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OUR REPUTATION

CM Murray LLP has been named in The Times’ ‘Best Law Firms 2022’

OUR REPUTATION FOR EMPLOYMENT LAW

Chambers and Partners UK 2022 Ranking: Employment (Senior Executives) – Band 1

What the team is known for:

Leading senior executives-focused firm, with notable expertise in whistle-blowing, discrimination claims, and restrictive covenants and their enforcement. Acts for clients from a range of sectors including technology and financial services. Also has expertise in dealing with cross-border employment law issues, drawing upon its extensive network of legal partners across Europe.

Strengths: Senior employees appreciate that the firm provides “comprehensive strategy planning to maintain a good relationship with the employer during negotiations.”

Clients reveal: “They provide sensible advice, they are efficient and they are good to have holding your hand.”

“They are very thorough and take time to understand where the sensitivities are on both sides,” according to an interviewee, who also highlights that “their main strength is in their understanding of both partnership law and employment law.”

Band 1: Clare Murray

Clare Murray is the managing partner of CM Murray. She wins widespread acclaim for her work representing senior executives and equity partners in complex employment disputes.

“She is a skilled adviser and she has an understanding of multinational strategies.”

Band 3: Sarah Chilton

Sarah Chilton is recognised for her work representing individuals in investigations and disciplinary proceedings. She regularly advises clients on restrictive covenants.

“She is an extremely experienced lawyer, she has a formidable reputation and she gets high-level settlements.” “Sarah is thorough, creative, very engaged, and she is an extremely good and supportive collaborator who works well in a pressured situation.”

 Band 3: Beth Hale

Beth Hale is best known for advising senior employees in the financial services sector on discrimination and harassment claims. She also works with clients facing disciplinary procedures and investigations.

“She is clear, she is sensible in her advice and she is calm.” “She has built a reputation as a thought leader in employment.”

Merrill April is noted for her work advising employers, with expertise handling matters including senior-level departures and day-to-day HR matters.

“She provides clarity on complicated issues, she is an astute tactician, she is calm, she has a grasp of details and she displays empathy for her clients.”

Notable Practitioners for Employment: Clare Murray; Sarah Chilton; Beth Hale; Merrill April

Chambers and Partners UK 2022 Ranking: Employment (Employers)

What the team is known for:

Leading senior executives-focused firm, with notable expertise in whistle-blowing, discrimination claims, and restrictive covenants and their enforcement. Acts for clients from a range of sectors including technology and financial services. Also has expertise in dealing with cross-border employment law issues, drawing upon its extensive network of legal partners across Europe.

Strengths: “Senior employees appreciate that the firm provides “comprehensive strategy planning to maintain a good relationship with the employer during negotiations.”

Clients reveal: “They provide sensible advice, they are efficient and they are good to have holding your hand.”

“They are very thorough and take time to understand where the sensitivities are on both sides,” according to an interviewee, who also highlights that “their main strength is in their understanding of both partnership law and employment law.”

 Band 5: Merrill April

Merrill April is noted for her work advising employers, with expertise handling matters including senior-level departures and day-to-day HR matters.

“She provides clarity on complicated issues, she is an astute tactician, she is calm, she has a grasp of details and she displays empathy for her clients.”

Notable Practitioners for Employment: Clare Murray; Sarah Chilton; Beth Hale; Merrill April

Legal 500 2022 Ranking: Employment (Senior Executives) – Tier 1

According to a client, CM Murray LLP stands out for the ‘diversity of the team, integrity, international view, high technical skills and business oriented approach.’ The team is led by the well-known co-heads Clare Murray, who is considered ‘a role model‘, and Merrill April, who has a wealth of experience advising at board member and company founder levels. Emma Bartlett, who  joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in January 2021 brings decades of experience; one client singled her out as ‘extremely honest, truly a warrior to bring justice and never deterred‘. 

Other highly rated team members ‘who tackle complex matters and make it look easy‘ include David Fisher (who has ‘significant experience working with senior executives, especially with exit and on-boarding strategies‘); Sarah Chilton (who is ‘calm under pressure, pragmatic yet not afraid of a fight’); Beth Hale and senior consultant Pia Sanchez, who collectively advise on the gamut of issues in sectors ranging from financial services and pharmaceuticals to entertainment.

The team assists with complex negotiated exits, restrictive covenants and reputational damage considerations through to discrimination, misconduct and whistleblowing cases. The firm also played a key role in the launch of Innangard Executives – an international network set up for the benefit of  international executives and founders around the world.

