Prominent lawyer steps back after 23 years at the helm

Prominent construction lawyer Simon Tolson has announced he is standing down as senior partner at Fenwick Elliot.

Tolson, a long-time Building columnist and a Building the Future commissioner, will stand down next April after 23 years as senior partner. He will be succeeded by Karen Gidwani, who has been a partner at the law firm since 2006.

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Simon Tolson will leave next year

Tolson who specialises in engineering and dispute work, has overseen a doubling of Fenwick Elliott’s headcount, including international expansion with the opening of an office in Dubai in 2015.

He played an influential role in the Building the Future Commission – Building’s 12-month project to improve the built environment – particularly on building safety.

Tolson, who has worked for Fenwick Elliot for 37 years in total, will remain as a partner at the firm to carry out work for clients.

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He said: “When I joined Fenwick Elliott in March 1987, I didn’t plan on staying 37 years but being part of this firm’s journey continues to energise me to this day.

“There have been defining periods, like when we branched into major engineering procurement construction dispute work, a move that supported our expansion into key international markets.”

Gidwani has led on a series of landmark disputes over the concept of fitness for purpose which went to the Supreme Court.

Gidwani is experienced in adjudication and is currently active on international arbitration work.