Fallout begins as Dundas & Wilson suffers spate of partner exits post-CMS merger deal

The fallout from Dundas & Wilson‘s recently announced takeover by CMS Cameron McKenna has begun in earnest, with the Scottish firm confirming that a number of partners are to leave.

Construction partner Siobhan McCloskey-Oudahar; head of real estate disputes Andrew Walker; employment partner David Walker; head of environment Mark Brumwell; employment partner Mandy Laurie; IP/IT partner Allan Wardhaugh; and corporate partner and former chairman David Hardie have either left or will leave the ailing Scottish giant ahead of the merger this summer. Continue reading “Fallout begins as Dundas & Wilson suffers spate of partner exits post-CMS merger deal”

Merger Watch 2013 – The runners, riders and fallers at the last hurdle

Merger Watch 2013 – The runners, riders and fallers at the last hurdle

‘I believe the market lends itself to opportunities for growth and successful law firms will take advantage of these opportunities. It is good for the market and clients. Let’s hope there are more [mergers] in the future.’ So says CMS Cameron McKenna’s managing partner Duncan Weston, who oversaw his firm’s successful tie-up with Scotland’s Dundas & Wilson during an autumn/winter period that has also seen the merger of Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham, Slater & Gordon’s acquisition of the personal injury business of Pannone, and Pennington’s takeover of beleaguered Manches, to say nothing of the talks announced and not yet concluded or that fell at the final hurdle. Continue reading “Merger Watch 2013 – The runners, riders and fallers at the last hurdle”

Buy-side story: how CMS and Dundas & Wilson finalised their surprise merger

Talk to any partner at Dundas & Wilson in the early 1990s – when Cameron McKenna launched its fledgling oil and gas outpost in Aberdeen – and any suggestion that the City firm could challenge the Scots leader on its own turf would elicit snorts of derision. The notion that the two most prestigious law firm brands in Scotland – Dundas and McGrigors – would be consumed by Cameron McKenna and Pinsent Masons in 20 years’ time would have been seen as laughable.

But the recent confirmation of a tie-up between CMS Cameron McKenna and beleaguered Dundas still came as a surprise to many in the profession. Continue reading “Buy-side story: how CMS and Dundas & Wilson finalised their surprise merger”

Updated merger watch – CMS completes successful tie-up with Dundas & Wilson

CMS Cameron McKenna and beleaguered Scottish firm Dundas & Wilson have merged, the firms announced this evening (12 December), creating a firm of 830 partners and 5,600 employees operating in 57 offices in 31 countries across the world with revenues of around €900m.

The tie-up – led for CMS by managing partner Duncan Weston, senior partner elect Penelope Warne and energy partner Stephen Millar, and for Dundas by chairman Lawrence Ward and managing partners Caryn Penley and Allan Wernham – will give the CMS group additional strength in the UK, particularly in Scotland, where for many years Dundas was considered to have the premier corporate practice.

Continue reading “Updated merger watch – CMS completes successful tie-up with Dundas & Wilson”

Leadership: Dick Tyler ‘ready for a change’ as CMS elects Penelope Warne as senior partner

Leadership: Dick Tyler ‘ready for a change’ as CMS elects Penelope Warne as senior partner

CMS Cameron McKenna has elected its first-ever female senior partner, as UK managing director and head of energy Penelope Warne takes over the role from longstanding management figure and corporate finance partner Dick Tyler, who has said he is ‘ready for a change’.

Warne (pictured), who joined the firm in 1993 and set up the firm’s offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Rio de Janeiro and Dubai, will officially take up the post in May 2014 for a four-year term. Continue reading “Leadership: Dick Tyler ‘ready for a change’ as CMS elects Penelope Warne as senior partner”

Global ambassador: CMS partner Fiona Woolf to represent the City as Lord Mayor

The City legal profession collectively regards itself as a global ambassador for UK enterprise but CMS Cameron McKenna energy partner Fiona Woolf has been officially awarded the representative role of the Lord Mayor of the City of London, becoming only the second female holder of the post in its 800-year history.

Woolf will be the City’s 686th Lord Mayor – to be distinguished from the wider Mayor of London role – and will take on the role of global ambassador for UK-based financial and business services from Friday 8 November. Continue reading “Global ambassador: CMS partner Fiona Woolf to represent the City as Lord Mayor”

No such thing as a free lunch – first judgment clarifies termination of third party litigation fund

No such thing as a free lunch – first judgment clarifies termination of third party litigation fund

Third party litigation funders look set to adopt a similar position to insurers in driving the litigation agenda after a judgment last week confirmed what the market already knew; there is no such thing as a free lunch or litigation.

Sitting as deputy judge of the High Court, Mr David Donaldson QC in Harcus Sinclair v Buttonwood Legal Capital Limited (BLC) and others set out the first judgment to consider termination of third party litigation funding agreements since the arrival of the Jackson reforms. Continue reading “No such thing as a free lunch – first judgment clarifies termination of third party litigation fund”

Trainee retention: Eversheds, Clyde & Co, CMS Cameron McKenna and Simmons reveal rates

Trainee retention: Eversheds, Clyde & Co, CMS Cameron McKenna and Simmons reveal rates

The number of training contracts being offered by City firms may have dropped by over 20% but the recently revealed retention rates of Eversheds, Clyde & Co, CMS Cameron McKenna and Maclay Murray & Spens remain high, although Simmons & Simmons has slid to 71%.

Eversheds, which yesterday (10 September) posted an 87% retention rate, offered 40 out of 45 newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers a permanent role at the firm, which 38 accepted. The figures mirror last autumn’s retention round, when the same number of NQs were kept on. Continue reading “Trainee retention: Eversheds, Clyde & Co, CMS Cameron McKenna and Simmons reveal rates”

Redundancy announcements increase as top partners predict difficult H2 for UK firms

Continuing pressure on UK legal market threatens largest redundancy levels since 2009

The level of legal redundancies this year is on course to be the largest since 2009 as the number of law firms announcing job cuts grows and senior partners predict tough months ahead.

CMS Cameron McKenna, which launched a review of its UK and Central and Eastern Europe business in January, last month took the final decision to make 37 staff redundant. The news came as 330-lawyer, top 50 UK firm Trowers & Hamlins also announced in late May that seven employees – three secretarial staff and four fee-earners – had been made redundant, with the firm blaming continuing pressures on the UK legal market.

Continue reading “Redundancy announcements increase as top partners predict difficult H2 for UK firms”

Partnership structure overhaul for CMS Cameron McKenna

CMS Cameron McKenna has reformed its partnership remuneration model from 1 May, enabling salaried partners to become equity partners more quickly but increasing management scrutiny of performance.

After 18 months of deliberation, the firm voted in favour of discontinuing its salaried partner level, achieving the 80% majority needed to push the reforms through.

The change will see 65 salaried partners become part of a 75-strong fixed-share rank.

Continue reading “Partnership structure overhaul for CMS Cameron McKenna”