Focus On

Dentons Canada turns to business professional for CEO

Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 6:30 PM | By Paula Kulig

Dentons Canada LLP has gone outside the legal profession for its new chief executive officer, announcing on June 26 that Beth Wilson, former managing partner at KPMG for the Greater Toronto Area, will take on the role effective July 1.

Chris Pinnington, who has been its Canada CEO since 2009 after six years as managing partner of the firm’s Toronto office, had earlier announced his intention to step down as part of a planned succession. He will continue to serve as chair of Dentons Canada.

Beth Wilson

Beth Wilson

"Beth’s appointment as CEO is clearly a bold and innovative move in the legal profession — one which we are confident will resonate with our clients. It is a reflection of our clients’ increasing view that their legal advisers should be more than just a traditional law firm and should offer broader perspectives, insights and understanding of their business and industry. This move will further engage our people and underscore to the legal and business community that Dentons truly is a leader in the profession,” said Richard Scott, chair of the Canada board, in a news release.

Wilson, who will also become a member of the Dentons global management committee and global board, joins the firm with extensive professional services experience, most recently leading KPMG Canada’s largest business unit.

She served many years as a member of KPMG's management committee in various leadership positions, including Canadian managing partner of community leadership; Canadian managing partner of regions and enterprise with responsibility for 24 regional offices across Canada; and chief human resources officer. She also held leadership roles globally.

Wilson said she’s “excited” about the move to Dentons. “I was drawn to the Dentons brand, culture and values. The firm is recognized in Canada and globally for its innovation, focus on delivering value and results to clients and commitment to an inclusive culture that empowers diverse teams and supports entrepreneurial spirit. I am proud to take the lead as we drive forward our strategy — building the law firm of the future now, inspiring our great people, attracting new, innovative talent from multiple sectors and delivering on the differentiated service excellence our clients require."

Elliott Portnoy, Dentons Global CEO, said, “The auditing and consulting professions, similar to our legal profession, are undergoing significant disruption and transformation. Beth’s extensive experience and leadership will play an important role in shaping how Dentons responds to this disruption."

He added, “We owe a great debt of gratitude to Chris Pinnington, not just for his outstanding leadership in Canada, but for the immense contribution he has made to the growth of our firm globally.”