CM Murray LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

CM Murray LLP

Corporate and commercial > Partnership Tier 1

Offering integrated partnership, employment and regulatory advice, the ‘standout firm for partnership disputes,’ CM Murray LLP, is headed up by Sarah Chilton, an ‘amazingly able’ specialist contentious partnership lawyer who also has expertise in the private equity sector, and Zulon Begum, ‘a top flight non-contentious lawyer’ who predominately focuses on corporate law matters. Acting for clients in the legal, accountancy, consultancy, real estate, insurance, private equity and hedge fund industries, the team has a significant reputation for handling disputes relating to team moves and internal investigations into alleged wrongdoing as well as corporate law matters such as governance of professional service firms. Founding and managing partner Clare Murray, ‘a visionary leader in her field’, acts for US and UK professional services firms, as well as equity partners in professional services and investment management firms, handling partner conduct and performance issues, partner exits, restrictive covenants and litigation. Corinne Staves, ‘a superb new addition’, offers experience in advising on international structures and international governance for professional services businesses. David Fisher often represents firms and individuals in contentious partnership disputes and has a particular focus on business protection. Acting as general counsel and specialising in employment and partnership law is the ‘standout’ Beth Hale, while Emma Bartlett regularly advises on LLP and partnership matters in the private equity and financial services space. Also of note is Andrew Pavlovic, who offers assistance with sensitive partnership investigations, partnership structuring and law firm mergers.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Chilton; Zulon Begum

Other key lawyers:

Clare Murray; David Fisher; Corinne Staves; Beth Hale; Emma Bartlett; Andrew Pavlovic; Wonu Sanda; Merrill April; Pooja Dasgupta


‘A standout firm for partnership disputes. The team are knowledgeable, hardworking, strategic and responsive. They are always a pleasure to work with. Wonu Sanda is an associate with partner written all over her.’

‘Sarah Chilton and Beth Hale are standout individuals at a standout practice. Their knowledge, strategic nous and dedication are second to none.’

‘A highly skilled team of market leading specialist partnership lawyers that offer great strength in depth. Clare Murray and Sarah Chilton are market leaders. David Fisher, Merrill April, Beth Hale and Zulon Begum are all talented partners.’

‘This is probably the best partnership and employment team in London for top echelon partnership disputes. Clare Murray is a legend. She has assembled a fabulously talented team including Corinne Staves, Andrew Pavlovic and Sarah Chilton.

‘Zulon Begum and Pooja Dasgupta understand the pressures law firm management teams are under and how to provide options to us. They provided advice in line with what they scoped, the time frame agreed and worked to manage costs for us as best as possible. Truly excellent advice on a very difficult subject matter.’

‘Merrill April is a perceptive and astute lawyer that you want advising you. Beth Hale is a delight to work with and Wonu Sanda is an associate on the rise, with great acumen. Zulon Begum applied her knowledge of partnership agreements to our unique business needs.’

‘CM Murray led by the visionary Clare Murray, is hard to beat as a niche partnership boutique practice. They have superb lawyers at all levels and in recent years have developed other areas of practice such as regulatory and non litigious work so they can offer clients a truly all-round service.’

‘Clare Murray is a visionary leader in her field. She is hard to beat as the partnership expert. Sarah Chilton and Beth Hale are amazingly able and technically superb lawyers that run the business.’

Key clients

Taylor Vinters LLP

BDB Pitmans LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Taylor Vinters on its full merger with Mishcon de Reya, resulting in a single firm.
  • Advised BDB Pitmans on its potential merger with Womble Bond Dickinson.

Employment > Senior executives Tier 1

Known as an ‘exceptional firmCM Murray LLP offers specialist advice on multijurisdictional exit negotiation, as well as counselling on settlement packages and restrictive covenant cases. Founder and managing partner Clare Murray co-heads the team with Merrill April, who is praised for her ‘razor-sharp common sense’ when handling corporate reshuffling and reviewing payout values. The firm also handles a broad range of cases including whistleblowing, gross misconduct and bullying claims. Other key team members include David Fisher and Emma Bartlett, who work on cases regarding constructive dismissal and disability discrimination claims. Sarah Chilton typically handles pregnancy harassment and contentious departure cases.

Practice head(s):

Clare Murray; Merrill April


‘Merrill April is smart with excellent technical skills combined and a razor-sharp common sense.’

‘The team at CM Murray is extremely personable, reliable, and highly pragmatic at all times.’

‘CM Murray is an exceptional firm who are a sought-after speaker team with brilliant insights.’

‘Merill April is an outstanding lawyer. She has an international employment law practice with a top-notch reputation from executives to private companies.’

