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CMS - Undefined
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  • Managing Partner Duncan Weston
  • Senior Partner Penelope Warne
  • UK Number of partners 212
  • Associates 337
  • Other fee-earners 165
  • International Number of partners 72
  • Associates 250
  • Other fee-earners 85

THE FIRM: CMS provides clients with specialist, business focused advice in law and tax matters. With over 2,900 legal professionals across the world working in sector-based teams and trained in project management, CMS’ focus is on clients and fulfilling their objectives. In a competitive legal market, CMS stands apart through its deep commitment to understanding clients’ business and the sectors and countries in which it operates. From major multinationals and mid-caps to enterprising start-ups, CMS provides the technical rigour, strategic excellence and long-term partnership to keep each client ahead whatever its chosen markets.

CMS places great emphasis on client service, with clients benefiting from an extensive range of tailored services, delivered through 58 offices in 32 countries across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America.

Combination: On 1 May 2014, CMS combined with Dundas & Wilson, providing clients with deeper expertise in the three key financial centres of London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and in its energy capital, Aberdeen. Sector Group Focus: The firm’s sector approach provides clients with an industry-specific service and deep sector expertise. Working alongside its traditional practice group structure, sector groups enable the firm to develop a comprehensive understanding of its clients’ businesses and markets and to constantly deliver sound and commercially relevant advice from any of its offices. Client Focus: Our proposition to clients is centred on providing high quality advice from lawyers that are sector experts, pragmatic in the delivery of their advice and able to project manage to ensure all client matters are delivered on time and to budget.

CMS numbers global companies such as Telefonica, BP, RWE, United Technologies, Takeda and Diageo among its clients. CMS acts for the majority of the DAX 30, for a large number of the FT European 500 and for a number of Fortune 500 companies.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK: CMS offers a wide range of expertise through seventeen practice area and sector groups, providing advice on local, national and international issues. These expert groups are firmly established across Europe. Main areas of practice include: banking and finance; commercial; competition and EU; consumer products; corporate; dispute resolution; employment and pensions; energy; hotels and leisure; infrastructure and project finance; insurance and funds; intellectual property; life sciences; private equity; real estate and construction; tax; technology, media and telecoms.

CMS offices (and associated offices): Aberdeen, Algiers, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Belgrade, Berlin, Bratislava, Bristol, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Casablanca, Cologne, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Geneva, Glasgow, Hamburg, Istanbul, Kyiv, Leipzig, Lisbon, Ljubljana, London, Luxembourg, Lyon, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Muscat City, Paris, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sarajevo, Seville, Shanghai, Sofia, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Tirana, Utrecht, Vienna, Warsaw, Zagreb and Zurich.

  • Advertising & Marketing Susan Barty
  • Asset Management Ash Saluja
  • Banking & Finance Will Meredith
  • Banking & Finance (CEE) Paul Stallebrass
  • Commercial (CEE) Iain Batty
  • Construction & Development Mark Heighton
  • Consumer Products Louise Wallace
  • Corporate Finance/IPOs Sean Watson
  • Corporate Tax Richard Croker
  • Dispute Resolution Guy Pendell
  • Employment Anthony Fincham
  • Energy & Projects (CEE) Andrzej Blach
  • Energy & Utilities Penelope Warne
  • Environment Paul Sheridan
  • EU/ Competition Susan Hankey
  • Financial Institutions & Services Stephen Tester
  • Financial Services Regulation Simon Morris
  • Health & Safety Jan Burgess
  • Hotels & Leisure Thomas Page
  • Infrastructure & Project Finance Andrew Ivison
  • Insolvency Duncan Aldred
  • Insurance & Reinsurance Ed Foss
  • IP Tom Scourfield
  • Life Sciences Sandra Rafferty
  • M&A Andrew Sheach M&A (CEE) Helen Rodwell
  • Media Complaints Tim Hardy
  • Pensions Nigel Moore
  • Planning Chris Williams
  • Product Liability Shuna Mason
  • Project Finance Andrew Ivison
  • Real Estate Mark Heighton
  • Real Estate (CEE) Gabor Czike
  • Real Estate Disputes Danielle Drummond-Brassington
  • TMT Chris Watson
  • Transport Jonathan Beckitt
  • Venture Capital/Private Equity James Grimwood
  • Water Robert Lane


  • Mitre House,
  • 160 Aldersgate Street,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC1A 4DD
  • Tel (020) 3673000
  • Fax (020) 7367 2000
  • DX 135316 BARBICAN 2
  • Email : info@cms-cmck.com
  • Website : www.cms-cmck.com

Banking & Finance - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 35 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Aberdeen, Edinburgh

What the team is known for Known for its exceptional work across a range of financial sectors, including funds finance, real estate and hotel finance, and shipping finance. Demonstrates proficiency in acquisition finance with an emphasis on clients within the oil and gas sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The breadth and depth of knowledge and experience they've got works well for us."

"They were very easy to work with and were able to deal with constantly changing priorities and timelines."

What's new? On 1 May 2014 Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS. 

Hyundai Capital UK, Aviva Commercial Finance and KFW Bank are among the new clients the firm has secured this year.

Work highlights Acted for John Wood Group on the negotiation of its new club facilities with seven separate banks. The aggregate value of the debt facilities was USD950 million.

Advised Balfour Beatty on a £63 million bond financing used to help fund the development of new student accommodation for Edinburgh University.

Notable practitioners  

The "incredibly diligent" Dawn Reoch is a primary point of contact for a number of the firm's prestigious lender and borrower clients in Aberdeen. She gets many excellent comments from clients who praise her approachability, "technical experience" and "commerciality." 

Head of the department Caryn Penley has cemented her reputation in the region as a "technically strong" and capable lawyer. One very satisfied client had this to say: "She is first-class. She has good commercial knowledge, takes the time to understand the dynamic of bank and customer relationships, and is willing to operate on a bespoke basis." 

Stephen Phillips is the team's go-to partner for any transaction involving securitisations and derivatives. Clients appreciate his ability to advise on difficult transactions, in particular: "He's good at giving advice not just on legal points but also on commercial issues. In that way, he makes an excellent sounding board."

Peers commend Alan Fulton for his steady, considered approach, which makes working opposite him an uncomplicated procedure. He regularly acts for a range of lenders, borrowers and sponsors.

Clients appreciate the level of partner involvement Gordon Hay provides, in addition to his savvy networking skills. Peers also rate him highly and are "quite happy when he's on the other side."

Jennifer Allan continues to excel as a senior associate within the banking and finance team. One client reports: "She has a vast experience in other sectors apart from renewables, including construction and contracts, and she brings that experience to bear on work she handles for us." 

Significant clients Santander, Barclays, Clydesdale Bank, Investec, Lonsdale Capital Partners.

Corporate/M&A - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Aberdeen, Edinburgh

What the team is known for Advises clients from a range of sectors, including financial services, property, food and drink, and energy. Covers a variety of corporate services, from M&A to private equity. Retains a strong focus on oil and gas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're extremely high-calibre – if I want sterling advice quickly I'll go to this team."

What's new? Helen Machin was made partner.

On 1 May 2014 Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights The Edinburgh team advised CALA on its £210 million disposal, including carrying out due diligence, project and execution management and sale negotiations.

The Glasgow team represented Team Rock in the £13 million acquisition of its business assets from Future.

The Aberdeen team acted for NBGI Private Equity on its acquisition of the UK and Norway operations of Cosalt Offshore.

Notable practitioners  

Douglas Crawford heads the Aberdeen corporate team and advises on private equity matters as well as oil transactions. He acted for Simmons Parallel Private on its sale to Xodus Group. Clients say he is "very good, professional and switched-on."

Graeme Bruce's practice covers M&A and restructuring. Interviewees say he is "a bit of a superstar" and "professional and very easy to work with." He was the lead partner representing Team Rock in the £13 million acquisition of its business assets from Future.

Aberdeen-based David Davidson acted for Lonsdale Capital Partners on its £12 million acquisition of Oteac. Clients say: "His grasp of private equity is outstanding - he is incredibly bright and structured, and takes great initiative."

Frank Fowlie advised First Oil on the USD25 million acquisition of a 30% interest in Bowleven’s East African new ventures subsidiary. Market sources praise his extensive acquisitions experience.

Stuart MacLean specialises in corporate finance, private equity and M&A. He led the £210 million CALA disposal and is praised by clients as "a very impressive lawyer."

New partner Helen Machin is described as "one to watch" by market observers. Clients highlight her availability and responsiveness.

Significant clients Standard Life, Virgin Money, National Australia Group Europe, Dominion Gas, Stork Technical Services.

Employment - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow

What the team is known for Strong Aberdeen-based employment practice, with a significant focus on the oil & gas industry. Well versed in discrimination litigation and whistle-blowing issues. Increased presence in Glasgow and Edinburgh, following a recent merger with Dundas & Wilson.

What's new? The firm completed a merger with Dundas & Wilson in May 2014.

Work highlights Advised BP on the wide-ranging employment aspects of its USD1.1 billion sale of various North Sea oil and gas interests to TAQA Bratani.

Notable practitioners 

Alison Woods heads the employment team and draws extensive praise as a leading figure in the Aberdeen market. One client commented: "She is business-focused, with an understanding of what our company does and what our work entails." Her broad practice includes a significant focus on matters in the oil and gas sector, such as advising Halliburton Energy Services on the labour aspects of its share purchase of Intelligent Well Controls.

According to clients, rising star Finlay McKay is "an expert in his field, and has the ability to translate his knowledge into a practical context." Sources also recommend his responsive nature: "He deals quickly and efficiently with all requests."

Newly ranked Liam Kerr handles the full spectrum of employment law matters, with strong knowledge of judicial mediations, employment tribunals and restructuring procedures.

Significant clients ConocoPhillips, Talisman Sinopec, BG Group, Premier Oil, Bristow Helicopters.