Leading Individuals:

Emma Bartlett

Hall of Fame:

Clare Murray

Next Generation Partners:

Sarah Chilton

Practice head(s):

Clare Murray; Merrill April

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Chilton; Emma Bartlett; David Fisher; Beth Hale; Pia Sanchez; Louise O’Connor

Testimonials:

‘Brilliant employment law team, led by Clare Murray. Incredibly talented knowledgeable and commercial in their very professional approach. Very able in international employment matters. Very friendly and reliable. They combine a clear look on issues and a good reading of human behaviour.’

Clare Murray is the leader. Very well known in employment circles. Somebody you can trust. She is always available, quick and pragmatic, business oriented, talented negotiator.’

‘Very experienced employment specialists. Combined with strong corporate law and partnership expertise. Strong sector expertise in PE and financial services.’

‘The only firm I know with this kind of specialised practice. Clare Murray, Sarah Chilton and Pia Sanchez are just a few of many outstanding labour law specialists at the firm.’

‘Exceptional in understanding the case details and bringing up the points that matter for winning. I had already been denied any chance of success during a painful and very stressful experience in facing a planned discriminatory dismissal. I was helpless, but I was very lucky to be introduced to Emma Bartlett. Her merit assessment was completely different from all others before, because she was very capable in exposing the true events beyond doubt amazingly from their own witnesses. Emma is extremely honest, truly a warrior to bring justice and never deterred. I admired her courage with her foresight of the sequence of events and forewarning in terms of time and cost.’

‘Strong expertise in both the subject matter and the process of dealing with executive compensation negotiations. You can see right away that this is a team that has long and established experience in this space. Both Merrill April and Louise O’Connor were available, reactive and supportive throughout the work. They were a good source of advice and direction throughout my negotiations.’

‘CM Murray LLP has excellent expertise in (international) employment issues regarding senior executives. Due to their international global employment law alliance Innangard, they can respond very quickly and can give adequate advise on cross border issues.’

‘A very driven, highly specialised boutique law firm. They seem to be always ahead of the competition. Clare Murray – entrepreneurial mind, immaculate understanding of complex employment disputes. Sarah Chilton – dedicated, smooth and strategic negotiator Beth Hale – absolutely skilled and intelligent.’

Legal 500 2022 Ranking: Employment (Employers) – Tier 5

On the employers side of the employment fence, boutique outfit CM Murray LLP places an emphasis on work emanating from the financial services, professional services, technology, life sciences and luxury brands sectors. The ‘exceptionally bright and knowledgeable Clare Murray heads up the practice, which has a substantial track record in highly sensitive sexual harassment and bullying allegations and restrictive covenants. In recent times, Merrill April has excelled in boardroom disputes, while breach of confidentiality issues figure prominently in the practice of David Fisher.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials:

‘This practice is unique owing to the people who work there. It is a firm specialising and excelling in employment law and the strength and breadth of expertise at all levels across the firm is unrivalled. The work it does representing professional services firms as well as individuals working within them is a real area of strength and many would regard CM Murray as the go-to firm in that area of specialism.’

Clare Murray is clearly a leader in her field. Not only is she exceptionally bright and knowledgeable, she brings a sense of calm to any case and is always extremely balanced in her views and well-reasoned and pragmatic. Beth Hale is also an extremely talented lawyer – she has a no-nonsense straightforward approach with clients and always goes the extra mile to get things done. Again, a very knowledgeable and approachable individual to work with.’

‘A truly expert boutique firm that outclasses many larger departments with their knowledge of employment and partnership disputes. They are at the forefront of some excellent networking and knowledge sharing initiatives such as the Innangard Senior Executive Forum.’

Clare Murray, Beth Hale and Sarah Chilton – all outstanding leaders in their field. ‘

‘Excellent team – very efficiency, client focused. Always on the ball.’

Chambers & Partners UK 2020 Ranking: Employment (Senior Executive) – Band 1

What the team is known for: 

Leading senior executives-focused firm, with notable expertise in whistle-blowing, discrimination claims, and restrictive covenants and their enforcement. Acts for clients from a range of sectors including technology and financial services. Also has expertise in dealing with cross-border employment law issues, drawing upon its extensive network of legal partners across Europe.

Strengths:

Sources say: “They’re top-notch lawyers and are very knowledgeable, dedicated and reliable. The team is particularly business-minded and operates with an international mindset, meaning that they are very comfortable with cross-border issues.”

