I have particular expertise in advising on scheme benefit changes and on the employer debt implications of corporate transactions. I am also experienced in advising clients in relation to the actual or threatened exercise of the Pensions Regulator's moral hazard and scheme funding powers. I advise on the legal aspects of pensions de-risking, including enhanced transfer values, early retirement programs, buy-ins and buy-outs and transfers to master trusts. I have extensive experience of advising in relation to annual and lifetime allowance legislation, including enhanced, primary, fixed and individual protection, the unauthorised payments legislation and defined contribution freedoms.
I combine close attention to the detail of pensions law with an ability to identify practical and commercial solutions and to communicate clear advice to clients. Chambers Legal Directory describes me as a "very practical and solutions-focussed" lawyer and Legal 500 Directory says that I am "very responsive, practical and above all realistic".
I have advised the trustees and sponsoring employers of defined benefit pension schemes in the manufacturing, chemicals and retail sectors for several decades. I have advised the trustee of a sector-wide higher education hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution pension scheme for approximately 20 years.
For a sector-wide higher education hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution pension scheme, I have rewritten their very complex and voluminous previous scheme rules to produce user-friendly new scheme rules in plain English. I have subsequently drafted further editions of the scheme rules to reflect two rounds of significant and complex benefit changes. This enabled the trustee to apply the scheme rules more readily in future and effected the required cost reductions for the future sustainability of the scheme.
I am a regular speaker at the Manchester Groups of the Pensions Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) and the Pensions Management Institute (PMI). I am a frequent contributor to pensions and trade publications on pensions issues. I commented on the pensions aspects of the Government's 2023 Spring Budget and 2023 Autumn Statement. I have provided legal training to several professional pension trustees and actuarial firms and presented seminars and webinars on trustees' and employers' duties in relation to the distribution of DB scheme surplus and on the advantages and disadvantages of buying in and buying out as compared with running on a DB scheme as a closed scheme.
What others say…
Very practical and solutions-focussed
Very responsive, practical and above all realistic