CMS is a major UK commercial law firm that offers a broad range of corporate legal services to major national and international clients. With offices in London, Sheffield and Brussels, CMS is a growing partnership with over 130 partners leading more than 420 lawyers.
The CMS brand is about clarity – delivering the highest quality advice as clearly and concisely as possible, no matter how complex the situation.
As Simon Johnston, CMS’s senior partner, explained: “Our clients want practical answers to real business problems. It’s critical that the legal advice we deliver is grounded in the commercial context of that particular business and industry. By understanding our clients and their world better, we can deliver a more valuable service.”
The FT is known for its clarity and reliability. FT articles are succinct, use plain language and make good use of tables and charts. The crucial aspect was to ensure pertinent information was readily accessible to users and the FT’s approach helped us make this possible.Knowledge Services Manager, CMS
Given the task of sustaining commercial expertise within the business, the knowledge services team realised that CMS lawyers were hampered by too much available business information.
“Lawyers work in a high pressure environment and they’re already overloaded with information. We needed a way to streamline the news and keep them informed on the most important and relevant matters,” said Mark Collins, Head of Knowledge at CMS.
“We wanted to avoid situations where people interested in Nationwide, for example, type it in as a search term and return all the football results!”
The survey said...
- 87% said the FT had saved them time and helped find relevant information quickly
- 69% said they had been in situations where they were glad they had the FT
Partnering with the FT
The Financial Times was selected by CMS for two main reasons: the quality of its business information and the ease of access through an FT Group Subscription.
“The FT is known for its clarity and reliability. FT articles are succinct, use plain language and make good use of tables and charts,” commented Pamela Wolffsohn, Knowledge Services Manager at CMS.
We use the FT to get a concise briefing about what the market is saying about a company and the main issues or sensitivities to be aware of.Director of Business Development, CMS
“The crucial aspect was to ensure pertinent information was readily accessible to users and the FT’s approach helped us make this possible.”
Every CMS employee has unlimited, seamless access to FT content whether it is via FT.com; Westlaw UK News (the firm’s third party news aggregation platform); the FT’s RSS feeds and email alerts; or the firm’s knowledge portal.
In addition, CMS rolled out the FT’s Mobile Newsreader which delivers tailored news to mobile phones, so users can access FT information on the move.
Survey of CMS lawyers
CMS undertook a survey to better understand how its employees use the Financial Times in their work. The FT is primarily used by CMS lawyers to better understand their clients’ businesses and by the business development team to identify new opportunities.
With the FT’s broad coverage of industry sectors, lawyers in each of the 15 practice areas at CMS use FT.com to keep abreast of industry news and important trends.
Key reasons given why FT is valuable:
- High level of accuracy
- Industry expertise
- Quality of comment & analysis
- Breadth of coverage
The high level of accuracy, industry expertise and quality of comment & analysis were all factors cited by respondents on why they valued the FT’s information service.
“We use the FT to get a concise briefing about what the market is saying about a company and the main issues or sensitivities to be aware of,” noted Rosemarie Ghazaros, Director of Business Development at CMS.
87% of users from the same survey said that the FT saved them time, helping them find relevant information quickly and easily. Furthermore, 69% of people surveyed said they had been in situations where they were relieved to have access to FT.com.
The reasons included being able to carry out research quickly prior to meeting clients or potential clients, briefing teams on a topical legal issue and obtaining commentary on a particular case.
“The key to success is being able to provide legal advice within the commercial reality of our clients’ businesses. The survey shows how the FT is being used to make better and more informed decisions,” concluded Collins.
CMS plans to further integrate FT information within the company’s knowledge infrastructure, with customised RSS feeds for the intranet, integration within its CRM system and a headline feed for its external website.