Energy & Natural Resources - Glasgow, Edinburgh and surrounds

What the team is known for Well regarded in the market for its ability to advise on a wide range of areas including regulation, transactions, development and financing in the gas, electricity and renewable energy sectors. Oil and gas expertise, advising energy companies and national governments in relation to the North Sea.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very proactive and very quick in reverting to us, and they are knowledgeable about the issues we raise with them."

"It is the mixture of the quality of the work itself and also the service in terms of responsiveness."

"The experience and thinking on their feet and the dedication are what I really like."

What's new? On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Acted for EnQuest on its USD180 million purchase of North Sea acreage and related infrastructure from Centrica.

Advised the joint venture company on the development of a 1,000 MW offshore wind project in the outer Firth of Tay region.

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Millar is an experienced oil and gas partner in the firm's Aberdeen office. Recent highlights include acting for BP in its purchase of Moroccan offshore assets. Clients say: "He is an outstanding oil and gas and M&A lawyer. He is extremely proactive and customer service-oriented; we get a very fast and highly consistent quality of service from him."

Judith Aldersey-Williams is an Aberdeen-based partner who advises clients on commercial and competition matters in the oil and gas sector. She advised a group of multinational oil companies in relation to a programme to fund and develop well-capping equipment to be used in the event of an offshore well blowout. Client sources value her "very heavy engagement with the industry" and add that "she has a bigger-picture view and a strategic approach that is very valuable." 

Donald Cumming advises on corporate and regulatory issues in the power, renewable energy and water sectors. Sources describe him as a "seasoned campaigner" and note his track record of representing major utilities in the sector.

Norman Wisely is a transactional oil and gas partner in the firm's Aberdeen office. Recent mandates have included advising BP on farm-outs in the North Sea. Well-placed sources in the sector rate his abilities very highly and say that "he knows the industry backward."

Significant clients ConocoPhillips, Premier Oil, SSE, Gamesa Energy UK, National Grid.

Health & Safety - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Aberdeen

What the team is known for Frequently handles high-profile cases of offshore death and gas releases in the North Sea. Has an emergency response line service for major incidents at all hours.

Work highlights Advising TAQA Bratani on a broad array of health, safety and environmental matters, including lodging an appeal against a Department of Energy & Climate Change enforcement notice.

Provided health and safety regulatory advice to Bain Capital Europe with regards to its proposed acquisition of the EWOS Group, a world-leading fish food producer for the aquaculture industry.

Notable practitioners  

Jan Burgess has a broad focus but is particularly known for her expertise in the oil and gas sectors. "She is very experienced, approachable and able," notes one impressed interviewee.

Significant clients Integrated Dental Holdings, Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe, Bureau Veritas UK, Low Carbon Services (UK).

Professional Negligence - Bristol and surrounds

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Administrative & Public Law - Scotland

What the team is known for Offers wide-ranging advice on public law matters to central government and local authorities on governance, statutory interpretation, procurement and employment issues. Noted for its expertise in the transport industry.

Work highlights Advised Lothian Buses, a transport company wholly owned by local government, on the formation of a new corporate structure, including on potential vires and statutory issues arising as a consequence.

Acted for NHS National Services Scotland on the procurement process for the delivery of a single public services network for all public sector bodies in the country.

Notable practitioners  

Ann Faulds is a key contact at the practice.

Significant clients Scottish Government, Transport Scotland, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Glasgow City Council, City of Edinburgh Council.

Banking Litigation - Glasgow, Edinburgh and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Full banking litigation service, acting for a number of big-ticket institutions. Prominent in insolvency, with noteworthy expertise in fraud and banking regulatory matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were very, very good at communicating things to me that I did not understand."

"They take everything on board, and they're really enthusiastic and very practical."

Notable practitioners  

Colin Hutton heads the department and attracts significant praise. He is described as "very diligent, hard-working and able," and clients particularly like that he is "no-nonsense, very sharp and gets to the issue quickly."

Lorna Sibbald has an insolvency focus to her practice. She is well known for her depth of experience, and one source describes her as a "go-to for insolvency-related banking litigation."

Significant clients RBS, National Australia Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander, Tesco Bank.

Construction - Aberdeen and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Acts on both contentious and transactional matters. Notable in the energy and transport sectors. Retained by an impressive roster of developer clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I find them very straightforward. I like the clarity of response or instruction." 

"The fees are clear, accurate and commensurate with estimates that we have been given."

"The fact that they can advise on the English and Scottish aspects at the same time is important to me."

What's new? On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Acted for EDF Energy on engineering works at thermal power stations, including advising on framework and service agreements.

Advised developer Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm on various contractual matters relating to the proposed 150 sq km wind farm.

Notable practitioners  

Solicitor advocate Lindy Patterson QC has over 25 years' experience in the construction industry and often acts as an arbitrator and adjudicator. Clients say: "She's confidence-inspiring and pragmatic, and has given us very sound advice." 

Mark Kirke "always goes the extra mile" for clients. He has recently undertaken significant work in the utilities and renewable energy sectors.

Significant clients Scottish and Southern Energy, Land Securities, Galliford Try, Scottish Water, Transport Scotland.

Education - Glasgow, Edinburgh and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Much-praised education practice. Acts for institutions on a broad range of matters, including governance, employment and development issues.  

What's new? CMS recently merged with Dundas & Wilson LLP, greatly bolstering its strength in Scotland.

Work highlights Advised Heriot-Watt University on the property and construction aspects of multiple projects, including the development of sports facilities.  

Represented the University of Glasgow in the £135 million purchase of Western Infirmary Hospital and its leaseback to the NHS.

Notable practitioners

Laurence Ward is a key contact.

Significant clients University College London, Dundee University, The James Hutton Institute, University of Strathclyde, University of Aberdeen.

Healthcare - Glasgow, Edinburgh and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Significant experience in capital projects, acting for both NHS and private sector clients in the acute healthcare sector. Frequently advises university clients on a range of issues, including their interaction with the NHS.   

What's new? On 1 May 2014, CMS acquired Dundas & Wilson.

Work highlights Advised Laing O'Rourke on a major acute healthcare project which involves the design, construction, financing and maintenance of the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children and the new Department for Clinical Neurosciences.

Acted for NHS Lanarkshire on the procurement of three new healthcare centres through the South West Territory hubco.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Amanda Methven is described by one client as a "first-class" lawyer with a "let's-get-it-done attitude. " With over 15 years' experience on healthcare projects, Methven is recognised for advising NHS boards on the hub programme.

Significant clients NHS Ayrshire & Arran, Hub East Central Scotland, ISS Mediclean, Lloyds Pharmacies, Catalyst Healthcare.

Information Technology - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Glasgow

What the team is known for Handles high-value projects for financial services, utilities, IT and blue-chip corporate clients. Noted for its involvement in complex public sector projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Pragmatic, innovative and resourceful people with really good current market knowledge."

"CMS have a good client base, do good-quality work and have good-quality people."

Work highlights Assisted NHS National Services Scotland with the procurement of the Scottish Wide Area Network project, worth £100 million.

Advised the University of Edinburgh on the tender to host supercomputer services for 19 national research councils.

Notable practitioners  

Douglas Mathie is a consultant with knowledge of complex IT and outsourcing matters. One impressed client states: "His analysis is succinct and always to the point. His communication style is direct and easily understandable. He is our go-to person for IT issues."

Laurence Ward heads up the department. "He is always available and always clear, and always has the intellectual firepower to get to the heart of the issue," says one interviewee.

Alan Nelson has strong business process outsourcing experience. One source says he "really takes the time to understand the business and to ensure we get the best service possible."

Significant clients National Australia Group Europe, Experian, Common Services Agency, RBS, The City of Edinburgh Council.

Intellectual Property - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Respected non-contentious practice renowned for its work advising universities on various commercial IP issues, including licensing and ownership. Also advises companies in the life sciences and healthcare spheres.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have an ability to explain legal matters to non-legal professionals and they take the time to make sure you understand what the key issues are." 

Work highlights Advised the University of Glasgow on a patent licence agreement with multinational chemical company Bayer concerning a gene trait of Arabidopsis.  

Assisted Team Rock with its acquisition of a collection of rock magazines and award shows, including the associated brand rights and historic content.

Notable practitioners  

Laurence Ward serves as chairman of the firm and is "very highly regarded in the industry," according to sources. He recently advised the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on its sponsorship agreements with prominent brands such as Sony and Coca-Cola.

Carina Healy is best known for her work in the life sciences sector. She recently advised the University of Glasgow on the IP exploitation agreements for the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre, its collaboration project. Sources note that she "has tremendous capacity to manage large and complex transactions, to distil the key risks, and to identify commercially sensible, pragmatic solutions."

Significant clients University of Glasgow, UCL, UCL Business, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Dundee University.

Litigation - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 50 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Comprehensive and respected litigation offering with notable experience in banking and finance, regulatory and energy disputes. Also advises on fraud and corporate crime, professional negligence and health and safety litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The lawyers were always very realistic in their assessment of what was going to happen, and what the risks were. We knew what to expect going forward."

"The lawyers have a good grasp of what we need and expect and act within their remit."  

Notable practitioners  

Sources highlight Robert Wilson's knowledge of the energy industry. "He is thorough in his preparation and tenacious in negotiations. He is very comprehensive and built us a bulletproof defence." He also wins plaudits for his work on mediations.

Alison Gow attracts effusive praise from sources, who highlight her innovative approach. She is also commended as being "an absolutely formidable litigator - she's a fighter who will go to the ends of the earth to win for you." 

Lorna Sibbald attracts praise for her courtroom ability. She advises public and private sector clients on an array of matters, including insolvency and property disputes.

Colin Hutton is well regarded for his work on fraud, IP and banking disputes. "He is approachable and always finds the balance between professionalism and personality. He has given us some very sound advice, where he looked at the bigger picture and talked us through strategy," say clients.  

