Sarah joined Travers Smith as a consultant in the pensions practice in 2013 and her work involves providing senior level support to a number of the firm’s key clients. She advises on all aspects of pensions law and practice including scheme amendments, mergers, buy-ins and buy-outs, funding, Section 75 debts and employer insolvency, winding-up and PPF work.
Sarah has specialised in pensions since qualifying in 1999 and during her career has been involved in number of high profile pensions matters including advising the Bradstock Pension Trustees on the first ever court settlement of a Section 75 debt, advising the pensioner representative beneficiary in KPMG v Aon (HC and Court of Appeal) and co-heading the team advising the Nortel Pension Trustees on the issuance of a financial support direction.
Sarah is particularly interested in advising on funding and Section 75 debt issues, liability management and PPF and FAS schemes, having been a long term adviser to the trustees of the largest FAS Type 1 Scheme (no assets transferring to the PPF).
Sarah advised on four buy-out transactions in 2014 including acting for the trustee of the TRW Pension Scheme on a landmark £2.5 billion partial buy-out. This innovative transaction, which was the largest ever pensions buy-out in the UK, also incorporated a pension increase exchange exercise, trivial commutation and an enhanced transfer value exercise in order to maximise de-risking opportunities.
Sarah's other work includes advising as part of the pensions team on the following matters:
- Lehman Brothers Pension Scheme trustees in relation to the securing of benefits with an insurer
- AXA UK Group Pension Scheme on the Scheme’s closure to future accrual of defined benefits
- Advice to the trustee of a financial services industry pension scheme on the buy-out and winding-up of the scheme, including advice on the distribution of surplus
- Advising both trustees and employers in relation to de-risking, benefit design and scheme amendments
Sarah is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers.