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Paul Stannard

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Paul has specialised in pensions work since 1982. He joined the firm as a partner in 1989 to set up our pensions department and he advises on all aspects of pensions law. He advises on a variety of pension arrangements, including some of the UK's largest pension funds.

His work has included:

  • Advising the trustee of the old British Steel Pension Scheme on separation from Tata Steel through a regulated apportionment arrangement in 2017, setting up the new BSPS, the "Time to Choose" exercise for members, the bulk transfer to the new BSPS in 2018, and entry of the old BSPS into a Pension Protection Fund assessment period.
  • Advising the trustee of the BAE Systems Pension Scheme on segregating the scheme in 2016 into separately funded and invested sections for BAE Systems and Airbus.
  • Advising Stena Line throughout its successful campaign to change the funding arrangements for the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund, including High Court and Court of Appeal rulings in favour of Stena Line in 2010, 2011 and 2015.
  • Advising the trustee of the TRW Pension Scheme on its innovative combination of measures to manage and settle liabilities in 2014, including offers of pension increase exchange, enhanced transfer values and winding-up lump sums, combined with a £2.5 billion buy-out (the UK's largest at that time).
  • Advising the trustee of the Unilever UK Pension Fund on a major overhaul of the scheme in 2012, switching from final-salary to hybrid career-average and money-purchase benefits.
  • Advising the trustee of the AXA UK Group Pension Scheme when AXA sold its legacy life business to Resolution for £2.75 billion in 2010, including negotiation of a complex funding and security package.
  • Advising the trustee of the British Steel Pension Scheme when Corus was acquired by Tata Steel in 2007, when the trustee negotiated a shared security package with the banks providing the acquisition finance (the first deal of that sort).
  • Advising on the first clearance statement issued by the Pensions Regulator in 2005 when acting for the trustees of the Allied Domecq schemes at the time of the Pernod Ricard takeover.
  • Chairing the Legislative & Parliamentary Committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers during its engagement with Government in the development of the 2004-06 legislation creating the Pensions Regulator, the Pension Protection Fund and the new tax regime. 
  • Advising the trustee of the Barclays Bank UK Retirement Fund when, in 1997, it was one of the first major schemes to close its final salary section and open a money-purchase section for new members that could be funded from surplus; successfully defending these arrangements when challenged in the High Court in 2000.
  • Acting for the women in the Government-sponsored Coloroll test case before the European Court of Justice in 1993, successfully arguing that EU equality requirements should not apply to pension benefits earned before 1990 (a £50 billion question for the UK at that time).
  • Leading the team that acted for the Mirror Group Pension Scheme after Robert Maxwell’s death in 1991, recovering most of the misappropriated funds and restoring members’ benefits.
  • Restructuring the British Gas pension schemes for privatisation in 1986.

Paul is a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute.  He was a founding member of the Association of Pension Lawyers and has been the APL’s Hon Secretary and has chaired its Education & Seminars and Legislative & Parliamentary Committees.  Paul is on the Council of the Pensions Policy Institute.

Paul has for many years consistently been ranked in Band 1 for pension lawyers by the Chambers and Legal 500 directories.