Long-serving Hill Dickinson chief executive Peter Jackson is to retire after 40 years with the UK law firm.

The chief executive will leave on 30 April next year and be succeeded by business services group head Craig Scott.

Jackson is a maritime and transport specialist and joined in 1983.

In 2005, he became managing partner and then CEO in 2016.

Jackson will stay on in an advisory capacity and become a board member.

Scott has been a partner at the company for more than 13 years.

He will be replaced as business services group head by Fiona Parry, a partner and head of the commercial litigation based in Liverpool. She has been at the firm since 2010.

Established in 1810, Hill Dickinson is now an international operation with 950 staff in 10 offices.

Six are in the UK. Others are in Hong Kong, Singapore, Piraeus and Monaco.

Jackson said his 18 years as boss have been exciting and rewarding.

‘Where we want it to be’

“The business is now exactly where we want it to be,” he added.

Since 2005, Hill Dickinson has grown from revenue of £31m ($38m) to £128.6m in the year to April 2023.

This was the sixth straight year of growth.

“Craig was the clear and unanimous choice for Hill Dickinson’s new CEO. He has driven major growth in revenue and team strength and depth in the [business services group], which is now the firm’s largest division,” said the outgoing CEO.

“Under his strategic leadership, we will remain a large independent, profitable legal firm with ambitious growth plans for all our services. I am very confident about the future with Craig at the helm,” Jackson added.

The business services group has 300 staff and accounts for nearly half of the company’s revenue.

The division has appointed 18 partners during the past two years. Another six are expected to join soon.

The same period has seen five partners join Hill Dickinson’s marine business group, with a further partner set to join imminently.

Scott said: “Put simply, my focus is going to be continuing to invest in the retention of our valued people, strategic recruitment of high-performing talent and pushing on with our plans for further sustainable, profitable growth in the marine and healthcare business groups as well as [business services group], which has been serving us so well over the last three years.”

Big shoes to fill

He added that “some great people” are being drawn to the firm.

“There’s no doubt that I have big shoes to fill, and I’m truly honoured to take the baton from Peter,” Scott said.

Chairman Jonathan Brown said: “What Peter has achieved during four decades at the firm as a partner, custodian and CEO to help guide its evolution as a firm is a credit to him.

“His dedication to the success and stability of Hill Dickinson during his long tenure has been an inspiration to us all. Peter will be working closely with Craig and the team over the coming months to ensure a smooth succession,” he added.

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