Slaughter and May has made its first ever lateral hire in London, taking on Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) head of pensions Daniel Schaffer.

This is the first ever lateral addition for the firm in London and the second across its network, after hiring Morrison & Foerster’s (MoFo) co-head of China capital markets John Moore three years ago.

Prior to joining Slaughter and May, Schaffer worked at HSF for seven years as head of pensions.

Schaffer, who is joining the pensions team, has almost 20 years’ experience advising on all aspects of pensions law, with a particular focus on strategic advisory and transactional work.

Slaughter and May senior partner Steve Cooke said that the hire will “enhance” the firm’s service to existing corporate and trustee clients.

He said: “We are delighted to welcome Dan to the firm. He has an exceptional market reputation and experience in relation to both advisory and transactional work.”

Schaffer is joining the firm’s four partners in the London pensions practice, led by Jonathan Fenn.

A source close to the firm has said that it plans to continue to grow the 25-lawyer pensions and employment team organically.

Last year, the firm made up one partner to the pensions practice of a cohort of ten.

He was also a former chairman of the Association of Pension Lawyers’ International Committee and a member of the Association’s Legislative and Parliamentary Committee.

The hire follows a successful first quarter for the firm advising Tata Steel on the sale of its South Yorkshire steelworks business for £100m to Liberty House alongside Clyde & Co.