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Travers Smith advises Nortel Networks UK Pensions Trust Ltd on a further buyout, bringing the total value of transactions between the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan and Legal & General to over £2.5 billion.

Overview

Travers Smith LLP has advised Nortel Networks UK Pensions Trust Ltd (“the Trustee”) on a further buyout, bringing the total value of transactions between the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan ("The Plan") and Legal & General ("L&G") to over £2.5 billion.

In October 2018, the Trustee entered into a buyout with L&G which covered around 15,500 pensioner members and 7,225 deferred members and allowed the Plan to exit its 10-year Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment period with surplus to enhance benefits. This was larger than any previous PPF-plus buyout.

Until recently, recoveries in respect of the global Nortel insolvency processes continued to be received by the Plan. In March 2021, over £100 million of these funds have been used by the Trustee to secure additional member benefits in a further buy-out with L&G.

The Travers Smith team advising the Trustee was led by Partners Dan Naylor and Susie Daykin and included Senior Associate Chris Widdison.

Dan Naylor, who recently advised Rothesay Life in relation to its £3.8 billion buy-in of the Asda Group Pension Scheme, commented: “The Trustee has worked hard to provide these additional benefits to members in a scenario which has involved complex insolvency proceedings and legal developments. Once again we are delighted to have been involved in the planning and delivery of this project, which is a showcase of the rewards gained by innovation, determination and coordination.”

Susie Daykin, who also advised the trustees of Maersk's pension scheme on the recent £1.1 billion buy-in with L&G, added in relation to the Nortel transaction: “We are proud of the ongoing support we have provided to the Trustee in this matter. This is the second stage in a highly bespoke de-risking transaction and a further demonstration of Travers Smith's credentials in this area."