Sackers announces bumper crop of new promotions

Sackers today announced its 2023 promotions: Oliver Topping and Kirsty Pake have been promoted to partner; Emily Rowley to associate director; and Charlotte Bailey, George Carr, Sarah Clay, Amy Difford, Andrew Harper, Bethan Rowlands, Sam Taylor and Katie Whitford to senior associate.

The promotions take effect on 1 August 2023.

David Saunders, senior partner, commented: “In a year when the firm has received industry recognition for the quality of its advice and client service with a string of awards, including the top three pensions legal awards, it is wonderful to be able to pay tribute to the people who made it happen by promoting a bumper crop of talented lawyers. These promotions show how we continue to grow diverse talent from within the firm and how broad our pensions interests are. We look forward to seeing all eleven continue to flourish in their new roles.”

Oliver Topping, Kirsty Pake and Emily Rowley are all experienced, senior lawyers advising trustee and employer clients in a range of sectors on all aspects of their pension arrangements.

In addition to his wide-ranging client work, Oliver’s practice also focuses on the legal aspects of technology, cyber and data protection for pension schemes, including implementing novel ID verification technology and cloud back-up services for his clients. Oliver is also closely involved in the firm’s work on pensions dashboards, and he has spoken widely at industry events on preparation for dashboards connection. Other recent experience includes advising on derisking / buy-out projects, GMP equalisation as well as working with a number of the firm’s master trust clients.

Having started her career in financial services, Kirsty discovered her passion for pensions as a trainee solicitor and joined Sackers as a newly qualified lawyer. She is an experienced generalist who provides personable and strategic advice to her clients – acting for a wide range of trustees, employers and schemes of all shapes and sizes. Kirsty has in-depth knowledge of scheme administration looking at the practical implementation of legal advice, with a particular interest in member engagement and pension transfers. Her recent work includes advising on member options and the rising tide of governance, as well as buy-in and GMP equalisation projects.

Emily specialises in pensions tax and public sector matters, alongside her general practice. She also has particular expertise advising trustees of non-associated multi-employer schemes on the complexities of those arrangements. Recent experience includes multiple buy-out and wind up projects including how to manage and deal with surplus assets, as well as advising trustees on DC retirement options. Emily is also passionate about diversity and inclusion and is helping clients consider these issues in member communications and governance policies.

Charlotte Bailey, George Carr, Sarah Clay, Andrew Harper, Bethan Rowlands and Sam Taylor all advise trustees and employers on a broad range of DB and DC issues, including benefit changes, mergers and scheme closures, and risk transfer projects. As a dual-qualified solicitor, Andrew provides advice on issues arising under both English and Scots law.

Amy Difford is a member of the firm’s highly regarded litigation team and advises on all contentious pensions matters, including litigation, regulatory action and member disputes.

Katie Whitford is a member of the firm’s market-leading Know-how team whose job it is to keep both clients and Sackers’ own lawyers up to speed with legal and regulatory developments across the pensions and retirement savings industry.