Suzanne is an experienced pensions lawyer advising both trustees and employees on a wide range of pensions issues. Suzanne has experience advising on both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes of all sizes ranging from under £10m to schemes in excess of £1bn.
Suzanne has particular experience advising clients in the co-operative sector and is familiar with the typical pension scheme structure in that sector. Additionally, she advises schemes run by charity sector employers and is well versed in the pensions issues facing charity employers.
Suzanne’s recent experience includes:
- advice to employers on the implementation of auto-enrolment including amendments to a pension scheme rules for a defined contribution scheme to ensure compliance with the automatic enrolment legislation;
- advice on redesign of pension benefits including capping pensionable salary and introduction of career average benefits and draft scheme documents to implement the changes;
- advice in relation to the closure of a pension scheme to future accrual including the setting up of an escrow account and security over the scheme sponsor’s assets in exchange for a decision to defer winding up of the pension scheme;
- pensions aspects of corporate transactions including advice on a flexible apportionment arrangement and review of a clearance application to the Pensions Regulator where the target company was to be de-linked from the group pension scheme;
- negotiations between trustees and scheme sponsors on employer covenant issues around, and pension scheme funding including the drafting and negotiation of contingent asset documents including parent company guarantees (including pension protection fund compliant guarantees);
- advice on interpretation of scheme rules including advice on whether historic changes have been properly implemented;
- review and advice on agreements with third party providers including agreements on employer covenant review, administration agreements and investment management agreements;
- internal dispute resolution procedure and ombudsman cases on a wide range of disputes including a challenge by a member on the way his pension is increased.
Suzanne also advises clients on public sector pensions issues. This includes advice on steps to be taken by private sector employers on the transfer of employees with public sector benefits, whether on the setting up of a broadly comparable scheme or the review and negotiation of admission agreements.
Suzanne undertook her training contract and qualified into the Pensions department at Mayer Brown International LLP (formerly Rowe & Maw) in 2001. She is a Member of the Pensions Management Institute (DipPMI) and a full member of the Association of Pension Lawyers. Suzanne is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers Legislative and Parliamentary Subcommittee