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Pensions

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Meet the team

Working closely with our offices across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Australia, Asia, the Middle East and South Africa, our London pensions law team advises on the establishment, structuring, documentation and ongoing governance of all types of UK pension arrangements, as well as providing top-rated skills in supporting regulatory, transactional, investment and contentious work. Our international reach allows us to assist clients on offshore and third country national plans, as well as on multi-jurisdictional corporate transactions.

“They can balance the legal opinion with the commercial realities we are facing.” “They are very good at communicating between their internal teams.” Chambers 2017

Leading global companies and financial institutions rely on our assistance on the pensions aspects of all corporate transactions, particularly those from our key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare.

We are used to working across borders, providing a seamless service from teams hand-picked to meet the specific needs of an individual transaction. The scale of the practice also means we are able to draw on our combined know-how and resources to provide a high level of service to our clients. Where pensions issues become contentious, you will find our dispute resolution lawyers to be innovative and tenacious. We advise on all types of pensions dispute resolution, including complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman, mediations, arbitrations and litigation.

“Norton Rose Fulbright’s “unquestionably excellent” team attracts praise for its “no-nonsense approach” and “thorough and commercial knowledge”. Peter Ford leads the department, which has notable expertise in investment matters, and which includes Lesley Browning, who recently advised the trustees of the MNOPF on the implementation of a longevity swap. Other clients include Lloyds Banking Group and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).” Legal 500 2016

We deliver

  • advice on all legal issues related to the establishment and operation of pension schemes;
  • experience of acting on all types of corporate transactions, as well as dealing with applications for clearance from the Pensions Regulator, pensions due diligence, the negotiation and preparation of contractual provisions, such as warranties and indemnities and advice on dealing with pensions debts, including by way of apportionment and buy-out; and
  • close cooperation with our clients’ actuarial and other advisers, collaborating and communicating effectively to ensure all issues are covered in a manner which avoids duplication of effort and cost.

Our areas of work include

  • advice on all legal aspects of defined benefit arrangements;
  • advice on all legal aspects of defined contribution arrangements;
  • advice on governance, including master trusts;
  • pension scheme documentation;
  • issues relating to the Pensions Regulator;
  • pension scheme mergers;
  • dispute resolution;
  • investment;
  • international pensions;
  • acquisitions and disposals;
  • pensions issues for corporates in distress, including restructuring and advice relating to the Pension Protection Fund.

Our recent work

  • Advising the trustee of the Invensys Pension Scheme on all matters relating to its administration and management including negotiating the contractual terms relating to the outsourcing of its administration, finalising a new trust deed and rules, and implementing a Pensions Increase Exchange.
  • Establishing a master trust for Punter Southall Aspire Ltd including drafting bespoke Master Trust rules, appointing the first trustees, establishing the trustee company (and drafting bespoke articles of incorporation) and advising on legal requirements including charging and governance requirements for Master Trusts.
  • Advising Renishaw plc on the establishment of a new section in the Legal & General Worksave Mastertrust for employees’ future benefits and also putting in place a stand-along life cover scheme.
  • Advising Carlsberg UK Limited on the closure of its defined benefit scheme to future accrual, while preserving the final salary link. Also advising on the transitioning of all members of the defined contribution section to the Blackrock Mastertrust.
  • Advising Colgate-Palmolive (UK) Limited on the closure of its defined benefit scheme to future accrual, drafting clear communications to members and the required deed of amendment.