A further interviewee comments: “They’re an awesome boutique firm with very professional and dedicated lawyers”, adding: “The team shows great subject knowledge combined with a pragmatic attitude.”

Another client describes this as “a very astute firm with a strong focus on quality and the ability to deliver work in a very cost-effective way.”

Notable practitioners:

Clare Murray is described as an “incredibly dynamic and driven lawyer who is helpful, thoughtful and great to work with.” She wins widespread acclaim for her work representing senior executives and partners in complex employment disputes.

Impressed clients highlight Merrill April for her “empathy, legal knowledge and quick responsiveness.”

Sarah Chilton is increasingly recognised for her work representing individuals in investigations and disciplinary proceedings, as well as regularly advising on restrictive covenants. Clients describe her as “highly professional, engaging and knowledgeable.”‘

Legal 500 2019 Ranking: Employment (Senior Executive) Tier 1 / Employment (Employer) Tier 5

Specialist employment firm CM Murray LLP advises a range of multinational employers and senior executives on both domestic and cross-border matters. Sectors covered by the London firm include technology, manufacturing and financial services. Managing partner and firm founder Clare Murray leads the team – in 2018 she was appointed as an adviser to the House of Commons Women & Equalities Committee for its inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace. Other key members of the practice include David Fisher, who has expertise with regards to High Court injunctions, and […] Merrill April, who joined the firm in May 2019.

Practice head(s): Clare Murray

Other key lawyers: David Fisher; Merrill April

Who’s Who Legal 2019

Managing Partner Clare Murray has been named the number one “Global Elite Thought Leader” in Europe by Who’s Who Legal: Labour & Employment 2019 as  and is described as ‘“an excellent litigator” with a “very, very strong reputation in the space”. She is noted for her standout work representing law firms.’

Our Partners David Fisher and Sarah Chilton are also named as “Experts” in Labour & Employment law.

Chambers & Partners UK 2019: Ranking: Employment (Senior Executive) – Band 1

What the team is known for: 

Leading senior executives-focused firm, with notable expertise in whistle-blowing, discrimination claims, and restrictive covenants and their enforcement. Acts for clients from a range of sectors including technology and financial services. Also has expertise in dealing with cross-border employment law issues.

Strengths (quotes mainly from clients): 

The team is lauded for being “absolutely brilliant at being personable, sympathetic and pragmatic.”

Another source notes: “They are a top-notch boutique labour and employment firm. I would use them readily again and recommend them to others.”

Work highlight: 

Acted for Protect (formerly Public Concern at Work) on its intervention before the Court of Appeal in a case regarding the scope of whistle-blowing protection for junior doctors.

Notable practitioners: 

Clare Murray advises clients on a range of disputes faced by senior executives such as complex restrictive covenant, unfair dismissals and whistle-blowing cases. She is well known in the market and is renowned for fighting her client’s corner.

Legal 500 2018 Ranking: Employment (Senior Executive) Tier 1 / Employment (Employer) Tier 6

Fantastic boutique‘ CM Murray LLP has ‘a reputation that can’t be beaten‘ for senior executive work and ‘dominates the market in the partnership space‘. Managing partner and firm founder Clare Murray is an outstanding lawyer and has particular expertise handling team moves, restrictive covenant issues, whistleblowing claims and discrimination cases. In a recent highlight, David Fisher acted for Protect (formerly Public Concern at Work) in litigation relating to the scope of whistleblowing legislation. Other key practitioners include ‘tough yet pragmatic opponent‘ Sarah Chilton, who ‘wins clients’ confidence with a superb manner‘.

Managing Partner Clare Murray is named as a “Leading Individual”.

Who’s Who Legal 2018

CM Murray LLP is recognised in the Who’s Who Legal: Labour & Employment 2018 as a “Leading Firm” in Europe for employment law.

Managing Partner, Clare Murray, has been named as one of the top ten “Thought Leaders” in Europe and is widely recognised as “a leading light” in employment law. She acts for US and UK firms and investment management firms and has in-depth expertise in sexual harassment and partner misconduct issues. Sources call her “a real force” and “an innovator in the field.”

Our Partner David Fisher has also been ranked in Who’s Who Legal: Labour and Employment 2018 for his employment law expertise.

