Michael has over 20 years’ experience as a pensions lawyer working with leading international law and actuarial firms. During this time, he has advised on all aspects of pensions law and related employee benefits.
What we say about Michael
Michael advises corporate sponsors, trustees, professional advisers, administrators and scheme members on both contentious and non-contentious pension matters across all industry sectors. His experience includes advising on pension aspects of M&A, restructuring and insolvency, including Chapter 11 proceedings in the U.S. and regulatory clearance in the U.K. He has worked on numerous international projects for U.S. corporations including Emerson, Sony, Kimberly Clark, Gardner Denver. He has advised many multi-national companies on relevant U.K. compliance and regulation and project managed equivalent advice in other jurisdictions. This includes advising on the employee benefits aspects of M&A transactions at the highest level. While working with Bryan Cave and Dewey & Leboeuf LLP he was responsible for co-ordinating all global benefits advice on multi-national transactions and employee benefit projects. While working with Mercer he was the lead legal adviser on pan-European pensions working across the London and European offices. Michael is qualified in the U.K. and Ireland.
Michael has also advised numerous trustee bodies on scheme governance and risk management issues including: cessation or reduction in accrual of benefits, funding negotiations, scheme mergers, buy-in / buy-outs, longevity swaps, points of construction relating to scheme benefits, apportionment arrangements, use of contingent assets and covenant assessment, Pension Schemes Act 2017 Master Trust requirements.
Michael advises on complaints and disputes involving scheme members, trustees, company sponsors and professional advisers and administrators. Highlights of contentious projects include acting for professional indemnity insurers on behalf of several actuarial consultancies; a £100M trust case in the High Court; complaints involving indirect discrimination presented to the Pensions Ombudsman against a large public sector pension scheme; successfully negotiating a reduction in disputed benefits for a U.S. corporate sponsor with their U.K. trustees and their counsel. Michael has the benefit of having spent a portion of his career in-house with large employee benefit / actuarial consultancies and has a broad understanding of pension scheme administration and its operation. He therefore understands the practicalities involved and looks for practical solutions to disputes.
- Advising U.S. parent company on its corporate restructuring exercise and related U.K. pension requirements involving covenant assessment, trustee negotiations and regulatory clearance.
- Advising the Kimberly Clark trustees on their de-risking and buy-in and buy-out exercise and negotiations with U.S. parent company proceeding to wind-up.
- Advising U.S. parent company on dispute with U.K. trustees relating to construction of scheme rules and resulting funding issues.
- Advising the Sony Corporation on its $2.2billion acquisition of the Music Publishing business of the EMI Group from Citi and related pension scheme liabilities.
- Advising MetLife in relation to the sale by American Life Insurance Corporation (ALICO) of its U.K. closed book of business to Swiss Re for £1.6billion
- Advising on large public sector pension scheme in dispute over benefit discrimination complaint presented to the Pensions Ombudsman.
- Advising Emerson on U.K. Master Trust provision and equivalent provision outside the U.S.
- Advising Gardner Denver on regulatory clearance and related U.K. pensions issues on its merger with KKR for $3.74billion.
- Advising on the pensions and employee benefits issues on the sale of a U.K. parent company and its middle eastern subsidiaries.