CMS expands in Scandinavia through tie-up with top 10 Swedish firm

International firm adds 150-lawyer Wistrand to network two years after joining forces with Norway’s Kluge

CMS is set to join forces with top 10 Swedish law firm Wistrand, adding two offices in the country to the international firm’s European network.  

CMS said it expected onboarding to be complete by the first quarter of 2024, after which Wistrand will be known as CMS Wistrand. The firm has 150 lawyers including 51 equity partners across offices in Stockholm and Gothenburg, and brings CMS’s lawyer headcount to more than 5,800 across 45 countries worldwide. 

“CMS’s aim is to develop a strong Nordic platform, especially since many CMS clients are already active in this high-growth region,” said CMS chairman Pierre-Sébastien Thill, who pointed to the firm’s tie-up with 150-lawyer Norwegian firm Kluge two years ago.  

“Joining forces with Wistrand will ensure a presence in the Swedish market as well,” he said. 

Founded more than a century ago, Wistrand describes itself as a full service law firm and has built up a strong track record in Sweden in areas including corporate/M&A, banking and finance, debt capital markets and dispute resolution. It also has well-regarded real estate and insolvency offerings and has worked with clients including Saab Automobile, Citibank and Danske Bank.

CMS said that the two firms shared practice areas of focus and an emphasis on supporting clients as they navigate the ESG agenda, adding that this provides “significant opportunities for cross-border advisory and transaction work”.

“Business is becoming more global and our clients expect that we provide them with solutions and expert work, wherever they operate,” said Duncan Weston, CMS executive partner. “Our clients looking to do business in Sweden will now have access to proven legal knowledge in the Swedish market. Wistrand joining CMS is another example of our strategy to combine deep local understanding with a global overview.”

Maria Kosteska Fägerquist, chairman of the board at Wistrand in Gothenburg, added: “Joining CMS, with its unique structure, is the optimal choice for us. It ensures that we can continue to be a strong locally-rooted firm for all our Swedish clients and keep our full-service approach, while at the same time benefiting from CMS’s global expertise.” 

CMS saw its global revenue grow 6.2% in the 2022 financial year to €1.862bn, off the back of increased commercial, disputes and employment work. 

The firm, which does not disclose profits or profits per equity partner, expanded its Latin America coverage recently after signing a cooperation agreement with 12-strong Brazilian independent Focaccia, Amaral e Lamonica Advogados. 

Last month the firm also hired disputes partner Mohammed Aldowish from Clyde & Co to open an office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]