Stephen Richards

Partner

A big scheme specialist, Stephen advises employers, trustees, and master trusts on all types of pensions issues. He has a commercial style on strategic issues and brings a responsive approach on day to day matters. With the ability to present complex ideas in a simple way, Stephen has helped a variety of clients with tricky pensions issues, from the trustees of global banks to UK manufacturers.

Stephen joined Stephenson Harwood from Allen and Overy to complement our strong and growing pensions team. As a rising star in pensions law, Stephen further enhances the reputation of the firm's pension practice.

He is an expert on pensions in the banking sector, large pension schemes, Pensions Regulator issues and master trusts. Stephen has experience on major strategic projects including advising on the acquisition of a major master trust provider and the largest company contribution made to a pension scheme to date. Stephen is also a trustee so he understands what trustees need from their advisers. Stephen established the Pensions Innovation Café, and likes to present advice in a modern, user friendly way.

Stephen‘s recent experience includes advising on multiple transfers to DC master trusts and the trustees of several of the UK's major pension schemes on all day to day legal issues. He also gave strategic advice on major Pensions Regulatory issues for a FTSE 100 company as well as to a global telecoms company on world-wide pensions issues.

 

 


Stephen Richards is a very charismatic and able lawyer. He seems to be a real rainmaker – since joining the firm they have picked up some very big clients.

The Legal 500 UK 2020
Insights

Restrictions on statutory transfers out

Trustees should be aware that they will have new obligations with respect to statutory transfers out from 30 November 2021. The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Conditions for Transfers) Regulations 2021 will provide trustees with new obligations in a bid to protect members from transfers to scam arrangements. The regulations will require further transfer due diligence checks from trustees before a transfer can be made and will prevent transfers where 'red flags' are present. The regulations also require trustees to ensure that members receive scam advice from the Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) where certain warning signs are present.

TPR seeks views on how it will apply new Contribution Notice tests

Pensions analysis: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched a consultation on changes to its Code of Practice 12 following the introduction, by the Pension Schemes Act 2021 (PSA 2021), of new tests in relation to its Contribution Notice (CN) power. Stephen Richards and Chris Edwards-Earl comment on TPR’s consultation.