Penningtons Solicitors LLP has recruited partner Maria Riccio and associate Rupert Graham-Evans to lead its newly established pensions law team. Working between the firm’s Hampshire and London offices, they will also support Penningtons' regional offices across Cambridge and the South East, advising clients in the UK and internationally.
Maria and Rupert join from Bond Pearce in Southampton where they headed the pensions capability. Both lawyers have experience in all types of UK based pension and life assurance arrangements, including defined benefit, defined contribution and hybrid occupational pension schemes in the private sector and statutory schemes in the public sector. Serving a broad client base, they represent employers, charities, pension trustees and intermediaries. Although their practice primarily has a non-contentious focus, Maria and Rupert are also experienced in contentious pensions work and have been involved in several significant High Court cases. They are members of the Association of Pension Lawyers (APL).
Maria has been listed in band 1 for pensions law advice by the latest edition of Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession which describes her as 'knowledgeable, friendly, efficient and reliable' and praises her thorough approach. Chambers 2013 also highlights Rupert's ability 'to deliver projects promptly and professionally', listing him as 'an associate to watch'. With over eight years' experience, he benefited earlier in his career from a year's secondment with the Pension Protection Fund.
Recent instructions of note for the team have included acting for a major defence company on the closure of its defined benefit pension scheme, advising a leading retailer on a merger of its three defined benefit schemes and the high profile Foster Wheeler equalisation case.
Franco Bosi, head of Penningtons' Business Services Division, expects the new pensions team to establish a strong profile in its own right while also providing a valuable resource to existing Penningtons practice area and sector teams. He said: "I'm delighted that Maria and Rupert have joined us. They have established an impressive track record in their field and will be an invaluable addition to our business services offering, extending the range of expertise provided by our employment, corporate and private client groups as well as introducing a new specialism to our social housing and education sector practices."