurisdictional businesses.”

New chairman
In addition, CMS announces that Pierre-Sébastien Thill has been selected as its new Chairman for an initial four-year term, commencing immediately. Thill takes over the position following completion of Cornelius Brandi’s second term as Chairman. Under Brandi's leadership during the past eight years, CMS has achieved a compound annual growth rate of 8% while expanding into 18 new countries.

Thill is an expert in international taxation, advising clients on issues relating to M&A transactions and corporate reorganisations. He has been with CMS for 35 years, joining the organisation in 1984, and is fluent in French, German and English. Thill was Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CMS in France from 2012 to 2015 and is Executive Chairman of the Management Board, a position he also previously held from 2004 to 2012. He was also Chairman of the CMS Executive Committee from 2003 to 2008 and has subsequently been a member of the Executive Committee since 2008.

Brandi added, “It has been extremely gratifying to have played a role in the success story of CMS. The business context for many of our clients has changed beyond all recognition over the last eight years. We’ve changed with them, embedding global practice and sector group expertise and initiating several firm-wide technology projects. Pierre-Sébastien Thill, with his long experience in law firm management and his key contribution to the development of our strategy, is the ideal candidate to take on the chairmanship of CMS. I hand over with every confidence that the organisation will continue to flourish under his direction.” Brandi continues in his role of Senior Partner of CMS Germany and as a member of the CMS Executive Committee.

Strengthening management structure
In addition to Thill's appointment, CMS has confirmed a new management structure in which Duncan Weston and Matthias Lichtblau will work alongside Thill as an Executive Team.

Weston, as Executive Partner, is responsible for the implementation of the overall global strategy of CMS as well as for the organisation's financial results, client-related technology initiatives and business development. Lichtblau continues as Executive Director of CMS with overall responsibility for all operational functions of the Executive Team and of CMS Legal Services EEIG, the service unit for all CMS firms.

Thill, who has also served as Vice-Chairman of CMS since 2017, said, “Our clients are operating in a challenging environment, yet they continue to deliver productivity gains and enter new markets. We share their global mindset and when clients come to CMS, they know that they can rely on quality advice and service delivery in almost every major jurisdiction.” He adds, “We’re committed to transforming our business to reflect client demand and the ways in which they are transforming their own businesses. Cornelius Brandi has been an attentive and hard-working steward of CMS and I would like to thank him for handing over the organisation in such good shape for the future. I’m looking forward to working closely with Matthias and Duncan in driving the strategy forward during an exciting time for CMS.”

Related people

Portrait of Willem Hoorneman
Willem Hoorneman
Managing Partner