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  1. Pensions
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Burness Paull LLP’s ‘clients can’t find a pension query that the team cannot handle’. The practice advises pension trustees and businesses on acquisitions, pension plan changes, and insolvencies. Sarah Phillips advised the Scottish & Newcastle Pension Scheme on a $2.4bn longevity swap with Aviva. Margaret Meehan and Caroline McIntyre are also recommended. Other clients include Everton Football Club.

Pinsent Masons LLP advises on a range of pensions issues including multi-employer funds, day-to-day management, and scheme restructurings and equalisations. Ian Gordon advises the Trustee of the Rosyth Royal Dockyard Pension Scheme on various issues, while Ruth Tobias advises the Texas Instruments plan on equalisation issues.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘very responsive’ practice advises plans and businesses on matters such as investment duties, regulation, de-risking, benefit changes and data protection. Edwin Mustard and senior associate Richard Jones are advising the Miller Group Limited Pension Scheme on a secured lending facility. Louisa Knox and team head Andrew Holehouse are also recommended.

Brodies LLP advises on scheme transformations and the pensions implications of corporate acquisitions. Clients include the trustees of the Oil & Gas UK Pension Scheme, which Juliet Bayne advised on terminating its defined benefit scheme. Alison Shackleton has retired.

CMS provides ‘appropriate advice with a deep understanding of the complexities’. Work includes advice on personal pension products, scheme terminations and disputes with employees. Alistair Hill heads the team. Clients include Scotia Gas Networks and the University of Glasgow.

DWF stands out for its ‘real understanding of the client’s issues and requirements’. The practice’s expertise covers a range of issues including scheme management changes, restructurings and day-to-day management of plans. The ‘personable and professionalJune Crombie heads the practice, which includes Colin Greig, who advised Transport Scotland on the pensions aspects of the ScotRail refranchising.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP advises on regulatory issues, plan closures and corporate transactions. David Knox advised Ennismore Capital Management on the pension aspects of its purchase of the Gleneagles Hotel. Mark Hamilton is also recommended.

MacRoberts LLP’s team provides ‘concise and comprehensive advice’ on issues such as benefits calculations, scheme closures and disputes with scheme members. Martyn Shaw heads the team, which includes senior associate James Keith, who advised the trustees of the CTS Corporation scheme on its termination.

Anderson Strathern’s senior associate Steven Dunn has a strong practice advising on public sector pension issues and SIPP issues. Highlights included advising the Royal College of Nursing’s members on issues with the interpretation of the scheme regulations.

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Legal Developments in Scotland for Pensions

  • Companies should plan now to minimise their pension protection levy

    The amount that pension schemes have to pay to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for the year 2006/07 may have increased by as much as five times the previous year's levy. Employers who ultimately bear the cost of many pension schemes will need to make plans now to ensure the levy payable for the year 2008/09 is kept to a minimum.
    - Stephenson Harwood

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