Significant clients GMC, BP, BG Group, Hunting, Ocean Rig. 

Local Government - Glasgow, Edinburgh and surrounds

What the team is known for Broad-ranging practice capable of advising on all aspects of the law affecting local governments. Regular work on outsourcing, planning and employment matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are well known for their project work and they are regularly involved on high-level transport matters."

What's new? In May 2014, Dundas & Wilson merged with CMS.

Work highlights Advised Stirling Council on the defence of a discrimination claim brought by an unsuccessful job applicant.

Advised The Highland Council on a range of matters connected with construction of the proposed Inverness West Link Road.

Notable practitioners  

Ann Faulds is the lead partner for Scottish planning and transport work and is based in the firm's Edinburgh office. She has a broad knowledge base, but is especially noted for her planning expertise.

Significant clients City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Lothian Buses.

Partnership - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Accomplished partnership practice, offering expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters. Strong in partnership joint ventures, pension funding partnerships and disputes involving departing partners.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're easy to deal with. They make themselves available and are quite cost-effective, which is important. They're pleasant to work with."

Work highlights Advised F&C Asset Management on the formation and launch of F&C European Capital Partners II LP.

Advised Clyde Blowers Capital IM LLP on the establishment of Clyde Blowers Capital Storm Co-Invest (2013) LP, a limited partnership structured co-investment vehicle.

Notable practitioners  

Colin Lawrie is highly regarded by sources for his knowledge of LLPs, joint ventures and funds. "He has a good grasp of detail. He can find a pragmatic solution to most problems, and he doesn't over-egg the pudding. He does what he does well," said one client.

Significant clients Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust,  E.ON Climate & Renewables, Frontier IP Group, Force 9 Energy, University of Glasgow.

Pensions - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Acts for national clients across private and public sectors. Experienced in transactional and scheme management advice. Well known for financial services work in the pensions space.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Everything I have asked of them has been dealt with quickly and with the desired outcome reached." 

"They are very responsive, give clear pragmatic advice and are very accessible."

Work highlights Acted for private equity house KKR on the pensions elements of its purchase of Crosby Group.

Advised the University of Glasgow Pension Scheme on a range of issues, including auto-enrolment and benefit changes.

Notable practitioners  

Alistair Hill "makes us feel at ease," clients note; "he gives advice in a very direct manner and is very in touch with developments in the field." He heads the group's pensions team and acts for both private and public sector clients.

Jane Foley acts on a variety of scheme management and transactional issues. Clients consider her "a very effective communicator and a good listener."

Matthew Boyle focuses on transactional issues, but also regularly advises clients on scheme management. "He has been extremely professional and is able to convey matters in a way that is easy to understand," comments one client.

Significant clients Shin-Etsu, Savoy Hotel, Scotia Gas Networks, Raytheon Systems, North British Distillery.

Projects - Glasgow, Edinburgh and surrounds

What the team is known for Formidable expertise acting on high-profile work in areas including transport, waste, health and education. Impressive reputation acting for bidders, lenders and public sector clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were clear-sighted in striking the right balance during the competitive dialogue stage. I was very impressed with the pragmatic and level-headed approach they took."

"They're sensible, hard-working and they get things done. They're a good-quality outfit."

What's new? On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Advised Balfour Beatty Investments on its successful bid for the circa £70 million Edinburgh Student Accommodation Project.

Acted for Laing O'Rourke on its bids for two new acute hospitals in Dumfries and Edinburgh through the NPD scheme.

Notable practitioners  

Key partner Amanda Methven's experience covers fields such as health and education. She acts for a range of clients, including lenders and the public sector, and is described as "excellent - committed and professional."

Michael McAuley heads the department and is described as "very experienced - he has a lot of gravitas." His practice incorporates significant expertise representing public sector clients in health and transport work.

Ailsa Ritchie is a key partner in the team with expertise across areas including waste, health and education. She is well versed in acting for bidders and public sector clients, and sources describe her as "commercial and assertive without being aggressive - she's good at finding ways through things."

Davinia Cowden's practice includes significant experience in transport and healthcare, receiving frequent instruction from public authority clients. Sources comment that "she gets her sleeves rolled up and she gets on with things."

Significant clients Transport for Scotland, European Investment Bank, hub East Central, FCC Environment, NHS Lanarkshire.

Planning - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Enjoys a rarefied position in the Scottish planning market. Regularly handles challenging and high-profile mandates for a formidable client roster, and has significant expertise in contentious matters. Recognised for its impressive strength in renewables and infrastructure.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They've been very significant in ensuring we get the required consent in a timely fashion. We're delighted with the service."

"They're very prompt and on the technical side there were no problems - they have the ability and understanding of the legislation."

What's new? New clients include Scottish Natural Heritage, Tesco, The Unite Group and Ziggurat Edinburgh.

On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Advised Stirling Council on a planning appeal made by Dart Energy concerning a proposed coal bed methane production development near Airth.

Represented EDF in its purchase of Hunterston Nuclear Power Project, advising on EDF's objection to ScottishPower's compulsory acquisition of land and property rights.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Ann Faulds is celebrated for her pragmatic, collegial approach to challenging matters. One commentator says: "She's a leading expert in her field - I couldn't speak more highly of her."

Trudi Craggs is recognised for her skill in complex mandates across the transport, energy and retail industries. She is particularly highly regarded for her knowledge in offshore renewable energy cases.

Significant clients Scottish Water, Inch Cape Offshore, The Trump Organization, The City of Edinburgh Council, Buchanan Partnership.  

Professional Negligence - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked:Edinburgh 

What the team is known for Large team with core expertise in defending claims against solicitors and construction professionals. Also instructed on claims against independent financial advisers and brokers. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have quite a creative approach. They look at things from lots of different angles."

What's new? CMS merged with Scottish stalwart Dundas & Wilson in May 2014.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Wilson has a broad practice and regularly defends a range of professionals and their insurers in sensitive negligence claims. He has been a key adviser in several high-value actions against accountants.  

Harriet Munro leads the team and predominantly handles claims in the construction sector. Clients recognise her expertise in this field, commenting that "she is extremely proficient in her area of law," and praising her as being "very personable and very good with the detail."

Significant clients QBE, Hiscox, Markel, Chubb, RSA.

Real Estate - Glasgow, Edinburgh and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 59 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Glasgow, Edinburgh

What the team is known for Maintain a strong investment practice with significant experience with large retail and office transactions. Regularly instructed on student accommodation work.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I don't think there are any areas that they need to raise their game in."

"They're very responsive and when things are urgent they're dedicated and dynamic. They have a hands-on and pragmatic approach."

What's new On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Acted for Scottish Retail Property on the £189 million joint venture investment purchase of the Bon Accord and St Nicholas shopping centres in Aberdeen.

Acted for the Buchanan Partnership on the Buchanan Quarter Redevelopment.

Notable practitioners  

Stuart Tait's clients include investment funds and large retail owners. Sources describe him as "excellent" and "particularly strong on the transactional side."

The "lovely" Paul Carter is well liked by clients and peers. Based in the firm's Glasgow office, he led the £210 million sale of the CALA group.

Allan Wernham oversees the property team as managing parter. He specialises in large investment and development projects, with a strong focus on the retail sector.

Iain Doran is well respected amongst peers. He advised Hargreaves Services on the transfer of assets from Scottish Coal after restructuring the business prior to liquidation.  

The "very thorough and clearly knowledgeable" Timothy Pitt specialises in renewable energy, including onshore and offshore projects. He acted for M&G Real Estate on the £80 million purchase and development funding for the new ScottishPower headquarters.

Significant clients National Grid, Aviva, UNITE, Tesco Stores, Standard Life Investments, Scottish Water.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Practises across a wide range of restructuring and insolvency work, including equity capital restructuring and distressed real estate transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A full-service firm with the ability to see the commercial aspect of a transaction."

"Excellent client service, always responsive and good commercial awareness, especially when understanding the specific commercial drivers from the administrator's perspective." 

What's new? Dundas & Wilson has merged with international firm CMS. The restructuring and insolvency team is now reshaped under Sian Aitken.

Work highlights Represented Hargreaves Services in its role of preferred bidder in the Scottish Coal insolvency. The firm later advised KPMG as liquidator on Scottish Coal's business restructure, prior to liquidation.

Acted on behalf of Zolfo Cooper and National Australia Bank in the £17.5 million administration of Baronsgate, which owned shopping centres in North Shields and Grangemouth.

Notable practitioners  

Corporate recovery partner Sian Aitken offers expertise in a wide range of insolvency matters including directors' duties, risk management and restructurings. One interviewee said: "I am comfortable trusting her judgement and relying upon her professional advice."

Significant clients Lloyds Bank, Clydesdale, PwC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte.

Transport - Glasgow, Edinburgh and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 6 other qualified solicitors

What the team is known for Recognised and praised for its advice on light and heavy rail projects. Growing practice advising on rolling stock deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Very competent, very organised and very well resourced."  

"They are responsive, good on time scales and know what they are doing."

What's new? In 2014, CMS merged with Dundas & Wilson.

Work highlights Advised Strathclyde Partnership for Transport on the procurement of new rolling stock for the Glasgow subway.

Advised Transport Scotland on various matters concerning the delivery of the Borders Railway Project.

Notable practitioners  

Trudi Craggs leads the rail team and is especially noted for her work in rail projects. A client notes that she is "very diligent at going through complex detail, with a very good understanding of the consequences of an agreement from a client perspective."

Significant clients First Group, The City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Trams.  

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 25 partners
- 53 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly instructed on mandates in the UK and Europe involving large-scale transactions for lenders and borrowers. Sector specialisms include leisure, hotels, TMT and healthcare.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“Everyone we work with is just incredibly excellent at what they do. An instruction comes back to you with only those key questions that they need your input on.”

