Camerons builds on Ukranian success with office launch

CMS Cameron McKenna will be the first City firm to launch in the Ukraine when it opens a 30-lawyer office in Kiev in September.

Camerons is launching its twelfth international office on the back of regional growth and investment in the Ukraine from clients including Erste Bank and private equity houses Advent International and Mid-Europa Partners.

Camerons Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) regional head Duncan Weston said: “Even without having an office there we were involved in e1bn [£676.06m] worth of Ukrainian transactions last year. There’s also little competition on the ground.”

Baker & McKenzie, DLA Piper, Gide Loyrette Nouel, Salans and Squire Sanders & Dempsey also have Ukrainian operations.

Camerons’ CEE turnover has doubled in the past two years to around £40m, equating to around 20 per cent of firmwide revenue, while referrals among the CMS network have leapt by more than 60 per cent for the second year running.

The Kiev lawyers will have a mix of Ukrainian and international law expertise. Camerons has signed up five partners for the September launch, but they cannot be named as they are yet to inform their current firms.

Camerons will relocate regional head of corporate Helen Rodwell to Kiev for up to a year.

Austrian firm CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz and France’s CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre will also have small offices in the Camerons building. There will be around 50 CMS lawyers in the office.