CMS has named Mark Grant as head of pensions as the law firm completes its tripartite merger with Nabarro and Olswang.
Grant takes over the role from Nigel Moore, who is stepping down to become a consultant for the law firm and an independent trustee for a number of schemes.
The firm, now named CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang, has also promoted Caroline Kurup to partner as it expands in practice in light of the merger. Both Grant and Kurup started their new roles on 1 May.
The merger boosted CMS' pensions team by around 25%, with more than 50 lawyers working in the area. The firm said this makes it "the largest full-service pensions law practice in the UK".
Grant said a more complex pensions environment means the team needs to grow.
"We've brought in two strong teams, combining two histories, traditions, knowledge and experiences," he said. "I've heard other pension lawyers say they've had a long hard think about where our profession is going, and they say you'll either have to be big or boutique.
"We are going down the big route and we find it works better for our clients because the work is becoming far more sophisticated."
The unified firm works with trustees or sponsors of a number of large schemes, including CMS' clients - Royal Bank of Scotland, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, and BT - and Nabarro's BAE Systems, Bupa, IBM and ATOS.
"We've hung on to our existing clients, which is really important, and now the bigger schemes are probably reviewing their advisers more frequently than perhaps was the case in the past," Grant added.
"There are more opportunities out there and I expect there will be more opportunities in the month ahead. We're not trying to be bigger for the sake of being bigger; we're being bigger because that means we continue to get the interesting work."
CMS is also expected to benefit from Nabarro's experience working with public sector schemes and the PPF, as well as its clients outside of London. Following the merger, CMS now has offices in London, Sheffield, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Moore said one area of focus for the newly merged firms over the next few years will be the master trust market, particularly as The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is granted authorisation powers.
"It is inevitable that when there is a new business area, a lot of people look to get involved in it," he said. "The growth of master trusts is entirely predictable and understandable.
"There's bound to be some consolidation of master trusts, as some will be more successful than others. We need to be more nimble in that area and stay connected with those involved."
Grant has worked at CMS for 27 years, and also sits on the main committee of the Association of Pensions Lawyers. He also chairs The Pensions Ombudsman's liaison group and represents the trustees of Taylor Wimpey and Heineken.
Kurup joined CMS as a senior associate in 2012, and was previously a senior associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer from 2008 to 2012. Prior to that, she was a solicitor at Freehills from 2006 to 2008.
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