“Extremely pragmatic, hard-working and high-quality. Overall a real pleasure.”  

Work highlights Acted for Pendragon on the refinancing of substantial core facilities, worth £320 million.

Represented Lloyds Bank in Project Carnivore, involving the provision of acquisition finance facilities to fund Graphite’s purchase of restaurant group Hawksmoor.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Crichton concentrates his practice on structured, syndicated and leveraged finance. Sources report: "He’s excellent, a very good guy. Knows his stuff, very commercial.” Other market commentators note he is "very experienced from a legal perspective. He’s also very practical, client-focused, and deals well with myriad counterparties.”

Will Meredith focuses on leveraged, property and lending finance. According to sources, he “truly understands what a relationship is, he really gets it. We get lots of value-added from him. Just an excellent relationship guy.”

Alex Patience is a “very practical and sensible” lawyer “who has good banking clients - he has many contacts in the financial world.” He is a well-established name in the banking and finance practice area, with a wide scope of expertise.

Significant clients RBS, HSBC, Santander, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs.

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Ability to handle international work, supported by a significant global footprint. Robust complex commercial litigation practice boosted by complementary strengths in insolvency, fraud and regulatory advice.

Notable practitioners  

Duncan Aldred is highly experienced, with expertise in fraud and financial regulation. One source comments: "I hold him in high regard. He has a really tactical brain. He is superb at engineering litigation, setting up applications and steering proceedings."

Capital Markets: Structured Finance, Securitisation & Derivatives - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Frequently advises high-profile global investment banks on complex derivatives and structured finance work. Strong in CLOs, retail structured products and longevity derivative transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're always there at the other end of the phone if you need them. They show us a high degree of priority, and they just show consistency from top to bottom. They're very good value for money too."

"They have a user-friendly manner, have shown a desire to be flexible, and work with us to find the right solution."  

Work highlights Advised SCOR Global Life on EUR1.4 billion of longevity risk hedged by Blue Square Re.

Notable practitioners  

Will Dibble offers expertise across a variety of derivative and structured product asset classes. According to a client, "his advice is pragmatic and commercially viable, as well as being legally and technically sound."

Jason Harding recently advised Zurich Assurance and Zurich Insurance Company on a range of liquidity swaps and other structured derivative transactions. A source states: "He is excellent - client-focused, creative, practical, and very good in managing large-scale documentation projects."

James Parker frequently advises on pensions and longevity risk transfers. A client appreciates that he "always has an answer for us, and is clear at presenting and getting our points across."

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS, Zurich, Prime Capital Asset Management.

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Construction - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 22 partners
- 66 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Instructed by a range of well-known purchasers and suppliers on domestic and overseas transactional work. Well versed in disputes and international arbitrations. Areas of expertise include infrastructure and energy projects and facilities management contracts.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The performance is always of a high standard and I get value for money."

"They are very efficient and very professional, and I've been very pleased with the support provided. The team is very strong."

"They have been very comprehensive and flexible. We have been very pleased with their approach with the issues." 

What's new? On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Acted for a subsidiary of GDF SUEZ on the USD608 million construction of an LNG plant in Uruguay.

Advised The Wellcome Trust on the development of its Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire.

Notable practitioners  

Victoria Peckett heads the practice and focuses on advising domestic and international clients on contracts. Sources say she is "very clever, highly organised and on top of all the details. She has a good grasp of the strategic overview."

Key partner Paul Smith has extensive experience in advising on infrastructure, healthcare and education projects in the UK and Europe.

Adrian Bell handles international arbitrations. A newly promoted partner, he is "excellent with clients and superb in dealing with the other side." He is further praised by sources as "a good team co-ordinator. He has impressed me with his knowledge of arbitration procedure." 

Significant clients M&G Real Estate, National Grid, Iberdrola, Royal Mail, Amey/Ferrovial.  

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 37 partners
- 72 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A large firm which straddles high-end and mid-market M&A work very effectively and features a strengthened bench following its merger with Dundas & Wilson. Notable for its abilities in energy and financial services work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Excellent - very professional and reactive." 

"The client service is exceptional and the corporate team's commercial awareness is also second to none."

What's new? The firm merged with Dundas & Wilson in May 2014. The new firm will continue to be known as CMS.

Work highlights Advised Ithaca Energy in the purchase of Valiant Petroleum by Ithaca's UK subsidiary, in a deal worth USD459 million.

Worked with SBG Holding in its cross-border acquisition of Suckling Transport.

Acted for RWE npower on the disposal of stakes in four wind farms with an aggregate value of £235.8 million.

Notable practitioners  

Louise Wallace has a "very good reputation" for corporate work and M&A transactions. Among her recent work she advised Finsbury Food Group in its £21 million disposal of United Central Bakeries.

Charles Currier is noted by one client as "exceptional" in "his ability to work to very short timeframes on very large deals." He recently worked with Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI) in relation to the purchase by a consortium led by CKI of AVR Afvalverwerking for HKD9.7 billion.

Gary Green is a "very commercial and pragmatic" practitioner who provides "excellent service at all hours of the day or night." He is experienced in capital markets matters and worked with Ithaca Energy in its USD459 million acquisition of Valiant Petroleum.

Significant clients BP, RBS, Telefónica, Hunting plc, MetLife.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 22 associates

What the team is known for Wide-ranging employment expertise with an international presence. Diverse client base, including large public companies and groups in the financial services sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide business-focused advice, which is important. I can read a book to know the law but they apply it in a business context. It is real-world advice which enables you to do what you need to do."

What's new? Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS in May 2014.

Work highlights Advised Royal Mail on the employment issues arising from its IPO including TUPE concerns as well as board and senior level issues.

Defended the All-England Club against a claim of age discrimination levelled by a worker seasonally employed during the Wimbledon Championships. 

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Fincham stands out because of "the quality of his advice." He has wide expertise including employment litigation and industrial relations. He recently led the team's advice to Royal Mail in relation to its IPO.

Sources note Graham Paul as being "very much a client man." He is "strong on black letter law but also pragmatic, which allows him to translate it into something people can follow." He works in all areas of employment law, with notable litigation experience.

Robert Davies is known for advising public sector clients on their full range of employment needs. He also has a client following among private sector clients and is praised for having "really good current market knowledge."

Significant clients Allied Irish Banks, BT, MetLife, Commerzbank AG, National Grid.

Environment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Diverse practice which has expertise on non-contentious and contentious environmental matters. Advises on contaminated land, transactional support, regulatory regimes such as REACH, and environmental permitting. Defends nuisance group action claims and regulatory investigations and prosecutions.

Work highlights Represented Red Industries on the successful defence of an Environment Agency prosecution which claimed it had poisoned the River Trent with cyanide.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Sheridan is respected by solicitors, clients and barristers for his experience in the environmental sector. One source said: "He lives and breathes it, he is Mr Environment."

Kathy Mylrea is a consultant in the firm's environment practice. She advises on issues such as contaminated land, compliance with regimes such as REACH, and Environment Agency investigations and enforcement. Sources say: "She is brilliant, she really gets things done. Her MO is to get it resolved and not hold the deal up." 

Significant clients Powerday, Royal Bank of Canada, Akzo Nobel, Quinn Glass, Sita. 

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 38 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Comprehensive technology offering, acting for start-up clients, major IT providers and international companies. Handles work in a range of industries, from financial services to energy and utilities. Maintains its standing in innovative IT, advising on new fields such as cyber security and eco-systems.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"CMS are highly responsive and appreciate our needs. They take a commercial view of the subject matter and use their technical excellence to guide us appropriately. The level of service we receive always meets our expectations and generally exceeds them."

"Understanding of the technical aspects of the technology involved, a very flexible approach towards the strategy we took, and very supportive in explaining the consequences of different trajectories."

What's new? On 1st May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Notable practitioners  

John Armstrong heads the practice and is experienced in cloud services. He regularly acts for financial institutions on IT matters, including licensing and electronic payment systems. Sources highlight his negotiation skills.

Significant clients GE, BG Group, Post Office, Lloyds Banking Group, Telemetry.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 29 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A full-service IP practice, particularly well thought of for trade mark litigation, licensing and collaborations in consumer goods, financial services, life sciences, TMT and FMCG.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The best point was that the advice was pragmatic and actually useful in the real commercial world."

"Great business acumen and fantastic knowledge." 

Work highlights Represented Nestlé in a hard-fought trade mark infringement battle with Cadbury UK and Mondelez Foods concerning the shape of popular cylindrical chocolate Rolo.

Assisted National Grid Carbon with the IP elements of a FEED contract for a carbon capture and storage project.

Notable practitioners  

Jeremy Morton is an IP litigator with a wide range of experience across the range of IP rights. Clients appreciate his "incisive mind," his calm under pressure and his straightforward manner.

Tom Scourfield is head of the UK IP practice and is best known for commercial and contentious trade mark work. Clients find he "keeps us apprised of new developments as they arise" and value his knowledge of adjacent legal disciplines such as competition law.

Significant clients BlackBerry, Colgate-Palmolive, Microsoft, Royal Mail, Takeda.

Litigation - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Wide-ranging commercial practice, bolstered by the energy and financial services expertise of Dundas & Wilson's litigation team. Acts for clients of all sizes, including major corporates, with particular strength in the energy, technology and IT/IP fields.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They brought two key capabilities: the first was a sufficient understanding of the technical aspects of the whole file; the second was a very flexible approach towards the strategy we took. They were very supportive in explaining the consequences of trajectory A, B or C. They have an open mind when it comes to the dispute resolution process.”

What's new CMS merged with Dundas & Wilson on 1 May 2014.

Work highlights Acted for litigation funder Buttonwood Legal Capital in a dispute with Harcus Sinclair concerning whether, and under what circumstances, the funder is entitled to terminate funding.

