CMS firms reject Deloitte-style integration

CMS firms reject Deloitte-style integration” />The international partners of the CMS network have rejected the Deloitte-style model of branding and said they want to retain their separate local identities but they have unanimously voted in favour of “closer integration and alignment”.

CMS director of brand marketing Peter Sommer said that CMS was moving away from the alliance model and more towards an integrated system which meant closer cooperation and more referrals but that losing the local firms’ names would have been “counterproductive”.

The revelations follow months of wranglings over the branding of the nine CMS network firms and whether all should be united under the CMS brand, losing their local names.

“In each of the markets in which we operate there is a significant value on national identity,” explained managing partner of CMS Cameron McKenna Dick Tyler. “Clients within individual markets attach value to that – we don’t want to lose that.”

Many local offices were initially not keen to lose their local identities under the CMS umbrella and appear to have now won.

The debate centred on how to effect closer integration between CMS Cameron McKenna, CMS Bureau Francis LeFebvre, CMS Hasche Sigle and the six other European firms, as first reported on on 5 November 2007.

At the time, Italy’s CMS Adonnino Ascoli & Cavasola Scamoni managing partner Pietro Cavasola said: “Our partners are 100 per cent enthusiastic about CMS, but our historic name is very important and recognisable to our national clients.”

Similar reservations were expressed in Spain.

In Austria and other central European jurisdictions, legal problems were foreseen in removing name partners from the letterheads of the CMS firms.

Fee income at CMS has grown by nearly 30 per cent in 2007, in part fuelled through cross-referrals, and the CMS network posted a combined fee income in 2007 of nearly €750m (£558m).

CMS firms will be developing further common standards, processes and procedures including a new conflict of interest policy, in accordance with an agreed set of strategic priorities.