Hammonds LLP boosts Pensions team with partner and assistant hire

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    Hammonds LLP is expanding its pensions team in London with the appointment of two new lawyers.

    Kris Weber joins the Hammonds team as a partner on 1 May 2010 from Charles Russell LLP, where he was head of their pensions team. Weber joined Charles Russell in 2001 from Stephenson Harwood, and was made a partner in 2003. Stephen Moore, who was Weber's assistant at Charles Russell, joined the Hammonds team last month.

    Weber and Moore formed the majority of a small team at Charles Russell which handled all the firm's pensions work. Weber is well known throughout the pensions industry and is currently serving his third term on the Main Committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers, as well as holding a variety of other industry appointments. His wide-ranging expertise encompasses all aspects of occupational and personal pension schemes, with a particular interest in scheme funding, age and sex discrimination, and the employment aspects of pensions-related matters. Moore was formerly a banking lawyer at CMS Cameron McKenna before joining Charles Russell to specialise in pensions work three years ago.

    Commenting on his appointment, Weber said: "Hammonds has a reputation for its progressive, cutting edge pensions work and I am absolutely delighted to be joining a team with such a tremendous platform for growth. The increasing complexity of pensions law, coupled with the demise of traditional 'final salary' schemes, is resulting in an ongoing concentration of expertise and resource at the top end of the legal market and I am very excited to be joining a firm operating at that level."

    Francois Barker, head of the pensions team at Hammonds, said: "We are delighted that Kris is joining the firm. Our existing team in London, led by partner Wendy Hunter, continues to go from strength to strength attracting significant new business, increasing staff numbers and turnover. Kris will be a welcome addition in supporting the continued growth of our practice. Kris is a skilled pensions lawyer with a track record of good client relationships, and will fit perfectly within our highly successful London team, bringing the total number of London pensions partners to five."

    Hammonds now has 14 UK pensions partners and over 40 other pensions specialists, which makes it one of the largest pure Pensions legal teams in the UK. The firm's pensions client base includes 16 companies listed in the FT Global 500, eight current FTSE 100 listed companies, 11 current FTSE 250 listed companies and 10 Sunday Times Top Track 100 companies, together with charities, unions and other official bodies alongside a variety of governmental organisations and former nationalised industries.

    Recently the firm's pensions team in London advised Capita Pension Trustees Limited on an 'all risks' buy-in transaction. This was a major project covering three pension schemes and involving a total premium of over £130 million. As an all risks buy-in, it provided the company with an immediate and complete discharge from the schemes. In addition, the team advised the trustees of the Liberty International pension scheme on the £61 million buy-out of its pension scheme. Liberty International PLC is one of the UK's largest listed property companies and a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

    In 2008 Hammonds represented the trustees of one of the Sea Containers pension fund schemes in successfully persuading the Pensions Regulator to issue its first ever financial support direction. This transaction was viewed as 'defining the pensions world.'

    For further information contact:

    Nicola Woodmass, Head of Communications, Hammonds LLP, on 0121 222 3690 or email: nicola.woodmass@hammonds.com

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