Dundas & Wilson chief steps down mid-way through term

Dundas & Wilson managing partner Donald Shaw has stood down from the role with immediate effect.

Donald Shaw
Donald Shaw

Two years ago Shaw was elected to a second three-year term as managing partner, becoming the sole person in the role after his co-managing partner Alan Campbell stood down from management (4 January 2010). He began his second term in May 2010.

It is unclear what Shaw’s plans are, but the firm said that details of his “ongoing role with the firm” will be agreed in the coming days. Head of performance and resources Caryn Penley, who also leads the firm’s debt, recovery and restructuring practice, and head of operational excellence Allan Wernham, who also heads the firm’s real estate team, will take over firm management on an interim basis.

The firm’s chairman David Hardie said in a statement: “We welcome Donald’s decision to concentrate his considerable talent on our clients and to help us to further develop our firm and our strong focus on the real estate sector.

“I will be arranging a managing partner election in due course. In the interim, Caryn Penley and Allan Wernham will continue their existing roles and assume the additional responsibilities of the managing partner.

“We are deeply grateful to Donald for his skilled and dedicated service to the firm over the last six years as managing partner.”

Dundas has recently begun a consultation aimed at cutting staff and partner numbers across its offices and practice groups (24 February 2012). The firm said the cuts were necessary to “reshape some practice areas to reflect the anticipated business needs”.

The firm has also suffered a number of high-profile partner departures in recent months. In February real estate partner Richard Lampert resigned from the firm and will join Eversheds (8 February 2012) while the firm’s infrastructure head Andrew Renton left for partnership at Bird & Bird (7 December 2011).

Last year the firm attempted to grow its City practice via a tie-up with Bircham Dyson Bell, but merger talks ultimately collapsed after neither firm won partner support for the move (10 October 2011).

In February Dundas opened an office in Aberdeen (2 February 2012).

For more on Dundas and the mid-market firms, see feature.