Dickson Minto appoints Alex Smith as new finance director

Corporate law specialist Dickson Minto has appointed Alex Smith as its new finance director.

(L-R) Craig Roberts, Alex Smith and Nicola Mitchell (Chris Watt Photography)

Ms Smith joins the firm from Forth Ports, where she was group financial controller, risk and insurance manager.

In her new role, Alex Smith has taken on responsibility for operational back-office activities including finance, compliance and HR - supporting the partnership and legal staff. She has previously worked in a variety of roles within PwC, including external audit and transaction services, serving a wide range of industry sectors. During this time, she was seconded to the Scottish Government’s Energy Directorate where she was instrumental in establishing a Renewable Energy Investment Fund.

Ms Smith is an active member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland’s Business Policy Panel and is a non-executive director of both the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the Rock Trust, a charity which aims to eradicate youth homelessness across Scotland.

She said: “Working on the transactions both as an adviser and within a large corporate group has given me a good understanding of the corporate transaction process from a non-legal perspective as well as experience of implementing strong, efficient processes and systems to support the operational aspects of a business.

“Through my new role, I hope to bring positive, strong and supportive leadership to the finance, compliance and HR teams, and continue to drive efficiency in delivering excellent client service.”

The firm has also appointed Craig Roberts and Nicola Mitchell as partners in the firm’s Edinburgh office.

Ms Mitchell heads up Dickson Minto’s employment law offering which she established and has since built up. She has a particular focus on the employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions, business transfers, dismissals and settlement agreements as well as executive remuneration and service agreements.

Speaking of her partner role, she said: “The world of work will be hugely influenced by Brexit and the pandemic. This will continue to bring many challenges for employers and I’m looking forward to supporting clients through these times to identify positive developments in our working relationships and workplaces.

“Through the renewed focus on the environment, physical and mental well-being and sustainability, we are seeing more interest in businesses, markets and advisers who recognise the importance of these values and how they have been informing how we adapt working practices.”

Craig Roberts is a partner in the firm’s commercial property team with particular specialisms in the care home and retail sectors. He advises a wide range of real estate investment trusts as well as other property investors and occupiers on both English and Scots law transactions.

He added: “I hope to help build upon the success the property team has had to date, working with existing and new clients across the UK on interesting and rewarding property projects, many of which underline the ability of funds, property, corporate and banking teams to work together to understand a client’s business and help it to achieve its aims.”

Douglas Armstrong, partner at Dickson Minto, commented: “We are delighted to announce these new appointments, all of whom are well-respected experts in their fields. It is particularly pleasing that Craig and Nicola joined the firm as trainees, reinforcing the importance of graduate recruitment to Dickson Minto.

“Alex’s appointment significantly strengthens our commitment to supporting our lawyers as they continue to deliver excellent service to our clients. Despite the challenges of the Covid crisis, we are also pleased to have offered newly qualified positions to over 90% of our trainees this year.”

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