Paul Carney > Shoosmiths LLP > Manchester, England > Lawyer Profile

Shoosmiths LLP
M3 3AZ

Work Department

Partner, Pensions


Paul is an experienced pensions lawyer. He advises employers, trustees and public bodies on the legal aspects of all matters relating to pensions. He has a particular expertise in dealing with public sector pensions and has written practice notes in national publications addressing the issues involved in participating in, for instance, the Local Government Pension Scheme and the NHS Pension Scheme. Paul is experienced in drafting scheme-related documentation as well as providing ongoing advice on the day-to-day running of pension schemes and on questions of automatic enrolment.

Paul regularly provides support to both companies and trustees in relation to pensions aspects of corporate transactions.

Paul has a reputation for his ability clearly to explain (often) complex legal points. He does this in a way which helps clients to focus on their commercial issues rather than getting bogged down in the technical, legal minutiae. Clients and colleagues find his approach is practical and user-friendly.

Paul’s recent work includes:

  • advising a (multi-national) employer in relation to the rationalisation of its pension provision. Phase 1 completed early in 2018 and involved the merger of three of its occupational pension schemes;
  • advising a national company on the pensions aspects of its corporate re-structuring and, in particular, on the implications of that re-structuring on its obligation automatically to enrol employees into an appropriate pension scheme;
  • advising the trustees of a North West based occupational pension scheme in relation to ongoing matters and, in particular in relation to a multi-layered parent company guarantee provided to that scheme by the scheme principal employer’s group;
  • advising a well established higher education body in relation to its ongoing participation in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, the Local Government Pension Scheme and the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme;
  • advising a central Government department in relation to the establishment of a free-standing joint venture company which was then able to participate, in its own right, in the relevant public sector pension scheme;
  • advising the trustees of an occupational pension scheme further to a challenge from the Pensions Regulator which questioned their approach in agreeing to a corporate restructuring some three years previously;
  • reviewing historical occupational pension scheme documentation in the light of equalisation requirements and in the light of age discrimination legislation; and
  • advising the trustees of a number of UK pension schemes in relation to putting into place contingent assets and guarantees (including guarantees from non-UK guarantors) for the purposes of the PPF Levy.

Paul is a contributor to PLC magazine and LexisNexis PSL.


Before training as a lawyer (which he did at Davies Arnold Cooper), Paul lived in Lisbon, Portugal and is fluent in Portuguese. He went on to work at DWF and, from there, moved to Addleshaw Goddard LLP (AG) in 2003. He left AG to join Shoosmiths as a partner in 2012.


Association of Pension Lawyers (APL). Paul sits on the APL’s (national) sub-committee for public service pension schemes


University of Wales (BA Hons 2(1), English Literature and History); University of Leeds (MPhil, History and International Studies); Universidade de Lisboa (Diploma in Portuguese); De Montfort University, Leicester (CPE, Law); Manchester Metropolitan University (LPC, Law).

Lawyer Rankings

North West > Employment > Pensions

Shoosmiths LLP is active in advising on a broad range of pension law issues, including complex matters requiring negotiations with trustees and trade unions. Buy-ins, winding-up projects, and scheme mergers are all frequently handled by the team; it is also continuing to expand its contentious practice. Paul Carney leads the Manchester-based team, which frequently collaborates with the firm’s other offices around the UK. Associate Alexandra Ventham is another key contact in the team.