Squire Sanders recruits partner duo to restock pensions team

Squire Sanders is bolstering its UK pensions practice with the hire of a partner duo from Pinsent Masons and DLA Piper, with the recruitment coming as it emerged that the law firm saw two employment partners leave its Manchester office last month.

Pinsent Masons partner Anthea Whitton is joining the Leeds office as a partner, while DLA Piper partner Helen Miles is set to join the Birmingham team.

Whitton works with clients including Arran Isle and the trustees of the Communisis Pension Plan, while Miles focuses on corporate transfers, acquisitions and outsourcing arrangements. She also trains pension scheme trustees.

The hires come after the firm last month boosted its Manchester pensions group with the appointment of highly-regarded partner David Griffiths from Eversheds’ local office. However, the transatlantic firm had previously seen a trio of pensions partners leave for Eversheds, led by former practice group head Francois Barker.

Global head of pensions Catherine McKenna (pictured) commented: “We are strongly growing our pensions team, and we want to continue to expand and develop in each UK office and across the global practice. These hires reflect the strength of our existing pensions practice and its potential for further development.”

McKenna said that further partner hires in UK regional offices are unlikely, but said the firm is looking to develop specialisms in London, including investment.

News of the pension hires comes after Manchester employment partners Simon Ost and Dan Bickerstaffe left the firm last month, roughly six months after former Manchester labour and employment head Nick Jones quit in October. None of the trio have yet joined another firm.

The departures leave Squire Sanders with one employment partner in Manchester, Alison Treliving, who transferred to the office from London in January.