Dan Schaffer, who has been a Freshfields partner since 1998, joins Herbert Smith’s three-partner practice, which is led by Ian Gault.
Schaffer’s practice focuses on corporate advisory and transactional work and he also advises the trustees of pension schemes.
In a statement Gault said Schaffer’s hire marks a “significant step change” in the development of the practice.
“He’s a proven rainmaker with commercial and technical expertise of the highest order and a strong focus on anticipated growth areas such as pensions litigation that mirror our own,” he added..
“With Dan’s strengths, partners of the calibre of Alison [Brown] and Roderick [Morton] and the bench strength of our associates, I’m confident that Herbert Smith’s position as a market leading pensions practice will be re-enforced over the next few years.”
Last year the practice was involved in the Herbert Smith team that advised Ernst & Young on the administration of the European businesses of Canadian telephone manufacturer Nortel Networks. It was understood that the annual cost of funding the company’s massive pension fund deficit had proved crippling to the business (19 January 2009).