Dentons secures its place on National Mutual advisory list

The Milton Keynes office of Denton Wilde Sapte has won the firm an appointment to a new “soft” property panel for the National Mutual Life Assurance Society.

The panel of 25 firms will be presented by National Mutual to advisers and clients contemplating placing property assets in a self-invested personal pension (Sipp) arrangement.

Namulas Pension Trustees, the National Mutual subsidiary that is the trustee for Sipp, already holds 1,000 commercial properties on behalf of Sipp clients.

Previously, those clients chose their own advisers. They will now have the option of using their own solicitors or using panel firms that have been selected by National Mutual on the basis of their expertise in pensions and property.

The newly-created panel consists of both City and provincial firms, including practices in Edinburgh and Glasgow. If successful, it could be the forerunner to a “hard” panel, which means that customers would have to conduct their business through a panel member.

The Dentons team is led by Milton Keynes partner David Danskin, who was also instrumental in winning the firm a place on English Partnership’s panel (The Lawyer, 5 March).

Dentons was invited to tender before last Christmas, and put together a joint tender by its Milton Keynes and London offices. The work will include acquisitions, disposals and lease arrangements.

Dentons’ pensions team has had a previous relationship with National Mutual, but the new panel marks the firm’s first property appointment for the client.

London-based senior property solicitor Russel Dellar, who is part of the team, says: “Our Milton Keynes office means we can cover more areas. It’s probably more attractive to customers that we have a provincial office as well as a London one.”

Deputy managing director Graeme Laws says: “We have the list of recommended solicitors because it’s in everyone’s best interest that all parties to these potentially complex arrangements know how they actually work.”

National Mutual was unable to confirm the other panel members as The Lawyer went to press.