Advised Hackney Empire on its long-running claim against Aviva as the guarantor of a contractor engaged to refurbish the theatre.

Notable practitioners  

Guy Pendell handles arbitration and litigation, with experience in contractual disputes, misrepresentation claims and shareholder disputes. Source praise him as “an extremely clever, versatile litigator who works incredibly hard.”

Head of the litigation Tim Hardy is praised by clients for his “ability to get to grips with things quickly and efficiently,” and for “looking at the interests of the client in a more holistic way.” His commercial practice includes professional negligence cases, financial disputes, product liability claims and international arbitration.

Solicitor-advocate Gemma Lampert is an up-and-coming name in the London market, with a practice focused on commercial contract disputes as well as the technical engineering and energy industries. Clients say she provides an “excellent service.”

Significant clients Nestlé, National Grid, Medtronic, Royal Mail, Diageo.

Pensions - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 25 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Heavyweight pensions group with an expansive bench of deeply experienced practitioners. Remains at the forefront of pensions advisory matters, as well as a strong transactional practice, assisting employers and trustees on issues including asset-backed funding arrangements, longevity products, and buyin and buyout arrangements. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very commercial and pragmatic." 

"The people are very personable and always keep to their target days."

What's new? Keith Webster rejoined the team from Osborne Clarke and senior associate recruits include Victoria Mance from Charles Russell. New clients include RBS Pension Scheme, Samsung Pension Scheme and Anglia Co-op.

Work highlights Represented the trustees of the Taylor Wimpey Pension Scheme in the merger of two existing schemes into one £2.6 billion scheme, as well as the establishment of a new partnership vehicle.

Acted for Sainsbury's Pension Scheme on the implementation of a series of property asset-backed funding structures.

Notable practitioners  

The "extraordinary" Mark Atkinson has a stellar reputation in the market, with clients adding: "He is focused on achieving an outcome." He led the firm in assisting Sainsbury's with its implementation of a string of asset-backed funding arrangements.

Mark Grant draws particular praise from his clients for his ability to deal with the pensions ombudsman, as well as his knowledge of pensions issues. He worked with the trustees of the Taylor Wimpey Pensions scheme in its merger of two schemes into a single scheme worth £2.6 billion.

Nigel Moore "is absolutely to the point," comments one client; "he will look at the issues and try to offer solutions." Another adds: "He is very informed, articulate, and will give strong opinions when they are required." He heads the firm's pensions team and offers significant experience across scheme mergers and restructurings.

Simon Pilcher is singled out by clients as "very proactive, pragmatic and an easy person to work with." He advises clients on a broad range of pensions matters, including scheme amendments, mergers and asset-backed funding arrangements.

Peter Coyne assisted Deutsche Bank and Abbey life on a longevity swap with the Trustee of the Bentley Pension Scheme. One client enthused: "He is an excellent business partner" who is "very good at discussing situations and finding solutions."

Neil Smith works with trustees and employers across the full spectrum of pensions matters, from benefit restructures to insolvency matters. He recently advised Aon UK Trustees on drafting new governing documentation for its retirement benefits scheme.

Mark Kowalik is praised by market sources for his technical ability and is described as "very easy to deal with and very practical." He has vast experience across wide-ranging and complex pensions issues.

Emma Frost "is very knowledgeable, approachable, and reacts quickly to requests," comment clients; "she is relaxed and friendly but is forceful when required." She worked with House of Fraser on the merger of three of its defined benefit pension schemes.

Laura McLaughlin "is a very agile lawyer" who is "able to take the lead in providing solutions." She was part of the team that assisted GE on its auto-enrolment issues.

Victoria Mance recently joined the firm from Baker & McKenzie and is regarded by her clients as "a very strong associate." They continue: "She is very forthright, not afraid to participate in discussions, and her advice is very clear."

Significant clients Barclays, BAA, Coca-Cola, RBS, Royal Mail.

Planning - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
 - 2 partners
 - 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers S106 advice and strategic input into large residential developments. Very active on retail-led town centre regeneration schemes. Provides additional expertise in securing CPOs for energy infrastructure projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very responsive and very helpful; they understand our needs very well."

"They took personal ownership of the goals we were striving towards - it was as though it was their own company."

What's new? On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Advised landowner BT on the residential-led redevelopment of Keybridge House in the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area.

Acted for National Grid and Scottish Power Transmission on the Western HVDC Link electricity infrastructure project, requiring the team to secure separate planning consents in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Notable practitioners  

Chris Williams advises on major infrastructure developments. Clients value his "very accommodating" approach to their projects and his understanding of their business objectives.

Head of the planning department Ashley Damiral handles many of the firm's residential and retail development matters. One client comments: "Ashley is excellent – he knows every aspect of his subject inside out. He is clear in his opinions but also very considered, and he gives consistently good advice."

 Clients say of Stephen McNaught: "He never lets us down and he's always responsive. He listens first and then he gives pragmatic and valuable advice, which is exactly what we want." He was part of the legacy Dundas & Wilson team that merged with CMS in 2014.

Significant clients Sainsbury's, Imperial College London, Berkeley Group, citizenM Hotels, Taylor Wimpey.

Professional Negligence - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 53 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Market-leading professional negligence practice. Highly regarded for its handling of insurance cases and technology and construction-related cases. Frequently advises some of Europe's leading insurance providers. 

Work highlights Acted for Lockton Companies International, the largest privately owned independent insurance broker, in a £100 million professional negligence claim brought by Collyer Bristow.

Defended a design and build contractor in a £16.8 million claim for defects in the Broadway Plaza in Birmingham.

Notable practitioners  

Martin Fox regularly defends construction professionals in negligence claims. He is "an excellent lawyer with good client skills who runs a good team," according to peers.  He is regarded as "exceptionally talented" by clients.

Edward Foss is praised by peers for being "tactically smart." Market sources note that he "turns over every stone and you know you'll get the right result with him." He is recommended for insurance negligence matters.

Significant clients Beazley Syndicate, QBE, AIG, Chubb Group, Brit.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers extensive real estate finance expertise, acting for both borrower and lender clients including institutional investors. Combines significant experience of cross-border transactions with knowledge of large portfolio acquisition and development financings.

What's new? On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Represented Lloyds Bank in a £310 million syndicated revolving credit facility to British Land.

Acted for the borrower on the £103 million refinancing of The Waldorf Hotel.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Simon Johnston's practice encompasses the full scope of real estate finance products, including investment and development finance, and restructurings. One client comments: "He stands out for his intellect, his sharpness, and his ability to make complex structures quite understandable."

Kenneth Maxwell is an acquisition and development finance specialist. He acts for a number of investor and developer clients in this area, as well as for banks on debt restructurings. He recently advised Investec Bank on a £78 million refinance relating to six development sites.

Significant clients Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, HSBC, Value Retail, Santander, Citizen M.  

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Acts for an impressive list of investors, developers, corporate occupiers and energy sector operators. Strong crossover with the firm's market-leading insolvency practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are a proactive and dynamic team." 

"They are very good technically and hands-on when needed. They are also very approachable and aware of our needs."

What's new? On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Advised Sainsbury's on rights of light, rights of way, restrictive covenants and other issues regarding the development of a new superstore in Nine Elms.

Acted for Land Securities on the 1.2 million sq ft redevelopment of the Trinity shopping centre in Leeds, including advice on rights of light and leasing issues.

Notable practitioners  

Danielle Drummond-Brassington leads the real estate disputes team. "She is extremely good," states one enthusiastic source; "she is proactive and comes up with proposed solutions to deal with various problems quickly. She understands what the client's objectives are and therefore can advise accordingly."

Significant clients Wellcome Trust, Royal Mail, Prudential, Ignis Asset Management, Scottish Widows.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Broad practice retained by institutional investors, developers and major retailers on high-value transactions and large-scale developments. Strength in insolvency property matters, acting for administrators on management issues, lease exits and distressed asset sales. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They act commercially and get the balance between pointing out things I need to know but understanding the commercial pressures we're under."

"They know us as an organisation, they know me as an individual and we have a good understanding and work very well as a team."

What's new? On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Advised Sainsbury's on the £450 million redevelopment of its Nine Elms store, doubling the floor space and providing 750 new homes as well as commercial units.

Acted for Deutsche Pfandbrief and Helical Bar on the £225 million sale of 200 Aldersgate.

Notable practitioners  

Edward Benzecry is frequently instructed by large institutional investors on sales and acquisitions, and also acts on development matters. Clients regard him as "very good - he is always available for relationship meetings and always keen to adjust working practices to suit us."

Adrian Wright advises blue-chip clients on a wide range of investment deals and developments. One enthusiastic client says: "I love working with him - he understands the needs of the client and gets a good balance between commerciality and protecting our interests."

Head of department Mark Heighton recently advised Imperial College London on its development of a new campus at White City. "He offers good commercial advice and practical solutions," comments one client, "and he's not afraid to put his neck on the line in terms of going one way or the other."

Significant clients M&G Real Estate, Berkley Group, SWIPPT, CBRE Investors, Wellcome Trust.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 28 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well regarded for its skill in handling issues in sectors as varied as property, pensions and energy. Draws on the recognised expertise of other groups in the firm to offer a full service to clients. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are clearly experienced in the sector, and take a commercial and pragmatic approach to negotiation." 

"The team are very, very good; very proactive, and they give a good service."

Work highlights Advising OSX Brazil on the financial restructuring of the group in anticipation of it entering into insolvency.

Advised Lloyds, as agent to a bank syndicate, on the hostile enforcement of a significant cross-border security and debt package over an international printing company.

Notable practitioners  

Rita Lowe is the head of the firm's banking and finance team, and was described by one source as "an absolute rock in times of trouble." She acts for a variety of shareholders, investors and purchasers.

