Slowly but surely

Dundas won’t make any knee-jerk reactions to managing partner’s resignation

Donald Shaw
Donald Shaw

Dundas & Wilson’s succession planning in the wake of managing partner Donald Shaw’s resignation is not expected to complete until August or even September, say sources close to the firm.

Shaw stood down mid-term in March (The Lawyer, 8 March) as sole managing partner of the Scottish firm. According to Dundas he will continue as a client partner.

Although Shaw does not hold a current practising certificate, he is a registered foreign lawyer and can focus on advising clients on commercial strategy and helping to develop the London practice.

In the interim the firm is being run by performance and resources head Caryn Penley and operational excellence head Allan Wernham, who are tipped as the strongest contenders to take over on a permanent basis.

According to sources close to Dundas, the firm is not planning to name its new managing partner (or managing partners) until late summer, after it has sorted out its accounts and partner distributions have been completed.

As reported in The Lawyer UK 200 2011, while Dundas was ostensibly managed by an eight-person board, Shaw held most of the sway and decided on partners’ profit shares, with the board ratifying his decisions. A statement from Penley suggests that distributions will be decided through a more collaborative effort in this interim period.

“Allocations will be made by the practice area leaders making recommendations to Allan Wernham and myself, as interim managing partners,” said Penley. “Allan and I will review these and then make our recommendation to the rest of the board for approval.”