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This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer restructuring head Peter Bloxham has reappeared as a policyholder advocate at Prudential, just as the insurance giant instructed Freshfields on a headline deal with troubled mutual Equitable Life.
Bloxham will be representing the Pru’s policyholders in an attempt to reattribute £9bn of the insurer’s inherited estate of its with-profits sub-fund. Norton Rose is representing Bloxham in his role as policyholder advocate, with Lovells representing the Pru.
Bloxham is currently suing Freshfields for age discrimination in a case that is expected to be heard early in the summer. Freshfields declined to comment on the case or on Bloxham’s new appointment.
Bloxham said: “My principal task over the coming months will be to familiarise myself with Prudential’s with-profits business. I’ll start by engaging specialists and setting up a team to enable me to examine the Prudential’s figures and conduct a very thorough review of the underlying data – some of which goes back almost 150 years.”
Freshfields is representing the Pru on its purchase of Equitable’s £1.8bn portfolio of with-profits annuity, with Lovells advising Equitable. These annuities from Equitable will be transferred into the Pru’s with-profits fund, which is the subject of Bloxham’s review.
The Pru will be responsible for a payout to around 62,000 former Equitable annuitants, subject to court approval and to an Equitable policyholder vote. Equitable’s with-profits annuities have been at the centre of a protracted legal case, which saw the mutual unsuccessfully sue its accountant Ernst & Young for £2.2bn and its directors for £3.3bn.