Justin advises a wide range of clients – employers (UK and international), trustees (including offshore), pension product providers and individuals – on all aspects of pensions law including the intricacies of pension scheme documentation, corporate transactions, Pension Regulator clearance, reorganising schemes and Pension Protection Fund negotiations, funding matters, closing schemes to future accrual and winding-up schemes. He also deals with pension scheme disputes with a particular interest in Pension Ombudsman complaints.
Justin also specialises in employee benefits work and regularly provides advice on the structuring, implementation, maintenance and vesting of management and employee incentive arrangements to both UK and overseas companies. For the last decade or so he has been involved in unwinding historic Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) arrangements and negotiating settlements with HMRC.
- Advising a number of distressed employers (including ‘not for profit’ organisations) on their defined benefit pension liabilities and how to manage a pension scheme separation exercise.
- Acting for a major international online gaming company on the pension aspects of its first UK corporate acquisition including clearance from the Pensions Regulator and Pension Protection Fund negotiation.
- Advising the trustee boards of several UK occupational pension schemes sponsored by a NYSE listed conglomerate on a major restructuring project.
- Advising the trustee board of a UK occupational pension scheme sponsored by a major European airline on restructuring needed to achieve Pension Protection Fund coverage.
- Acting for a private individual in a ground-breaking Pension Ombudsman case regarding significant pension overpayments over a number of years. Successfully arguing the clients right to retain the overpayments and recovering full costs from the respondent insurance company.
- Advising start-up businesses across a number of sectors (Fintech, restaurants and pharmaceutical) on employee incentive arrangements including growth shares and enterprise management incentive schemes.
Justin joined Wedlake Bell in 2010 and became a partner in 2012. He trained with KLegal (KPMG’s law firm) and qualified in 2003 with McGrigors (now Pinsent Masons) specialising in all aspects of employee benefits including tax efficient bonus planning structures and share schemes including a secondment with KPMG’s employment tax group. He then spent four years at Hogan Lovells where he specialised in pensions law.
Justin has a degree in Law from The University of Dundee.
He is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers, The Employee Share Ownership Centre and the QCA’s Share Schemes Expert Group.
Justin is a regular contributor to the Pension and Employee Benefits team’s e-bulletins, speaks at seminars and has also written articles for Pensions World magazine, The Sunday Telegraph magazine, The Guardian and various pension industry journals.