The Wragge & Co Pensions team has been described by Chambers UK 2013 as "a top rate" team which is going from "strength to strength". It "demonstrates real commitment to getting the right outcomes ".
According to Legal 500 2013, "one of the jewels in [Wragge & Co's] crown is its superb pensions practice". Legal 500 also highlights that "the team gives clear and direct advice in a personable and engaging way."
It's part of the reason it was named Pensions Law Firm winner at the 2011 Pensions and Investment Provider Awards for the second consecutive year. And why in 2012, the Pensions team enjoyed a double win at the mallowstreet pension industry awards. Wragge & Co was crowned 'Most Influential Law firm' and partner Jane Kola took the 'Most Influential Pensions Lawyer' title.
With 49 dedicated pensions lawyers, the Wragge & Co team is one of the largest of its kind in the UK. Such volume and specialisation means that clients can be looked after by a team tailored exactly to their requirements.
Several £1 billion plus schemes - or the sponsoring employers of schemes this size - are included on the team's client list. These include Alstom, AT&T, Britannia Building Society, Capgemini UK, Delta, Emap, Ibstock, Inchcape, Liberata, Marston's PLC, Mitchells & Butlers, Steria, ThyssenKrupp, Wesleyan and Travis Perkins.
The team also acts for the Pension Protection Fund and the Pensions Regulator. Specialist pensions disputes lawyers led by Peter Shave acted for the successful party in the recent Steria case, a law making Court of Appeal decision on scheme booklets. The team enjoys a reputation for giving clear advice in plain English.
Significant work in the last 12 months includes acting on the pensions issues of a highly complex bid by a FTSE 100 company where these dominated the commercial aspects of the deal. On another major corporate transaction the team advised both the pensions and commercial teams on a series of outsourcing contracts and developed a new 'standard' pensions schedule for use in these types of projects. The team also acted for the trustee of the Baird Group pension scheme on its ground-breaking compromise arrangement.
Because many schemes are sponsored by a parent company overseas not bound to UK law, the team regularly works on an international scale. They recently acted for the trustees of a UK pension fund which needed a £400 million cash injection by the sponsor. Payment involved a complicated range of associated and collateral arrangements on which the team worked with the firm's banking unit and other international partners.
Bespoke training for trustees is provided as and when requested. This can include scope guidance on the Pensions Regulator's Trustee Toolkit and can take place in-house or in Wragge & Co.
The Wragge & Co Pensions team, which takes an active role in the National Association of Pensions Funds, Society of Pensions Consultants and Association of Pension Lawyers, keeps a daily check on legal developments and issues regular and timely alerts on topical pensions developments. They also host a bi-annual seminar in Waterhouse Square and Colmore Row on current pensions issues.