Staff at Paisner & Co have been devastated by news of the tragic accidental death of pensions partner Graham Hoar aged 33, while on holiday.

Hoar, who completed his articles at Paisner & Co in 1988 and was made a partner last year, died in a swimming accident on Monday (Oct 28) while on holiday in Peru. He had arrived in Lima two days earlier and was on a day-trip with a tour group to Santa Maria.

Wading into the sea to thigh depth with three others, a strong undercurrent caught them all. While his three companions managed to make it back to shore, Hoar was swept away.

At the time of going to press a search was being mounted to try to recover his body.

Paisners' pension department head Norman Russell said he, his department and the firm had been devastated by the news. Clients from all over the world had inundated his firm with condolences and tributes.

Hoar was part of a group of young assistant solicitors at the firm who went sailing together and were very close, he said.

“He was a very quiet, very private person who set himself very high standards. He was highly regarded by pensions lawyers because he was not a great self publicist.” But despite his unassuming nature, said Russell, “he was not afraid to give challenging advice”.

Hoar, who was single, was the first lawyer to work in the pensions ombudsman's office, where he was seconded from Paisner for two days a week.

It was thanks to his advice that the ombudsman took on the high-profile Hillsdoen Holdings and the British Airways pensions case.