Slaughter and May makes first ever London lateral hire with move for HSF pensions chief

slaughter-may-pic-2_SMALL-1024x825-Article-201608010537 Slaughter and May has made a rare lateral partner hire with the addition of Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) pensions head Daniel Schaffer.

The hire is just the second in the firm’s history – and first in London – after it recruited Hong Kong corporate partner John Moore in 2014 from Morrison & Foerster.

Schaffer joined HSF in 2010 from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he had been a partner since 1998.

He specialises in advising on pensions disputes, with recent work including advising E.ON on its spinoff of Uniper Group and on its UK schemes; Railways Pension Trustee Company on the management of the £25bn scheme; and EPL on coordinating the £30bn Electricity Supply Pension Scheme.

Following Schaffer’s arrival, Slaughters’ pensions and employment practice will comprise five partners and more than 25 lawyers. His start date is yet to be confirmed.

Slaughters senior partner Steve Cooke said: “Dan has an exceptional market reputation and experience in relation to both advisory and transactional work. This, combined with our established leading position in the pensions field, will enhance our service to our existing corporate and trustee clients and further grow our standing and reputation.”

Departures from Slaughters are also rare, though in August 2016, City structured finance partner Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya left to join Latham & Watkins. Other exits include tax partner Graham Iversen, who left the firm in late 2014 to become head of Greenberg Traurig Maher‘s London tax practice, and finance partner Mark Dwyer, who joined DLA Piper in December 2015.

Schaffer’s departure from HSF is the latest in a slew of exits from the firm.

Between March 2016 and the end of December, more than 20 partners left the firm across London and Asia-Pacific – with many opting to join higher-paying US rivals, such as London global energy co-head John Balsdon, who quit for Latham & Watkins in December.