Pensions in Wales

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP is particularly accomplished at handling pensions matters for public sector clients, including housing associations, local and central government and universities. On the private sector front, in addition to providing pension-related advice on corporate transactions handled by the firm, it also regularly provides discrete pensions advice for scheme trustees and employers. Team head Gillian McCue  was recently promoted to senior associate in recognition of her strong practice in the area.

Practice head(s):

Gillian McCue

Other key lawyers:

Ron Burgess

Testimonials

‘Very helpful and supportive.’

‘The firm has an in-depth knowledge of pensions schemes and legislation.’

‘Very experienced in drafting consultation documentation ensuring full compliance with legislative requirements.’

Key clients

UNIVERSITY OF WALES SUPERANNUATION SCHEME

MICHAEL WEINIG (UK) PENSION AND ASSURANCE SCHEME

MILFORD HAVEN PORT AUTHORITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS SCHEME

SWANSEA UNIVERSITY PENSION SCHEME

ABERYSTWTH UNIVERSITY PENSION SCHEME

NHS ENGLAND

WELSH GOVERNMENT

PERSONNEL HYGIENE SERVICES

NURTURE LANDSCAPES LIMITED

WALES AND WEST UTILITIES LIMITED

PANASONIC MANUFACTURING (UK) LIMITED PENSION AND ASSURANCE SCHEME

Work highlights

  • Advised Nurture Landscapes on the pensions liabilities arising from the transfer of staff.
  • Advice to a Welsh County Council on the pensions implications of a re-tender exercise.
  • Advice to NHS England on numerous matters involving the New Fair Deal. Providing pensions drafting in commercial contracts.
  • General day to day scheme governance for Milford Haven Port Authority.
  • Provided the pensions advice pursuant to Shaw Healthcare’s sale of a minority stake to Bridges Evergreen Holdings.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Aided by a vast array of pensions practitioners across its UK and European offices, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides a 'very high standard of service' to a varied mix of trustees, employers and providers. Team head Stuart Earle is particularly accomplished at providing pensions advice to multinational employers and trustees of large occupational schemes, and has a particular degree of specialism advising on matters within heavily regulated sectors. Ian Davies is the other key partner of the six-strong team that also includes senior associate Collette Davies, who as well as regularly handling the pensions aspects of corporate transactions also has a burgeoning public sector practice.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Earle

Other key lawyers:

Ian Davies; Collette Davies; Jen Green

Testimonials

‘Pragmatic and commercial approach.’

‘Stuart Earle has a real commercial edge.’

‘I’ve found Eversheds Sutherland to be very responsive, experienced and well-connected. In particular the depth and breadth of expertise, and ability for those from different disciplines to work together to provide a seamless service is impressive. Their knowledge of what’s going on in industry, government and other circles is helpful and impressive.’

‘Stuart Earle is knowledgeable, helpful and very responsive. His industry knowledge is impressive and working with other colleagues he ensures that Eversheds Sutherland provides us with a very holistic service.’

Key clients

NEST Corporation

National Grid plc

Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water

Hoover

Prudential Platinum

People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Nokia Group UK Pension Scheme

Volkswagen

Robert Bosch

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Work highlights

  • The firm continues to advise NEST Corporation on a wide range of issues including: day-to-day member queries,  drafting new rules in respect of benefit payments and new death benefit options, and advice on new investment mandates.
  • Advising National Grid plc across its multibillion-pound pension schemes, including the National Grid UK Pension Scheme and the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme.
  • Advising the Trustee on their review and implementation of a new investment strategy, which takes account of key covenant issues relevant to the sponsor and the water sector, with a greater emphasis on matching cashflows.
  • Continue to advise the Trustees of each of the defined benefit pension schemes across the Hoover Candy Group.
  • Continue to advise the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), on the implementation of pensions reform for future accrual across the NDA estate in the context of public sector changes which are being implemented in light of Lord Hutton’s review in 2011.

Hugh James

Resourcing expertise primarily from lawyers within the employment and dispute resolution practices, Hugh James provides a 'helpful and responsive' service to private and public sector clients across a range of standalone issues (including on auto-enrolment, pension scheme mergers and changing benefits), litigation and corporate support. Employment partner Louise Price leads on the non-contentious front, while senior associate Abigail Flanagan provides a 'very proactive and thorough service' to clients engaged in pensions disputes.

Practice head(s):

Louise Price

Other key lawyers:

Abigail Flanagan; Richard Locke

Testimonials

‘Exceptional value-for-money.’

‘Louise Price’s advice is always timely, enabling us to make practical decisions with full confidence.’

‘Abigail Flanagan provides proactive and thorough advice.’

Key clients

Monmouthshire County Council

Cardiff County Council

Cardiff University

Business Wales

Avanti Media

Coastal Housing Group

Hendre Group

Baptist Union of Wales

Rockwool Limited

Work highlights

  • The team advised Cardiff University on a large-scale TUPE transfer which involved complex provisions, meeting tight timescales and significant numbers of staff.
  • The team regularly provides a range of financial advice on pension schemes to various clients.  
  • Representing hundreds of pension investors in relation to claims against independent financial advisors and pension fund operator.

Geldards LLP

Geldards LLP provides a broad range of pensions advice to employers and trustees, including on the closure and winding-up of schemes, as well as on pensions-related corporate work, particularly as it relates to public sector outsourcings. Team head Stephen Jenkins leads on the non-contentious and contentious pensions work, and is regularly engaged in the restructuring of pension schemes.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Jenkins

Testimonials

‘Very professional no-nonsense legal advice.’

Key clients

Staedtler (UK) Limited

Just Rollers Plc

Spotlight Cleaning Services

J Tomlinson Limited

North Midland Construction

Shaw Healthcare

Emso Asset Management

British Drilling and Freezing

Procam UK

Stadler Rail

Work highlights

  • The firm advised Spotlight Cleaning Services on an appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal in relation to the imposition of a penalty notice by the Pensions Regulator.
  • The firm continues to advise Staedtler (UK) Limited across a range of matters, including funding and investment.
  • The firm advised Just Rollers plc on trustee changes.
  • The firm advised on the entering of a guarantee with the Local Government Pension Scheme in relation to possible liabilities arising from the termination of a contract with a contractor and the consequent cessation of that contractor’s participation in the Scheme.
  • The firm acted for a local authority in the setting up of an escrow account to avoid a contractor being required to enter into a bond as security for its potential liability.