Iain Scott, who until 2009 was the chief executive of McCarthy Tétrault LLP, moves from the challenging task of managing his law partners to the equally challenging task of overseeing legal academics.
Still, if you count yourself surprised by the move, you’re not alone. Even Mr. Scott never saw his new gig coming. “Quite honestly, academia wasn’t on the list. It wasn’t even at the bottom of the list, it just wasn’t on the list,” he says.
A big challenge will be dealing with government funding. At McCarthy’s, the focus was on managing both the balance sheet and the income statement. With his new role, Mr. Scott may not have to worry about the assets and liabilities, but he will need to figure out where to get revenue. “We’re not going to get more money from the government. We’re going to have to go to private sources.”
Which might explain why the school looked to the private sector for its new dean.
Warren Bongard, vice-president of ZSA Legal Recruitment and president of the UWO Law Alumni Association, said the move represents “out-of-the-box thinking.”
“This hiring reinforces Western’s brand as Canada’s business law school, and I think that just goes hand-in-hand with a guy like Iain who ran one of the biggest and arguably one of the best law firms in the country.”