Despite making 29 fee-earners redundant since May, CMS Russia, which was formed when CMS Cameron McKenna, CMS Hasche Sigle and CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre joined forces in December 2008, is being touted as a success.
“The market has been appalling but the merger helped us maintain our position in the market,” said Weston. “Transactional business has suffered a lot, but now we’re much more full service and diversified than before. Individual offices would’ve suffered terribly in this market.
“Although the market has meant that we’ve had to consolidate more quickly than planned, we still have a substantial presence in Russia and expect to remain in the top five,” he added. “If we can do that then the joint venture will have been extremely successful.”
The office is expected to break even this year and, according to Weston, if it becomes profitable in the future could prompt other offices to follow suit.
“In the Bric countries there are a lot of different approaches,” said Weston, “and I think the firms in those countries would benefit from this full integration approach. It’s something we’re thinking about.”