Camerons snares Taylor Wessing pensions partner

CMS Cameron McKenna has made a rare lateral partner hire, luring a pensions partner away from the firm Taylor Wessing.

Neil Smith, who joins Camerons today (16 October), is rejoining after a seven-year absence. As an associate, he worked under head of pensions Nigel Moore.

Smith’s clients at Taylor Wessing included Calyon Financial, E.ON and Bacardi.

Smith explains: “It was a difficult decision to leave Taylor Wessing, but CMS Cameron McKenna is one of the leading pensions firms in the country. Plus, I was better off going there.”

Camerons operates an all-equity partnership, with average profit per equity partner reaching £476,000. Smith did not have equity at Taylor Wessing, he said.

Camerons managing partner Dick Tyler has clearly stated that the firm’s all-equity partnership remains “a big carrot” in attracting laterals.

After two years of no lateral partner hires, the past 12 months have seen comparative expansion for Camerons. With Smith, the firm has taken on four lateral partners, including banking partner Neil James last month from Winston & Strawn.

Name partners Todd Robinson and Robert Hayhurst also joined from Hayhurst Robinson after the firms’ Eastern European merger in January.