CMS France falls into line with profits shake-up

Cameron McKenna’s CMS alliance has moved closer to full integration after French member CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre (BFL) revamped its remuneration system.

The move follows that of German ally CMS Hasche Sigle, which introduced a similar system in 2003.

Robert Derry-Evans, on becoming CMS chief executive in May 2003, having previously headed up Camerons, was charged with transforming the alliance into a single firm and kickstarting a gradual profit-sharing process between the CMS firms in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK.

BFL managing partner Robert Bacconier told The Lawyer: “The big project for 2004 is to modify partners’ compensation to ensure more fluidity and better cooperation between partners.”

The firm will introduce one-part lockstep into its compensation system. BFL has 24 profit centres and no sharing of profits, just a dividends distribution. The partners have voted to follow the firm’s German ally.

Bacconier said he is keen to promote closer integration with his CMS allies. He predicted that the firms were set to merge their separate Moscow offices, a plan first revealed by The Lawyer in December 2001, following the merger of the firms’ operations in Shanghai in 2003.

Revenues at BFL Paris dropped 2.4 per cent in 2003 to €97m (£64.9m). The loss of four partners and €4.5m (£3m) of revenue to Bredin Prat at the beginning of the year made this inevitable.