Osborne Clarke adds five-strong pensions team from BDB Pitmans

Team is led by partners David Hosford and Chris Netiatis as Pitmans exits pensions
Headshots of David Hosford and Chris Netiatis

David Hosford (l) and Chris Netiatis Images courtesy of Osborne Clarke

Top 30 UK firm Osborne Clarke has hired a five-strong pensions team from BDB Pitmans to strengthen its pensions coverage.

The new hires – which include two partners and three lawyers – expand the firm’s pensions lawyer headcount to 20. David Hosford and Chris Netiatis join as partners, alongside legal director Lee Colgate and senior associates Catriona Darnell and Sarah Miller. The move comes as BDB Pitmans shutters its pensions practice, just a little over three years since Pitmans Law merged with Bircham Dyson Bell.

Jonathan Hazlett, head of pensions at Osborne Clarke, said: “David, Chris and their team will add substantially to the size and expertise of our existing team here at Osborne Clarke and will allow us to better service our national and international clients and help them respond to the challenges, opportunities and transformation drivers that the pensions industry currently faces.”

Hosford, who was previously head of pensions at Pitmans, brings with him more than 25 years of experience in the pensions advisory space, having spent the last two decades at Pitmans. Netiatis had been at Pitmans since 2004, joining from Mercer where he was a legal consultant. Both Hosford and Netiatis will be based in Osborne Clarke’s Reading office.

Hosford said: “We built our pensions practice at Pitmans and latterly BDB Pitmans with a dedication to excellent client service and value, and a focus on providing clear and robust advice that works in the real world. It has become increasingly clear that we need greater scale to be able to meet our goals and continue to develop the services we provide.”

He added that his team considered opportunities with a number of firms before opting for Osborne Clarke, which he says shares the team’s focus and values.

Colgate reunited with Hosford and Netiatis at BDB Pitmans post-merger in 2019, joining from Charles Russell Speechlys where he spent more than six years as a senior associate. He previously worked at Pitmans between 2007 and 2012.

Darnell joined BDB Pitmans in 2020 after almost eight years at Norton Rose Fulbright, where she started as a trainee. Miller also joined BDB Pitmans in 2020, arriving from Arc Pensions Law, having also worked at legacy firm Nabarro before that. Colgate, Darnell and Miller will all be based in London.

Osborne Clarke has also looked to boost its energy and utilities offering in London recently, adding a three-partner team from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in March that included sector veteran John Deacon. 

The same month the firm hired 30 lawyers from local practices to launch an office in Warsaw, its first physical base in Central and Eastern European. 

Going the other way, in February the firm lost the managing partner of its Silicon Valley office, Emily Jones, to city rival Simmons & Simmons for the latter’s launch of its first office in the Bay Area

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