Legal Business Blogs

Merger mania: Addleshaws and CMS discussed combination before entering current talks

Despite both firms now being in merger talks with other suitors, Legal Business understands CMS Cameron McKenna and Addleshaw Goddard considered merging with each other earlier this year.

Although discussions have since come to nothing, it is understood CMS Cameron McKenna approached Addleshaws for a possible tie-up.

CMS, the global brand of ten member firms, posted profits for 2015/16 of £735m, while Addleshaws saw a profit bump of 5% to pass the £200m mark this year.

Both firms have been repeatedly linked to mergers this year. CMS is currently understood to be in talks with Olswang in a move that would bolster its European IP and technology offering. The firm has had recent merger successes. Its combination with Scottish firm Dundas & Wilson in 2014 led to a boost in revenues of around 8.4%, expanding its energy and financial institutions sectors.

Addleshaws, which currently has four UK offices and a presence in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Oman and Qatar, has been clear about its goal to achieve £250m turnover by 2017/18. It posted fees of £201.8m for the 2015/16 financial year.

The firm was in talks to combine with Scots firm Maclay Murray & Spens, which were called off in March this year. Addleshaws is currently in discussions with Virginia-based law firm Hunton & Williams.

Both CMS and Addleshaws refused to comment.

This week Legal Business revealed that Addleshaws saw a significant uplift in its revenues with a bump of between £5-10m resulting from a settlement in the long-running Boris Berezovsky litigation.

For the full story on Addleshaw Goddard under John Joyce, read: ‘Welcome to the John Joyce show: Addleshaws’ head aims to push national firm centre stage’