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A leadership shakeup at McMillan LLP has seen the law firm’s chief executive officer, Andrew Kent, return full-time to his insolvency law practice, replaced at the helm by a new four-person executive committee.

A leadership shakeup at McMillan LLP has seen chief executive officer Andrew Kent step down and return full-time to his insolvency law practice, replaced as CEO by veteran litigator Teresa Dufort – who will steer the law firm as part of a four-person executive committee.

The new committee, publicly announced Tuesday, includes Ms. Dufort, a veteran product-liability defence litigator; Tim Murphy, an infrastructure lawyer, Liberal Party insider and former aide to prime minister Paul Martin; David Dunlop, a corporate lawyer and private equity specialist; and Stephen Wortley, who works out of Vancouver and Hong Kong and chairs the firm's China practice.

Ms. Dufort's election as CEO was approved in an October vote by partners in the national firm, which has around 265 lawyers, and offices in Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa and Hong Kong.

In a statement issued Tuesday morning, the firm says it is adopting a new leadership model that "reflects the priority the firm places on collaboration."

The four McMillan executive members – all of whom have long experience in leadership roles at the firm – will continue to work as lawyers, the firm said.

"A cabinet, that's a good way of describing it," Ms. Dufort said in an interview. "I expect it will be a pretty collaborative exercise. We have been working together pretty intensively for over a year now. It's a really excellent team."

Mr. Kent was behind the creation of the current national law firm through a series of mergers over the past decade that culminated in McMillan's combination with Lang Michener in 2010.

In an interview on Tuesday, he said that succession planning began back in 2013, when the firm's board asked him to stay on for two more years. He said he wanted to hand the reins to new leaders.

"I took the job on a long time ago now, over 10 years ago, to build the firm up into a national firm," Mr. Kent said. "That was the goal, and we managed to do it."

Editor's note: A previous version of this story omitted Ms. Dufort's appointment as CEO.