Hammonds wins new pension client in Birmingham

Hammonds pensions team has won a new instruction from engineering company IMI, adding to a wave of high-profile instructions for the practice group.

The firm will advise the trustees of the company’s pension fund on issues affecting its members and assets. The scheme has almost 20,000 members and around £1bn in assets.

Partners in the firm’s Birmingham office won the work after coming head-to-head with Wragge & Co and Mayer Brown in a formal pitch process. The team acting for the scheme is being led by office practice head Francois Barker and partner Ian Forrest with assistance from senior associate Georgina Rankin and associate Wendy Eyre.

The news comes as the department embarks on a period of growth. Senior associate Kevin Burge joined from Eversheds this month to work on corporate-related pensions issues.

The IHI deal comes hot on the tail of key instructions for the pensions team, including advising the trustees of one of Sea Containers’ pension schemes when the Pensions Regulator has ruled that Sea Containers should be subject to a financial support direction (www.thelawyer.com, 16 July 2007). It was the first time the regulator had used its powers to do this.

Other wins include the Focus pension scheme, the Do IT All pension plan, advice to the trustees of the pension schemes sponsored by Veolia and an number Cadbury pension arrangements.