Updated merger watch – CMS completes successful tie-up with Dundas & Wilson

CMS Cameron McKenna and beleaguered Scottish firm Dundas & Wilson have merged, the firms announced this evening (12 December), creating a firm of 830 partners and 5,600 employees operating in 57 offices in 31 countries across the world with revenues of around €900m.

The tie-up – led for CMS by managing partner Duncan Weston, senior partner elect Penelope Warne and energy partner Stephen Millar, and for Dundas by chairman Lawrence Ward and managing partners Caryn Penley and Allan Wernham – will give the CMS group additional strength in the UK, particularly in Scotland, where for many years Dundas was considered to have the premier corporate practice.

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Financial results 2013: Dundas & Wilson fails to halt the slide as profits fall 21%

It was once Scotland’s most revered firm but Dundas & Wilson continues to experience misery heaped upon misery, rounding off a second  annus horribilis by announcing a successive double-digit drop in turnover today (19 July).

Turnover was down 11% at the end 2012/13 to £48.7m from £54.5m, with profit down 21% to £12.8m from £16.2m the previous year. Profits per equity partner have also fallen significantly, down to £164,000 from £210,000 – a fall of 22%. Continue reading “Financial results 2013: Dundas & Wilson fails to halt the slide as profits fall 21%”

Dundas cancels vacation scheme as trainee intake is deferred

Dundas & Wilson’s beleaguered City office has deferred its 2014 trainee intake by a year and cancelled its London summer vacation scheme just weeks before students were due to arrive.

Around 24 students who were due to spend two weeks at the Scottish firm’s London office next month have been told the scheme will no longer go ahead, which it blames on the ‘firm’s strategic business objectives.’ Continue reading “Dundas cancels vacation scheme as trainee intake is deferred”

More partner exits from Dundas & Wilson

Beleaguered Dundas & Wilson is shortly to lose London private equity partners Simon Sale and Nadim Meer to Mishcon de Reya, while City corporate partner Julian Mathews joined Wedlake Bell in March.

The departures are the latest in a series of partner exits from the Scottish leader in recent months.

Mathews specialises in M&A, private equity and corporate real estate. He has a particular focus on the hotel, restaurant and leisure sectors.

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Dundas & Wilson woes continue as it loses private equity duo to Mishcons

Dundas & Wilson woes continue as it loses private equity duo to Mishcons

Dundas & Wilson has lost private equity partners Simon Sale and Nadim Meer to Mishcon de Reya, the latest in a series of partner exits from the Scottish firm.

Sale and Meer will move to 300-lawyer Mishcon, along with senior associate Allison Keyse, once the terms of their exits have been agreed. They will join current Mishcon private equity partners Kevin McCarthy and Andrew Rimmington and the intention is that they will bring clients with them. Before joining Dundas, both worked at Hammonds (now Squire Sanders).

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Dundas departures reflect pressure on Scots firms

Dundas & Wilson has confirmed the departure of three more partners from the firm’s London arm. Corporate partners Julian Mathews and Simon Sale, along with banking and finance partner Michael Wrigley, have decided to leave the Scots leader, which has faced a difficult few years by any yardstick.

These moves, which were confirmed in February, compound an unsettled time for the firm’s London office. The City practice last year saw Martin Thomas, one of its top litigators, leave for Wragge & Co, along with banking partner John Pike, who quit for Osborne Clarke. More recent senior departures include TMT partner Paul Graham, who left for Field Fisher Waterhouse, while real estate partner Nick Padget left for Osborne Clarke. The latest departures have raised familiar questions about the firm’s London ambitions.

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Latest Dundas departures are reminder of pressure facing Scotland’s most storied firms

Latest Dundas departures are reminder of pressure facing Scotland’s most storied firms

Dundas & Wilson is bracing itself for the departure of three more partners from the firm’s London arm. Corporate partners Julian Matthews and Simon Sale, along with banking and finance partner Michael Wrigley have decided to leave the Scots leader, which has faced a difficult few years by any yardstick.

These moves compound an unsettled time for the firm’s London office, that last year saw Martin Thomas, one of the firm’s top litigators, leave for Wragge & Co, along with banking partner John Pike, who quit for Osborne Clarke. More recent senior departures include TMT partner Paul Graham, who left for Field Fisher Waterhouse, while real estate partner Nick Padget left for Osborne Clarke. Of this month’s departures, it is thought that Wrigley and Matthews will leave immediately, with Sale leaving next month. Familiar questions about the firm’s London ambitions have been raised.

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SJ Berwin is latest international arrival in Luxembourg

SJ Berwin is latest international arrival in Luxembourg

SJ Berwin announced the opening of its twelth office in Luxembourg at the start of the year, in what was described as an ‘obvious’ choice of jurisdiction for the firm given the strength of its European fund formation practice.

The firm launched its office through the hire of two new partners: former Allen & Overy (A&O) lawyer Alexandrine Armstrong-Cerfontaine and tax specialist Geoffrey Scardoni, from Benelux firm Loyens & Loeff. Armstrong-Cerfontaine said the new office would focus on corporate, finance, private equity, funds and tax, and concentrate on building its relationships across the region.

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Shaw abruptly steps down from Dundas leadership

Dundas & Wilson’s managing partner Donald Shaw unexpectedly announced in March that he is stepping down from his post midway through his second term.

It is unclear why Shaw stepped down, however suggestions from former partners and the market are that partners were unhappy with his management.

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Consolidation is the word of the day across Scotland’s firms

Consolidation is the word of the day across Scotland’s firms

The Scottish market is awash with merger rumours. Perhaps the imminent tie-up between McGrigors and Pinsent Masons has kick-started the recent developments but Scottish managing partners now have consolidation high up the agenda.

The marriage between McGrigors and Pinsents, which is expected to go live in May, will create a national heavyweight with combined revenues of roughly £282m and over 1,500 lawyers, pushing the new venture comfortably into the top 15 of the LB100.

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