Pensions
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Pensions

Our large team has the experience to help you address your current and future pension needs. Whether you are an employer, trustee or pensions professional, our focus is on providing clear advice. Our size, experience, knowledge and skills mean we can advise you on a broad range of pension issues – from the day-to-day to the unusual.
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We have provided specialist pensions advice for over 30 years.

Our pensions team is one of the largest City-based pensions teams advising both pension scheme trustees and sponsors. We provide "full service" pensions legal advice and not simply a "corporate support" service. The typical services we provide include:

  • preparing various governing and amending scheme documentation, using our own precedent documents to ensure we provide a cost-effective service to our clients
  • advising on questions of interpretation of scheme documents, what benefits the rules provide and what formalities are required for different decisions
  • negotiating contracts with service providers, including scheme administrators, investment management and bulk annuity documentation, and advising on any disputes that arise
  • dealing with member benefit queries and disputes, from informal queries through to complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman
  • preparing policy documents, ensuring consistency in on particular issues
  • resolving issues with historic documentation
  • clearance applications and liaison with the Pensions Regulator
  • restructuring and insolvency solutions
  • advising on corporate acquisitions, disposals, mergers, demergers and reorganisations on pension schemes
  • providing mediation services to the pensions industry.

Our pensions expertise stretches across the firm, and we have dedicated specialists to assist in all pensions related issues.

Visit our pensions hub

"They provide exactly what we need in a timely manner; they give great advice and assistance throughout."
Chambers UK 2019

Trustees of the Barnardo Staff Pension Scheme, Construction of RPI

Advised the trustees on a claim for construction of the definition of "Retail Prices Index" in the scheme rules (Miles Buckinghamshire and others v Barnardo's and others [2015]).

Pension fund claim against global fund manager

Advising the trustee board of a multi-billion pound pension fund in relation to a multi-million pound claim against one of the world's largest fund managers for negligence and breach of investment mandate.

Pension scheme dispute

Acting for a financial institution in defending claims in a complex multi-party dispute in respect of a pension scheme.

Impact of company sale on pensions

Advised the trustee of a multi-national healthcare company on the potential debt arising in relation to its pension plan as a result of a sale and the management/reduction of that debt.

Bulk annuity purchase

Advising the Jardine Lloyd Thompson pension scheme trustees on purchasing a series of bulk annuity policies from the Prudential covering approximately £210 million of liabilities in aggregate.

PLC internal reorganisation

Advising on the pensions aspect of an internal re-organisation involving the triggering of debts on employers due to the pension fund and negotiating parent guarantees to the pension fund.

Board of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), change in levy calculation

Advised in relation to a unique and multi-disciplined project changing the calculation of the PPF levy.

Our pensions expertise stretches across the firm, and we have dedicated specialists to assist:

Private wealth

Advise on legal and tax issues affecting offshore pensions, in particular occupational schemes created by employers for non-domiciled employees, known as IPPs. In addition, we advise on all aspects of QROPS, acting for both trustees and the members.

Regulatory compliance

Advise on investment management/advisory agreements and related regulatory issues, including the custody/client money rules. Our Regulatory Compliance and Litigation teams work closely to assist clients in their interactions with the FCA, from initial queries from the regulator through to section 166 skilled persons reports and contentious enforcement actions.

Real Estate

Act on behalf of pension funds for all aspects of real estate investment, development and management including a number of funds that are managed by LaSalle Investment Management.

Lawyer

Helena Berman Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2196
M:  Email Helena | Vcard Office:  London

Lawyer

Philip Goodchild Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2166
M:  +44 7825 384 004 Email Philip | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

23 May 2022

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - May 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

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11 May 2022

From Insights

Has the scope for ESG investments by pension schemes widened?

A recent case (Butler-Sloss and others v Charity Commission for England and Wales) has been handed down where the court has permitted the trustees of two charities to ..

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29 Apr 2022

From Insights

Pensions podcasts

The Stephenson Harwood pensions podcasts provide an overview of key legal developments relating to occupational pension scheme and how they impact scheme members, trus..

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25 Apr 2022

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - April 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

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28 Mar 2022

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - March 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

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25 Jan 2022

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - January 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

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30 Nov 2021

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - November 2021

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

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21 Oct 2021

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - October 2021

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

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23 Sep 2021

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - September 2021

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

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16 Sep 2021

From Insights

DWP consultation on improving the notifiable events regime - increasing the powers of TPR through regulations

The DWP has launched a consultation on strengthening the powers of TPR in relation to defined benefit pension schemes by improving the scope of the notifiable events r..

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16 Jul 2021

From Insights

The Pensions Regulator's consultation on a new code for Contribution Notices

Writing for the Financial Times' Pensions Expert, senior associate Chris Edwards-Earl discusses the Pensions Regulator's consultation on a new code for Contribution No..

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16 Jun 2021

From Insights

Why standstill agreements matter for pensions schemes

In a piece first published by Professional Pensions, senior associate Chris Edwards-Earl and partner Helena Berman look at the judgment in Kingsley Napley LLP v Harris..

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20 Apr 2021

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - April 2021

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

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31 Mar 2021

From Insights

DWP’s consultation on regulations under PSA 2021 strengthening TPR’s powers

Chris Edwards-Earl comments that under the recently enacted Pension Schemes Act 2021 (PSA 2021), the powers of the Pensions Regulator (TPR) were clarified and expanded..

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17 Mar 2021

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - March 2021

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

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09 Feb 2021

From Insights

In conversation: Transfer to master trust

This is an important conversation for anyone involved with a workplace DC pension scheme.

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© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.