Image of John Sheppard

John Sheppard

Pensions Partner, London

“I have significant experience advising all sides of pension funds on their most important pensions matters. I bring expertise and skill at helping clients finding solutions to their most pressing problems.”


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


John advises trustees and corporates on all main areas of pensions law, including corporate transactions, plan mergers and trustee and employer advisory work, including day-to-day aspects of operating occupational pension funds. He is also experienced in advising insurers on personal pension products. In addition, he is regularly called upon to advise on investments by trustees, including investment management issues and direct investments, such as hedge funds and derivatives.

John has in-depth knowledge of Section 75 issues, benefit changes and the powers of the Pensions Regulator, drafting scheme rules, merger agreements and apportionment arrangements.

John also has significant experience in international issues, particularly large multijurisdictional corporate transactions and on cross-border issues, including advising clients on pension arrangements ahead of Brexit. 

Work highlights

John has advised on a wide range of major pension fund matters. These include advising:

  • the trustees of the Dresdner Kleinwort Pension Plan on the full buy-in of £1.2bn of pension liabilities, including the £300m hybrid money purchase section with a contracted-out underpin
  • Candy Group in connection with the restructuring of its UK subsidiary, Hoover, and its pension scheme, including the use of a regulated apportionment arrangement (RAA)
  • AXA on the pension aspects of the sale of its UK Life & Savings businesses
  • Siemens on the pensions aspects of its £1bn acquisition of the industrial gas turbines business of Rolls-Royce and on the metal industry joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
  • a number of UK financial institutions on a review of their international pension arrangements ahead of Brexit
  • various insurers on the establishment and operation of Self-invested Personal Pension (SIPP) arrangements 

Professional experience

John regularly speaks at conferences organised by the International Pension and Employee Benefit Lawyers’ Association (IPEBLA) and the Pensions and Lifetimes Savings Association (PLSA). He spoke on defined benefit pensions consolidation at the 2018 PLSA conference.

John is a member of the international committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers and of the International Employee Benefits Association.

Education and qualifications

John studied European legal studies at the University of Bristol, which included a year at Caen-Normandy University, and holds a diploma in international employee benefits from the Pensions Management Institute.

He speaks English and French.