Pensions Investment Practice

Comprehensive legal advice on any aspect of pension fund investment

Linklaters’ Pensions Investment Practice is a cross-practice group offering an integrated service to pension funds needing legal advice on any aspect of their investments.

The service provided is seamless and comprehensive as practice groups – including pensions, investment funds, tax, derivatives and structured products, insurance, real estate, financial regulation and projects – work together to deliver high-quality advice, through an in-depth understanding of regulation and markets, ability to tackle risk and supply insight and innovation.

Our Pensions Investment Practice has operated for over 10 years and during that time has acquired in-depth knowledge of the pensions investment market and real commercial judgement.

Related client services

Pensions

Linklaters' pensions practice is one of the most established and highly-rated practices in the UK and across Europe.

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Pensions De-risking

Our pensions de-risking practice brings together legal expertise in pensions, corporate insurance, investment management, banking, derivatives and structured products and data protection, providing strength in both breadth and depth making sure you have every angle covered for your transaction.

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Pensions Dispute Resolution

Our Pensions Disputes lawyers provide clients with a market leading service.

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Our experience

De-risking

For more information on our De-risking expertise, click through to our De-risking client service page.

We advised

  • the Trustee of the Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund on its £4.6bn buy-in with Legal and General which signed in June 2019
  • the Trustee of the Pearson Pension Plan on two umbrella buy-in policies with Aviva and Legal & General in 2017, covering £1.2bn of pensioner liabilities, and the addition of a further £500m of liabilities to the Legal & General policy in early 2019
  • the Trustee of the Marks and Spencer Pension Scheme on two umbrella buy-in policies in 2018 with Aviva and Phoenix Life, a further umbrella buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation in 2019 and an additional transaction with Phoenix Life under the existing umbrella buy-in in 2019. These cover in total £2.9bn of the Scheme’s liabilities.
  • the Trustee of the Rentokil Initial 2015 Pension Scheme on its £1.5bn buy-out with Pension Insurance Corporation plc completed at the end of 2018
  • the Trustees of the Dresdner Kleinwort Pension Plan on their £1.2bn buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation plc in which covered both the Plan’s final salary section and hybrid money purchase section

Longevity

Our experience includes: 

  • advising on a £5bn Aviva insurance based longevity swap - at the time, the largest of its kind, covering 19,000 members.
  • advising on a £3bn Roll-Royce/Deutsche Bank derivatives-based longevity swap.
  • advising AstraZeneca £2.5bn derivatives-based longevity swap – 10,000 pensioners covered.

Funds

  • We acted for various trustees – including USS, BP, Mineworkers Pension Scheme, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Diageo – on their investment in private equity, real estate, hedge, distressed debt, infrastructure, currency and insurance-related securities funds.
  • We have experience of setting up complex bespoke investment arrangements and special purpose vehicles for large pension funds such as bespoke pooled arrangements.

DC specific issues

  • We have advised trustees, including the Pensions Trust, on insurance-based DC investment platform providers.
  • We advised major pension funds on DC governance having had one of our lawyers seconded to the Pensions Regulator during development of the DC Code.

Governance

  • We advised on an investment governance audit for USS leading to the implementation of an FSA authorised investment management subsidiary for the trustee and review of committee structures and terms of reference.
  • We advised Tesco trustees on the implications of a change in their investment governance structures, including the establishment of an FSA investment management subsidiary.
  • We advised on an IMA amendment for major pension funds to ensure EMIR compliance and in some cases to allow EMIR/Dodd-Frank clearing.

Buys-ins/Buy-out

  • We advised the Uniq trustees in purchasing a £830m bulk annuity from Rothesay Life
  • We advised Legal & General on the buy-out of the £1.1bn T&N Scheme
  • We advised Tate & Lyle trustees on a £347m partial pensioner buy-in – approximately 34% of total pension liabilities.

Asset-backed structures

  • We advised Marks & Spencer trustees on the first property-based asset-backed contribution structure which defined the market.
  • We advised Diageo trustees on an asset backed contribution structure with whisky as the underlying asset.
  • We advised John Laing and Costain trustees on a structure with PFI rights as the underlying asset.
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