Martin Brown specialises in corporate insolvencies and restructurings, and acts for lenders, debtors and other stakeholders. He actively advises on both domestic and international distressed situations, and is well regarded as a proficient practitioner.

David Gibson is highly rated by clients and peers as "a very technical lawyer who is always involved and hands-on." He acts for stakeholders and lenders, alongside his active practice representing insolvency practitioners.

Peter Wiltshire has a broad practice acting in corporate and personal insolvencies. He primarily advises banks and other lenders, and is experienced handling restructuring issues. He is recognised in the market as a "very high-quality and very experienced" practitioner.

Significant clients Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, Bank of Ireland, Clydesdale Bank, Zolfo Cooper.

Tax - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Notable for the strength of its offering to private equity clients and those involved in those energy sector. Also offers expertise in indirect and property-related tax matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They do seem to deal with things in a timely manner, are accessible, talk in English and give sound advice."

Work highlights Provided tax advice to Sainsbury's on significant mixed-use developments, including new stores at Fulham Riverside and Nine Elms.

Assisted RWE npower with its sale of the Lindhurst and Middlemoor onshore wind farms to Greencoat. 

Notable practitioners  

Richard Croker leads the firm's corporate tax team. An observer says he "inspires confidence in his team's abilities. He is easy to discuss matters with - nothing is too much trouble." 

Significant clients Royal Mail, Lloyds Banking Group, Imperial College, Sovereign Capital Partners, Aviva Investors.

Transport - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises public and private sector clients on a range of issues relating to road infrastructure projects, including procurement and construction. Also noted for providing regulatory advice on issues such as traffic regulation orders.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They are very competent and very well resourced, with lots of great people."

"Add a lot of value to the process." 

Work highlights Advising Transport Scotland on the extension of the M8 motorway between Baillieston and Newhouse.

Advised the Highland Council on consenting matters regarding the proposed £30 million Inverness West Link Road.

Notable practitioners  

Trudi Craggs has significant expertise on the planning side of infrastructure projects. "She is very good at going through complex details, with a very good understanding of an agreement from a client perspective," said one client.

Ann Faulds leads the planning and transportation team. She regularly advises public sector bodies on infrastructure matters and is also recognised as an "expert on traffic-related matters in Scotland." 

Significant clients The City of Edinburgh Council, Lothian Buses, Living Streets.

Banking Litigation - The Regions

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Continues to develop a strong reputation in the market for handling work across the full spectrum of financial disputes. Acts for a variety of lender clients, including international businesses.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They know how we function very well and have a deep understanding of our organisation and its issues. They provide a round service to us here."  

"They are definitely very good, supportive people."

Notable practitioners  

Philip Woodfield is described as a "very good technical lawyer" with vast experience in the banking and finance litigation market and a wide lender client base, including insurers, banks and building societies. Sources find he is "engaging, smart and knows his stuff."

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 19 partners
- 42 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Handles a broad range of transactional and advisory AIM-related matters. Wide national and international reach, and possesses an in-house US securities capability.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Consistently strong and clear advice, and always willing to take a commercial view."

"Very good legal and commercial service provided, and complete transparency on costs."

Work highlights Advised Cenkos Securities regarding its role as NOMAD and broker in RM2 International's £278 million AIM IPO.

Represented AIM-listed Ithaca Energy in its £203 million takeover of Valiant Petroleum via a UK scheme of arrangement.

Notable practitioners  

Daniel Winterfeldt, head of international capital markets at the firm, is a US securities lawyer who advises on a wide range of matters. He recently advised Cenkos in relation to RM2 International's high-profile IPO on AIM.

Significant clients Ithaca Energy, Smith & Williamson Corporate Finance, Sinclair IS Pharma, ISG, LSE.

Commercial Contracts - UK-wide

What the team is known for Offers impressive cross-border expertise, with strength in areas including consultancy agreements, licensing and partnership arrangements. Handles a wide range of work for clients in fields such as healthcare, life sciences and IT. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They know our company and the business well, and their advice is to the point and tailored to us."

"They are very responsive and very good at finding the right person for you."

What's new? CMS merged with Dundas & Wilson in May 2014.

Work highlights Advised Futura Medical on issues relating to the commercialisation of its CSD500 product, including licensing and distribution in multiple jurisdictions.

Advised Start Up Loans Company on agreements with delivery partners including advice on data protections and financial service regulation.

Notable practitioners

John Armstrong heads the department and is a key contact.

Significant clients British Gas, National Grid, Amazon.com, Lloyds Banking Group, Medtronic.

Consumer Finance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers 
- Recommended office: London

What the team is known for Strong offering in the regulatory side of the market. The team works with a wide range of financial institutions and has notable capability on international mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their client care is very good and they deal well with a fast-paced sector."

Work highlights Advised 118 118 Money on its entry into the market, including the drafting of documentation that will be presented to consumers.

Provides Fiat Finance's day-to-day regulatory advice with recent advice on credit advertising.

Notable practitioners  

Head of consumer finance Bill McCaffrey is a respected figure in the industry, who clients report uses his in-house experience to "tailor his advice to suit the in-house environment whilst being commercial."

Significant clients Toyota Financial Services, ING, BT, Castle Trust, Linden Homes.

Data Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 38 other qualified practitioners
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for Highlighted for its projects work in the financial and technology sectors. Handles compliance issues for multinational clients, and also advises on BCRs, subject access requests and data breaches.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"CMS are always very responsive to our needs. They understand that we need to get value for money and compliance solutions that work commercially."

"They are excellent. They pull out all the stops and nothing is too much trouble."

Notable practitioners  

John Armstrong is a key contact.

Significant clients Amazon.com, Royal Mail Group, National Grid, Transocean, MetLife.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises a variety of clients, ranging from large listed companies to small businesses, on both advisory and transactional matters. The team has the capacity to deal with UK-based and international mandates.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"CMS are highly responsive, appreciate our needs and respect our budgets. They take a commercial view of the subject matter and use their technical excellence to guide us appropriately. The level of service we receive always meets our expectations and generally exceeds them."

"They care about the details in all aspects of their work. They are very thorough and therefore I can have confidence in the advice that they provide."

What's new? CMS merged with Scottish firm Dundas & Wilson in 2014.

Work highlights Advised Royal Mail on the employee share plan aspects of its IPO, including the creation of an innovative opt-out share incentive scheme under which 99% of employees received free shares.

Assisted Ithaca Energy with the share incentive implications of its £203 million takeover of Valiant Petroleum Energy.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Stretch is well regarded in the market for his impressive grasp of technical matters and for the quality of service he provides. One senior source remarked: "His knowledge and commerciality make him stand out. He has the ability to see through the detail to things that really matter in the field." Stretch worked on Royal Mail's IPO and contributed to the development of the pioneering 'opt-out' share scheme structure.  

Tair Hussain is regularly involved in the firm's substantial mandates, including work for Royal Mail and Ithaca Energy. He is identified as being proactive and personable, with one client noting that he "is technically excellent and quickly grasps the fundamentals of any issues we raise, and he addresses concerns effectively."

Isabel Pooley is a talented practitioner, with one senior source stating that she is "absolutely excellent and very technically thorough, and you always feel very confident when you're working with her." She contributed to the work done on the privatisation of the Royal Mail.

Significant clients Advanced Computer Software, TT Electronics, ISG, Lloyds Development Capital, Enterprise Inns.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

What the team is known for Strength in oil and gas, power and renewable energy work. Oil and gas focus on work in the upstream sector. Well-respected power offering, noted for its work on regulatory and policy issues. Advises on transactions and project development in areas such as onshore and offshore wind, and carbon capture and storage. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"CMS people are very good; they don't go in for grandstanding, they are just good, straightforward deal doers."

"CMS is a solid, top-quality firm that delivers what we ask for when we need it."

"They have proved themselves to be flexible, and they have provided extra services that in total make us very happy with them."

What's new On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Acted for BP in the sale of North Sea assets to TAQA in a USD1.1 billion deal.

Represented Cheung Kong Infrastructure in its acquisition of a waste-to-energy business in the Netherlands for EUR940 million.

Acting for National Grid in relation to UK electricity market reform.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Lane is an eminent power regulatory lawyer in the UK. He has advised both National Grid and Northern Ireland Electricity in relation to reform of electricity markets in the UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. One peer commented: "He knows the UK regulatory code back to front and he has got a lot of experience." 

Munir Hassan heads the firm's renewable energy team. Sources note his market knowledge: "He knows the offshore wind market exceptionally well." A client said: "His advice was of the best quality, it was on time and it was to the point."

Bob Palmer is an experienced upstream oil and gas partner. He recently acted for PA Resources in its sale of Tunisian offshore assets to a subsidiary of Enquest for USD205 million. Sources say: "He is tough but pragmatic and he knows how to get things done."

Penelope Warne is an oil and gas practitioner, and as of May 2014 the firm's senior partner. Sources describe her as a "through-and-through oil and gas lawyer."

Significant clients ConocoPhillips, BG Group, ScottishPower, npower Renewables, Saudi Electricity Regulator.

Financial Services - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Focuses on regulatory issues faced by its enviable roster of insurance clientele as well as banks, fund managers and broker-dealers, offering comprehensive retail and wholesale coverage. Capacity to handle contentious and non-contentious matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I find them very easy to work with. They're very responsive, provide sound legal advice, and have good commercial awareness."

"I find them very good. They're prompt, they've given good advice, they're receptive and they've always delivered."

"For contentious regulatory issues, they're incredibly knowledgeable. I have confidence in the advice and I find it quite pragmatic and commercial."

"They provided an excellent, very partner-led, personable service."

What's new? On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

The firm gained Hyundai Capital UK, Aviva Commercial Finance, KFW Bank and Helaba as new clients this year.

Work highlights Advised MetLife on its large-scale restructuring across Europe, following the client's purchase of Alico.

