Hammonds shrugs off exits with pensions vow

Hammonds has vowed to invest in its pensions business following the departure of London head and pensions star Jay Doraisamy, who becomes the latest in a series of defections from the practice.

Hammonds has vowed to invest in its pensions business following the departure of London head and pensions star Jay Doraisamy, who becomes the latest in a series of defections from the practice.

The firm promoted Birmingham-based Sarah Franklin and Manchester-based Charmian Johnson to the junior partnership following the loss of two senior pension heads since last October.

Partner Wendy Hunter has now been named London head after Doraisamy defected to Eversheds at the beginning of the month. She joined former Hammonds colleague Terry Saeedi, who moved to the national firm last October (The Lawyer, 13 October).

Doraisamy has advised on a number of high-profile pension issues, including advising Alliance Unichem Group Pension Scheme during the 2006 KKR takeover of Boots.

Hammonds head of pensions Francois Barker said: “The two promotions show it’s a very important and valuable practice for the firm.”

The rebuild comes after Hammonds has developed corporate advisory capabilities in addition to its traditional trustee advisory practice.

The pensions team worked alongside corporate partners James McKay and Mark Robson advising Lucite on its $1bn (£680m) takeover by Macfarlanes client Mitsubishi Rayon (The Lawyer, 13 November 2008).

Hammonds’ trustee client base includes Land Rover, the trustees of which were advised by partners Ian Forrest and Emma King on its 2008 takeover by Indian company Tata Group.

Barker said: “The mix of corporate and trustee advisory work may adapt slightly in the coming years. This will be market dependent. We’ve focused on increasing corporate advisory in recent years and are happy with the shape of the practice.”