Paul is an experienced pensions lawyer. He advises employers, trustees and public bodies on the legal aspects of all matters relating to pensions; from automatic enrolment to buy-ins and buyouts of occupational pension schemes. Paul also has expertise in advising in relation to public service pension schemes. He is a member of the APL sub-committee for such schemes and has published practice notes in Lexis Nexis and PLC which focus on the issues involved in participating in them. More recently, Paul has advised trustees of master trust arrangements as well as trade unions in relation to the pension schemes they are responsible for. He is also experienced in supporting corporate colleagues in transactions where the sale/ purchase of assets and / or shares are involved. Aside from this, Paul contributes regularly to Lexology (as the author of "Pensions News"), Pensions Expert and Pensions Age.
Paul has a reputation for his ability clearly to explain (often) complex legal points. He does this in a way which helps clients to focus on their commercial issues rather than getting bogged down in the technical, legal minutiae. Clients and colleagues find his approach is collegiate, practical and user-friendly.
Paul’s recent work includes:
- advising a (multi-national) employer in relation to the rationalisation of its UK pension provision. Phase 2 completed early in 2021 and phase 3 is ongoing;
- advising a national company on the pensions aspects of its corporate re-structuring and, in particular, on the implications of that re-structuring on its obligation automatically to enrol employees into an appropriate pension scheme;
- advising the trustees of a North West based occupational pension scheme in relation to ongoing matters and, in particular in relation to a multi-layered parent company guarantee provided to that scheme by the scheme principal employer’s group;
- advising the trustees of occupational pension schemes on the consequences (to them) of their schemes' sponsoring employers having been hacked - their IT systems had been subject to ransom demands;
- advising a central Government department in relation to the establishment of a free-standing joint venture company which was then able to participate, in its own right, in the relevant public sector pension scheme;
- advising the trustees of an occupational pension scheme further to a challenge from the Pensions Regulator which questioned their approach in agreeing to a corporate restructuring some three years previously;
- reviewing historical occupational pension scheme documentation in the light of equalisation requirements and in the light of age discrimination legislation; and
- advising the trustees of two occupational pension schemes in relation to putting asset backed contribution vehicles in place. These vehicles incorporated guarantees and cross-guarantees from non-UK guarantors for the purposes of enhancing benefit security and managing PPF risk-based levies.
As indicated above, Paul is a contributor to PLC magazine and LexisNexis PSL. He is also a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers (APL) and sits on the APL's (national) sub-committee for public service pension schemes.
Before training as a lawyer (which he did at Davies Arnold Cooper), Paul lived and worked in Wiesbaden, Germany and then in Lisbon, Portugal. He is fluent in Portuguese. He went on to work at Addleshaw Goddard LLP (AG). He left AG to join Shoosmiths as a partner in December 2012.