Hammonds has grabbed Vodafone's UK pension fund work out of the grasp of DLA. The work initially moved to DLA when Michael Cowley joined the top 10 firm from Stephenson Harwood in May 2002. However, it is understood that Cowley's move to a new firm prompted Vodafone to retest the market.
DLA, Hammonds and two other firms were invited to pitch. "I think we scored highly on a number of counts," said Hammonds national pensions head Andrew Pow-ell, citing the department's size at 14 partners and investment in support for the team.
Vodafone adds to a string of recent wins. Leeds partner Terry Saeedi set up manufacturer Bombardier's UK pension scheme. The holding company invited her to pitch on the back of her work on one of its smaller pension funds. Slaughter and May was involved in the early stages.
Meanwhile, Leeds pensions head Catherine McKenna has set up final salary schemes for new manufacturing clients Yorkshire Fittings and Yorkshire Copper Tube. She said: "There's generally a lot happening in pensions at the moment, with lots of new legislation and case law. Companies are looking afresh at their schemes, and pension scheme costs have become more of an issue."