Former CEO appointed dean of Western Law

The University of Western Ontario has announced the appointment of W. Iain Scott as dean of the Faculty of Law, beginning a five-year term on Sept. 1, 2011.

Scott, who recently retired from an eight-year term as the first-ever Chair and Chief Executive Officer of one of Canada’s largest law firms, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, succeeds Ian Holloway, who will complete his second five-year term as dean on June 30 before heading to the University of Calgary as its law dean.

A graduate of Yale and Queen’s University, Scott specialized in commercial law from 1979 to 2002, developing an expertise in a financial restructuring and reorganization practice, acting for debtors, creditors and strategic investors involved in the forest products, manufacturing, financial services, and telecom sectors.

“I am privileged and delighted to accept the appointment as dean of Law at Western,” says Scott. “The role of lawyers in a globalizing practice and in public service, academia and business is continually evolving, and the competition for leading faculty and students at top-tier institutions is constantly increasing. I am very excited by the opportunity to build upon Western’s tradition of academic excellence by supporting our faculty, students and alumni in making significant contributions within this dynamic and challenging landscape.”

During his tenure as Chair and CEO, Scott appointed and led a senior leadership team to oversee development of the firm’s strategic plan which focused on building the strengths of McCarthy Tétrault’s 600-plus lawyers and implementing a team-oriented approach to delivering exceptional legal services to the firm’s national client base.

Western’s Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Janice Deakin, who chaired the search committee that recruited Scott, says the hire marks a noteworthy departure for an academic appointment at Western and creates an historic opportunity for the Faculty of Law to raise its national and international profile to a new level.

“Iain’s unique experience at the helm of one of Canada’s leading national law firms will bring a fresh perspective to the legal teaching, research, community service and external outreach we undertake in our Faculty of Law,” says Deakin. “The leadership Iain has demonstrated throughout his professional career in areas such as talent recruitment and development, diversity, quality improvement, communications and branding will serve the university well and support our ambitious aspirations.”

President Amit Chakma adds Western is fortunate to have recruited a leader of Iain’s quality to campus and looks forward to supporting him and his colleagues in continuing to raise Western’s stature on the global stage.

“Western Law is widely recognized for the outstanding quality and success of our graduates, as well as for our growing reputation in the fields of business law and international education.