"CMS has closed its Iran office just over two years after becoming the first international law firm to move into the country. The firm opened in Tehran in February 2016, weeks after sanctions on the country were lifted in the wake of the landmark international agreement to limit its nuclear activities. However, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal in May last year, reimposing the previous sanctions, with CMS opting to close its base in the Navak Tower as a result. The office had been staffed by lawyers from the firm’s German arm, CMS Hasche Sigle, including corporate partner Jurgen Frodermann and German-Iranian energy partner Shaghayegh Smousavi, both of who have now returned to the firm's Duesseldorf base. CMS had considered a move into Tehran for some time, setting up an Iran taskforce in 2013 after the election of president Hassan Rouhani and the start of the negotiations over the nuclear deal. The sanctions on Iran were lifted on 16 January 2016, with the office opening at the start of February." (Yahoo News, "CMS exits Iran as sanctions prompt rethink by international firms," 1/24/2019).
In February 2016, CMS announced plans to open a Tehran office in order to provide legal advice to businesses and investors in Iran. (CMS website, “CMS Opens Iran office in Tehran,” 2/2/2016). CMS explained, “[w]e support international companies seeking to gain an early competitive advantage and to build strong business relationships with Iran by providing access to lawyers who specialise in Iranian law and leveraging our practical experience of working on investment projects in Iran.” (CMS website, “Welcome to CMS in Iran,” accessed 6/1/2016). The Lawyer notes that “CMS has become the first international firm to open an office in Iran, two weeks after sanctions against the country were lifted by the US.” (The Lawyer, “CMS becomes first international firm to open in Iran,” 2/2/2016). CMS’s “clients in Iran will consist of multinationals and large SMEs, including Iranian companies.” Id.
CMS is the first international law firm to open a dedicated office in the Iranian capital, Tehran, led by partners of CMS Germany.
"Python & Peter, a leading Swiss law firm, has opened an office in Tehran in a further sign of the country opening for business in the wake of the groundbreaking nuclear agreement signed last year. The new office will aim to advise foreign multinationals on how to operate in a country slowly awakening from years of international isolation and numerous economic downturns. In February, Germany’s CMS was the first international law firm to open an office in Tehran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution... Iranian law firms with international standards are also rare. But a new generation of lawyers has been encouraged with the entrance of foreign law firms into the country, said Encyeh Seyed Sadr, partner and attorney at law in Bayan Emrooz, a new local law firm. Lack of trust in Iran’s judicial system, fears of bias and corruption as well as often lengthy proceedings and high tariffs means many foreign companies are wary of losing their investments should they run into difficulties with their local partners... In a further sign of the growing international interest in setting up business in Iran, a team from the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution visited Tehran last week, offering fair, independent and flexible arbitration services in any potential future disputes between Iranian and foreign companies." (Financial Times, “Leading Swiss law firm opens Tehran office,” 5/5/2016)