Richard provides focused, pragmatic, advice to companies and pension scheme trustees across the full range of pensions issues - from moral hazard investigations and corporate restructurings to funding negotiations and scheme mergers, as well as the full range of ‘business as usual’ matters.

He has particular experience in matters involving the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund. This includes having advised the trustees of the Brunel Holdings Pension Scheme throughout the lengthy moral hazard investigation process and negotiations leading to the high-profile settlement with the Coats Group.

Richard is dual qualified in Northern Ireland and England and Wales and is a full member of the Association of Pension Lawyers.

He is a member of the Pension Regulator’s diversity and inclusion working group.

  • Advising the trustees of the Brunel Holdings Pension Scheme and acting as the main point of contact with the Pensions Regulator for a high-profile moral hazard investigation involving a financial support direction being sought against a UK and overseas listed plc.
  • Advising trustees in relation to innovative proposals by the struggling employer in order to avoid insolvency and protect members' jobs. This work was in a highly contentious area and involved detailed negotiations with the Regulator, the Pension Protection Fund and taking advice from a leading QC.
  • Advising a company on detailed negotiations with pension scheme trustees to successfully resolve a complex and controversial pensions issue, leading the responsible director at the client to comment that: 'I find the Burges Salmon pensions team, expertly led by for us by Richard Pettit, to be the epitome of professionalism. Richard and his team have assisted us in firstly understanding then identifying a solution to a particularly complex pensions case.'
  • Advising a manufacturing company with a pension scheme with a £60 million deficit on the entry of the scheme into the Pension Protection Fund, involving applying to the Regulator for clearance and an approval notice for a regulated apportionment arrangement and negotiations with the Pension Protection Fund.
  • Advising scheme trustees on urgent actions to protect member benefits in the light of the potential loss of employer assets from the jurisdiction, including steps to ensure Insolvency Act protection and liaising with the Pensions Regulator.
  • Providing legal advice to scheme trustees on the mitigation being sought in relation to a £2.3 billion restructuring of the supporting employer group – including advising on regulatory clearance, court approval and the legal position in a number of overseas jurisdictions.

What others say...

Richard Pettit will manage the most intricate matters with care and efficiency…he is a careful and meticulous lawyer, excellent at leading a team.

Legal 500 2021