Get in touch

For further advice please contact us for a consultation.

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UK Contact

+44 (0)3330 143 401 info@gunnercooke.com
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Germany Contact

+49 30 220 131-000 centralservices@gunnercooke.de

Expertise

Céline has 20 years’ experience in pensions legal practice, working with clients and professionals in the pensions industry on all aspects of pensions matters relating to occupational and personal pension arrangements, both contract and trust-based. She advises trustees and sponsoring employers of occupational pension schemes on issues such as the closure and restructuring of defined benefit pension schemes; scheme mergers; pensions issues on corporate acquisitions and disposals; contingent assets offered by employers to support pension liabilities; funding negotiations, dealing with the Pensions Regulator; managing scheme entries into the Pension Protection Fund and drafting scheme documentation.

Céline’s style is proactive and solutions-based, focussing on a thorough understanding of the issues, the obligations of trustees and employers, and the achievement of defined goals. Céline is also a professional trustee and an HMRC authorised scheme practitioner.

Céline has published two articles: ‘The Developing Rule in Hastings-Bass’ Pensions, Volume 9, Number 3 April 2004 and ‘Gallaher Ltd v Gallaher Pensions Ltd et al’ Pensions, Volume 11, Number 1 December 2005.  Céline was also a regular contributor to industry online magazine Pensions Podcast and authored the Q&A section of the third edition of Pensions Global 2017.

Céline also has extensive experience as general legal counsel to the care home sector advising on issues including CQC compliance and inspection, local authority and CHC commissioning and contract tendering, GDPR and policies and procedures, and COVID-19.

Céline Advises

  • Trustees of occupational pension schemes
  • Sponsoring employers from the full range of industry sectors
  • Local authorities
  • Housing associations
  • Universities and Education Trusts
  • Charities
  • Actuaries and financial advisers
  • Other law firms requiring specialist pensions expertise
  • Individuals

Experience Highlights

  • Advising trustees and employers regarding the rectification and implications of historical drafting errors and invalid use of the power of amendment or incorrect equalisation resulting in liability implications and increases to entitlements to benefits
  • Advising individuals, trustees and employers on a range of pensions disputes including internal dispute resolution procedures, maladministration complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service and court proceedings
  • Establishment and HMRC registration of new retirement benefits arrangements including DC schemes, DB schemes, hybrid schemes and SSASs
  • Drafting replacement trust deeds and rules and amending deeds
  • Establishment of internal controls procedures, scheme checklists, bespoke trustee training, scheme governance and administration
  • Scheme mergers and transfers
  • Advising employers on their duties in relation to automatic enrolment and delivering effective and compliant communication with members and employees
  • Attending regular trustee meetings and advising trustee boards on an ongoing scheme management basis
  • Providing scheme trustees with advice on issues of interpretation or proposals for modification to the scheme put forward by an employer
  • Transactional work on the pensions aspects of corporate sales and acquisitions, including acting for other law firms who require specialist pensions input on their deals
  • In addition to Pensions, Céline also has 10 years of experience advising care homes with regards to CQC compliance, local authority and CHC commissioning, contract framework tendering, polices and procedures and more recently COVID-19 requirements

Career History

Previous Law Firms

  • Pure Pensions Legal — 2012–20
  • Shoosmiths — 2006–11
  • Hewitsons — 2001–05

Memberships

  • SRA Registered Solicitor

Education

  • Legal Practice Management, Altior, 2003
  • Professional Skills Course, Altior, 2001
  • Legal Practice Course — Distinction, De Montford University, 2000–01
  • LLB (Hons) — 2.1, University of Birmingham, 1997–2000
  • Kimbolton School

Get in touch

For further advice please contact us for a consultation.

-

UK Contact

+44 (0)3330 143 401 info@gunnercooke.com
-

Germany Contact

+49 30 220 131-000 centralservices@gunnercooke.de