Rowe & Maw entices Clifford Chance man to fill pensions gap

Rowe & Maw has taken a senior lawyer from Clifford Chance for its pensions department to replace a partner who has left for Shoosmiths.

Clifford Chance senior associate Paul Rowell is joining the expanding pensions team as a partner today.

Rowe & Maw pensions partner David Thompson joined Shoosmiths’ Banbury office after he moved to the Oxfordshire town.

Jill Lehman, Shoosmiths’ head of pensions, says: “He will be joining as an associate in the first instance.

“People don’t come in at partner level unless they join as head of department.”

Andrew White, who co-heads Rowe & Maw’s pensions group with senior partner Stuart James, says: “We were faced with a situation where we needed to replace a partner.

“We lost one at a time when we needed more rather than fewer partners.

“There is a lot of pensions work around. Whenever we calm down, the Government changes the law again.”

White says 8 to 10 per cent of the firm’s total turnover is generated by pensions work.

The firm advises employers or trustees of large occupational pensions scheme.

Its big-name clients include British Steel, London Regional Transport, P&O, Nestle, Reed Elsevier and Prudential Corporation.

White, who spearheads the group’s personnel recruitment as part of his administrative remit, says: “There is a considerable shortage of good quality people with drive and initiative.”

Rowell is understood to have decided to quit Clifford Chance as he wished to become a partner.

Rowe & Maw has a two tier system of equity and fixed share equity partners – the level at which Rowell will join. Clifford Chance only has full equity partners.

A Clifford Chance spokesman says: “We wish him all the best. We have no further comment.”