Three new partner promotions in Sheffield and boost to Leeds pension team for DLA Piper

Three DLA Piper lawyers have been promoted to partnership in the firm’s Sheffield office, while the firm’s Leeds office has seen its pension team boosted by two new arrivals.

In Sheffield, Mark Keeling (pictured, left), who has been with the firm since 1999, joins the partnership from legal director in the real estate practice. Amanda Pilkington (pictured, centre) from the IPT practice, joined the firm in September 2005 and is promoted from legal director. David Beech (pictured, right) is promoted to partner from senior associate and has been with the firm’s corporate practice since August 2005.

In Leeds, Andrew McIlhinney has been promoted to partner and will relocate to the firm’s Leeds practice from Liverpool. Joining him in Leeds will be Simon Evans, who comes to DLA Piper as legal director from Eversheds.

McIlhinney joined DLA Piper in 2003 and to date has worked alongside UK head of pensions Ben Miller in the Liverpool office. He has extensive experience of advising both trustees and sponsoring employers of occupational pension schemes on issues such as scheme closures, benefit re-design, liability management and corporate transactions. Evans qualified as a solicitor in 2000 and has considerable experience advising businesses and the trustees of their pensions schemes on a wide range of pensions-related matters.

Petra Billing, DLA Piper’s Sheffield office managing partner, said that the three partner promotions at the office demonstrated its importance to the firm.

“We are absolutely delighted that these three very talented lawyers have been deservedly promoted to the partnership demonstrating the importance of the Sheffield office to the success of our firm around the world and supporting our strategy for growth,” said Billing.

“Securing such capable practitioners reinforces our vision to become the world’s leading business law firm and allows us to provide the best possible service to our clients wherever they do business. We wish them all the very best in their future with the firm.”

Speaking about the new arrivals in the Leeds office, Miller said: “This is a significant boost to our UK pensions practice. Andrew is a highly respected lawyer who combines technical ability with commercial awareness, and I am delighted that he will be carrying on the strong pensions practice in Leeds. He and Simon will be bringing their extensive experience to bear for the benefit of our clients in Leeds and further afield.”

The recent promotions in Yorkshire are part of a wider round of appointments. 46 lawyers have been promoted to partnership, with nine of them based in the UK.