Dundas launches London insolvency team with LawGram raid

Scottish heavyweight Dundas & Wilson is making a dramatic push into restructuring work in London with the hire of insolvency partner John Verrill from Lawrence Graham.

Dundas managing partner Donald Shaw told The Lawyer: “John does very high calibre work and has a very strong reputation in the market. We have an outstanding reputation in this sector and are looking to build on it in London. He will be our first partner in London, and our fourth in the practice.”

It is understood that Dundas will be looking to extend its London reach by using its existing contacts with Scottish financial institution clients such as HBoS and RBS.

Shaw added: “We spent quite a while looking for the right person. There are only a small number of practitioners in this sector and we have been deliberately choosy. We grew 47 per cent in London last year, and we need to keep up that growth.”

Verrill said: “I’ve been at Lawrence Graham for 20 years as a partner, so it’s kind of a wrench, but it’s very exciting.”

Verrill, who is currently on gardening leave, joins the Scottish firm at the beginning of January.

Dundas & Wilson’s restructuring expertise came about through its association with now-defunct accountancy giant Arthur Andersen, which had merged with Glasgow-based insolvency boutique Dorman Jeffrey before it linked up with Dundas.

Dundas, which turns over £53m according to The Lawyer UK100, has 77 partners, of whom 22 are now based in the City.

A Lawrence Graham spokesperson said: “John was with us for over 20 years and did a lot to put us on the map for Insolvency work. Dundas & Wilson is a great firm and we wish John every success in pursuing his career there.”