Advised Morgan Stanley on its liability in joining a proposed scheme of arrangement into which the client was invited by the FCA. The scheme is designed to provide compensation to customers who have been mis-sold CPP’s Card Protection and Identity Protection policies.

Acted for Standard Life's subsidiary Standard Life Wealth in its acquisition of Newton Management's private client division.

Notable practitioners  

Alison McHaffie is noted for her abilities in defending against FCA enforcement proceedings. Clients praise her as "very knowledgeable, a subject matter expert. She gives clear, pragmatic advice and helps us navigate through difficult areas."

Standout partner Simon Morris has strength in both contentious and non-contentious work. Clients say: "He is obviously a heavyweight partner. I take great confidence and comfort from his knowledge. He comes across the regulator quite often and seems very in touch with it all."

Significant clients Lloyds Banking Group, Aon Hewitt, Towers Watson, GE Capital Direct, Zurich Assurance.

Healthcare - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
-10 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London 

What the team is known for Represents private healthcare clients in major commercial transactions, including large projects and M&A. Additional capabilities in healthcare insolvencies and capital markets matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were really quick to grasp the key investment thesis of our healthcare transactions and provide very relevant advice." 

"A very joined-up service - the corporate team work closely with their tax and banking colleagues."

What's new? Appointed to the Acromas panel.

Work highlights Advised the special purpose vehicle on the £170 million Alder Hey hospital PFI project, which involved an innovative financing structure.

Notable practitioners   

Jason Zemmel is recognised by both clients and peers as an expert in healthcare transactions. One client described him as "highly commercially oriented, very efficient and a clear communicator. He has a great relationship with our team."

Significant clients Sovereign Capital Partners, Nuffield Health, Hillcrest Group, IAC Investments, National Fostering Agency. 

Editorial for CMS Cameron McKenna, now merged with CMS 

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Hotels & Leisure - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
-15 partners
-30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Represents clients in a variety of hotel-related matters, including M&A, franchising agreements and hotel management agreements. Also noted for its experience in handling restructuring work. Offers cross-border expertise, regularly advising on transactions in CEE.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“Very responsive, accommodating and savvy; they make good calls regarding commercial decisions.”

"A dedicated team that does a lot of work in the space. It's got a good reputation and delivers."

What's new? Restructuring partner Martin Brown rejoined the team after spending 18 months at Ashurst.

Work highlights Advised Lloyds Banking Group on the £200 million refinancing of the Savoy Hotel.

Represented Riverland Cooperatief in the acquisition of the five-star Pulitzer Hotel in Amsterdam from private equity group Blackstone.

Notable practitioners  

Louise Wallace advises on a range of work in the hotels sector, including M&A, corporate finance and restructurings. Clients highlight her "phenomenal work ethic," adding that "she's a brilliant project manager and a very strong person to have on your side when negotiating."

James Miller has extensive experience in a range of commercial property matters, including property finance funds and developments. He has a significant presence in the hotels sector and recently advised Muirgold on the highly publicised refinancing of the Waldorf Hotel.

Head of practice Thomas Page is highly regarded for his expertise in the hotel sector and praised for his commercial approach. "He's very good at understanding his clients and their needs," say interviewees. He has significant experience in advising a broad range of international clients.

Significant clients RBS, Oaktree Capital, Accor, West Register, Quinn Property.

Insurance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 43 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A deep and well-regarded team that covers high-value claims and reinsurance disputes on an international basis. Utilises foreign branches, particularly within Europe, to provide a global service.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They came up with ideas and strategies, and were good at providing ideas that were outside the box."

"A professional outfit." 

Work highlights Defended Buttonwood Legal Capital against a claim that it had wrongly terminated a litigation funding agreement. The case was the first that occurred on the issue of funding parties post-Jackson reforms.

Represented Brussels Airport and its insurers, ACE, in civil and criminal proceedings following a fire in a hangar at the airport.  

Notable practitioners  

Belinda Schofield has a "very good and enduring reputation" for insurance work, and has been instrumental in the expansion of the insurance team in Bristol. "She is very client-focused and works hard to find out what a client needs and delivers that," said one interviewee.

Simon Kilgour acts for reinsurer clients on non-standard coverage disputes and market issues. He has a deep understanding of reinsurance workings and is frequently asked to advise clients in that space.

Edward Foss heads the insurance and reinsurance group, and has extensive experience on both types of cover. His reinsurance practice deals a lot in the broker negligence space, while focusing more on the straight insurance side for underwriter clients. Sources describe him as "commercial and straightforward," and a "very fine lawyer and performer."

Alex Denslow has a broad insurance practice that encompasses defending brokers as well as handling both marine and non-marine work. According to interviewees, he is "extremely results-focused and seems to understand the endgame on disputes. His advice is also very practical and commercial."

Clients say Stephen Tester is "very good and reliable on big-ticket construction or PI coverage, as well as being very good on the strategic side." He is also very able in litigating and advising clients on D&O and cyber issues. 

Stephen Netherway has an extensive brokers' negligence practice as well as advising financial institutions facing insurance claims. An interviewee said: "He is very hands-on and is on top of the work."

Vere Wheatley has moved into a consultancy role but remains active in the team and is a real veteran of the market.  

Significant clients Beazley Syndicate, QBE, Chartis, Chubb Group, Catlin.

Insurance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A broad-based practice in the insurance space offering particular expertise in the derisking and longevity swap aspects of life insurance and pension schemes. Also fields an adept regulatory and asset management assistance practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They are knowledgeable and responsive, and follow up on a regular basis. They really know their stuff."

"They offer so much knowledge of the market as well as being really helpful, giving commercial insight that adds real value."

Work highlights Assisted MetLife with the reorganisation of its European businesses, co-ordinating the restructuring across 17 European jurisdictions. The work features a number of cross-border mergers and portfolio transfers.

Advising Abbey Life, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, on a £400 million longevity swap with the Trustees of Bentley UK Pension Scheme.

Notable practitioners  

The non-contentious insurance department sits within the financial services team and is led by Paul Edmondson.

Significant clients Pension Insurance Corporation, Swiss Re, JLT, SCOR Global Life, Allianz Risk Transfer.  

International Arbitration - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly handles complex arbitrations in CEE in the construction, energy and insurance sectors. Increasingly focused on the Latin American market, with a new office opened in Brazil.

Work highlights Acted for the former controlling shareholder of a steel plant in Niksić in the first investment treaty arbitration claim brought against the Republic of Montenegro.

Notable practitioners

Guy Pendell is a prominent figure in the marketplace, and heads the firm's UK arbitration department. He lists major telecommunication entities among his client list, and recent instructions include handling a major outsourcing transaction dispute. 

Significant clients Viva Telecom Bulgaria, National Grid, H Clarkson & Co, MNSS, Galp Energia.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Weighted towards the representation of open and closed-end funds and managers, with additional strength in the real estate funds arena. Feeds off its impressive financial services practice to inform its regulatory guidance. Clients benefit from the significant resources of the firm's global funds network and complementary departments.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have an all-round view of things and they're quite creative in terms of the client side of their business; they give a lot of thought to the client's needs." 

"They're very attentive, and always have good rationale for doing a deal."

What's new? Nippon Life is a new client win for the team.

Work highlights Advised Ardstone Capital on the CBRE Global Investment UK regional offices fund, established on a tight timescale due to the implementation of AIFMD.  

Represented Gallium Fund Solutions on a range of private investor real estate and other funds, including structuring and regulatory advice.  

Notable practitioners  

According to sources, Melville Rodrigues "brings a lot of experience and a breadth of knowledge about both real estate and the funds market. He is very well connected, and has a good bridge into the institutional funds area." He has a particular niche in secondary trades and has advised Alecta Investment Management on a series of these.  

Colin Lawrie operates across the financial services, energy and real estate sectors, offering wide-ranging guidance on the establishment and running of, and investment into, a variety of unregulated fund types.

Cathy Pitt is "incredibly bright, personable and commercial," reports one source. She regularly advises asset managers on issues concerning listed funds. 

Significant clients Alecta Investment Management, Merchant Place Corporate Finance, M&G Real Estate, Henderson Global Investors, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership.

Life Sciences - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 23 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A somewhat rare creature in that CMS offers City-firm resources for corporate M&A, as well as commercial agreements, product liability and regulatory expertise as part of a sector-focused practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They were really prepared to go the extra mile in what was a difficult time, which was hugely beneficial."

"They are great - they've always been proactive and done a good job for us, and are very amenable to feedback too." 

What's new? CMS merged with Dundas & Wilson in May 2014.

Work highlights Advised PGT Healthcare, a joint venture between Procter & Gamble and Teva created to develop and market OTC medical products on a collaboration with Swisse Wellness, an Australian OTC company.

Acted for AbbVie in a dispute with Chemistree, in which it was alleged that the latter was selling the client's HIV treatment Kaletra wholesale rather than solely supplying the drug to the NHS to meet a contract. The Court of Appeal ruled in AbbVie's favour in a case which will help clarify market definition in pharmaceuticals.

Notable practitioners 

Sarah Hanson specialises in commercial and corporate transactions within the sector, and is praised for her strategic advice on collaboration, co-promotion, licensing, supply and distribution agreements.

Sources highlight Shuna Mason as "an excellent technical regulatory lawyer with an encyclopaedic knowledge of medical devices area." She is also highly regarded for her representations in sensitive product liability cases.

Significant clients Abbott Laboratories, Eli Lilly, DuPont, Takeda, Wellcome Trust.

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 16 other lawyers

What the team is known for Offers broad advertising and marketing expertise, supported by an international offering. Particularly proficient in integrated advertising campaigns across the EU. Acts for brand owners, especially within the life sciences, financial services and food industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"CMS takes active steps to understand our business, and provides expert advice without losing sight of the commercial risks and benefits associated with that advice."

