UK- Law firm Norton Rose has established a new dedicated pensions litigation unit in response to increased disputes and regulation within the industry. The new pensions unit forms part of a wider team in the firm's litigation department focusing on pensions, insurance and reinsurance and financial services regulatory work and related cases.

Pensions litigation partner Peter Hardy said: "the increased powers of the Financial Services Authority and the ever increasing regulation of the financial services and insurance industries, all of which affect the pensions industry, have emphasised the need for specialist litigation expertise in connection with pensions related disputes and regulation."

Pensions partner Lesley Browning says recent high profile cases such as the Equitable Life debacle and the continuing calls for reform have brought pensions issues to the forefront of the minds of policyholders, employers and pensions fund trustees and insurers.

"The new structured litigation team will make it easier for the pensions and litigation teams to work together to ensure that our clients receive a quality service in relation to all aspects of their pensions matters, be they contentious, non contentious or regulatory."

Norton Rose has been involved in a number of important pensions-related disputes. It acted for the successful policyholder in the Equitable Life test case and advised the Financial Services Authority on its inquiry into its regulation of Equitable Life.

It also acted last year for representative defendant, Ronald Taber, in his successful battle with Needler Financial Services in a highly publicised test case to clarify the effect of demutualisation benefits on the calculation of compensation for pensions mis-selling.