Legal Business Blogs

Eversheds and Linklaters act as L&G finalises biggest pensions buyout of the year

Eversheds has advised Legal & General Group on the largest pensions risk transfer of 2016 as the insurer takes on £1.1bn of the Vickers Group Pension Scheme.

Linklaters advised the scheme, part of Rolls-Royce Group, which covers around 11,000 members. The team was led by Linklaters corporate partner Victoria Sander.

Eversheds corporate insurance partner Hugo Laing and pensions partner Mark Latimour advised Legal & General on the buyout.

The de-risking market has faced some headwinds following the introduction of Solvency II. The EU regulation required insurers to hold more capital to reduce the risk of insolvency, but insurers have worried it would have an impact on pricing and impact de-risking deals.

Eversheds’ Laing (pictured) told Legal Business the deal showed the buyout was ‘a good statement of the health of the market’.

Laing added: ‘2016 brought some perceived challenges for the de-risking market in the form of Solvency II. However, the de-risking market is very busy indeed and the size of this transaction demonstrates simply a peak in a large number of transactions we have seen in the past six months.’

Eversheds is a long-standing adviser to insurance and investment giant Legal & General, having previously acted on the purchase of a 50% stake in MediaCity UK in 2015 and on a £252m real estate portfolio deal in 2014.

Other significant deals this year have seen Travers Smith, Debevoise & Plimpton and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advise on Canada Pension Plan Investment’s deal to buy Lloyds of London syndicate Ascot Underwriting for $1.1bn.

Ascot, part of American International Group (AIG), instructed Travers Smith senior partner Chris Hale, while Canada Pension Plan Investment was advised by Debevoise partner Alexander Cochran and Nicholas Potter. AIG enlisted Freshfields corporate insurance partner George Swan.