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.

"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

Mark Catchpole Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2059
M:  +44 7767 624 975 Email Mark | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

09 Apr 2019

From Insights

What trustees and sponsors need to know from recent case law

The courts have offered essential guidance to sponsors and trustees in a number of cases over the past 12 months. This briefing discusses some of the most 'need to kno..

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02 Apr 2019

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - April 2019

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

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19 Mar 2019

From Insights

Dividends, recovery plans and long-term funding targets

Trustees and sponsors of defined benefit pension schemes should be aware of the annual funding statement issued by the Pensions Regulator in March 2019.

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07 Mar 2019

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - March 2019

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

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13 Feb 2019

From Insights

Watch out, watch out – the Regulator's about

Sponsors must now, more than ever, ensure that they keep their defined benefit pension schemes at the forefront of their minds - particularly when embarking on corpora..

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04 Feb 2019

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - February 2019

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

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23 Jan 2019

From Insights

A practical guide to GMP equalisation – the story so far

There are some key issues relating to guaranteed minimum pensions (GMP) equalisation that trustees should be aware of.

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16 Jan 2019

From Insights

Pensions in 2019 - our top six

2019 promises to be another busy year for the pensions sector. This briefing picks out six topics that will be of interest to employers and trustees in the coming mont..

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14 Jan 2019

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - January 2019

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

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09 Jan 2019

From Insights

Court gives important guidance on justifying pension provisions which are potentially discriminatory

The Court of Appeal handed down a decision on 20 December 2018 declaring the government's transitional arrangements in respect of judicial and firefighter pension sche..

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10 Dec 2018

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - December 2018

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

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05 Dec 2018

From Insights

Indexation under the BT Pension Scheme: the Court of Appeal's decision

The Court of Appeal has handed down its decision in the most recent instalment in the case law determining when pension schemes can switch indices for the purposes of ..

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23 Nov 2018

From Insights

Moving to a Master Trust

In the last five years, there has been an enormous growth in master trusts. They now house over 10 million employees

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13 Nov 2018

From Insights

Barnardo's indexation case: Supreme Court adds another piece to the jigsaw

The Supreme Court has given judgment on the next instalment in the case law determining when pension schemes can switch indices for the purposes of revaluation and ind..

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07 Nov 2018

From News

Stephenson Harwood secures Supreme Court clarification for trustees of Barnardo's staff pension scheme

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has advised the trustees of Barnardo's staff pension scheme on a long-running legal process, culminating in a Supreme Court decision.

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06 Nov 2018

From Insights

Pensions snapshot - November 2018

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

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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.