Its specialist Property in Pensions team will provide legal services to Barnett Waddingham, which manages assets worth over £1.33 billion for 3,500 SIPPs; James Hay Partnership, one of the UK’s largest SIPP providers managing over £19 billion of pension and investment savings; and Glasgow-based SIPP administrators, @sipp.
Morton Fraser has now secured panel appointments with five UK pension providers in the last six months, reaffirming its position as Scotland’s leading provider of property in pensions legal advice. It had previously been appointed as legal adviser to Carlisle-based InvestAcc and Xafinity SIPP, based in Stirling.
Morton Fraser’s dedicated Property in Pensions Team has doubled its income for the firm in just three years, and is the only Scottish independent law firm member of the Association of Member Directed Pension Schemes. It is the largest team of its kind in Scotland.
Fergus McDiarmid, Partner and Property in Pensions Team Lead at Morton Fraser, said: “The priorities and requirements of the SIPP industry have shifted in recent years. There is now far greater emphasis on specific and consistent property in pensions legal expertise. We anticipate that demand to fuel further growth in our team as more and more SIPP providers refine and improve their offerings with expertise like ours.
“This is particularly prevalent given the results of the recent Brexit vote and the uncertainty which it brings to many industries. It is therefore pleasing that despite this, the demand for our work for property in pensions continues to grow.”
According to Morton Fraser, changes in the SIPP market mirror those seen in employment law 15 years ago, when generalist legal roles were usurped by specialists as the industry became increasingly professional.
Fergus McDiarmid added: ““Pension providers are seeking more and more control over all aspects of fund management – particularly those investing in property, who have to manage risk on a daily basis. We help the industry and its members to navigate the commercial real estate market with clarity and commercial judgement.”