Chambers & Partners UK 2018: Ranking: Employment (Senior Executive) – Band 1

What the team is known for:

Leading senior executives-focused firm, with notable expertise in whistle-blowing, discrimination claims, and restrictive covenants and their enforcement.  Acting for clients from a range of sectors including technology and the financial services.  Also has expertise in dealing with cross-border employment law issues.

Strengths (quotes mainly from clients):

“The firm is very human.  They demystify employment law and bring it down to a practical human level,” notes one client.

Another adds: “They were thorough and thoughtful and it was an excellent experience all around.”

Notable practitioners:

According to clients, Clare Murray “is incredibly professional and paints a combination of the legal picture and the reality of what is attainable.”  She is known for her representation of senior executives in cross-border matters, particularly relating to the USA.

Legal 500 2017: Ranking: Employment (Senior Executive) – Tier 1

CM Murray LLP’s ‘first-rate’ practice provides ‘prompt, to-the-point and professional’ advice for senior executives, often handling mandates with cross-border elements. The […] ‘consistently strongDavid Fisher led advice to whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work on its intervention in high-profile litigation before the Court of Appeal concerning whistleblowing legislation. Fisher also acted for a former employee of a Russian investment bank in an Employment Tribunal claim alleging sex discrimination and victimisation. Other key names include the ‘client-friendly’ Clare Murray, who is ‘a brilliant innovator’; […] The group was strengthened by the addition of Sarah Chilton from Fox. Other clients include XR Trading, Adam Hall Group and Phillip Jeffries.”

Clare Murray is named as a “Leading Individual”. David Fisher and Sarah Chilton are listed as “Recommended Lawyers”.

Chambers & Partners UK 2017: Ranking: Employment (Senior Executive) – Band 1

What the team is known for: 

Leading senior executives-focused firm, with notable expertise in whistle-blowing, discrimination claims, and restrictive covenants and their enforcement. Acts for clients from a range of sectors including technology and the financial services.

Strengths (quotes mainly from clients): 

“They are cohesive and progressive – I always felt I was in good hands with them.”

“They are an efficient team, and they are very considered and thoughtful in assessing strategy and tactics prior to acting.”

Work highlights:

Acted for Svetlana Lokhova, a former employee of Sberbank CIB, in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The team were successful in ensuring that the lower tribunal’s finding, that the claimant had been discriminated against because of her sex, was upheld.

Notable practitioners:

Clare Murray advises senior executives on all areas of employment law, with particular experience in grievances and severance negotiations. Clients particularly praise her work on restrictive covenants, with others adding that they “find her to be very sophisticated and savvy – she is quite a good strategist.” Her employment practice is complemented by her extensive partnership knowledge.

Legal 500 2016: Ranking: Employment (Senior Executive) – Tier 1 / Employment (Employer) – Tier 5

CM Murray LLP “excels in its representation of senior executives”, particularly in cross-border issues and whistleblowing matters. The international strength also transfers to the firm’s employer practice, which regularly acts for multinationals with UK operations. Key names include managing partner Clare Murray, ..and David Fisher, who specialises in High Court injunctions.

Clare Murray is named as a “Leading Individual”.

Chambers & Partners UK 2016: Ranking: Employment (Senior Executive) – Band 2 / Employment (Employer) – Band 6

What the team is known for:

Deep reservoir of employment knowledge with notable expertise on matters involving senior executives. Also known for its employer work with a range of professional and financial services firms.

Strengths (quotes mainly from clients):

“The whole firm is focused on employment and that makes a big difference; there is a sense that although one solicitor leads a case, they are drawing on a vast pool of experience throughout the firm.”

“The team are efficient, timely and uniformly clever.”

Notable practitioners:

Clare Murray is described by sources as a “standout” adviser for employment disputes. She is known for being “very commercial” by clients, who also stress the high quality of service that she provides.

Significant clients: Public Concern at Work

Legal 500 2015: Ranking: Employment (Senior Executive) – Tier 1 / Employment (Employer) – Tier 5

CM Murray LLP, led by the “incredibly effective” Clare Murray, is frequently instructed to advise international subsidiaries operating in the UK, and has an excellent reputation acting for senior executives. David Fisher is ‘the epitome of professionalism’.

Chambers & Partners Global

Chambers & Partners Global lists Clare Murray as a “foreign expert” for her work in UK Employment Law and notes Clare Murray of CM Murray LLP is considered one of the leading lawyers in London for representing senior executives.  She is considered “an extremely good relationship builder and a great communicator” and is adept at handling matters with an international edge, especially US-related matters.”