‘They do great high-level executive work, offering specialist advice and representation whilst also being very down-to-earth and easy to work with.’

‘Emma Barlett – brilliant partner. Great to work with – intelligent, efficient, a team player, and very down to earth. Love working with her and would highly recommend to anyone.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a Chief Operating and Financial Officer on their departure from one of the FTSE 100 companies and their move to another FTSE 100 role.
  • Advised a senior executive in the insurance industry on an investigation into allegations of gross misconduct and their subsequent negotiated exit.
  • Advised a senior executive and founder of a global fintech company on his departure and related ownership and financial interests.

Employment > Employers Tier 5

Specialist boutique CM Murray LLP is recommended for reputation-sensitive senior level investigations and strategic redundancy planning, as well as ensuing employment litigation. The team is led by firm founder Clare Murray, with David Fisher, Beth Hale and Merrill April further key names in an extensive team of partners. Partnership law expert Corinne Staves, who joined the firm in August 2022, is also integral, as is associate Yulia Fedorenko, who regularly advises on cross-border employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Clare Murray


‘They are excellent and extremely professional.’

‘They are very experienced in employment matters, our ‘go-to’ in the UK for our clients with UK matters for this area. They have considerable expertise, and are very professional and responsive. They are always trying to do the best for their clients and go the extra mile.’

‘Clare Murray is a top notch employment law specialist that I recommend whenever a client needs advice with respect to UK matters. She has an excellent skill to handle employment law matters, understands the problem and gives to the point advice for a reasonable price.’

‘Very practical advice based on their experiences and expertise.’

‘Beth Hale is professional, experienced and knowledgeable. ’

‘Beth Hale provided a very good and professional service, and also provided the common practice in the UK.’

‘Superb know-how and standing on partnership law, very strong practice for employment (especially senior executives).’

‘Clare Murray – very experienced and still on the bleeding edge of developments while also taking into view the big picture Very strong international network. A big name and still very approachable.’

Work highlights

  • Advised an engineering services company on the redundancy process arising from the closure of part of their UK business and the subsequent discrimination claim threatened by one of the employees selected for redundancy.
  • Advised a firm in relation to allegations of misconduct that had been raised against one of the firm’s co-founders, and the subsequent investigation and disciplinary process followed by the firm.
  • Advised on and defended a leading financial services firm against claims for wrongful dismissal, unfair dismissal, redundancy pay and holiday pay brought by a former US based senior executive.

Dispute resolution > Professional discipline

CM Murray LLP is continuing to build up its practice following the 2021 hire of Andrew Pavlovic; his track record includes acting for the SRA in complex disciplinary proceedings before the SDT, as well as subsequent High Court appeals. He is described as 'a calming influence on any case he works on'... providing 'clear, thoughtful and commercially astute advice'.

The firm: CM Murray LLP is a leading specialist employment, partnership and regulatory law firm which advises multi-national companies, senior executives, professional practices and their equity partners.

Preserving careers, Protecting reputations, Managing risk

Principal areas of work
Employment law: The employment law practice focuses on advising overseas companies, senior executives and founders. It advises overseas companies on all aspects of establishing, managing and, where necessary, restructuring their UK operations and has a market-leading reputation in advising UK and international senior executives and founders on their appointment, termination and equity arrangements (together with related contentious and non-contentious disputes). Advising on senior executive and founder investigations, exits, high-value discrimination, sexual harassment and whistle-blowing claims, team moves, and enforcement of restrictive covenants is core to the firm’s practice. Many of those employment law matters will have cross-border aspects, and the firm has extensive experience in handling cross-border and UK investigations and litigation.

Partnership law: The partnership law practice advises many international professional partnerships, LLPs and their equity partners (individually or collectively), on UK and cross-border partnership issues, particularly in the legal, accounting, patent attorney and financial services sectors. CM Murray LLP has market-leading expertise in both partnership disputes and partnership advisory and non-contentious work. The firm advises on partner departures, team moves, partner restrictive covenants, partner maternity arrangements, partner sexual harassment and other misconduct investigations, discrimination and whistle-blowing claims, and related litigation. The firm also has significant experience in advising the exiting partners of investment management firms and hedge funds.

The firm’s non-contentious Professional Services Advisory and LLP M&A practice advises on all aspects of non-contentious partnership, LLP and M&A work, from governance, partner remuneration and internal restructuring to joint ventures and LLP conversions. The firm specialises in professional services firm M&A and advises US firms on establishing SRA regulated operations in the UK. Leading partnership law specialist, Corinne Staves joined CM Murray LLP as a partner in September 2022. Corinne has a wealth of experience in advising both firms and individual partners on a wide range of matters, including new firm launches, partner admissions, mergers and demergers, LLP conversions and capital events, risk management and compliance matters, governance and structuring as well as partner and team moves.

