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 buy-ins and buy-outs, de-risking and advising on the legal aspects of scheme funding issues, including the use of contingent assets.
Stuart is a leading industry figure for environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) and climate change issues, stewardship, responsible and impact investing. He chairs the Pensions Climate Risk Industry Group and sits on high profile committees including at the PLSA. He also provides legal input to the City of London Green Finance working group, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries working group on climate change and the newly created Impact Investment Institute.
Stuart’s advice 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 chair of the TCFD guidance working group (Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures), and a member of the Security of DC Assets Working Party.
- 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 all major insurers over the last decade
- Advising Trustees on ESG matters in investment strategy and 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.
Memberships and Qualifications
Membership of professional bodies:
Association of Pension Lawyers
(Full Member and Investment Committee Member)
Pensions Management Institute (Ordinary Member)
Qualified: 2003, England & Wales
Pensions experience since: 2003
Joined Sackers: 2003, Associate: 2008
Joined partnership/LLP: 2011
Employers: Hammonds (2001-2003)
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
“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”. Legal 500 2014 recommended lawyer