Spear’s 500

Clare Murray is listed in Spear’s 500 2016 as a “top” Employment Lawyer. They describe Clare as “one of the most respected lawyers in her field” and note that she is “pre-eminent in financial services disputes, and market authorities cite an ‘unparalleled reputation within the claimant arena”, adding: ‘she knows when to be tough and when to turn on her charm’.

Who’s Who Legal 2015

Clare Murray is listed in Who’s Who Legal 2015 under the Management Labour & Employment Law section. In their 2015 guide of Labour & Employment Law, Who’s Who Legal identify Clare Murray as one of the five most highly regarded individuals in Europe. They note that ‘founding partner Clare Murray is considered the “real deal”. She is “particularly strong” on handling sensitive City HR issues, internal investigations and international employment arrangements and disputes.

Super Lawyers 2015

Clare Murray is ranked among the Top 100 London “Super Lawyers” and the Top 50 Women London “Super Lawyers” in 2015 for her work in Employment Law and Business Affairs. Super Lawyers is a solicitor-rating service and is part of Thomson Reuters. The Super Lawyers selection process is designed to find indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Expert Guides

Clare Murray is listed by Expert Guides for her work in the Labour and Employment law field and was also listed in the Expert Guide: Women in Business Law publication for her work in Labour and Employment law.

OUR REPUTATION FOR PARTNERSHIP LAW

Chambers & Partners UK 2022 Rankings: Partnership – Band 1

What the team is known for: 

“Extensive, expert coverage of partnership matters with particular emphasis on contentious work. Key strengths in the legal and financial services sectors, with long experience advising UK and US firms on individual and team moves, restrictive covenants and whistle-blowing cases. Active on cross-jurisdictional work and especially praised for its handling of partner discrimination issues. Notable expertise in representing individual partners during exit negotiations and investigations into allegations of misconduct.

Strengths: A source praises CM Murray as “quality through and through and one of the best firms I’ve worked with.

“An interviewee says: “The team really knows the law but also the practical applications on top of that, which really adds value.”

Work highlights

“Advised Apollo Partners LLP on the structuring of capital investment into its business, as well as the amendment of its LLP agreement to reflect the investment and new profit distribution arrangements between its members.”

Partnership – Contentious (UK-wide)

 Star Individual: Clare Murray

 Clare Murray advises on cross-border disputes and investigations concerning partnerships, including cases concerning allegations of discrimination and restrictive covenant issues.

 “Clare knows the area very well, is very sensible and doesn’t take bad points as she is looking to achieve the client’s objective rather than make the dispute longer.” “She’s such a good lawyer who gives such confidence to clients, knows her stuff inside out and is completely committed.”

 Band 2: Sarah Chilton

Sarah Chilton‘s expertise includes cases concerning alleged sexual harassment and discrimination as well as partner exit negotiations and related disputes. She is triple-qualified in England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“She’s a sharp, knowledgeable operator who knows exactly what she’s doing.” “Sarah provides real-world advice and understands the practical issues you’re experiencing on a day-to-day basis. She also has such deep experience in the areas on which she advises.”

 Band 3: David Fisher

David Fisher advises individual partners on highly sensitive and contentious matters, such as harassment allegations and breaches of LLP agreements. He also handles matters surrounding team moves.

 “David is prompt, a good communicator and has a good understanding of the issues involved in the case.” “He is an extremely able and subtle solicitor.”

 Partnership – Non-Contentious (UK-wide)

 Band 3: Clare Murray

 Clare Murray advises on cross-border disputes and investigations concerning partnerships, including cases concerning allegations of discrimination and restrictive covenant issues.

 “Clare knows the area very well, is very sensible and doesn’t take bad points as she is looking to achieve the client’s objective rather than make the dispute longer.” “She’s such a good lawyer who gives such confidence to clients, knows her stuff inside out and is completely committed.”

 Band 3: Zulon Begum

 Zulon Begum assists professional services firms from the legal and financial sectors with partnership restructuring and amendments to LLP agreements. She also advises on the non-contentious aspects of sensitive issues such as partner exits.

 “Zulon is confident, knowledgeable and very bright.”

