Linklaters has launched a 10-lawyer strong pensions litigation group in a drive to resolve disputes early on.
The group is led by partner Mark Blyth and will focus on Pensions Ombudsman complaints and pensions disputes, including professional negligence and non-hostile litigation brought by trustees.
Blyth said although more cases were going before the ombudsman and the courts, “it is rarely in anyone's interests for cases to get that far”.
“The primary aim of the group is to ensure that that does not happen,” he said.
“There will, of course, always be cases where litigation is inevitable, and in those circumstances we operate to achieve the best result and keep time spent on litigation to an absolute minimum.”
Lovell White Durrant and Nabarro Nathanson have had such a group for 12 years.
Lovells partner Jane Samsworth said Linklaters' move was a logical one.
“The Association of Pensions Lawyers has recently opened up its membership to litigators because it has recognised that trustees and employers also need access to litigators in the wider sense.
“Any firm which has a well-developed pensions practice also needs to have those litigation skills.”
Guy Brannan is to succeed Tony Angel as head of the tax practice at Linklaters when Angel takes the helm from Terence Kyle in November as the firm's new managing partner. Brennan became a partner at the firm in 1987.