Demerara Sugar Company appoints LDC as sole trustee
We were tasked with protecting member interests during a take-over. We completed the winding-up of the Demerara scheme in the 1990s, a task that some said was too complicated ever to be achieved.
Dunlop appoints LDC as sole trustee
Courtalds appoints LDC to its senior executive scheme
Only the Senior Executive Team's Scheme was deemed to be at risk of conflicts due to members being trustees to their own benefit.
We are appointed to the Morgan Pension Scheme, an appointment we hold to this day
LDC’s client base reaches 19 (one of which was our own)
Each of these schemes was administered by LDC’s Company Secretary
LDC appoints Linklaters to advise on the Inland Revenue’s newfound interest in the investment policies of pension schemes
There was a suspicion that schemes were misusing the tax concessions they enjoyed on their investments by engaging in activities the Inland Revenue would have described as trading.
The decision is made to professionalise LDC’s pension trusteeship. Richard Thomas is hired to build the business.
Those involved felt that the large sector was weakened by its muddled approach to conflicts of interest. There was a clear opening for independent trusteeship.
We begin to feel that we could make a virtue out of a team of professionals with professional qualifications and different backgrounds who could all contribute something to the blend of skills which pension schemes needed. We begin to look for other disciplines
The accountancy profession was going through an upheaval. We approached the Institute of Chartered Accountants to see if they had anyone on their books who might be suitable. Bruce McNess, John Bloxsome and Patrick Harrex come to us with deservedly strong recommendations.
Introduction of a SORP defining how accounts should be prepared
The Institute of Chartered Accountants brought Professor Solomons over from the USA to open up the topic of how companies ought to account for their economic interest in their pension plans. Although the Professor’s efforts appeared to be abortive, something very similar to his recommendations surfaced years later in 2002 with FRS17.
The Government’s requires that independent trustees should be appointed to the schemes of insolvent employers
We are appointed by Maxwell Clifford Communications (MCC) to the Maxwell Communications Pension Plan.
At that time, MCC was in the FTSE 100 and although the scheme was not particularly large, it was exceptionally complicated. It had for example over 400 participating employers and an exceptionally complicated history. It also suffered from an exceptionally convoluted set of financial relationships and it took huge efforts in co-ordination with the other statutory independent trustees to find out where the money had gone and who we should sue. An enormous settlement was reached with the parties at fault, mediated by Sir John Cuckney, and this rescued the various Maxwell pension schemes. Curiously, on this plan we were not appointed by PWC, the insolvency practitioners, but by MCC itself after the death of Maxwell but just before they went into administration.
Hitherto our views on the need to document decisions and comply with the terms of the Trust Deed had often been seen by others as stuffily pedantic, but as the realisation of what Maxwell did and how he did it began to sink in the attitude changed.
We are appointed to the pension scheme of the European Parliament giving us the opportunity of watching developments on the Continent almost at first hand
As the pensions cap introduced by Nigel Lawson in 1989 began to bite, FURBS, SURBS and UURBS are developed. This year we see these schemes being set up in earnest
The 1995 Pensions Act
The Pensions Act 1995 and its subsidiary regulations were revolutionary. Until then, trustees were at liberty to weigh up the circumstances and to make the most appropriate decision. With the Act in force, greater attention had to be paid to the way a decision was taken and documented. It seemed at first that this more formulaic approach would not suit our business, but it soon became clear that we were well suited to helping boards of trustees adapt to the new regime. Although pension schemes were still generally in surplus, the definition in the Act of the duties of trustees and sponsors, and the dividing line between them, meant that the need for predator protection had largely gone. We therefore concentrated on compliance as our new theme.
Law Debenture Pension Trustee Corporation (LDPTC) is formed
LDPTC’s first trusteeship was UNIAC, and in due course we transferred most of the trusteeships held by LDC and LDTC to it. Only insolvency schemes and special arrangements stayed behind
We take on special situation appointments Refuge and Hillsdown leading to full time appointments
Special situation appointments are generally short term appointments where we had a specific role. They usually converted into long term full scale appointments
Charles Morgan joins LDPTC
By this time our portfolio includes schemes sponsored by 20 of the FTSE 100, and by four of the world’s largest companies (BP, Shell, Intel and WalMart). Many of the sponsors of our schemes are quoted outside the UK, e.g. Daimler Chrylser, Akzo Nobel, AXA, Dresdner, and Fortis or are not quoted at all, e.g. the Co-Op and PWC.
By 2019 we are appointed to 31 FTSE 100 schemes and 71 in the FTSE 350. We have also seen an increase in schemes with sponsors outside the UK, many of these are sole trustee appointments.
Mark Ashworth joins LDPTC
David Felder joins LDPTC
Law Debenture Debate launched
The Debate has become a staple in the pension industry calendar. The first motion was:
“This House believes that pensions are no more secure than they were on 5 November 1991 [the day that Robert Maxwell disappeared].”
The Debate was chaired by: Nicholas Warren Q.C. and the speakers were:
- Professor John Kay (FT and elsewhere)
- Philip Read (Pension Manager at Metal Box)
- Peter Askins (DWP Pensions Policy Unit)
- Tim Cox (Linklaters)
David Kidd joins LDPTC
Michael Chatterton joins LDPTC
Catherine Palarca joins LDPTC
Inder Dhingra and Andrew Parker join LDPTC
Vicky Paramour joins LDPTC
Appointed to the Fidelity IGC
Anna Eagles, Venetia Trayhurn, David Curtis and Mike Jaffe join LDPTC
Robert Thomas, Andrew Harrison and Sean Burnard join LDPTC
The Law Debenture Lens event launched
This photography competition is for clients and contacts across all of the Law Debenture businesses. We had over 200 photos entered in this first year.
Professional Trustee Standard consultation released
LawDeb Trustees Andrew Parker and Robert Thomas formed part of the working group for this consultation and LawDeb submitted a response largely in favour of the proposed standards.