 Notable Practitioners: Clare Murray; Sarah Chilton; David Fisher; Zulon Begum

Legal 500 2022 Ranking: Partnership – Tier 1

Having fortified its non-contentious partnership practice in recent years under the stewardship of team co-head Zulon Begum, CM Murray LLP fields a full, 360-degree offering, and is retained by LLPs in the financial services, private equity and legal sectors. Frequently advised on are partner exits, lateral moves, appointments and LLP structuring. Team co-head Sarah Chilton steers the contentious side of the practice, which also includes David Fisher. Regular instructions include misconduct investigations, contentious performance issues and responding to whistleblowing complaints. The practice is particularly invested in dealing with sex discrimination, harassment and bullying allegations, with Beth Hale and Emma Bartlett (who joined the firm from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in January 2021) often assisting, while Merrill April, who is described as ‘a leader who sets a fine example of excellence‘, advises on matters of compulsory retirement. Founding partner and ‘inspirational leader‘ Clare Murray is sought out for advice on the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Leading Individual:

Sarah Chilton

Hall of Fame:

Clare Murray

Next Generation Partner:

Zulon Begum

Other key lawyers:

David Fisher; Beth Hale; Emma Bartlett; Merrill April; Clare Murray; Pooja Dasgupta

Testimonials

At CM Murray the quality is consistent throughout the hierarchy. The attention to detail is second to none and the quality of advice given and judgement exercised is always measured and appropriate. The standout features at CM Murray are the people (all are friendly, approachable and excellent lawyers); the collaboration and teamwork; the diversity (this is a great environment for equality and diversity); and the sheer professionalism and commitment to furthering the interests of clients.

Sarah Chilton is outstanding. Razor sharp, responsive, and a real fighter.

Clare Murray is a market leader. Beth Hale is always great.

Clare Murray is, in my opinion, simply the best lawyer in her field in the United Kingdom.

Zulon Begum combines a deep understanding of the governance of partnerships with a pragmatic approach to advising them.

Clare Murray is an inspirational leader who sets the tone of excellence through an impressive work ethic and her own commitment to maintaining high standards. Merrill April is another partner and leader who sets a fine example of excellence in her own approach and in her mentoring of junior members of staff. Merrill’s experience and legal knowledge is invaluable.

Pooja Dasgupta is a young lawyer who is also impressive in her output and attention to detail and who no doubt has a bright future in the business.

The team handles everything with skill, enthusiasm and an unrivalled entrepreneurial spirit. They are at the forefront of thought leadership.

Chambers & Partners UK 2021: Ranking: Partnership – Band 1

What the team is known for: 

Extensive, expert coverage of partnership matters with key strengths in the legal and investment fund spheres and long experience advising UK and US firms on individual and team moves, restrictive covenants and whistle-blowing cases. Increasingly active on cross-jurisdictional work and especially praised for its handling of partner discrimination issues and matters involving distressed law firms. Notable expertise in representing individual partners during exit negotiations and investigations into allegations of misconduct.

Strengths One client commends the firm as “simply excellent,” adding: They are commercially minded and very clear and practical in their advice.”

Another client says the team is “strong, personable and really cares about the outcome for the client and doing the right thing for them.”

Notable practitioners:

Managing partner Clare Murray is highly regarded for the strength of her partnership practice, particularly with regard to sensitive disputes involving partner exits, discrimination claims and allegations of sexual harassment. A source says she is “as good as it gets” for partnership disputes, adding: “She is hugely experienced and charming, has fantastic people skills and is a true expert in this area.”

Sarah Chilton is adept at handling contentious partnership matters, including disputes over serious allegations of misconduct, discrimination or harassment. One source remarks: “She took a pragmatic approach to each situation and was always able to discuss our next steps with both the bigger picture and the granular detail in mind.

Zulon Begum specialises in non-contentious partnership work and receives high praise from sources, one of whom says: Her experience and understanding of partnerships makes conversations easy as she starts from a strong base of knowledge – not only of the law but also of general practice and culture, meaning we are more likely to arrive at a solution for the client that works commercially.” Her caseload includes advising financial and professional partnerships on M&A transactions, restructuring and LLP conversions.

Legal 500 2019: Ranking: Partnership – Tier 1

CM Murray LLP is a specialist UK partnership firm, with ‘one of the legal world’s strongest offerings in this area’. The group’s main focus is contentious work, including partner conduct, performance, team movement and restrictive covenant issues, all of which are areas of expertise for Sarah Chilton and founding partner Clare Murray, who is noted by one client as ‘one of the industry’s most energetic and driven practitioners’. It is also developing an active non-contentious practice under the leadership of Zulon Begum; handling matters such as LLP agreement reviews, new law firm office set-ups, partner remuneration advice and review of partnership indemnity agreements and structures for both domestic and international law firm structures. David Fisher is another key name with experience in advising on partner team moves, lateral hires and the enforcement of partner restrictive covenants. Beth Hale, who was promoted to partner in January 2019.

