The pensions team at Midland legal giant Wragge & Co have won a major new client, after being appointed to advise the trustees of the £200 million pensions fund of Grant Thornton.
And the deal is just the latest pensions deal for the Colmore Row firm.
Grant Thornton is one of the best know professional services firms in the world. Its Midlands office is based on Edmund Street, in the heart of Birmingham’s financial district.
The Grant Thornton Pensions Fund is a defined benefit pension scheme with an asset value of £200 million, covering more than 3,000 active, deferred and pensioner members. The Wragge bid for the contract was headed by Birmingham-based partners Richard Black and Glyn Ryland, and associate Joanne Tibbott.
Mr Black said: “We have set out our stall – top quality legal advice provided by lawyers who understand clients’ businesses and come off the fence to give a commercial view. Grant Thornton is an excellent business to have as a client and we look forward to working with the trustees.”
Peter Hems, the chairman of the Grant Thornton pension trustees, said: “We saw a number of potential advisers. What stood out for us was the way in which Wragge & Co work as a team and their pragmatic and commercial approach. We look forward to working together in an increasingly challenging environment for pension schemes.”
The six-partner Wragge pensions team is one of the largest full service pensions practices in the UK, and has been named European Pensions Law Firm of the Year by trade magazines.
The win came just a few weeks after another success for Mr Black and the pensions team. At the start of the month they were appointed to advise the trustee of the £600 million pension scheme for financial giant KPMG.
The two schemes – the KPMG Staff Pension Scheme and the KMG Thomson McLintock Pension Scheme – include more than 12,500 members.
KPMG is one of the largest professional service firms in the world. It employs more than 10,000 staff across its UK operations in areas such as audit, tax and advisory. The team will advise the trustees on the full spectrum of pensions legal advice.
June Grant, a director of the schemes’ independent trustee Aon Trust Corporation Limited, said: “The review formed part of our governance controls and Wragge & Co were up against some serious competition on the day.
“However, we felt that the team, and the approach they put forward, would fit well with the trustee and the requirements of the two schemes. We are very pleased to be working with the Wragge & Co team.”
Other recent wins for the pensions team include advising the Aon Alexander & Alexander UK Pension Scheme, a pension scheme operated by Aon.
Over the past three months, the team has also been appointed to advise the trustees of the £120 million Fujitsu Comparable Pension Scheme and the newly-formed Rheidol 2008 Pension Scheme.