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CMS reviews network to simplify its brand" />CMS is re-examining its European network structure after management fears that its branding, which uses several variations of the CMS name, is too confusing for clients.
CMS Cameron McKenna managing partner Dick Tyler said the problem is most evident in jurisdictions where more than one CMS firm operates, for example in Brussels, where six CMS-branded firms have presences.
"There's a certain amount of confusion arising out of the network," said Tyler. "Clients like to associate with an individual firm, but then CMS is a brand, a shorthand."
CMS's executive committee is currently debating a remedy to the situation, but Tyler stated that a higher level of integration was likely.
"We have to work out whether it helps or hinders us to have CMS lawyers with different business cards, or even if the clients care," he said.
But the identity crisis has not impacted on business. Tyler revealed that network cross-referrals had increased by 63 per cent from last year.
He attributed the massive increase in cross-referrals to a buoyant market. "Every year network integration gets better and familiarity grows," he said.
UK-based Camerons, France-based CMS Bureau Francis LeFebvre and Germany's CMS Hasche Sigle have the largest geographical footprints within the network. There are also six other firms that operate under the CMS banner in Europe.
All three CMS heavyweights are in Brussels along with three smaller network firms. In Moscow there are more than 80 CMS lawyers under one roof, but they are from three differently branded firms.