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CMS dismisses Singapore head and reports to SRA amid ‘confidential matters’

CMS’ Singapore head has been dismissed from the firm and the matter reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), Legal Business has established.

Former legacy Olswang corporate partner Andrew Stott has left the firm after his dismissal in late February was recommended by senior partner Penelope Warne and managing partner Stephen Millar and unanimously approved by the firm’s 20-partner board.

The reasons for the departure remain unclear. Stott confirmed to Legal Business that he has left the firm but declined to comment further citing confidentiality provisions. A spokesperson for CMS, however, noted that there was not a non-disclosure agreement drawn up as part of the process.

CMS said in a statement to Legal Business: ‘CMS does not normally comment publicly on confidential partner matters. We are mindful of the SRA process and serious sensitivities and will not be commenting further at this time.’

A spokesperson for the SRA said: ‘Now that we are aware, we will look at all relevant information before deciding on any next steps.’

Stott had previously led legacy Olswang Singapore operations until its three-way union with Nabarro and CMS in May 2017, after which he continued as CMS’ local head.

He was first made partner in 2012 when he relocated to the city-state as Olswang launched its local base. Two years ago he took over as the office managing partner after telecoms, media and tech partner Rob Bratby relocated to London.

CMS’ 28-lawyer Singapore base, part of its UK LLP, was created through the merger with Nabarro and Olswang. M&A partner Toby Grainger, also a former legacy Olswang partner, has now taken over as Singapore managing partner from Stott.

Nabarro had previously opened its own local base in 2010. CMS recently expanded its operations into local law in September 2017 through a formal law alliance with boutique Holborn Law, legacy Olswang former best friend. Other offices in the region include Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.