For our March event we welcome Richard Tett, Lindsay Hingston and Dawn Heath of Freshfields as our guest speakers.
Richard is head of Freshfields’ London restructuring & insolvency team. Lindsay is a senior associate in the restructuring and insolvency team and Dawn is a partner in the Freshfields pensions team.
In this session we will take a look at the Pension Schemes Bill 2019-2020 which intends to strengthen pensions protection by introducing new criminal offences to punish corporate behaviour which impacts a defined benefit pension plan. The Bill was laid in the last days of the 2019 Parliament before its dissolution – but it was confirmed in the Queen’s Speech that it will be brought back to Parliament very soon (and very possibly around the date of this session). The reforms are likely to have a drastic impact for companies in financial distress which operate a UK defined benefit pension scheme.
The way that the new offences are framed goes far beyond the stated policy intent and could disincentivise directors from pursuing a turnaround plan or a pension scheme compromise because of the risk of personal criminal liability by continuing to trade. We will consider the Bill through the lens of a restructuring adviser.
If time permits, we will take a look at corporate insolvency reform that may be implemented in the UK as soon as Parliamentary time permits.
The presentations will be followed by drinks and canapes, providing a networking opportunity for all delegates.
About the speaker/s
Richard is a finance partner and heads the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer London international Restructuring & Insolvency Team.
He has 20 years of restructuring experience and has worked extensively on ‘in court’ and ‘out of court’ restructurings/refinancings, intercreditor agreement disputes, formal insolvency appointments, high yield bond and CMBS bond restructurings, distressed M&A, English schemes of arrangement, US Chapter 11s and s363 sales, pension deficits, insurance workouts, telecoms, and insolvency aspects of structured finance.
Associate member of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), committee member of TMA NextGen and Lindsay was shortlisted for the nextGen professional of the Year award 2019.
Dawn advises employers, trustees and financial institutions on all aspects of pensions law, focusing on defined benefit pension schemes and their associated challenges.
Dawn’s recent experience includes advising clients on:
a range of significant pension projects, including funding and security arrangements, reshaping benefits and liability management exercises. Clients include AstraZeneca, Croda International and Phoenix Group;
the pensions implications of corporate activity, including sales, reorganisations and joint ventures. Clients include Amey, ConocoPhillips, SSE and RWE;
pensions issues in distress situations, including advising on the liquidation of Carillion, House of Fraser’s CVA and the restructurings of Monarch Airlines and Kodak.