Move On Up: Dundas & Wilson

London has been the focus for Dundas & Wilson in its recruitment and promotions over the past few years.

Scottish firm Dundas & Wilson has hired and promoted a considerable number of associates and partners in the past six years – but overall the firm’s numbers have changed little in this time.

At the end of the 2006-07 financial year, Dundas had a partnership of 76 and 196 other lawyers, according to The Lawyer UK200 report for that year. By the end of the 2011-12 financial year, the firm had 80 partners and 180 associates.

During that period the firm promoted 22 associates to partner and made 13 lateral hires, as well as hiring a large number of senior associates from other firms.

Dundas did not provide departure figures, but over the past few years a number of partners and lawyers have quit the firm for rivals. The Lawyer reported that four partners left for rival firms including HBJ Gateley, Eversheds and Bird & Bird in the last financial year alone.

The firm’s promotion patterns have focused on growing the London office. Almost half (10 out of 22) of all promotions between 2006-07 and 2011-12 were to the City. A further five associates were made up in Glasgow and seven in Edinburgh.

There was no single practice area that dominated in the promotions. Most were in corporate and real estate, each with four promotions over the six years. For corporate, three of those were in 2008-09, when London lawyer Douglas Land and Edinburgh-based Stuart MacLean and Greig Williamson were all made up. Real estate promotions were more spread out.

The vast majority of the new partners were male. Dundas made up 16 men and just six women, with the bulk of the female partners promoted in 2007-08. In that year Glasgow-based Carina Healey, Claire Massie and Darina Kerr were promoted along with Trudi Craggs in Edinburgh.

Meanwhile there were no women among the 13 lateral hires made between 2006-07 and 2011-12. Save for the April 2007 appointment of Glasgow property partner Paul Carter from Tods Murray, all the hires were in London.

A number of practice areas were represented, including corporate, real estate and litigation as well as a duo of projects partners in June 2009 and a brace of restructuring partners in March this year.

2006-07 was the year of greatest growth, as Dundas hired six partners laterally. In all other years, just one or two partners have joined Dundas from other firms.

Four of the 13 laterals made recently have since left Dundas, mostly within the past year. Having joined from Lawrence Graham in January 2007, insolvency specialist John Verill moved to Chadbourne & Park in May 2012. Competition partner Peter Willis also left Dundas in May for Bird & Bird, having originally been hired from Taylor Wessing in August 2006.

Another of the 2006-07 laterals, finance partner Patrick Brandt, moved to Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in October last year.

Projects partner Ross Campbell, part of a two-strong team to join Dundas in June 2009 from Tods Murray, has also left the firm for Eversheds.

Retention of recently promoted partners is better. Just three out of 22 have left Dundas since joining the partnership, again all within the past year. Finance partner Ross Caldwell left in December 2011 for Taylor Wessing after promotion in May 2007 and corporate recovery lawyer Craig Darling was hired by HBJ Gateley in February 2012, after three years as a Dundas partner.

Keith Armstrong, made up in May 2006, resigned from Dundas in June following irregularities in a tender process.

As well as lateral partner hires, Dundas has also hired 21 senior associates from other firms in the past six years. In contrast to the partner-level laterals, these are fairly evenly spread across the three offices, with seven for London, eight for Edinburgh and six for Glasgow. However, overall Dundas added 22 partners to its London office between 2006-07 and 2011-12, compared to just seven to Edinburgh and six to Glasgow.

John Pike

John Pike – Restructuring partner John Pike was hired from Stephenson Harwood together with Ted Harrison in March 2012.

Ailsa Ritchie

Ailsa Ritchie – Glasgow-based projects partner Ailsa Ritchis is one of six women to have been promoted at Dundas over the past six years.

Greig Williamson

Greig Williamson – Greig Williamson is one of four corporate partners and seven partners in Edinburgh to have been made up by Dundas recently.

New partners