Stuart O’Brien

Partner

About

Stuart has experience of a broad range of pension related matters, advising employers and trustees alike with a particular emphasis on finance and investment issues. This includes the use of contingent asset structures, de-risking and advising on the legal aspects of scheme funding issues.

Stuart’s advice also includes making changes to pension benefits (including the closure of schemes to future accrual), liability management exercises including pension increase exchange and pre-retirement transfer exercises, as well as scheme mergers, demergers, and solvent and insolvent wind-ups.

He also has significant expertise advising on the pensions aspects of corporate mergers, acquisitions and restructuring, dealing with Pensions Regulator clearance, section 75 debts, and apportionment and withdrawal arrangements.

Stuart is a member of the Security of DC Assets Working Party.

Recent experience

  • Assisting clients with the settlement of deferred and pensioner liabilities via buy-in and buy-out bulk annuity transactions totalling more than £2bn in aggregate, including assisting the Trustees of the Friends Provident Pension Scheme on their ground breaking collateralised buy-in of pensioner liabilities with Aviva in 2008, as well as numerous other transactions with Pensions Insurance Corporation, Legal & General, Aviva and Just Retirement Group
  • Advising Trustees on environmental, social and governance matters in investment decision making
  • Advising Trustees on DC investment issues, including the use of platform structures, asset security and the transition of member funds
  • Advising Trustees on the creation of a £300m bespoke contingent funding vehicle with standalone investment management and custody agreements
  • Undertaking due diligence on a wide range of pooled funds and limited partnership structures, including hedge funds, property, infrastructure and debt funds.

Memberships and Qualifications

Membership of professional bodies:
Association of Pension Lawyers
(Full Member and Investment Committee Member)
Pensions Management Institute (Ordinary Member)


Career history

Qualified: 2003, England & Wales

Pensions experience since: 2003

Joined Sackers: 2003, Associate: 2008

Joined partnership/LLP: 2011

Employers: Hammonds (2001-2003)


Academic history

University/College:

Nottingham Law School (2000-2001)
University of Texas Law School, Austin, USA (1998-1999)
University of Nottingham (1996-2000)

Degree: LLB (with merit in American Law), Nottingham University
Legal Practice Course


Further Information

Testimonials:

  • “I have always been impressed by Stuart’s ability to explain complex matters in plain English, and for his pragmatic approach. As a car manufacturer, costs will always be an issue, and Stuart carries out work for us mindful of the need to contain costs, whilst providing an excellent service”.
    Roland Craven, Senior Controller, Pensions Section, Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd
  • He is “pragmatic and does not waffle”. Chambers 2014 recommended lawyer