Our Pensions practice is seeking a junior Associate to join their
team which currently comprises 4 Partners, 1 Of Counsel, 2 Knowledge
Lawyers and 12 Associates and trainees. Our Associates are engaged on
a daily basis with the full range of pensions legal work, for both
corporate and trustee clients, including:
De-risking and liability management
We advise both corporates and trustees on de-risking, providing
corporates with solution-driven strategic advice and trustee clients
with advice on their duties and responsibilities in agreeing to and
implementing such proposals, including closures and RPI/CPI switches.
Funding and investment
We work closely with our clients and our Banking and Finance
colleagues on innovative funding solutions such as longevity swaps,
asset backed funding, capital-back solutions, buyouts and buy-ins
and regulatory and structural issues connected with pension fund investment.
Scheme and advisory work
We have a substantial number of large and medium-sized pension
clients. The work is varied and covers all aspects of scheme
advisory work, from strategic DB and DC governance, through
individual benefit queries, Revenue requirements and tax issues to
complex projects such as equalisation and mergers. The importance of
continuity is stressed and Associates are encouraged to build
long-term relationships with clients. We also advise, both directly
and in terms of trustees and employers effecting transfers of
members and assets to, DC master trusts and new forms of consolidators.
Corporate M&A, carve-outs
Corporate deals - very often international - and restructurings
and refinancings, with particular reference to the anti-avoidance
and clearance powers of the Pensions Regulator, are also an area of
particular strength and importance to our practice and our Firm's
corporate strategy. Sales and purchases form a significant, but not
dominant, part of our work and, as you would expect in a global firm
of our standing, often involve high-profile global transactions,
with a substantial overseas element which entails work with pension
lawyers in other offices of Baker McKenzie. The nature of our global
practice, with over 100 lawyers advising on pensions across 34
jurisdictions means we are uniquely placed to advise on pensions
issues in these complex multi-jurisdictional transactions and restructurings.
The London Pensions team plays a pivotal role in Baker McKenzie's
global pensions group and takes the lead in co-ordinating global
projects. We also work with our Employee Benefit colleagues on
globally mobile employees. We organise a Global Pensions seminar
most years, which we believe is unique among law firms (Amsterdam,
London, Chicago, Washington DC).
Pension litigation is conducted in collaboration with our Disputes
colleagues. Associates in the department handle some claims
themselves (e.g. IDRP and Ombudsman complaints) and work on other
contentious matters in conjunction with specialist pension litigators.
The provision of user-friendly, comprehensive and accurate scheme
documentation forms a key plank of the service we provide to our
clients and all of our Associates are involved in drafting, from
deeds of participation through to complex rule consolidations.
Our work for the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund, an
industry-wide scheme, also demonstrates our ability to provide
integrated cross-disciplinary advice on pensions issues.
As well as fee-earning work, we encourage our Associates actively
to engage in the many non-fee earning Departmental initiatives including:
Our Associates play an important role in developing and
implementing our BD strategy. There are ample opportunities for
Associates to engage in BD, with a variety of options to suit all
(including article writing, client training/presentations, arranging
networking meetings, media campaigns, and engaging with our peers in
the pensions industry and on leading committees, to list a few).
This is very much part of an Associate's role with us and we welcome
all ideas and all contributions. We have an embedded BD Executive to
assist in this area.
We have a strong and excellent PSL resource of two designated
knowledge lawyers, which is supplemented by our Associates sharing
their knowledge and best practice within the team on a regular
basis. We encourage Associates to share their work product and
expertise by contributing to our comprehensive knowhow system and to
take the lead in, and train other members of the team on, areas of
The London Pensions team consists of 16 dedicated pensions lawyers
and is widely recognised in the industry as a leading specialist
practice, providing commercial, pragmatic and innovative advice to a
wide range of clients. We have provided strategic and day to day
pensions advice to our clients for over 30 years and continue to
develop our practice by attracting new clients from both within the
firm and from outside. We work closely with other practice groups in
the Firm, including Employment, Tax, Disputes, Corporate, Financial
Service, Banking and Finance to provide integrated advice on large
scale pension projects such as asset-backed funding, buyouts,
innovative covenant and funding projects, and insurance transactions
as well as the pensions aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions
We are at the heart of the pensions industry and pensions
thought-leadership, our lawyers often being sought out by pensions
journalists for quotations and speaking at external industry events,
authoring articles for the major pensions publications and sitting on
the main technical legal and industry committees. The London Pensions
team plays a pivotal role in Baker McKenzie's global pensions group
and takes the lead in co-ordinating global projects. We organise a
Global Pensions seminar, showcasing our pensions expertise across the
globe. Our high standing is further evidenced by the popularity of our
Annual Seminar which is attended by approximately 200 clients and
pensions professionals. The quality of our presentations attracts many
industry professionals (actuaries, benefit consultants, independent
Approximately 70% of our pensions clients have come to the firm
specifically for pensions advice. We advise both companies and
trustees on the legal aspects of pension arrangements. The total
number of plans advised by us is approximately 300. These schemes
range from very large schemes (such as the Merchant Navy, and the
plans of a major bank) to the medium-sized, both defined benefit and
defined contribution (we advise the trustees of one of the largest DC
schemes in the UK). The scope of this advice encompasses trust law,
specialist pensions legislation affecting pensions schemes to change
benefit structures, common investment arrangements, discrimination in
pension schemes, litigation, applications to the court, advising
independent trustees and advising on international aspects. In
addition, we provide a full documentation service, drafting trust
deeds and rules, amending schemes and drafting collective investment agreements.
