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Pensions Law

The complexities of pensions involve governance issues and ever-changing legislation. Thankfully, our experienced Pensions Law team bring a practical and cost-effective approach to the complicated world of pensions.

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Why work with our Pensions team?

Our Pensions Law team recognise the challenges to trustees, employers and other stakeholders in this ever-changing environment. As a result, they are well-placed to assist with all aspects of workplace pensions law. Our expert team provide practical and commercial advice that is built on the varied experience and knowledge throughout the team and the firm.

Our highly-experienced Pensions Law team are supported by dispute resolution, corporateinsurance, finance and restructuring lawyers with pension expertise. This enables us to provide a complete service to our clients and means we cover all of the key areas of law associated with pension arrangements.

Our working procedures and processes are tailored to suit client requirements. Fundamental to this is fully understanding our clients’ needs, pension commitments and working practices.

Our team members also act as trustees and as consultants on pensions issues. Due to this, they are able to help with the practical issues, as well as the legal points.

How we can help you

Our approach goes beyond the provision of legal advice relating to UK pensions law. We pride ourselves on being strategic thinkers.

Pension obligations are generally long term. We therefore seek to determine your long-term objectives and assist you with developing and/or refining your approach to managing risk and achieving your goals.

Understanding our clients' strategic objectives is key to our approach. For example, where clients have acquired entities with defined benefit liabilities, we offer a holistic service to identify and manage liabilities, address volatility and improve governance. This often produces significant cost savings for clients, especially where they are looking to sell such entities within a stated timeframe.

Our clients tell us we are user-friendly, approachable and innovative in our service delivery. For example, we are well-known for our pragmatic approach and we are frequently asked to provide a second opinion on pension scheme issues in order to resolve a deadlock between key stakeholders (including corporate sponsors, trustees and their advisors) where an issue has been identified that could give rise to significant liabilities. In many cases, we are able to identify practical solutions, saving clients significant sums of money.

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Subscribe under "Legal Services" select "Pensions" – plus any additional areas of interest to you.



DWF has one of the UK’s leading and most innovative Pensions & Regulatory teams. We pride ourselves on the provision of practical, commercial advice on all aspects of the legal and regulatory framework governing SIPPs and SSASs.

With growing regulatory scrutiny over SIPP and SSAS products, as well as an increased emphasis on consumer duties by the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") and member outcomes by the Pensions Regulator ("TPR") the landscape for small pension schemes is changing significantly.

Our multi-disciplinary team of Regulatory and Pensions lawyers and consultants have extensive experience advising trustees, operators and providers of SIPP and SSAS products in this ever changing area. In doing so, we are able to leverage our wider experience working with FCA and TPR regulated entities and dealing with related complaints to the Financial and Pensions Ombudsmen ("FOS" and "PO").

SIPP and SSAS Advice

The experience of our team members covers:

  • The regulatory intervention, Administration and sale of Greyfriars and its SIPP business;
  • The Administration of GPC and others;
  • Intervening on behalf of AMPS in Berkeley Burke at the Court of Appeal;
  • Successfully defending a large execution-only investment platform against a FOS complaint seeking to extend Berkeley Burke principles to AIM-listed stocks;
  • Advising a SIPP operator on systemic liability and FOS defences for circa 30 related complaints arising from historic execution only business;
  • Advising on the launch of a SIPP, including client terms and trust deeds and detailed advice on the due diligence requirements and processes for non-standard assets (NSAs);
  • Representing senior individuals at major SIPP providers on SMCR issues and a Director of MPAS in defence of an FCA Enforcement investigation;
  • Advising large SIPP operators on in specie transfers;
  • Regulatory Consulting review of a large SIPP operator's entire SIPP business; and
  • Acting for the firm and Joint Administrators of Hartley Pensions in relation to the regulatory intervention, Administration and transfer of on the its SIPP and SSAS businesses.
Governance and Due Diligence Support
Good governance is especially important where businesses have grown through acquisition or operate on multiple platforms. Our team are experienced in supporting SIPP and SSAS providers as well as insurers and pensions administrators in reviewing and implementing governance procedures. 
Distribution and Regulatory Advice
As personal pensions, SIPPs form a key part of the retail investment and distribution market, with many providers acting also as MiFID investment advisers and/or discretionary managers. Our wealth management regulatory team is uniquely  well versed in covering all aspects of this business.
Regulatory Review

Working with a large, nationwide, platform and SIPP provider to carry out a complete 'deep dive' review of their SIPP offering.

The scope of the review included:

  • SIPP assets due diligence
  • HMRC compliance
  • General Compliance – charging structures, disclosure requirements, ongoing monitoring ,ongoing reporting, oversight of outsourcing arrangements, review of service level agreements and  compliance with relevant FCA rules and guidance
  • Risk Management
  • Training
  • Product Governance
  • SIPP Operator Governance
  • The work included working closely with the client to design and implement a second line of defence monitoring program

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Meet key members of our team

View key members of our pensions team

Get in touch today

Get in touch with a member of our team by using the details below or completing the form.
T +44 333 320 2220
+44 333 320 4440