Overview

Beth Brown is a senior associate in the Pensions practice of the London office. She provides advice to trustee and employer clients on all aspects of pensions with a particular focus on defined contribution governance, pensions finance and pensions insolvency matters.

Beth trained at Mayer Brown and has undertaken two secondments to the Pension Protection Fund ("PPF") and AstraZeneca, London. She is an active member of the cross-disciplinary pension finance and risk transfer practices advising on de-risking by pension funds, investments and restructurings. Beth's work has included advising trustees on employer insolvencies and transition to the PPF, including one of the first largest multi-employer schemes (Woolworths).

Beth also has experience with High Court litigation, including the Prudential case on discretionary pension increases. She has worked with our finance and securities team to advise the trustee board of the Total UK Pension Plan on the collateral arrangements securing the insurance of £1.6 billion of pensioner liabilities by Pensions Insurance Corporation; this is one of the UK industry's largest bulk annuity deals and the size of the transaction required the implementation of an innovative structure with Pensions Insurance Corporation.

Outside her primary client work, Beth is an active member in the pensions industry. She Chairs the Pension Management Institute ("PMI")'s Awards in Pension Trusteeship Committee and continues to sit on the PMI's Certificate in DC Governance Committee having been a founding member of the committee responsible for establishing and developing the qualification as well as a co-author of the study manual. Beth also regularly speaks at events and chairs sessions such as at the Association of Pension Lawyers' ("APL") Investment Essentials Course, Pensions and Benefits UK ("PBUK") Conference and PMI seminars. She regularly writes for internal and external publications which has included PMI News, PLC, International Corporate Rescue and Engaged Investor.

Spoken Languages

  • English

Experience

  • Advises Royal National Institute of Blind People on a range of pension related matters (on a pro bono basis).
  • Advised the Pension Protection Fund ("PPF") on the settlement of the Hoover Pension Scheme’s defined benefit deficit by way of a Regulated Apportionment Arrangement, which was approved by The Pensions Regulator, and the associated corporate transaction.
  • Advised the trustee board of the Total UK Pension Plan on their insurance of £1.6 billion of pensioner liabilities with Pensions Insurance Corporation in June 2014; this is one of the UK industry's largest bulk annuity deals and the size of the transaction required the implementation of an innovative structure with Pensions Insurance Corporation.
  • Acted for the Trustees of the Woolworths Pension Scheme in connection with its entry into the PPF.
  • Hughes v Woolworths Group Pension Trustee Limited [2012] EWHC 905 (Ch). Represented the respondent in this important case concerning the provisions in the Pensions Act 2004 governing the operation of the PPF and the impact of the PPF assessment period on members' benefits.
  • Prudential Staff Pensions Limited v The Prudential Assurance Company Limited & Others [2011] EWCH 960 (Ch). Represented the trustee in this leading case on the scope of the duty of good faith owed by sponsoring employers, particularly in relation to discretionary pension increases and trustees' duties.
  • Advised on numerous PPF reconsideration applications involving the obtaining of buy-out annuity quotations.
  • Advised pension trustees on potential exposures after winding-up and consequential considerations for trustee liability run-off insurance.
  • Advised trustees on the legal aspects of investment documentation, including investment management agreements, custody agreements and fund documentation.

Education

BPP Law School, Legal Practice Course

University of Kent, LLB, Honours

Admissions

  • England and Wales

Memberships

  • Founding member of the committee responsible for establishing and developing the new PMI DC Governance qualification as well as a co-author of the study manual.
  • Chair and member of the PMI's Awards in Pension Trusteeship Committee
  • Member of the Association of Pension Lawyers
  • Member of the Pensions Management Institute