Shepherd and Wedderburn promotes deputy chief executive to top role

Scottish-headquartered firm Shepherd and Wedderburn has announced the appointment of Stephen Gibb as the firm’s new chief executive following a unanimous vote by the firm’s partnership.

Gibb, who is currently the firm’s deputy chief executive, will replace the incumbent Patrick Andrews on 1 May, when Andrews’ second term in the role comes to an end. This coincides with Gibb’s 13-year anniversary at the firm, having joined the firm as a partner from Fyfe Ireland in May 1999.

Andrews is set to take a short break and return to frontline activities at the end of the summer, according to a spokesperson at the firm. He specialises in energy and real estate matters. It has not yet been decided who will be Gibb’s successor as deputy chief executive.

Commenting on Gibb’s appointment, the firm’s chairman James Will said:

“Having served as Patrick’s deputy for the past three years, Stephen is well-placed to take on this role as the firm continues to grow its operations in the UK and overseas.

“Stephen’s enthusiasm, drive and experience make him the right person for this job. I look forward to working with him and supporting the continued success of firm.”

Gibb said: “I’m very excited about my new role within the firm. It’s been great working with Patrick over the past three years and, through his guidance, I now feel well prepared to take on the challenges that lie ahead.

“In the current economic climate there’s definitely a flight to quality in the market. With our strong specialist expertise and focus on three key sectors – energy and natural resources, financial services and real estate and infrastructure – we’re confident we’ll continue both to grow our operations at all levels and to increase our market share.”

As reported in The Lawyer in June 2011, Shepherd and Wedderburn reported a six per cent rise in turnover to £37.3m for the 2010-11 financial year and a 16 per cent rise in profits to £16m (20 June 2011). This represented a turnaround in fortunes on the previous year, when revenues fell by 11 per cent.

According to Andrews, the firm’s real estate and energy practices had a particularly strong year and the firm continued to win an increasing number of instructions with an international element.

Gibb also attributes the rise to the firm’s focused approach on blue chip companies. “This was achieved through our strategy of focusing on blue chip and other quality clients in the UK and global markets,” he said.