Former Dundas chairman resigns ahead of CMS merger

Former Dundas & Wilson chairman David Hardie has stepped down from the firm weeks after it unveiled a planned merger with CMS Cameron McKenna.

The Edinburgh-based corporate and finance partner stepped down as chairman in June 2012 despite having a year of his term left. His resignation came just months after former managing partner Donald Shaw gave up his own leadership role in March.

Hardie will now leave the firm for good, marking what is thought to be the first senior Dundas exit before the merger goes live in May (12 December 2013).

Hardie’s contract with the firm was officially terminated in September according to a filing on Companies House but partners are thought to have been made aware of the news recently.

His exit comes amid consternation over what the merger with CMS could mean for the Edinburgh-headquartered firm set to lose the Dundas name in London and Aberdeen (16 December 2013) . The tie-up was agreed on 12 December after 75 per cent of Dundas partners and 80 per cent of CMS partners voted yes to the arrangement.

Hardie was replaced as chairman by Laurence Ward in June 2012 after three years in the role, which he joined after leading the corporate group for a decade until 2003.

There will only be one leadership spot available on the CMS board for legacy Dundas and it is not yet known who will take it up.

The most recent exit comes after 15 partners left the firm last year, primarily from its City outpost (7 February 2013).