Open relationship for CMS and Dundas?

They’re officially hitched, but CMS and Dundas still have some wooing to do 

A year after CMS Cameron McKenna crossed the threshold of Dundas & Wilson with a tantalising proposal, the merger between them has gone live. What comes next will be an intense tussle over banking and energy clients as the two firms play tug-of-war over the institutional client list.

It was Dundas’s client list that piqued CMS’s interest: National Grid, Scottish and Southern Energy and the jewel in the financial sector crown: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). 

The post-merger scrummage for client relationships will certainly be worth watching, as CMS has a preference for single client relationship partners. “What we will be doing will be consistent with our current attitude,” says CMS energy head Stephen Millar.

CMS sits on the tier two transactional panel for RBS with partner Will Meredith leading the relationship, but Dundas partner Kenneth Rose handles the tier one relationship with the bank. CMS is understood to be hoping to make the client its own. 

The bank’s next review will kick off next year and Rose is thought to have been in meetings with key in-house counsel, including former Dundas partner Chris Campbell, already. It isn’t the only relationship in flux and the merged firm is in a flurry of joint panel pitches and intense client negotiations.

The two firms have attended client pitches together in an effort to get the integration under way, and Millar believes this will allow one relationship partner to emerge.

The scramble for client control is now underway.