Grant Dixon, the head of the national law firm’s Melbourne office for nearly a decade, left the firm suddenly last week.
“The board and partners decided to part ways with Grant after 13 successful years,” said Melbourne-based partner Simon Theodore in a statement in response to enquiries from Lawyers Weekly. “The firm is focused on continued success into the future and the change took place with that in mind.”
Dixon first joined the firm as its chief executive officer in 2000. He relinquished that role to become managing director of the Melbourne office a few years later. He was also a member of the firm’s National Board.
Gadens, a top-10 Australian law firm by revenue, has not yet replaced Dixon.
“There is no prescribed time limit and the firm has retained a reputable executive search firm to assist it in locating a suitable chief executive officer,” said Theodore.
Dixon’s sudden exit from the firm comes almost seven years after he unsuccessfully tried to leave Gadens. In late 2005, he announced that he planned to leave the firm in June 2006 and to assist with the appointment of his successor. Dixon eventually stayed on at the firm until his departure last week.
“It’s very hard to walk away from the rewards of success, which is probably why I stayed so long... but I am not a maintenance man,” said Dixon when announcing he was leaving Gadens in 2005.
Prior to joining Gadens, Dixon was a business consultant.
Like father, like son
Grant Dixon’s son Jeremy also left Gadens this month.
Jeremy Dixon was a general manager with responsibilities for marketing and administration of the Melbourne office that his father led. He was at the firm for eight years, four years shy of his father’s 12-year tenure.
In response to questions from Lawyers Weekly about whether the departure of the father-son duo was related, Theodore said that Jeremy Dixon’s position was made redundant.
Lawyers Weekly has been unable to contact either Grant or Jeremy Dixon and their future plans are unknown.
Gadens has separate partner profit pools for its five offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. The firm also has offices in Dandenong and Port Moresby.
Gadens has 44 partners in Melbourne.