The CMS network has started the process of transforming its member firms' international offices into merged CMS offices.
Within the six-firm network, CMS Cameron McKenna and CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre (BFL) have combined their offices in Romania, while BFL and CMS Hasche Sigle Eschenlohr Peltzer Schäfer have joined up their practices in Berlin. Camerons and BFL also intend to join their Moscow offices and are planning a joint venture in Shanghai for 2002, where neither currently has a presence. All these offices will be combined practices servicing the same clients, but to begin with will be run as separate profit centres for the partner firms. However, they will evolve into a single, merged CMS offices in each particular country over time. Richard Taylor, London-based chairman of the CMS network, said: "The international office will not merge initially in each of these countries, but they will come together in the context of global integration." Taylor's eventual aim is to have each CMS office operating in the same way as CMS Lexcelis, which is a full merger of all the CMS firms in Brussels.