Practice head(s): Clare Murray; Sarah Chilton; Zulon Begum

Other key lawyers:David Fisher; Beth Hale; Merrill April

Testimonials

“What sets it apart is its phenomenal team of truly first-class individuals.”

Clare Murray is an expert negotiator and the person you want on your side in a brawl.'”

“A dynamic and enthusiastic team that really knows its stuff.”

“This is a specialist firm with the highest reputation in partnership issues, both traditional and LLP; they also address employment issues and the interface between the two.‘”

Chambers & Partners UK 2019: Ranking: Partnership – Band 1

What the team is known for: 

Extensive, expert coverage of partnership matters with key strengths in the legal and investment fund spheres and long experience advising UK and US firms on individual and team moves, restrictive covenants and whistle-blowing cases. Increasingly active on cross-jurisdictional work and especially praised for its handling of partner discrimination issues and matters involving distressed law firms. Notable expertise in representing individual partners during exit negotiations and investigations into allegations of misconduct.

Strengths (quotes mainly from clients): 

One source notes: “I particularly appreciate the depth of specialist expertise made available to clients, the firm’s commitment to problem solving in a commercial manner and its ability to shepherd clients through a partnership dispute without losing sight of the client’s overall goals.”

Interviewees note: “They are responsive, commercial and have a strong grounding in the real world, which is always helpful.”

Notable practitioners:

“Superb litigator” Clare Murray is highly commended for her deep experience in partnership disputes. She is particularly adept at handling sensitive matters related to partner exits, discrimination claims and whistle-blowing cases. Clients say: “She is extraordinarily capable, extremely responsive to the client’s goals and needs, very commercial in her attitude and with a real understanding of the legal and commercial issues relating to partnerships. She is a genuine expert.”

Partner Zulon Begum advises clients in the professional services market on the partnership aspects of corporate transactions. Her clients include private equity, architectural, accountancy and law practices.

Sarah Chilton heads the firm’s Scottish partnership practice and is praised by sources as a “really impressive” lawyer who is “extremely knowledgeable.” She is particularly experienced in disputes concerning contract terminations, discrimination and partnership dissolution.

Legal 500 2018: Ranking: Partnership – Tier 1

‘Top-flight’ boutique CM Murray LLP houses the best contentious partnership lawyers in the City. The team is most known for advising international law firms and other professional services firms on partner exits, team moves, restrictive covenants, discrimination and whistleblowing issues. It has developed a particular niche in handling sexual harassment allegations made by and against partners.

‘Head and shoulders above her peers in the industry’, founding partner and team leader Clare Murray is the ‘go-to’ lawyer for partnership disputes and is noted for her ‘superb judgement’ and significant experience. ‘Brilliant’ Sarah Chilton is recommended for international partnership disputes […] David Fisher has significant experience in team moves, lateral hires and restrictive covenant enforcement […] it gained ‘highly capable’ non-contentious partnership expert Zulon Begum, who joined from Addleshaw Goddard.

Chambers & Partners 2018: Ranking: Partnership – Band 1

What the team is known for:

Extensive, expert coverage of partnership matters with key strengths in the legal and investment fund spheres and long experience advising UK and US firms on individual and team moves, restrictive covenants and discrimination issues.  Increasingly active on cross-jurisdictional mandates and especially praised for its handling of partner discrimination issues and matters involving distressed law firms.

Strengths (quotes mainly from clients):

The practice’s position as a top-ranking partnership team is explicitly stressed by several commentators, one identifying its lawyers as “the leading partnerships disputes people,” and another observing that it is “comparable to any leading firm in the world.”

Notable practitioners:

Managing partner Clare Murray wins praise as a “fantastic, innovative and responsive lawyer,” who offers “top-notch technical competence, sound judgement and a good way with people in difficult situations.” She enjoys a near-unrivalled reputation as an adviser on partnership disputes, including partner discrimination cases and whistle-blower claims, and also handles matters such as partner exits and team moves.

