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Job Title Pensions Associate/Senior Associate
Closing Date 10-Sep-2022
Department Pensions
Job Location Bristol; London; Reading
Role Lawyers
Description

We have exciting opportunities available for Associates (including newly-qualified solicitors) and Senior Associates to join our highly regarded Pensions team. We are happy to consider candidates based in any of our UK offices (Bristol, Reading and London).

This is a fantastic opportunity to join an experienced and well respected team and be involved in the whole spectrum of pensions law and practice. You will have access to a broad range of high quality work, including contentious and non-contentious matters in both the private and public sectors. From the outset, you will be a valued member of the team and have the opportunity to work on some high profile matters, build client relationships and develop your business development skills.

You will be joining a successful firm with a collegiate and supportive culture, which makes it a rewarding place to work.

The practice

"They absolutely get inside the skin of their clients and you know they are batting for you." - Chambers UK

The team advises employers, trustees and local authorities in order to help them run their pension schemes compliantly while managing risks. We also run one of the UK's leading independent trustee companies, Open Trustees, so we have direct experience of operating pension schemes.

Our lawyers have the opportunity to advise on a variety of pensions issues from risk reduction exercises (such as pension increases exchanges, buy-ins and buyouts and alternative funding arrangements) to advising pension schemes going through a Pension Protection Fund ("PPF") assessment period, or an Administering Authority on matters relating to the Local Government Pension Scheme ("LGPS"). We also have particular expertise in the pensions aspects of corporate acquisitions and disposals, scheme mergers, government outsourcings, insolvencies, restructurings and wind-ups.

One aspect of our work which sets the team apart is that our lawyers also have the opportunity to act for employers, trustees and representative beneficiaries on complex litigation claims, including professional negligence work and Part 8 claims.

The team

Our team are noted for their 'all-round expertise' and for having 'good strength in depth with shared knowledge' - Legal 500

Led by Jonathan Hazlett who is rated in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500, the team currently comprises of 4 partners, 2 Legal Directors, 3 Associate Directors, 4 Senior Associates, 2 Associates, 2 Pensions Managers, 3 Assistant Pensions Managers and 1 Administrative Assistant.

The work

  • As a member of the PPF's legal panel, we provide advice to trustees and the PPF in relation to schemes progressing through a PPF assessment period including in relation to recent high-profile insolvencies including the first scheme rescue. Our trustee company, Open Trustees, is also one of only five firms appointed to the PPF's trustee advisory panel.
  • Appointed to the LGPS national framework panel following a competitive tender. Under the panel, we provide a full range of LGPS related services to LGPS funds across England and Wales, including scheme administration, outsourcing, benefits, dispute resolution and investment advice.
  • Advice to employers and trustees on amendments to future service benefits and the closure of schemes to the future accrual of final salary benefits, including negotiating closure terms, inputting into consultation exercises, advising on amendments to complex benefit structures and drafting or commenting on responses to member enquiries.
  • Advice to employers and trustees on liability management exercises, including enhanced transfer value exercises, pension increase exchanges, trivial commutation exercises and buy-in / buy-out insurance contracts.
  • Drafting and amending pension scheme documentation and member communications.
  • Advice to employers and trustees in relation to scheme errors, benefit corrections and documentation rectification.
  • Advice in relation to investigations by the Pensions Regulator regarding the possible use of the Regulator's powers.
  • Acting for representative beneficiaries in litigation relating to pension schemes. Recent examples include acting for one of the representative beneficiaries in the complex litigation surrounding the Gleeds Retirement Benefits Scheme in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal, advising a representative beneficiary in relation to the High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings brought by Honda Motor Europe Limited arising out of a mistake in the rules of its pension scheme, and advising the representative defendant on the recent Axminster Carpets pension scheme litigation concerning limitation periods and forfeiture clauses.

Technical skills and experience

You will have knowledge and transactional experience of working for pension clients in a variety of capacities. You will have gained experience in non-contentious pensions work in a high quality pensions team, covering the areas mentioned above. Due to the nature of the work and structure of the team we are looking to appoint an Associate or Senior Associate in this area, however we are willing to consider candidates with more or less experience.

Your career development

Like all our lawyers, you will benefit from our multi-award winning career development programme. At each stage of your career this provides you with:

  • clear expectations of your role and what it takes to progress;
  • high quality clients and work, with early responsibility and client exposure;
  • thorough assessment and individual feedback from a range of experienced colleagues;
  • robust technical training with early skills based development, increasingly tailored to you; and
  • reward for your contribution, progression and potential, rather than PQE or tenure.

Salary and benefits

We offer competitive salaries and generous benefits.

For more information or to apply

At Osborne Clarke we welcome direct applications - if you would like any further information about the role, or the firm, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact, in complete confidence, Emily Webb in the recruitment team on emily.webb@osborneclarke.com or 0117 917 3072.

At Osborne Clarke we value difference and encourage applicants from all social backgrounds, ethnicities, disabilities, gender identities, and sexual or romantic orientations. We want everyone to feel that OC is a place where you can be yourself and where you belong, and our range of interest groups and diversity networks - not to mention our great teams - are a part of making that a reality.

We support working families via a range of family and caring friendly policies and will accommodate flexible working where we can. We value the health and wellbeing of our people: for example, we're signatories to the Mindful Business Charter, have an active network of mental health champions and offer free initiatives and flexible benefits to all our people.

Being an inclusive employer is important to us. We have made a number of external commitments such as the Race Fairness Commitment and Women in Law Pledge, and are working with organisations like Stonewall to become a more inclusive employer.

Osborne Clarke is a Living Wage Employer, so we're committed to paying everybody in our business enough to live on and to enable them to save for the future.

We want you to be able to show us your best during the recruitment process. If you require any adjustments to be made during the application, interview process or when working with us, please let us know.