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‘A UK legal merger which makes sense’: CMS, Olswang and Nabarro vote in favour of union

After weeks of speculation, CMS Cameron McKenna, Nabarro and Olswang have voted to combine, taking on the CMS brand and giving Camerons over 1,000 partners and revenues of around £450m in the UK.

The merger is due to complete on 1 May 2017. Nabarro and Olswang will join the CMS UK LLP partnership, which will be catchily renamed CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP.

A statement said the partners of all three firms voted ‘overwhelmingly in favour’ of the union to ‘create a new powerhouse’ and the sixth-largest law firm by headcount. It was revealed that the three firms were in merger discussions ten days ago.

With the addition of Nabarro and Olswang, the CMS grouping will have over 1,000 partners and over 7,500 employees across 65 offices in 36 countries around the world, with combined revenues of about £450m in the UK. Revenues of the firm would be €1.2bn globally, counting the wider CMS network.

The statement added: ‘The leadership, boards and partners of all three firms believe that this merger is an excellent fit in culture and values, presents an outstanding opportunity, and consequently have given their overwhelming support.’

CMS UK senior partner Penelope Warne said: ‘I am inspired today because we are delivering the next step to transform the legal services industry. Through this combination, we are delivering a modern firm that combines scale with an exceptional depth of sector expertise…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.’

Andrew Inkester, managing partner of Nabarro, said: ‘This is a UK legal merger that makes sense. It creates a firm that is more than the sum of its parts, bringing together our market-leading expertise in six strategic sectors.’

Olswang chief executive officer Paul Stevens added: ‘Together, we materially strengthen all of our practice areas in the context of a firm with 65 offices worldwide. This new partnership will provide our new firm’s clients with a cutting-edge service in our strategic sectors as they grow their businesses and brands in the future.’