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, and has focused solely on defined benefits since she joined Just in 2015. When required, she also draws on the expertise of our external legal partners.

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

Expertise in relevant legislation

Suhasini has a deep knowledge of pension legislation including: TUPE, freedom and choice, pension income exchange, and CPI vs. RPI escalation. She is also expert in DB specific legislation including: winding-up, PPF, IAS19 and valuation of technical provisions.

In addition to this, she has a wealth of experience in other legislation that impacts DB including: Data Protection and the forthcoming GDPR, the operation of reinsurance and the requirements our regulator The Pensions Regulator.

The benefits of embedding specialist legal counsel

Suhasini is familiar with all the major EBCs and legal advisers as well as their standard contract terms and requirements. So we’re able to engage with counterparty counsel to reach agreement quickly.

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. 

Personalising your contract

For transactions smaller than £10 million, we have a standard contract, and will work closely with trustees and their legal teams to pick up any ‘red flags’ and find appropriate solutions.

We have a streamlined contract process that we can use with selected smaller schemes. This allows transactions to be completed swiftly using pre-agreed terms.

For transactions that are worth more than £10 million, we’ll work with the trustees and their advisers to address specific requirements. This might include data cleansing, buy-out conditions, GMP equalisation or reconciliation.

Other responsibilities

The legal team manage the bulk of legal negotiation with our administrator and the reinsurance treaties we have in place for standard and medical underwriting.