"They're very user-friendly and client-focused - nothing is too much trouble."

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Susan Barty is highly respected by marketplace commentators and continues to act for a number of high-profile brand clients. One client asserts: "I have found her advice on strategy in advertising disputes to be unsurpassed."

Lucy Kilshaw is an experienced associate, acting for brands on contentious and non-contentious matters. She is well regarded by peers as a "tremendous" practitioner.  

Significant clients Nestlé, Camelot, Royal Mail, Colgate-Palmolive, Burger King.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 23 partners
- 62 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London, Glasgow 

What the team is known for Provides comprehensive outsourcing support to clients in a range of sectors, including financial services, energy, technology and life sciences. Experienced in handling multi-vendor collaborative sourcing solutions, notably including SIAM-based models.

What's new? Merged with Dundas & Wilson in May 2014, significantly increasing its outsourcing offering within the Scottish market. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The technical expertise of the team is broad and deep. They always understand the brief, offer value-adding and creative input, and are completely engaged. Their recent merger is sure to position them as a formidable force in the global legal services market."

"They're very quick on the uptake, especially in what you're trying to achieve. Ultimately we keep going back to them because they deliver a good service, and know us and what we need."

"I am stunned by their commercially minded attitude to business and the law. I cannot praise their services highly enough. They always rise to the challenge and will go the extra mile, especially bringing in sector specialists to put their thoughts on the table." 

Work highlights Advised the National Grid on the procurement of new information and control flow networks in the UK and USA from the provider of the physical network infrastructure. 

Represented NHS National Services Scotland with respect to the competitive procurement process for the Scottish Wide Area Network, a proposed public services ICT network available to all public sector bodies in Scotland.

Notable practitioners  

John Armstrong has recently been active for the National Grid in relation to its procurement of new network infrastructure. He continues to build on his extensive IT and telecoms practice, with particular acumen in licensing, joint venture and partnering agreement drafting and negotiations.

Juan Crosby continues to advise on complex outsourcing matters. One happy client says: "He struck us as 'can do, will-do'. He really goes above and beyond."

Ian Stevens specialises in technology and sourcing matters, often with respect to the TMT sector. One interviewee observes that "he is measured, gets to the heart of the matter quickly, and knows when to bring in colleagues."

Laurence Ward is the senior partner of CMS's Scottish operations. He has an extensive background in outsourcing and retains his dual focus on IP and IT matters.

Significant clients BG Group, Post Office, Amazon, MetLife, BP.

Pensions Litigation - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 25 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Full-spectrum expertise and impressive bench strength. Significant experience in work including Part 8 matters, rectification and limitation. Represents a wide array of clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide a very good, comprehensive service to make clients understand whether litigation is really what they want and whether it will meet their commercial objectives."

"They have a huge swathe of people with technical expertise and hardcore litigation experience."

What's new? Keith Webster joined the team as a partner from Osborne Clarke in January 2014.

Work highlights Acted for defendant P&O Ferries in proceedings brought by the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund to establish parameters for amending the rules of a pension scheme.

Represented the Trustee of the Wedgwood Pension Scheme in a Part 8 claim of approximately £15 million concerning whether the scheme's closing to accrual in 2006 was in breach of the power of amendment.

Notable practitioners

Mark Grant is acclaimed for his breadth of expertise and has particular strength in Pensions Ombudsman work. Sources describe him as a "leading litigator. He's very experienced, imaginative, practical and commercial."

Neil Smith has significant experience in high-profile cases for an impressive array of clients. Sources comment that he's "very experienced, thorough, meticulous and tenacious in his arguments."

Mark Atkinson is described as a "strong but pragmatic negotiator." Sources point to his impressive depth of experience in pensions work and his skill in professional negligence claims in the pensions arena.

Keith Webster's practice incorporates extensive expertise in a range of issues, including Part 8 proceedings. Sources describe him as "outstanding" and "a fantastic litigator." 

Significant clients Aon Hewitt, Buck Consultants, P&O, Barnett Waddingham, Towers Watson.

Projects - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Significant expertise handling matters in areas such as waste, transport and social infrastructure, with notable experience in bond work. Frequently instructed by bidders and lenders in the UK and Europe.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're excellent - they've really taken the time to understand our business, they've given us consistency of personnel and everybody we deal with there has been good."

"They're very good and very commercial on the lender or sponsor side." 

What's new? Instructed by Samsung C&T Corporation as a new client.

Work highlights Acted for Assured Guaranty (Europe) and Assured Guaranty Mutual Corporation in the Leeds Social Housing project, a wrapped bond transaction.

Represented the Acorn Consortium in the circa £170 million Alder Hey Children's Hospital project in Liverpool.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Smith heads the department and is acclaimed for his breadth of expertise, which includes significant experience representing sponsors on social infrastructure work. Sources comment that he is "a class act," adding that "he's commercial, sensible and good to deal with."

Sources describe Andrew Ivison as a "very good long-standing player in the market." His experience includes acting for lenders and bidders in the UK and Africa on a range of projects, including social infrastructure work.

Jonathan Beckitt has notable experience in transport work. He is frequently instructed by a wide range of clients on significant rail matters both domestically and internationally, and he bolsters his practice with expertise in waste.

William Simmons has expertise acting for bidders and lenders in areas such as social infrastructure, including housing and healthcare projects. He is also experienced in waste projects and secondary market work.

Significant clients Equitix, FCC, Kier, Mears, 3i Infrastructure.

Private Equity - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 23 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Holds a strong position in the UK mid-market, with a number of top private equity clients. Continues to develop its significant niche in acting for clients on investments in Central and Eastern Europe.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They understand client service. You always feel like the only client - they turn things around very quickly and have a lot of resources."

"The partners we've used are quite technical but also quite commercial and good to work with."

"They are excellent. At the start of the transaction, they almost hold your hand and they take control. You don't have to tell them exactly what you want."

What's new? Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS in May 2014.

Work highlights Represented the management of Allflex Holdings in Electra Partners' disposal of the business to BC Partners for around USD1.3 billion.

Assisted Lloyds Development Capital with its £210 million sale of Avelo Group to IRESS.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Sheach is an "excellent" private equity lawyer, according to one peer. He has extensive experience in the area and recently brought this to bear for the management of Allflex Holdings in its sale by Electra Partners for USD1.3 billion to BC Partners.

James Grimwood regularly acts on significant matters for the firm, including representing LDC in its disposal of Avelo Group to IRESS. One client says: "James is that very rare lawyer who is extremely and fiercely commercial as well as being pragmatic and sharp on the law."

Jason Zemmel is noted as being "very good at getting the deal across the line" as well as being an "extremely hard-working lawyer who always puts his clients first." He advised Sovereign Capital Partners on its sale of Choice Care Group to Caledonia Investments.

Significant clients AAC Capital Partners, Advent International, AnaCap Financial Partners, LGV Capital, Risk Capital Partners.

Product Liability - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Represents some of the world's leading food and drink manufacturers and distributors, advising on branding, marketing and health and nutrition claims as well as on challenging recall actions. Leverages the wider firm's global presence to represent the largest clients across continents.

Notable practitioners 

Sarah Hanson is the firm's contact for food product liability work.

Public Procurement - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- Recommended office locations: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London

What the team is known for Broad practice with strength in depth across Scotland and England. Particularly active on energy and utilities sector matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide excellent advice that is easy to understand and tailored to our business. They also provide significant added value to us in terms of keeping us up to speed with developments and changes in the law in this area."

"They are very thorough, getting the detail and giving clear answers." 

What's new? On 1 May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Acted for City of Edinburgh Council on procurement of wireless technology and infrastructure associated with the Connected Capital Programme.

Advised Scottish Water on its tender for two alliance partners to assist on delivering its capital investment programme.

Notable practitioners 

Graeme Young is admitted to practice in England and Wales as well as Scotland. Clients describe him as "a detailed lawyer, excellent, very responsive," and peers say he is "intellectually astute, gets hold of issues quickly and is also a nice guy and easy to get along with."

Significant clients Transport Scotland, National Grid, Scotia Gas Networks, Royal Mail, NHS Scotland.

Retail - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 24 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office location: London

What the team is known for Notable for high-value deals with an international element. The group is especially well known for its work on issues relating to real estate and corporate matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their pragmatism is excellent, and they maintain good client relationships."

Work highlights Worked with Sainsbury's on its role in the £450 million redevelopment of Nine Elms.

Advised on the acquisition of the Gracechurch shopping centre in Sutton Coldfield by M&G Real Estate.

Notable practitioners

The head of the practice and key contact is Louise Wallace.

Significant clients Value Retail, Delhaize, Toys R Us, White Stuff, Tempur.

Telecommunications - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 41 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for An impressive and unique client roster providing procurement, regulatory and commercial mandates. Demonstrates unique capabilities in space law, particularly in respect of satellites.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their geographic spread globally and in the UK is really useful and makes them quite unique."

"Commercially astute, responsive, flexible and thorough." 

Work highlights Advised the UK government on the restack of its Space Innovation and Growth Strategy, exploring the creation of effective regulation for supporting space-related business.

Notable practitioners  

Chris Watson "is an extremely bright lawyer, with a great capacity for team leading and a focused, clear mind," according to one source. Key work highlights include advising BT on commercial and transactional mandates.

Significant clients BT, Telefónica, Orange, National Grid, UK Space Agency.

Transport - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Advises on the implementation of large-scale rail infrastructure projects. 

Work highlights Advised Tramlink Nottingham on the £578 million Nottingham Express Transit project. 

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Beckitt advises on both UK and international infrastructure projects and is highlighted for his knowledge on PPP/PFI. "He is able to pull deals together because of his back catalogue of knowledge," said one interviewee. 

Bill Carr is a partner in the corporate team, noted for his focus on infrastructure and projects as well as commercial transactions in the rail sector.

Significant clients Eurostar International.