Legal Business Blogs

CMS grows UK revenue 5% in second year post-merger but keeps profits under wraps

Revenue at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang hit £545.8m in 2018/19, 5% up on the previous year in what managing partner Stephen Millar (pictured) described as ‘pleasing results in a market which is experiencing a degree of uncertainty’.

The results today (18 June) cover the second financial year since the three-way UK merger between Camerons, Nabarro and Olswang went live in May 2017 and are the first allowing for a full like-for-like comparison with the previous year. The firm said in a statement that the results exceeded budget.

In 2017/18 the UK LLP reported turnover of £518m, £29m up on the consolidated results of the three legacy firms and cited a 19% UK profitability hike but did not disclose profits.

The firm did not disclose UK profits this year, either. LLP accounts published in January showed that in 2017/18, UK operating profit was £160m, up 30% on the £122.5m combined profits of the three legacy firms despite a £30m cost in ‘reorganising, restructuring and integrating’ the merger.

Speaking to Legal Business last summer, Millar put the total merger cost at about £50m and said the firm would take on half the cost in 2017/18 and half in 2018/19. Millar said of today’s results: ‘We performed strongly across our chosen sectors, delivering transformational deals and winning roles on new client panels including Liberty Global and Cadent Gas.’

Also today, the broader CMS international group – spanning more than 70 offices in 40 countries combined together under a European Economic Interest Grouping – reported turnover growth of 5% to €1.36bn in the calendar year 2018, much slower than the previous year’s 31% uptick to €1.3bn when the UK merger was taken into account for the first time.

The firm also announced today that Paris-based Pierre-Sébastien Thill was appointed as its new global chairman, succeeding Cornelius Brandi. Executive partner Duncan Weston and executive director Matthias Lichtblau remain on the firm’s global executive team.