Teacher pet

A future CMS lawyer

In-house lawyers have been listing the firms that have impressed them the most this year, in the RollOnFriday In-house Lawyer Survey (scroll below).

So far, CMS tops the table, with the highest number of respondents picking it as the most impressive firm.

"CMS - cost effective and quick," said one in-house lawyer in funds.

"Of the firms I work with they are the people most interested in why we are doing things," said a GC in real estate.

A client in financial services believed that CMS was "Magic Circle quality but much more attention and nicer people to work with," and with "very good rates." 

"Totally on top of things and decent to deal with," concluded a GC in the energy sector about CMS.

"They are accessible and attention to service and delivery comes before I receive a bill," said another GC about CMS. "I also appreciate that the office I deal with, and the advisory team show an awareness for skills transfer and diversity. There is also demonstrable out of the box thinking. I do not get a copy and paste opinion and the advice received is reflective of a comprehensive understanding and reading of my documents, company and industry." 

Ashurst is in second spot, as things stand. The lawyers are "always appear available, calm and considered - lovely to work with," said a private equity in-house lawyer.

A client in the transport/infrastructure sector said Ashurst's advice is "clear, efficient and to the point without any of the waffle. And for this we are happy to pay."

"Very commercial," said another respondent about the firm, "They have made an effort to get to know us and really understand our business."

Ashurst was lauded for "pushing diversity in the teams" with "multi disciplinary/strength in teams," by an in-house lawyer in financial services.

Linklaters is currently in third spot. "Great service, real client focus," said a respondent in banking. "Hugely responsive, helpful, commercial and knowledgeable. A class act all round - and not as expensive as you'd expect".

Another client commended Linklaters for "always a diverse offering and top quality advice."

One in-house lawyer in financial services said the Magic Circle firm: "quickly grasped our objectives and can pull together specialists or additional resources from across their firms as needed.  Also just generally pleasant to deal with."

"Superb attention to detail," said another respondent. While another concluded: "You don't get fired for instructing Linklaters."

The survey is still open, so there's still time for another firm to knock CMS off the top. If you work in-house, have your say in the survey below.


Thank you for taking part in RollOnFriday's survey of in-house lawyers. We use the results to write stories and reports. We don't take your name and so the answers you provide will be kept anonymous.
Your role
Your sector
When you're picking a firm, what's the most important factor?
How do you think the size of your in-house team will change over the next two years?
Will this be at the expense of instructing private practice?
How happy are you with your external lawyers working from home?
Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 14 July 23 09:43

"Worked tirelessly through the night to give me what I needed" said a respondent of CMS "have never had one with that kind of stamina before". Others agreed "six times!" and "my last firm couldn't manage that in a week" said another. There were a few downsides "Was a bit embarrassed about quite how much I enjoyed it" said a surprised GC "you spend the initial meeting putting on an impression of being a switched on sophisticated purchaser of legal services, but after three sweaty hours of having your horizons totally exploded while you are powerless to do anything other than wail and squeal with pleasure, you struggle to look them in the eye with quite such confidence again."

I am convinced that CMS is writing at least half of its own reviews here.

US associate 14 July 23 11:40

Would take this with a grain of salt. No mention of top firms like K&E, Latham, Simpsons, Milbank and PH

Sus 14 July 23 13:36

CMS are statpadding by writing their own reviews surely, we have instructed CMS before and they're nowhere near as good as those reviews imply.

C-M-YES 14 July 23 20:27

CMS' marketing team has absolutely not bombarded the site with glowing comments.  How dare anyone suggest otherwise.  They are the greatest firm in the history of professional services.  


CMS Balla 15 July 23 18:53

Imagine being proud that clients know you as "cheap and quick". 

Excuse me, but I think that you will find that is Clients and Dates, thank you very much.

Anonymous 17 July 23 09:41

"No mention of top firms like K&E..." 

Possibly they talked to in-house lawyers who didn't just churn out PE deals?

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