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David Pollard

Call: 2017, Solicitor: 1980   

+44 (0)20 7306 0102dpollard@wilberforce.co.uk

Pensions

David’s practice as a solicitor included advising employers and trustees in relation to pension law matters, including corporate transactions, scheme funding, scheme mergers, scheme changes, employer insolvency and Pensions Regulator issues.

David’s major work includes:

Corporate Transactions
Advising employers, trustees and shareholders on the pensions and employment implications of corporate transactions.  Including dealing with section 75 debt implications (such as drafting and implementing scheme apportionment arrangements (SAAs) and flexible apportionment arrangements (FAAs)), funding issues, Take-over Code issues; trustee powers and implications of the powers of the Pensions Regulator (including numerous clearance applications and negotiations).  Advised on transfer issues, setting up new schemes and issues under Tupe.

Scheme changes and mergers
Advising employers and trustees on issues arising from scheme changes, including equalisation (Barber), discrimination issues, scheme closures, external contracts, appointment and removal of trustees, changes to corporate trustee structures. employer consultation obligations (Tupe and Pensions Act 2004); taxation implications of changes.  Advising on scheme mergers and bulk transfers.

Scheme funding
Advising employers and trustees on scheme funding and security issues, including guarantees, funding arrangements, grant of security, reservoir trusts and charged accounts; use of Scottish limited partnership structures and investment issues. Advised on the implications of various employer events (eg dividends, reduction of capital).  Advised on salary sacrifice arrangements.

Employer Insolvency
Advising employers, trustees, insolvency practitioners and third parties on the implications of employer insolvency, including section 75 debt issues, arrangements with the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund (including regulated apportionment arrangements).

Litigation
David’s noteworthy litigation cases (as a solicitor) include:

  • Manning v Drexel Burnham Lambert [1995] 1 WLR 32 (a decision of Lindsay J dealing in particular with conflict issues for trustees), acting for the trustees on the winding-up of a scheme;
  • BESTrustees plc v Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Ltd [2012] EWHC 629 (Ch) and [2013] EWHC 2407 (Ch) (separate decisions of Sales J and then Etherton C on two separate issues on how a s75 debt should be calculated). Acting for the administrators of the employer;
  • Re Nortel Networks Corpn 2014 ONSC 6973 (a decision of Newbould J in Ontario on the ability of the Pensions Regulator to issue a financial support direction on a holding company). Advising the insolvency practitioners acting over the Canadian parent company.

Initial stages of dealing with the Pensions Regulator in relation to its use of statutory ‘moral hazard’ powers under the Pensions Act 2004.

APL
David was chair of the Association of Pension Lawyers (APL) from 2001 to 2003.

He is currently on the APL Communications committee, having previously been on the APL’s Education & Seminars and Legislative & Parliamentary committees.

The APL awarded David its ‘Wallace Medal’ in 1998 and again in 2015 (for excellence on communicating pensions issues).

David has a regular column in the newsletter of the APL, with monthly entries:

  • “Pollard’s Picks” (a listing of recent legal articles of interest); and “Add Spice to Your Advice” (regular quotes of interest, mainly from judgments).

Chambers UK says he is  one of the most eminent pensions lawyers around’ and described as a “complete guru” in the pensions world.

The Legal 500 describes him as a complete grasp of the complex regulatory framework underpinning UK pension provision, and the ability to translate said complexities to clients in a clear, authoritative but nevertheless pragmatic manner