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CMS adds to Northern line up with Liverpool launch

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang has extended its chain of northern offices with a Liverpool office opening following a hire from DWF, its first launch since its tripartite merger with Nabarro and Olswang in 2017.

The new office – located in Exchange Flags amidst Liverpool’s commercial district – will complement legacy Nabarro’s Manchester and Sheffield offices. DWF real estate partner Abigail Dry has been hired for the Liverpool launch, but the firm would not comment as to how many employees will be driving the opening. Liverpool is the firm’s tenth UK office.

The North has increasingly featured as part of firms’ UK strategies, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Reed Smith, and Norton Rose Fulbright all among those to open up in the region. Taylor Wessing was another firm to target Liverpool, setting up an office in the city comprised of business analysts and IP specialists to better support the firm’s London hub. CMS will likely look to make good on an uptake in real estate work across the northern region.

In a statement regarding the Liverpool opening, the firm said: ‘This appointment forms part of our strategy to grow in the North. The ongoing regeneration of the North combined with opportunities coming out of the Northern Powerhouse initiative have resulted in a significant uptake in real estate projects across the region.’

Last June, CMS announced a UK turnover of £518m and a 19% increase in profitability, but chose to omit profit per equity partner in its figures. Meanwhile, the firm’s three-way merger cost approximately £50m, with the cost split to £25m between two financial years.

In October of last year, the firm lost real estate heavyweights Alan Karsberg and Simon Kanter to Fladgate, while in November Fladgate deepened the blow by recruiting an eight-lawyer team in London. CMS subsequently commented the exodus was due to ‘confidential client conflict issues’.