Eleanor is Head of the Pensions & Incentives Group. She is responsible for advising financial institutions, semi-state bodies, companies, trustees, committees and employees on various pension plans, employee share plans and other incentive plans.
Her practice includes advising international and domestic clients in both the private and public sectors. Relevant experience includes advising on a range of pension issues including scheme restructuring, liability management exercises, benefit design, trustee governance, scheme amendments, dealing with funding deficits and funding proposals, mergers, scheme wind-ups and the impact of pensions and other relevant legislation regarding pensions schemes and their operation.
She also regularly advises on the establishment, amendment, governance and administration of defined contribution schemes and the pensions and incentives aspects of various commercial transactions. Eleanor advises on both Revenue approved tax efficient employee shares schemes and on unapproved employee share schemes and other incentive plans working closely with our Tax Group.
She is Chairman of the Irish Association of Pension Fund’s DC Sub-Committee, an IAPF Council member, and a former Chairman of both the Association of Pension Lawyers in Ireland and the Irish ProShare Association. She is a member of the UK Association of Pension Lawyers, the International Pension and Employee Benefits Association, and the Global Equity Organisation. Eleanor regularly contributes to industry periodicals on pensions and incentives law, speaks at national and international conferences on pensions and incentives issues, and lectures on the Law Society’s Pensions Law Diploma.
Eleanor co-heads the firms Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and is lead Partner for the vision and implementation of the firm’s policies and programmes.
Key highlights include advising:
- Various public and semi-state entities on pension scheme restructuring, liability management exercises such as PIE and ETV and Section 50 reduction of benefits;
- Trustees and Corporates in relation to pension scheme disputes and litigation before the High Court and Commercial Court, as well as advising a wide range of clients in the public and private sectors in relation to cases before the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman;
- Corporates and Trustees in relation to DB scheme mergers and DC scheme mergers and moves to master trust vehicles;
- Corporates and trustees in connection with closure of deferred benefit schemes to new members, closure to future accrual, buy-ins and buy-outs, and on wind-up;
- Various public and semi-state entities and trustee groups in relation to the use of guarantees and contingent assets;
- Corporates and trustees in relation to pension scheme investment issues and documentation;
- Clients in the public and private sector on governance and compliance including the implementation of IORP II and related legislation and statutory guidance;
- Trustee clients in relation to the exercise of discretion, trustee powers and duties, ill-health early retirements, pension adjustment orders, and internal dispute resolution procedures;
- Statutory schemes in relation to abatement, the public service transfer network, discretionary benefits, and the interaction with the Single Scheme;
- Listed companies in relation to the design, establishment and implementation of Revenue approved and unapproved employee share option and incentive plans including governance, regulatory and shareholder issues;
- Private companies, SMEs and start-ups in relation to the establishment of KEEP schemes, clog schemes and share option plans;
- Corporates on the pensions and share incentives aspects of major corporate transactions.