Andrew Harper

Senior associate

About

Andrew advises trustees and employers on a range of pensions issues in respect of both DB and DC arrangements.  Andrew acts on a wide spectrum of schemes, ranging from tens of millions to multi-billions in assets, and across a range of maturities from those still open to new members to schemes that closed their doors decades ago.

His experience includes advising on interpretation of legislation and governing documentation, providing advice on day-to-day queries, member issues and corporate transactions.  Andrew is often involved in buy-in transactions and has helped a number of schemes through their end-game planning to eventual wind-up, leading to a particular interest in issues which arise at the end of a scheme’s life, including surplus, residual risks and trustee protection packages.

In addition to trustee work, Andrew advises a number of employers from the UK and further afield on their UK pension arrangements.  This part of Andrew’s practice includes automatic enrolment obligations, closure / benefit change projects, special arrangements to address pensions tax issues for high earners and executives, as well as dealing with legacy issues or historic pension arrangements acquired through corporate activity.  Andrew also has experience advising on pensions aspects of quasi-employment relationships and the changing regulatory landscape in respect of gig economy workers.

Andrew’s recent experience includes:

  • Advising an airline on the closure of its defined benefit scheme, including consultation with affected employees and unions, as well as technical implementation strategies
  • working through issues arising from defective historic amendments
  • analysing automatic enrolment breaches and working with employers to design remedial strategies, as well as on appropriate interaction with the Pensions Regulator
  • establishing excepted group life schemes and advising on their day-to-day operation, including tax principles
  • working on whole scheme risk transfer transactions, settling benefits in full and in many cases returning surplus to sponsoring employers.

Andrew is a dual-qualified solicitor admitted to practice in both Scotland and England & Wales and advises clients on issues arising across both jurisdictions.


Memberships and Qualifications

Membership of professional bodies:
Association of Pension Lawyers (Full Member)
Member of the Association of Pension Lawyers Junior Sub-Committee


Career history

Qualified:
2018, Scotland
2022, England & Wales

Pensions experience since: 2017

Joined Sackers: 2018

Employers: Pinsent Masons LLP (2016-2018)


Academic history

University/College: University of Glasgow (2011-2016)

Degree: LL.B Law

Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Practice


Further Information

When I’m not engrossed in something car-related, I enjoy going to the theatre, good coffee, and convincing myself I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.