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The Dickson Minto split: more Bruce & Demi than Johnny & Amber.

Dickson Minto's entire private equity team in London is leaving to join Milbank. But unlike some splits, the lawyers have said they wish to maintain close ties with their ex-colleagues.

Dickson Minto's stand-alone PE group comprising seven partners, 20 associates and 10 business services staff will make the move to Milbank's London office. The Edinburgh office of the Anglo-Scottish boutique firm will remain as Dickson Minto.

A Dickson Minto insider told RollOnFriday that partners needed to address the Americanisation of the M&A market. Joining US firm Milbank, which has a stellar reputation in private equity, provided a solution for the Minto lawyers seeking to remain Minted. 

Dickson Minto's trainees will be able to spend part of their training in the London office of Milbank, giving them a dual-firm training experience, as well as being able to compare which firm has the best stationery and biscuits. 

Unlike some splits, the London and Edinburgh teams have been at pains to stress that they wish to retain ties.

Alastair Dickson, co-founder of Dickson Minto said: "I am very pleased that the London Private Equity practice of Dickson Minto will join Milbank – the partners, lawyers and other staff have been a close-knit group for a long time and it’s extremely satisfying to see their desire to stick together and continue to grow as a group." He added: "I am also extremely pleased that there will continue to be a close working relationship between the London team and Dickson Minto in Edinburgh."

"I wish our London private equity partners well in their relationship with the excellent Milbank platform and I am very pleased that we will continue to work with them in their new home," said co-founder Bruce Minto.

Douglas Armstrong, Managing Partner of Dickson Minto, Edinburgh said: "We will continue to grow the firm's Edinburgh practice whilst retaining our relationship with our London private equity colleagues in specialist areas and seeking to expand this relationship to the wider Milbank business."

Milbank’s Corporate Group Global Head Norbert Rieger, said: "Given the shared history and strength of these existing working relationships, we are of course supportive of and envisage such cooperation continuing.”

For this year at least, leavers stay on the Dickson Minto Christmas card list.

Tip Off ROF


SBF's barber 16 December 22 09:46

Both these firms are quietly excellent. Will be lean times given M&A's in a coma, but ears will have pricked up at Macs, Travers, A&O, Ashurst and Slaughters.

Anonymous 17 December 22 14:02

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the Edinburgh office. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team there eventually tie up with the likes of Brodies or Burness once the Mr Dickson and Mr Minto properly call it a day. 

Ramon 19 December 22 18:37

Agree, the future of the Edinburgh office is the most interesting bit.  Will it become a very ordinary firm without the star pulling power of PE?

confucius 19 December 22 23:53

Always was a risk for a firm that until recently a lot of its eggs in the London PE basket. It’s always difficult with DM to know what is going to happen since they have no outward media. I heard they are planning on expanding into commercial property and suchlike in Singapore, so still a potentially bright future. Will be interesting to see. 

Anon 22 December 22 18:52

Rebecca Ward was the heiress to the crown at DM. When she chose to jump ship to FBD, this really spelled the end for the firm as an independent shop given Alasdair was stepping down and it was inevitable they were going to shed talent.


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