Press releases | Pensions | 27 Jun 2019

New promotions in the Travers Smith Pensions Sector Group

Overview

Travers Smith LLP has announced new promotions in its Pensions Sector Group. Effective from 1 July, Andy Lewis becomes a Partner, and Karen Sahota will be promoted to Senior Counsel.

Andy Lewis is an expert adviser to businesses and pension funds on all areas of pensions law. He has particular experience assisting clients with complex pensions projects and regulatory work including scheme reorganisations, liability management, benefit changes, and funding and debt settlements. With Head of Pensions Daniel Gerring, Andy recently advised the Akzo Nobel (CPS) Pension Scheme in connection with the €10.1 billion disposal by the sponsor of its Speciality Chemicals business, and advised another major global corporate based in the USA on a restructuring and flexible apportionment arrangement in its UK pension scheme. Additionally, Andy has expertise acting on corporate transactions and operational carve-outs in a range of sectors. Highlights include acting for Micro Focus International PLC on the global pensions aspects of the $2.5 billion sale of its SUSE Linux business and related strategy and integration advice, and advising Ancala Partners on pensions in its acquisition of Portsmouth Water. Andy is a member of the Travers Smith LBGT+ Group, sits on the Communications Committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers and is one of the editors of its member newsletter.

Karen Sahota has extensive experience advising trustees and sponsors on a wide range of advisory, transactional and contentious work. Alongside Head of Pensions Daniel Gerring, she is a senior member of the team providing day-to-day advice to the AXA UK Pension Scheme and has recently advised on the implications of the sale of AXA’s £650 million wealth business. Karen also advises the Unilever UK Pension Fund and the BAE Systems Pension Scheme, alongside Pensions Partner Paul Stannard. Karen has represented clients on a wide range of complex issues relating to the interpretation of scheme rules, statutory requirements, the abolition of contracting-out and GMP reconciliation and rectification. Together with Pensions Partner Susie Daykin, she advised in relation to the winding up of the Lehman Brothers Pension Scheme and its £670 million buyout with Rothesay Life and regularly advises trustees on member disputes including those referred to the Pensions Ombudsman. Karen is a member of the Education and Seminars Sub-Committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers and a member of the Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic (BAME) Group at Travers Smith. She is also named as a "Next Generation Lawyer" by the Legal 500. In addition to Andy’s and Karen's promotions on 1 July, the Travers Smith Pensions practice will also be strengthened from the same date by two existing senior lawyers moving into newly created roles designed to better support our clients and our fast growing Pensions Sector team.

Nick White will move into the newly created role of Knowledge Counsel. Nick is an extremely experienced pensions lawyer, who for many years has been a senior professional support lawyer in the Travers Smith Pensions Sector team. Nick joined Travers Smith in 2006 as a senior lawyer with over 10 years' experience of client-facing work. As Knowledge Counsel he will lead on keeping clients and members of the Travers Smith Pensions Sector team up to date with the latest developments in pensions. His key responsibilities include the preparation of research papers and consultation responses, as well as analysis of new legislation, case law and regulatory materials. He will also chair meetings of the Pensions Knowledge Group and co-ordinate the specialist ‘topic teams’ which are made up of lawyers from across the Travers Smith Pensions Sector Group to provide timely updates on a range of key topics. Nick is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers and speaks regularly on pensions law and practice.

Charlotte Feld will become a Consultant in the Pensions Sector Group. In her new role, Charlotte will advise clients on a range of issues, as well as continuing her existing strategic role in client relationship management and business development, including thought leadership. Charlotte joined Travers Smith in 2014 from a role as a senior lawyer at the Pensions Regulator, where she advised senior colleagues on Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution policy and legislative change from 2007. She chaired the Regulator’s DB and DC lawyer group and worked closely with government, the Pensions Protection Fund and major industry bodies. Before that, she was a pensions lawyer in another leading pensions practice, advising on the full range of pensions issues. Building on her significant experience at the Regulator, Charlotte has particular expertise in employer covenant issues as well in the Regulator’s anti-avoidance and clearance powers. She has also been involved with DC and master trusts advice. Charlotte is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers, as well as a member of Travers Smith's Gender Balance Group. She is also part of the Travers Smith team providing award-winning advice to Refugees at Home, a charity which was set up in close partnership with Travers Smith’s CSR Programme.

Daniel Gerring, Head of Pensions at Travers Smith, said: "Many congratulations to Andy and to Karen. They are exceptionally able lawyers, who provide a great service to our clients, and their promotions are thoroughly well deserved. I am also delighted to announce Nick and Charlotte’s new roles, which will play an important part in the continued development of our team and our client offering, building on a number of recent senior hires, including Seb Reger from Sackers as a partner in our Pensions Sector."