New recruit crowns record year for Pensions team | 31 July 07

The fast-growing pensions team at law firm Ward Hadaway has taken on another new recruit after enjoying its best ever year.

Pensions lawyer Martin Woodford, who has substantial experience in litigation and contentious work, joins the department from fellow Newcastle-based law firm Watson Burton.

The recruitment of the 33-year-old comes as Ward Hadaway’s pensions team has seen turnover double during the past year.

The team has chalked up a number of notable client wins, including a national health charity and advice to several international companies on obligations to the pensions regulator.

It has rapidly grown from a one-man operation in 2005 to its current five-strong unit with the prospect of further posts being created in the near future.

Mr Woodford said Ward Hadaway’s burgeoning reputation in the pensions field had been one of the main reasons for joining the firm.

He explained: “I saw it as a great opportunity to join a fast-growing team with an excellent reputation at an exciting time for Ward Hadaway.

“I am looking forward to making a significant contribution to the continuing success of the pensions team and the firm as a whole.”

Tushar Bhate, head of pensions at Ward Hadaway, said: “We are really pleased that Martin has come on board. He brings a valuable new area of expertise to assist our clients with regulatory and contentious matters and his appointment increases the strength in depth of the team thanks to his strong litigation background.

“The pensions team at Ward Hadaway continues to expand and we are hoping to recruit another member later this year.”

Earlier this month, Ward Hadaway won a place on a national panel to provide pensions advice to a range of public sector organisations., an executive agency of the Office of Government Commerce in HM Treasury, appointed the firm after a competitive procurement process which saw 32 firms tender for a place on the panel.

Ward Hadaway is one of seven firms appearing on the Employment and Pensions category of the Legal Services framework agreement, which means public sector organisations – ranging from local authorities to central government – can ask it for legal advice on both pensions and employment issues.