The eight member firms in the CMS network could be merged along the lines of a big four accountancy firm, according to new CMS executive partner Robert Derry-Evans.
The strategy, which would be a first for an international law firm, would probably involve each member firm remaining a single profit centre with the top partners from each firm joining an overarching CMS partnership. Derry-Evans said that the accountancy prototype would accommodate the different levels of profitabilty among the CMS member firms. “We’re going to be sharing a greater degree of profits and costs than we currently are sharing, but I don’t think it should be the nightmarish headache some people think it is,” he said. “There are systems that have been thought of in the past, particularly by the accountants, that accommodate many differences and divergences and profit differentials. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel when someone’s already come up with something.” Two weeks ago, The Lawyer revealed that Derry-Evans was stepping up from his role as chief executive of CMS Cameron McKenna to take the helm at CMS. He is the first lawyer to run the network.