Bethan Rowlands

Associate
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

London
United Kingdom
T:+44 20 7444 3526
London
United Kingdom
T:+44 20 7444 3526
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Bethan Rowlands

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Biography

Bethan is a pensions lawyer based in London.

She joined the pensions team at Norton Rose Fulbright in April 2020. She works with a range of trustee and sponsoring employer clients across a variety of industries and sectors on a mixture of advisory work and corporate transactions.

Bethan trained at another law firm, joining the pensions team in September 2016 and qualifying as a pensions associate in September 2017.


Professional experience

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TRUSTEE ADVISORY WORK

Advising on:

  • General pensions issues such as equalization, auto-enrolment, bulk transfers and day-to-day member queries.
  • Trustee training at quarterly meetings concerning recent legal developments.
  • GMP equalization issues and correction exercises.
  • Various liability management exercises for schemes with large deficits, including PIEs, FROs and ETVs, and supporting the trustees of a large multi-section final salary scheme on a pensioner buy-in.
  • Disputes with scheme members including the Pensions Ombudsman resolved by trustees.
  • A number of projects in relation to GDPR compliance.
  • A dispute worth over £400,000m concerning the ability of the employer to exercise purported powers to reduce the rate of increases to pensions under the scheme.
  • The employer's proposal to close the scheme to future accrual.
  • The consequences of an administrative failure resulting in unauthorised payments, scheme sanction charges and member complaints (including liaising with the administrators to reach a settlement, advising on the recovery of overpayments and how to prevent these errors going forwards).
  • DB-DC bulk transfers without consent and on transfers to master trusts.
  • The authorisation of master trusts.
  • The restructuring of benefits ranging from pension scheme closure through to introducing new benefit categories and schemes.
  • Contracts with various advisers.


EMPLOYER ADVISORY WORK

Advising:

  • A major international company in the travel industry on a potential dispute with the trustee of the pension scheme, including advice on the company's discussions with the trustee and the Pensions Regulator on the economic impact of COVID-19 on the sponsoring employer's covenant and the potential mitigation options available. In particular, advising on the Pensions Regulator's moral hazard powers, information gathering powers and powers to impose a valuation.
  • A large international company in the food industry on a corporate restructuring and the potential impact on existing pension schemes.


TRANSACTIONAL WORK

Assisting:

  • An international professional services company with pensions issues related to the acquisition of several UK businesses with many international subsidiaries.
  • An asset management company with pensions issues in the acquisition of a UK business with several international subsidiaries.
  • An investment company in respect of pensions issues with the acquisition of a UK business.
  • Public sector bodies and private sector contractors with public service pensions issues, including new Fair Deal. 
  • Association of Pension Lawyers