Eversheds fights to retain Leeds-based pension team

Eversheds has launched an emergency rearguard action to try to lure back the six-strong Leeds pensions team that quit for Pinsent Masons last week.

News of the pensions group’s collective resignation came just days after former pensions head Jacqui Timmins and her colleague Anthea Whitton quit to join Pinsents as partners, as first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (15 March).

While Eversheds is happy to let Timmins and Whitton go, it has flown in HR and pensions head for the North Ronald Graham and Birmingham pensions partner Ingrid Everson to convince six of the associates to stay.

Stephen Hopkins, Eversheds managing partner for the North, said: “We’re determined to retain the entire practice in Leeds. It isn’t a practice that’s going to disappear.”

If the entire team does go to Pinsents, then Eversheds plans to transfer junior capability into Leeds from elsewhere and recruit. Hopkins said pensions clients are also clients in other practice areas and so he is not worried about losing them.

Timmins is set to become head of Pinsents’ expanded pensions team in Leeds, but faces a fight to persuade her team to join her.

Timmins has increased Eversheds’ pensions practice turnover in Leeds fourfold since her move there in 2001. Under her leadership, the group’s turnover has jumped to a projected £1.7m this year.

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