We provide our clients with a monthly 'UK Pensions Update' notifying
them of the latest developments and issue "talking points"
on particular topics of interest. In addition to our Annual Seminar,
we run regular breakfast briefings and think tanks for our clients on
significant legal issues in the pensions area.
Our ability to deliver professional and cost-effective advice lies
not only in the experience and approach of our lawyers, but also,
critically, in the know-how and precedent system which we have
developed. We have a two person PSL resource providing know-how
support exclusively to the Pensions Department.
Sample of work:
Advising trustees through a time-limited negotiation, structuring
and implementation of converting a longevity swap insurance contract
into a full £700 million buy-in policy, with a different insurer
(the first and to date only time this has been achieved in the market).
Advising a major outsourcing corporate on the legal structuring
and negotiating of two major projects with the objective of
switching the basis for inflation proofing pensions from RPI to CPI
and achieving a company saving and Plan investment de-risking of
Advising the trustees of one of the UK largest DC plans on the
transition of DC funds from five investment providers onto a single
insurance "platform" structure with first-of-their-kind
contracts governing continuing obligations directly to the trustee.
Advising Emerson Electric on a USD 3.2 billion acquisition,
negotiating the pension aspects of the sale and purchase agreement,
and project managing the deal over 46 jurisdictions.
Advising Post Holdings on the pensions aspects of the acquisition
of Weetabix including the implications for the client of the
acquisition of two significant DB pension plans.
Advising the trustees of the Old Mutual pension schemes on the
purchase of buy-in policies covering all the liabilities of each of
the schemes with conversion to a full buy-out of the schemes over a
short timeframe and with a matter value of £300m.
Advising a major global chemicals company on the UK pensions
implications of its transformational global merger and de-merger,
including advice on changes to a bespoke covenant support structure.
Advising the US parent of a UK sponsor of a DB pension plan in
relation to the potential incorrect equalisation of benefits and
failure to break the link to final salary following a historic
closure to future accrual.
Advising a major IT outsourcing company on the design and
structure of a proposal to amend future service benefits via a
pensionable pay freeze for members of the pension scheme.
Advising trustees on a proposal for all the scheme's assets (in
the region of £1.7 billion) to be invested in a common investment
fund, following the acquisition of the scheme sponsor by another
Advising many clients, both companies and trustees, in relation to
Key Skills and Experience Required
The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate all or the
majority of the following:
Relevant Pensions experience
Experience / skills commensurate with their PQE level
First rate technical skills needed to support the client work of
An interest in business development and the sharing of knowledge
and best practice
Excellent written communication and drafting skills
Excellent academic credentials
Ability to work independently
Initiative and proactivity
Maturity and gravitas
Strong service orientation - a "client first" culture
Ability to develop strong relationships with clients and to take
responsibility for this relationship
High work standards
Ability to work well in both a team and individually
A keenness to learn
Respects and enjoys the diversity of cultural, social and academic
backgrounds found in the Firm
Why Join Us?
Baker McKenzie is a truly global law firm. Founded in 1949, we advise
many of the world's most dynamic and successful business organisations
through our 13,200 people in 78 offices in 46 countries. Yet big does
not mean impersonal. We work hard to ensure that everyone knows their
role and has the support they need to perform it to the highest
standard. Our culture encourages this - how we work, think and behave
in a collaborative and fulfilling way.
In London you will be part of a 950 person office, which is also our
largest office globally. Originally opened in 1961, Baker McKenzie
London is well established in the UK as a leading international law
firm and is regularly involved in some of the country's most
high-profile legal matters. We can offer you the work, pride and
experience of being part of a leading law firm but in a local office
environment that is hardworking, friendly and supportive.
The strength of the firm and our culture is evidenced by a number of
recent awards, including:
Please click on the Apply icon to start the online application
process for this role. We will then be in touch with you once we have
reviewed your application. If you are unable to apply online, please
contact the Recruitment Team on either 020 7919 1000 or Recruitment.London@bakermckenzie.com
For more information about this position or to discuss any
adjustments you may require during the process please contact in
confidence, Vanessa Renforth, Recruitment Manager, on 020 7072 5731 or
Please note Baker McKenzie does not accept unsolicited CVs. Please clickhere
for details of our Agency Policy and commitment to sourcing directly.
Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
As the first truly global law firm, diversity and inclusion are
foundational to our culture and strategic vision. We are a Firm of
individuals from across the globe with different backgrounds, ideas,
and points of view who collegially work together to solve complex
problems and design practical solutions for our clients. Our multiple
perspectives come from many sources, including the diverse ethnicity,
culture, gender, nationality, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender
identity and expression, disability, parental status, education,
social background and life experience of our people.
Our global strategy is focused on our people, our culture, our
clients and the communities where we operate. In 2019 we enacted
ambitious new targets related to gender, racial and ethnic diversity
at the Firm. These targets are viewed as a floor, not a ceiling, to
advancing underrepresented groups, and they are backed by a variety of
strategic initiatives aimed at achieving our goals. Our strategic
vision is supported in London by six active employee led networks
which champion diversity, lead on a number of internal campaigns and
deliver a range of activity to celebrate differences in identity,
inclusion, and key dates throughout the year including: LGBT+ History
Month, International Women's Day, International Trans Day of
Visibility, Mental Health Awareness Week, Pride, Black History Month,
Social Mobility Week, International Day of Disabled Persons and many more!
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joining over 18,000 organisations that have signed up to help change
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reap the benefits of inclusive recruitment practices.