Paul Ashcroft

Senior Associate

Pensions & Employee Benefits
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Expertise

Paul is an associate specialising in all aspects of pensions and employee benefits legal advice for trustee, employer and private clients.

Paul advises a wide range of pension scheme trustee boards and sponsoring employers on all aspects of UK defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes including auto-enrolment, closure to accrual, equalisation, GMPs, member communications, pension sharing, scheme transfers, scheme wind-ups, TUPE and all other pensions matters. Paul is recognised as the ‘go to’ member of the team for drafting all forms of pension scheme documentation from amendment deeds and resolutions to appointment and removal deeds.

Paul also specialises in employee benefits work with a particular focus on drafting scheme documentation for employee incentive arrangements to both UK and offshore arrangements.

Recent Experience

Advisory Work

  • Advising the trustees of one of Europe’s largest radio company’s defined benefit pension scheme including on a consolidation exercise, IDRP, data protection and the introduction of flexible retirement.
  • Advising the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment insurer on all legal pensions referrals from pension sharing on divorce, scheme transfers and trustee appointment issues.
  • Advising on the certification of a PPF contingent asset on behalf of the pension scheme trustees of a large non-profit organisation.
  • Advising the pension scheme trustees of a global maritime insurer on a consolidation exercise and scheme transfer documentation.
  • Advising a multinational luxury hospitality employer on the closure to accrual of its defined benefit pension scheme.
  • Advising a range of international companies on establishing and managing offshore employee incentive arrangements.

Contentious Work

  • Advising on the Hampshire CJEU proceedings on the lawfulness of the PPF compensation cap and subsequent judicial review.
  • Advising on individual pension scheme member complaints and Pensions Ombudsman disputes including in relation to the overpayment of benefits.
  • Advising the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment insurer in relation to policyholder complaints and Financial Ombudsman Service disputes.

Transactional Work

  • Advising on the pension aspects of multi-million pound corporate transactions and acquisitions and drafting due diligence reports, requests for information and pensions warranties and indemnities.

Career History

Paul qualified as a solicitor in 2017 and joined the team in 2019 having previously trained at a London firm. Paul studied law at the University of Warwick. Paul is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers and has presented at the APL Beginner’s Course for up and coming pensions lawyers.

Publications

Paul is a regular contributor to the team’s Pension Compass publication and has written a number of articles for Pensions Age, Pensions Today, Law360 and a variety of other pensions industry journals.

News

Wedlake Bell Advises on Sale of CBW to Gravita and the Corresponding Pre-Sale Reorganisation of CBW Group

Wedlake Bell has advised the members of chartered accountancy firm Carter Backer Winter (“CBW“) on its sale to Gravita, a portfolio company of European tech investor Tenzing. The sale means thatRead more

News

Part 1 – Budget March 2023 – rabbits out of a hat (lifetime allowance and other pension changes)

Lifetime Allowance (“LTA”) Changes In the March 2021 Budget (2 years ago), Rishi Sunak (as Chancellor back then), announced that the LTA would be frozen at the level of £1,073,100Read more

News

PART 4 – LIMITATION ‘AXED’ IN AXMINSTER

Axminster is the latest case to ‘give the axe’ to limitation under the Limitation Act to claims for pension arrears in a mammoth judgment which surveys the history of limitationRead more

News

Adams v Options SIPP (formerly Carey Pensions) – Consumer succeeds against SIPP operator

Trials and tribulations for Carey Pensions as it grapples with a Court of Appeal decision on 1 April 2021 that partially overturned an earlier High Court judgment in its favour.Read more

News

The NMPA is changing — is your scheme ready?

Associate, Paul Ashcroft and Trainee, Gemma Williams map out the legal considerations for trustees in this article published by Professional Pensions.

News

MEDLEY OF CASE LAW – TRUSTEES AND INTRODUCERS IN HOT WATER!

A digest of some recent cases: Members suing SIPP operatorIn Adams v Options SIPP (formerly Carey Pensions), the Court of Appeal decided on 1 April 2021 the member’s agreement withRead more