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Gowlings longstanding leader Jolliffe to step down prior to Wragges tie-up

Gowlings joint managing partner Peter Lukasiewicz will be the next chief executive officer (CEO) and chair of Gowlings, as long-term leader Scott Jolliffe prepares to step down from both posts after almost eight years.

Jolliffe is currently CEO and chairman of the full service Ottawa-bred firm which is combining with Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG) on 18 January.

Lukasiewicz is one of Gowlings’ two firm managing partners alongside Tina Woodside and has held the role for one year after being Toronto managing partner for six years.

He sits on the firm’s current executive committee with Jolliffe, Woodside and chief operating officer Rob Landry.

Lukasiewicz played a key role alongside Jolliffe and partner Lorne Segal in talks surrounding Gowlings’ tie-up while WLG chief executive David Fennell and head of international projects Quentin Poole led on the other side, along with chair Andrew Witts and director Jenny Hardy.

As the new CEO and chair Lukasiewicz, alongside Jolliffe and three representatives from WLG will play a central part of the joint board which will govern the combined firm Gowling WLG when it launches next year. There will be an additional two representatives from both firms which are yet to be announced.

Lukasiewicz is a senior commercial litigator and is primarily responsible for the firm’s relationships with clients such as Novartis, Exxon Mobil and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Jolliffe, who is also a litigator, has over 30 years’ experience at Gowlings and has served as the firm’s national managing partner for over ten years. He regularly serves as an adviser to Canadian and international corporations, including technology and manufacturing based companies, financial institutions, and chemical and natural resource companies.

Jolliffe said in a statement that in his new role on the global board he will take a ‘senior role in the growth and development of the new Gowling WLG.’

‘This transition has been a long time in the making, and received overwhelming support from our partnership when the decision was made earlier this year. Peter and I have worked side by side for nearly two decades — first, through his role as managing partner of our Toronto office, and most recently, through his role as Gowlings’ external firm managing partner over the past two years.’