Donald Shaw: Dundas & Wilson

Who is your hero and why?
Horatio Nelson – for innovation and indomitable spirit in sometimes doing the unthinkable when he knew he was right.

Dundas & Wilson” />What was your first-ever job?
One hour collecting glasses in a bar for £5.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
I once worked on a particularly unpleasant divorce case, and later found out that sadly the client committed suicide. It was awful.

Where is the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
As if I’d betray my sources.

What time do you usually leave the office?
I tend to be an early starter: it varies from after 6.30pm to much later.

What do you do at weekends?
Generally family stuff and avoid work if I can.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Michel Trama’s L’Aubergade in Puymirol, France.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
A wine merchant – turns a hobby into a career, but perhaps there’s too much spitting.

Who is your hero and why?
Horatio Nelson – for innovation and indomitable spirit in sometimes doing the unthinkable when he knew he was right.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Seeing our business grow, and our clients’ support, not least in London.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Making judgements about people all the time.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Publicising success with clients. Other law firms can use it as an opportunity to strike back, so sometimes it’s better to be stealthy.

What car do you drive?
Mercedes SL55.

What book are you currently reading?
The Speed of Trust by Stephen MR Covey.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
Canadian band Arcade Fire, which a friend of mine raves about, although I’m not yet so sure.

What’s your favouritechildren’s book?
Dr Dog by Babette Cole is a favourite with our kids, so that’s probably it.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked onand why?
Meeting the eight-day start-to-finish timescale to enable a civic project and secure the opportunity of a major adjoining development.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
A fully fuelled flying boat and a pilot.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
A golf resort near Atlanta, Georgia. I don’t play golf.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Without any, 52-plus hours – but that was a while ago.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
John Malkovich – he’s just so right for the part.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Well, there is one former colleague – and I’d not be alone in this – but I think I’ll just leave it there.

Name: Donald Shaw


Managing partner


Dundas & Wilson


Oxshott, Surrey


Edinburgh Academy; Aberdeen University

Work history:

1978: Articled, Shepherd & Wedderburn

1979-85: Assistant, Dundas & Wilson

1985-present: Partner, Dundas & Wilson

1992-2000: Head of commercial property, Dundas & Wilson

1993-97: Deputy managing partner, Dundas & Wilson

2000-06: Head of real estate industry, Dundas & Wilson

2006-present: Managing partner, Dundas & Wilson