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Eversheds has lost one of the UK's leading pensions partners to Yorkshire-based private client law firm Wrigleys.
Raymond Ainscoe has joined two other partners in the pensions department, where he will cover a mixture of private client and pensions work. He will concentrate on giving independent advice to pension scheme trustees.
Wrigleys senior partner Ann Duchart says: "I am delighted that Raymond has joined us. He is recognised as one of the UK's most able lawyers in the pensions area.
"His appointment will help us to develop as a niche practice that can advise firms when conflicts arise or when independent representation is needed, without competing with them on transactional pensions work."
The move follows the departure of the private client team at Eversheds' Leeds office, led by Peter Chadwick together with three assistants which joined Wrigleys late last year.
The team jumped ship when Eversheds made the decision to focus the office on corporate and commercial work.
Wrigleys was formed in May 1996, when Dibb Lupton Alsop demerged its private client practice.
At the time, senior partner Matthew Wrigley said: "It was recognised that a successful private client practice had different priorities from a progressive commercial law firm. Wrigleys will be able to concentrate on the personal service, which we believe private clients want." (The Lawyer, 13 May 1996.)
Wrigleys has continued to grow. In July 1998, Hammond Suddards private client partner Richard Archer joined the firm. A month later, five private client fee-earners followed him.
In August this year, Wrigleys merged with niche charity specialist Malcolm Lynch. It now has 10 partners working in offices in Sheffield and Leeds.
Ainscoe refused to comment while Eversheds was unavailable for comment.