Led from Cardiff by Ron Burgess and also forming part of a cohesive cross-office team throughout the UK, Blake Morgan LLP's 'friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable' pensions team provides 'pragmatic' advice to employers and trustees across a range of advisory work, as well as in the context of corporate transactions. As part of her wide-ranging offering which includes pensions advice pursuant to outsourcing transactions, the 'superb' Gillian McCue has a particular strength advising public/third sector on contentious and non-contentious matters.
Pensions in Wales
Other key lawyers:
‘Able to translate and communicate legal technicalities into ways that trustees can understand, guiding us to reach the right decision.’
‘The team is friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.’
‘They provide pragmatic advice.’
‘Gillian McCue is one of my go tos for pensions input when this is required. As such, I have worked closely with Gillian on a number of transactions. In addition to her technical expertise which is second to none, I have always found her advice and input to be pragmatic, on point and directive which resonates well with both me and the wider team including the client.’
Reading Borough Council
Cardiff Metropolitan University
BSN Social Care Limited
Michael Weinig (UK) Limited 1990 Pension Scheme
Aberystwyth University Pension Scheme
University of South Wales
- Providing transactional advice to Reading Borough Council in the delivery of a leisure centre upgrade programme since 2019.
- Advising a private school on removal of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and the independent schools pension scheme.
- Advising on staff transfers involving HM Treasury’s Fair Deal guidance.
'The depth of knowledge and insight provided' by Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is 'outstanding' and runs the gamut from pensions advice pursuant to corporate transactions (including scheme mergers), advice on risk management strategies and guidance on Mastertrust-related matters. The office regularly leads on high-profile mandates, including as it relates to SIPP and SSAS arrangements but is also an integral part of the firm's UK-wide cross-office offering. Team head Stuart Earle 'provides practical and easy to understand advice' to both trustees and employees and includes a considerable focus on work relating to the growing prevalence of multi-employer occupational pension schemes. Senior associate Collette Davies is also recommended and has a particular focus on public sector-related matters. Check para
‘They take the trouble to listen to and understand our requirements, and then tailor their approach to satisfy those requirements.’
‘The depth of knowledge and insight provided by the Cardiff team is outstanding.’
‘Stuart Earle provides practical and easy to understand advice. He doesn’t simply quote law to us, he explains options and potential outcomes.’
‘Stuart Earle provides exceptional quality advice which is delivered in context of audience and situation.’
National Grid plc
Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water
Trustee of the SSE Southern Group of the ESPS
People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals Retirement BenefitsPlan
Robert Bosch Limited
Microsoft/Trustee of the Nokia Group Pension Scheme
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
On the non-contentious front, Hugh James regularly provides pensions support to corporate matters handled by the firm, as well as a significant amount of standalone mandates, including advice on issues such as changing benefits termination of accrual and auto enrolment. 'Very bright and focused' employment head Louise Price takes the lead on most of this work and is 'particularly good in relation to public sector pensions matters and TUPE issues'. The firm also handles a considerable amount of pensions litigation within the broader commercial litigation group, including as joint lead solicitors for claimants in a long-running group action relating to alleged financial mis-selling regarding unsuitable investments within a SIPP wrapper.
‘The pensions team is still in development, but offers excellent vale for money. It is particularly strong in relation to pensions matters in the public sector.’
‘A very knowledgeable team who have been able to provide us with in-depth advice on some quite complicated pension issues relating to local government pensions schemes, contractual requirements around these and the implications for our business arising from TUPE Service Provision Transfers.’
‘The approachable and knowledgeable team is exceptional at making a complex subject understandable.’
‘Louise Price – very bright and client-focused. Particularly good in relation to public sector pensions matters and TUPE issues.’
Transport for Wales
Cynon Taf Housing Association
Coastal Housing Group
National Library of Wales
Denbighshire County Council
Ceredigion Recycling and Furniture Team (CRAFT)
Swansea County Council
Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association
- Successfully represented CRAFT, instructed by its current directors Sharon and Scott Thomas, at the original trial. One of the Defendants, Mr Derek Clifford Pope, sought permission first from the High Court and then from the Court of Appeal to bring an appeal against that decision. Both courts declined, finding there was no real prospect of an appeal succeeding.
- Continuing to represent claimants in group litigation alleging that they had been persuaded by an unregulated entity to transfer their personal or occupational pension scheme into a Self-invested Personal Pension in order to invest in a high-risk non-standard investment.
- Provision of independent financial advice from specialised team to provide holistic service to private and corporate clients and can manage group schemes dovetailing with employment law needs.