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CMS merges with two rivals in deal to create sixth largest UK law firm

Oliver Gill
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The three firms will operate in the UK under the trading name of CMS (Source: Getty)

Partners at three City law firms have voted in favour of combining their businesses in a deal that will create the sixth largest UK law firm and the sixth largest global law network.

CMS UK, Nabarro and Olswang will merge in a deal that is anticipated to complete on 1 May 2017. Partners of Nabarro and Olswang will be absorbed into the CMS UK partnership.

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Long names are not unknown in the legal world and the merger appears to have done little to buck this trend with the newly merged entity set to be called CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP in the UK. However, it was revealed the new entity's trading name will be much more straightforward, simply "CMS".

The new firm will have over 1,000 partners and over 7,500 employees across 65 offices in 36 countries around the world. Revenues would total around £450m in the UK and more than €1.2bn (£1.1bn) globally.

All parties involved were gushing in response to the news.

"The merger will also have considerable significance for the global growth plans of CMS and is a great endorsement of the extraordinary export of English law throughout the world,” said Penelope Warne, the senior partner for CMS UK

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Nabarro's managing partner Andrew Inkester added that he felt the merger "makes sense" and "creates a firm that is more than the sum of its parts".

Meanwhile Olswang's chief executive Paul Stevens said: "We are delighted to be a part of this game-changing new business with CMS and Nabarro to form a top-quality, modern law business."

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