Our legal team 

Legal experts in our defined benefit team

Defined benefit de-risking is a specialist area. To ensure that it has the focus it requires, we have dedicated legal expertise based within our DB team.

Our legal team is led by Suhasini Gunasena. Suhasini has significant pensions experience gained from top tier law firms, including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy and has focused solely on defined benefits since she joined Just in 2015. Suhasini is supported by Harriett Clover, a pensions specialist who joined the team in 2018 from Slaughter and May.

This means that you can be confident that we have experts on hand to tackle the complex legal issues surrounding de-risking.

Expertise in relevant legislation

The legal team has extensive knowledge of pension legislation including:

  • TUPE,
  • freedom and choice,
  • pension income exchange, and
  • CPI vs. RPI escalation.

They also have an excellent understanding of DB specific legislation including:

  • winding-up,
  • PPF,
  • IAS19 and
  • valuation of technical provisions.

The team also has a wealth of experience in other legislation that impacts DB including:

  • Data Protection and GDPR,
  • the operation of reinsurance, and
  • the requirements of The Pensions Regulator.

The benefits of embedding specialist legal counsel

Suhasini has strong ties with all the major EBCs and legal advisers as well as knowledge of their standard contract terms and requirements. She also instructs our panel of law firms when external expertise is required.

The legal team is able to identify the legal requirements of each transaction early on, allowing us to manage any issues quickly and bring contract negations to a swift conclusion. This is important when trustees are keen to capitalise on favourable market conditions or complete transactions before the accounting year end of their sponsoring employer.