McKennas sets up East European pensions unit

Cameron McKenna has launched its first joint major international initiative since its merger with the creation of a pensions and employee benefit practice to deal with central & eastern Europe.

The new unit will be made up of five lawyers who will operate across Cameron McKenna's six central and eastern European offices.

It has been created in anticipation of the introduction of major changes to pension law in Poland and Hungary.

Before the merger between McKenna & Co and Cameron Markby Hewitt took place on 1 May this year, lawyers at McKenna & Co advised the Hungarian government on regulation of its new legislation and helped to draft Polish pension law.

The laws make contributions to private pension funds man-datory for large sections of the population.

It is estimated that in Poland alone, where the new legislation is imminent, contributions for the first year will be approximately US$2bn.

The new unit will be led by Iain Batty, who was appointed a partner in the Warsaw firm Cameron McKenna Sp. Z.o.o in May.

He said: “This new legislation can be described as radical. No country in the EU has adopted it yet. John Major proposed it in the UK but then he lost the election.”

Batty said the firm had been plugging away for years advising the governments on the legislative side and now it was poised to reap the rewards from the private sector.