Sacker & Partners wins twice at UK Pensions Awards 2004
Sackers' Dispute Resolution Unit is ranked in the top tier by Chambers Legal and the Legal 500 of firms who undertake pensions dispute resolution work.
Winners of the UK Pensions Awards 2004 were announced this week with leading pensions law firm, Sacker & Partners picking up two of the trophies. Sacker & Partners won both the highly competitive Pension Lawyers of the Year category as well as scooping the highest accolade, the Golden Star Award.
The Golden Star Award is the most prestigious award in the UK Pensions Awards programme, recognising the organisation that has made the most outstanding overall contribution to the UK pensions in a single year.
This triumph for Sacker & Partners is the second time in five years the firm has won Pension Lawyers of the Year and the first time the Golden Star award has been won by a law firm.
The award and the story behind it was not just good news for Sacker & Partners, but also for the pensions industry. The UK Pensions Awards judging panel recognised Sacker & Partners for its pro bono work for the beneficiaries of the Sea-Land pension scheme when Maersk, the parent company, attempted to walk away from its responsibilities. The firm’s involvement contributed to a remarkable result – members of the Sea-Land pension scheme are now going to receive their pension benefits in full.
Mark Greenlees, Sacker & Partners Senior Partner, commented “Sacker & Partners feel deeply honoured by these awards. We were privileged to have had the opportunity to be involved in the victory for the members of the Sea-Land pension scheme. It is not every day that you can help make such a tangible positive difference to people’s lives”.
The Sacker & Partners submission to the UK Pensions Awards 2004 is provided with this press release as background information.
Extracts from 2003 press mentions Professional Pensions - Thursday 13 November 2003
Simon Meek of Professional Pensions reported that under this funding arrangement members stood to lose up to 60pc of their pensions entitlements, sparking an "outcry across the industry" and becoming a "symbol of the problems associated with wind-up and the MFR regime".
Sacker & Partners litigation partner Katherine Dandy - who acted for Sea-Land members on a pro bono basis - said "After a long struggle Maersk has done the honourable thing. OPRA has also come out of this very well and showed a willingness to be proactive and use the legislation to this means. It's what it should have been doing from the start."
Financial Times - Tuesday 11 November 2003
Norma Cohen of the Financial Times reports "Sacker successfully represented the scheme members in a case before the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority , the pensions regulator. In September, OPRA agreed to appoint an independent trustee to sit alongside the existing, company-appointed trustees. Such moves have previously only been made when criminal wrongdoing is suspected.
"This is precedent setting," said Katherine Dandy, partner at Sacker & Partners, the law firm which represented Maersk scheme members free of charge. "The trustees have taken a lot of criticism for not being more proactive," she said.
Ms Dandy said that trustees of underfunded schemes sponsored by solvent employers would now have to ensure they are sufficiently robust in demanding that employers stump up enough cash to replenish their schemes."
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