CM Murray LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

CM Murray LLP

Corporate and commercial > Partnership Tier 1

The mostly female team at CM Murray LLP is lauded for its ‘entrepreneurial’ approach, which has been engendered by its well-known managing partner, Clare Murray ; ‘the deserving star of the practice‘ who ‘is fizzing with ideas’ Sarah Chilton, who is a member of the APP Management Committee and Zulon Begum (advises on non-contentious partnership and corporate law) are the practice co-heads. The team of 18 specialist lawyers provide end to end expertise across contentious, advisory, and international structuring of partnerships and LLPs. In addition to law and accountancy firms, it advises private equity, hedge fund and other financial services providers on areas including non-competition, complex carried interest and forfeiture provisions regarding partner exits. The team also advises on related investigations and workplace cases such as alleged partner misconduct, sexual harassments and breach of fiduciary duties. Partnership and employment law disputes specialist, Emma Bartlett joined the team in January 2021 from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP and Andrew Pavlovic covers professional discipline and partnership regulations. Other key partners include David Fisher, Beth Hale and ‘master tacticianMerrill April all of whom are across the gamut of partnership issues. Clients also report that the firm is at the forefront of thought leadership and regularly provides webinar updates. The team has been further enhanced since ‘standout‘ partner Corinne Staves  joined from Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Chilton; Zulon Begum


‘This entrepreneurial, majority female partnership are leaders and thought leaders in partnership law and practice. As an employment and partnership boutique, CM Murray LLP is uniquely placed to focus on the issues relevant to partnerships, their people and their clients.’

Zulon Begum is knowledgeable, pragmatic and commercial. Best of all, she is unflappable!’

‘As a partner team they share a passion for partnership law and (seemingly endless) positive energy.’

‘New partner Andrew Pavlovic’s specialism in SRA regulation and professional firm disciplinary matters places him at the heart of the thorny issues facing many professional firms.’

‘Clare Murray – the deserving star of the practice. Extremely hard working, thoroughly thoughtful, a pleasure to work with, and the authority on partnership law. Merrill April – thoughtful, considerate professional. A master tactician, she is calm, cool and collected. And for these reasons she’s a real force to contend with. Louise O’Connor – industrious, extremely bright, emotionally intelligent and strategic in her advice. She’s a rising star and no doubt a huge hit with CM Murray’s clients.’

As associate, Louise O’Connor was highly collaborative and I felt listened to throughout our time working together. She clearly has a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience beyond her PQE, and what impressed me the most was how she was able to deploy that knowledge in a practical way that was highly tailored to the strategic approach for my matter.’

‘A really top flight firm. Rightly at the top of the rankings. Superbly responsive, expert and effective. Brilliant with clients. An outstanding firm, especially so in representing individuals. Outstanding leadership and a really good team spirit.’

David Jones is an efficient and very capable associate.

Key clients

Taylor Vinters LLP

Cathryn James and Francesca West (James & West Law LLP)

Philip Parr

Work highlights

  • Acting for Taylor Vinters LLP in relation to its combination with Mishcon de Reya LLP, which created MDR Taylor Vinters, a new separate business within the combined group that offers legal and consultancy services to innovators and entrepreneurs.  
  • Advised on the establishment of specialist whistleblowing and discrimination law firm James & West Law LLP on a pro bono basis.
  • Represented Philip Parr in the Court of Appeal in December 2021 in Parr v Moore Stephens LLP & Others in respect of partner age discrimination claims arising from the application of a mandatory retirement age of 60 and associated de-equitisation. An appeal request is pending with the Supreme Court.

Employment > Senior executives Tier 1

Specialising in multi-jurisdictional work for senior executives, CM Murray LLP is particularly active in the financial services, biomedical and pharmaceutical, technology, and media and entertainment sectors, among others. The firm has particular expertise in unlawful age discrimination and whistleblower detriment matters, as well as executive and shareholder restrictive covenants. An area of increasing activity is executive burnout and bullying cases. Merrill April co-leads the team with Clare Murray, who is ‘not only the founder but the glue who brings her extraordinary team of experts together and clearly empowers them to be best in class’. Other key names include Emma Bartlett, who is ‘highly recommended for supporting partners and senior executives in disputed exits’, and Sarah Chilton.

Practice head(s):

Clare Murray; Merrill April

Other key lawyers:


‘CM Murray is unique, even among employment law boutiques, in their strength and depth of experts and expertise. They simply cannot be beaten. They are formidable advocates for their clients.’

‘Clare Murray is not only the founder but the glue who brings her extraordinary team of experts together and clearly empowers them to be best in class. She is supremely knowledgeable, gets quickly to the nub of the legal issues and is a forceful and tenacious advocate while being warm and supportive to her clients. Emma Bartlett is also highly recommended for supporting partners and senior executives in disputed exits.’

‘Highly skilled and focused team specialising in advising senior individuals in employment and partnership law.’

‘Emma Bartlett is a solid and well respected employment lawyer who will get things done when under pressure.’

‘A team of sympathetic and professional lawyers. They listened to my problems, and quickly reassured me that they were interested in supporting me. They acted swiftly, predicted the outcome and made feel comfortable.’

‘I valued the team’s efficiency, competence and ability to understand my perspective towards my situation.’

‘Clare Murray and her team are experts in their field. They are both practical and resourceful. Clare’s attention to detail is extraordinary, but what sets her apart is her compassion to her clients.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a very senior executive on his move to a new role at a major multinational, that was due to acquire his existing employer in a $3.25bn deal to become one of the world’s largest firms in its sector.
  • Advised a senior executive in the technology industry in relation to allegations by their previous employer of removal of confidential information and breach of restrictive covenants.
  • Advised a financial services executive at a large global bank in relation to an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and related disciplinary proceedings.

Employment > Employers Tier 5

CM Murray LLP‘s ‘outstandingClare Murray-led employment team continues to maintains a strong reputation for its handling of sensitive sexual harassment and bullying allegations on behalf of employers, enforcement of restrictive covenants, with High Court litigation being its key area of specialism. David Fisher and Merrill April are also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Clare Murray

Other key lawyers:


CM Murray is a unique employment law boutique.’

‘The legal skills of the team and the way they manage the matters is outstanding.’

‘They are proactive, open-minded, and always eager to find solutions to solve the most complex issues.’

‘Very quick reactions, deep knowledge of the client’s industry and tailor-made solutions for each of them.’

‘We find CM Murray to be very proactive.’

‘They provided solutions each time we were faced with issues and were very engaged.’

‘Clare Murray is very efficient and business-minded. She delivers high quality services. David Fisher is also a very reliable and smart lawyer.’

‘Merill April gave detailed and practical advice on a complex area of law and a sensitive personnel issue, but also astute of reputational issues.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a corporate client in relation to suspected multi-jurisdictional fraud, allegedly carried out by the Shareholder, Director and Chairman in relation to a global group of wealth management companies.
  • Advised a major city law firm in relation to complex issues raised by a senior employee regarding a potential pay discrepancy in the firm’s bonus scheme.
  • Provides ongoing advice to a leading global law firm on a wide range of both contentious and non-contentious matters, including on grievance determinations, performance management and employee compensation.

Dispute resolution > Professional discipline

In December 2021, CM Murray LLP hired Andrew Pavlovic, who specialises in SRA professional discipline and regulatory investigations, as partner from Russell-Cooke LLP, where he was senior associate.

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 & 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.


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’

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
David Fisher photo David FisherPartner
Clare Murray photo Clare MurrayManaging Partner
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.