CMS global revenue edges up to €1.475bn as UK growth stalls

Firm-wide turnover climbed by 3% in 2020; UK LLP fee income rises by just £1m

Penelope Warne: 'Proud of our progress'

CMS has posted a 3% increase in revenue to €1.475bn for 2020 across its global network while its UK LLP's turnover inched up by £1m to £567m. 

Global results for the 2020 calendar year mark another 12 months of moderate revenue growth for the firm, with the new figure representing a dip from last year’s 4.5% increase and the 5% increase it recorded for 2018.

Meanwhile, revenue at the UK LLP, which has overseas offices in Central and Eastern Europe, the UAE, China and Brazil, increased by just 0.17% for the financial year ending 30 April. 

CMS chairman Pierre-Sebastian Thill said the firm’s “robust” performance throughout the pandemic demonstrated its strength and resilience working in the “toughest of operating environments”. 

CMS said it had made strides in a number of key areas, such as its diversity and inclusion commitments and innovation and technology initiatives. In April, the firm unveiled its largest-ever global promotional round, elevating 52 lawyers to partner, with women accounting for 43% of its promotions in the UK and 37% of new partners globally. 

It doubled down on its investment in innovative tech-focused business solutions by becoming only the second law firm to participate in the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulatory sandbox, which is aimed at driving innovation in the fintech sector in partnership with digital transaction startup and firm client Valk.  

The firm also flagged the launch of two of its newest digital business solutions: open industry platform Lupl — which began beta testing in 2020 as part of a joint investment with Cooley and Rajah & Tann Asia — and mobile data breach solution Breach Assistant.  

CMS UK senior partner Penelope Warne said: “We are proud of the progress we have made in diversity, our 2025 net zero commitments, and our innovation and technology initiatives.”

The firm’s global network, which boasts more than 5,000 lawyers across 40 countries, recently grew with the addition of Norwegian practice Kluge. The firm is set to join as a full member firm in October this year, adding four regional offices and 153 lawyers to CMS’ European roster. 

UK top 20 firm Pinsent Masons also released its results today, posting a 16% increase in its profit per equity partner (PEP) with revenue edging up by 1.5%, breaking the £500m benchmark for the first time.

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