Managing partner Clare Murray was a founder member of the Association of Partnership Practitioners (APP), the leading UK Association for partnership advisers; senior partner Sarah Chilton is a member of the APP Management Committee, partner Zulon Begum is D&I Officer of the IBA Law Firm Management Committee and Program Officer for the IBA Alternative and New Business Law Structures Committee. and Senior Associate Wonu Sanda is a member of the ‘Up and Coming’ Committee of the APP.

Professional regulation and discipline: Professional discipline specialist Andrew Pavlovic has substantial experience in regulatory and professional discipline matters, having previously acted for the SRA in some of its biggest and most high-profile cases in the Courts and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. With Andrew’s expertise, the Firm is able to advise on the regulatory aspects of employment and partnership disputes in-house, as well as providing stand alone regulatory advice and representation in disciplinary proceedings. We offer a full-service offering in partnership, employment and regulatory matters, cementing CM Murray LLP as the “go-to” firm for law firms, individuals, and professional services firms more generally.

 International : The firm is a founding member of international employment law alliance, Innangard, and its senior executive-focused arm, Innangard Executives, whose members are leading specialist employment law practices around the world: CM Murray LLP has a market-leading reputation for its expertise in handling international and cross-border employment and partnership law issues. Managing partner Clare Murray established, and is past chair of, XBHR, a global think tank for cross-border HR experts:

The firm regularly collaborates with overseas employment lawyers on client matters and international projects and has particularly strong links within the US. The firm is the founder of the International Forum of Senior Executive Advisers and hosts the Annual International Senior Executives and Founders Conference in London, focusing exclusively on risk, reward and reputation management issues for senior executives and founders.

All lawyers in the firm are active members of and, in many cases, officeholders in leading international associations, including the American Bar Association (ABA), the International Bar Association (IBA), International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), and the European Employment Lawyers Association (EELA). All lawyers in the firm regularly speak at international conferences on employment and partnership law matters. The firm regularly provides comment on employment and partnership law issues in the press and broadcast media.

Sectors: CM Murray LLP advises clients across a wide range of sectors, with particular expertise and experience within the professional services and financial services sectors, including law firms, accountancy firms, investment management and hedge funds, private equity firms, luxury brands, and the technology sector. The firm’s advice is strategic and pragmatic; its approach is direct, firm and focused squarely on achieving its clients’ commercial objectives and timescales. Preservation of client reputation is a core objective of the firm at all times.

Sponsored briefing: ‘Fantastic boutique CM Murray dominates the market in the partnership space’

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner Clare Murray
Employment and Partnership Law Clare Murray
Senior Executives Merrill April
Partnership Disputes Clare Murray
Partnership Disputes Sarah Chilton
Non-Contentious Partnership Zulon Begum
Non-Contentious Partnership Corinne Staves
Professional Regulation & Discipline Andrew Pavlovic
Multinational Employers David Fisher
Multinational Employers Emma Bartlett
Multinational Employers Beth Hale
Photo Name Position Profile
Merrill April photo Merrill April Partner
Emma Bartlett photo Emma Bartlett Partner
Zulon Begum photo Zulon Begum Partner
Sarah Chilton photo Sarah Chilton Senior Partner
Yulia Fedorenko photo Yulia Fedorenko Associate
David Fisher photo David Fisher Partner
Beth Hale photo Beth Hale Partner and General Counsel
Clare Murray photo Clare Murray Managing Partner
Andrew Pavlovic photo Andrew Pavlovic Partner
Wonu Sanda photo Wonu Sanda Senior Associate
Corinne Staves photo Corinne Staves Corinne Staves advises on all aspects of partnerships, LLPs and professional practices…
Number of UK partners : 9
Number of other UK fee-earners : 10
AIJA - International Association of Young Lawyers
American Bar Association (ABA)
International Bar Association (IBA)
Law Society of England and Wales
Law Society of Scotland
Law Society of Ireland
Association of Partnership Practitioners (APP)
Innangard Global
Innangard Executives
Employment Lawyers Association
European Employment Lawyers Association
American Employment Law Council
Scottish Discrimination Law Association
London Solicitors Litigation Association
Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association
London Solicitors Litigation Association

At CM Murray we value diversity and are committed to promoting diversity within the workplace by seeking to ensure that all individuals are treated fairly, with dignity and respect and by recognising and encouraging individual contribution within the Firm.

We aim to ensure that all decisions are taken without reference to irrelevant or discriminatory criteria. We have adopted a detailed Equality and Diversity Policy as a means of helping to achieve these aims. Our policy applies to dealings with clients and third parties as well as to internal matters.

“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.”