Fieldfisher expands pensions practice with a four team hire

LONDON, UK - SEP 27: The Shard and urban architecture on September 27, 2013 in London, UK. the Shard is currently the tallest building in the European Union

European law firm Fieldfisher has announced the expansion of its existing pensions team, hiring a team of four lawyers from PWC to join its London and Manchester offices.

The team consists of one partner Oliver Reece, two directors, Lindsay O’Farrell and Daniel Fowler and one associate, Larisa Gordan.

 

The move comes further to a legal review by PwC and this team will continue to work in close synergy with PwC and some of their historic clients.

Partner Oliver Reece joins the firm on April 8th into the London office. Oliver has headed up the pensions legal team at PwC for nearly 18 years, and prior to this worked at the Pensions Regulator. He advises on all aspects of pensions law and regulation but with a particular focus on pensions litigation, the pensions implications of M&A and other transactions and the pensions aspects of both solvent and insolvent group restructurings.

 

Directors Daniel Fowler and Lindsay O’Farrell [both join later in April] [join on April 15th,and April 22nd respectively]. Lindsay will be based in Manchester and Daniel will be based in London. Lindsay has over 15 years’ experience advising trustee and corporate clients on all aspects of pensions law, including negotiations with the Pensions Regulator and clearance, pensions scheme exercises and advising public and private sector companies on compliance with automatic enrolment laws.

Daniel Fowler also has a wide range of experience, advising employers and trustees on all matters connected with pension schemes, including issuing numerous Part 8 proceedings at the High Court to understand the meaning of certain pension scheme provisions; implementing changes to the index used for uprating pension benefits; the pensions implications of employer liquidations; automatic enrolment duties; global reorganisations; and risk management exercises.

 

The team are also supported by associate Larisa Gordan who joined the London office earlier in the month.

Fieldfisher’s existing pensions team is well regarded in the market and renowned for their practical commercial legal advice. Head of pensions David Gallagher was appointed as Chair of the Association of Pension Lawyers (APL) back in November, and two other members of the team also sit on different sub committees of the APL. The firm’s dedication to service quality and delivery has been the driving factor in this recruitment, which is seen as an important tool to help grow the existing practice.

Whilst the new team has a corporate focus, it maintains a small number of trustee clients and all of the team have a history of providing trustee focused advice. This broad experience is essential for providing the best advice to corporate and trustee clients and is something that will perfectly complement Fieldfisher’s own service offering.

Fieldfisher’s pensions team also carries out a lot of work within the electricity industry and this was a key point of synergy for the new team, who also have expertise in this area. In addition to this, both teams have many existing trustee clients, so the hire is set to dovetail onto the current pensions offering and help to develop and expand the workload and increase resources. The team also demonstrated a fantastic ability to spot market leading trends in the work that employers have in relation to pensions schemes which aligns with Fieldfisher’s focus on providing a full service offering to clients.

 

Fieldfisher’s Head of Pensions, David Gallagher said:

“I am always striving to provide the best client service possible and hiring an entire team is proof of Fieldfisher pensions team’s dedication to this point.

“The team is a great fit technically but in addition to this they all have excellent business development skills which will help add a new dimension to our existing offering and lend itself to our client first ethos. It was a competitive hiring process and the fact that the team chose Fieldfisher says a lot about how our practice is viewed in the market. I am really looking forward to welcoming them into our London and Manchester offices and continuing our growth in this practice area and building on our existing reputation in the market”.

 

Oliver Reece said: “I speak for both myself, Lindsay, Daniel and Larissa when I say that we are proud to join Fieldfisher’s highly regarded pensions team. We are all looking forward to the opportunity to build on our existing work and develop it further as well as contributing to the wider success and reputation of the practice.

“We were particularly attracted to the firm because of its clear focus on culture and values, as well as the interconnectivity of its multiple UK offices, so tapping into this network and working with the rest of this team is something I am really looking forward to”.