Legal 500 2017: Ranking: Partnership – Tier 1

CM Murray LLP is ‘a standout niche firm in the field of partnership’ and is particularly ‘impressive’ in contentious matters. The firm specialises in acting for firms and individuals in distress situations, where there are serious threats to reputation and where there are multiple jurisdictions involved. Additionally, the team undertakes non-contentious advisory work and advises in relation to agreements such as LLP amendments. Under the leadership of Clare Murray, ‘the firm has gone from strength to strength’. She is ‘a very special lawyer’ and has not only been involved in some of the most substantial partnership disputes, but has also been at the forefront of thought leadership in the field, having been a founding member and first honorary secretary of the Association of Partnership Practitioners. The ‘safe and reliable’ David Fisher has expertise in team moves, lateral hires and restrictive covenants. In 2016, […] Sarah Chilton joined from Fox.

Clare Murray is named as a “Leading Individual”. David Fisher and Sarah Chilton are recommended.

Chambers & Partners 2017: Ranking: Partnership – Band 1

What the team is known for: 

Extensive, expert coverage of partnership matters with key strengths in the legal and investment fund spheres and long experience advising UK and US firms on individual and team moves, restrictive covenants and discrimination issues. Regularly advises on complex cross-border matters.

Strengths (quotes mainly from clients):

“They are very knowledgeable about all types of UK law in this field. They are open to strategies which are international and they are a great pleasure to work with. I can’t think of anything I would have wanted done differently.”

“We were impressed by their responsiveness, their ability to come up with different solutions, and by the reassurance that they’d been there, seen that and done it too.”

Notable Practitioners:

Clare Murray is characterised by one source as a “fantastic litigator and problem-solver, still very much at the pinnacle,” while another reports that she “uses her insights to divine how matters will turn out and advises accordingly.” She is “universally respected as a star performer in the contentious sphere,” and is valued for her “keen understanding of what will motivate the other side to make a deal happen.” 

Chambers & Partners 2016: Ranking: Partnership – Band 1

What the team is known for:

Top-notch boutique offering expert counsel to, in particular, professional services and hedge fund clients. Maintains an excellent reputation for partner exits and team moves, and recently completed a very successful engagement regarding the worker status of LLP members.

Strengths (quotes mainly from clients):

“They went to great lengths to keep me updated. And then there was the human element – they took the trouble to guide me through things in a very human way and encouraged me to think beyond the end of the process – I really appreciated that.”

“We see them a lot and are really impressed with the quality of the people there – really high-quality lawyers.”

“Excellent handle on the law and what is common practice in the City.”

Work highlights:

Acted for Public Concern at Work, the UK’s leading whistle-blowing charity, on a case which resulted in LLP members being classified as ‘workers’, and consequently winning the right to all relevant whistle-blowing protections.

Notable practitioners:

The “absolutely brilliant” Clare Murray, the firm’s founder and managing partner, is a specialist in partnership and employment law. She was a key figure in the creation of the Professional Practices Alliance, and remains one of the outstanding lawyers in the field. Clients have the highest possible regard for her: “She’s charming, tough, pragmatic, and very easy to deal with. Obviously tremendously experienced.”

Legal 500 2016: Ranking: Partnership – Tier 2

CM Murray LLP’s team of ‘truly focused partnership experts’ is headed by the ‘knowledgeable and supremely strategic’ Clare Murray, and leverages its ‘excellent reputation in handling team moves, partner exits and associated disputes’ to handle a regular flow of contentious work, often with cross-border elements.

Clare Murray is named as a Leading Individual.

Legal 500 2015: Ranking: Partnership – Tier 2

CM Murray LLP’s managing partner Clare Murray ‘combines effortless charm with an incisive mind, displaying, when necessary, the steely determination of an expert litigator’. The team […] stands out for its contentious work, having represented a PR firm in High Court proceedings relating to alleged misconduct by a partner in the LLP.

NOMINATIONS AND AWARDS
CLIENT FEEDBACK

“A really expert team but also really friendly and approachable – nothing is too much trouble.”

“They are always on the end of the phone.”

“The thing that distinguishes them from other lawyers is the strong interest in knowing your client and getting to know the needs of your client.”

“The team invest their time to build personal relationships.”

“The whole firm is focused on employment and that makes a big difference; there is a sense that although one solicitor leads a case, they are drawing on a vast pool of experience throughout the firm.”

“The team are efficient, timely and uniformly clever.”

“They went to great lengths to keep me updated. And then there was the human element – they took the trouble to guide me through things in a very human way and encouraged me to think beyond the end of the process – I really appreciated that.”

“We see them a lot and are really impressed with the quality of the people there – really high-quality lawyers.”

“Excellent handle on the law and what is common practice in the City.”