LONDON – Global law firm Reed Smith has advised long-standing client, the trustees of the Whitbread Group Pension Fund, on investing £680m in a policy with Standard Life. This transaction, with legal advice led by Reed Smith’s pensions practice in London, secures a large portion of the liabilities of the pension scheme, covering around 8,000 members, effectively moving the risk for those benefits away from the pension scheme and from Whitbread plc into the hands of Standard Life.

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Will Sutton, Reed Smith’s Global Corporate Group partner who led the team, commented: “We are particularly pleased to have worked on this deal for the trustees. Having advised on transactions with all the leading insurers in this market, our reputation of providing workable advice, as well as being practical and collaborative in negotiations, was a key element in securing a good deal with Standard Life for our client. The trust we have built up with insurers as expert, but fair, players, means we ensure we get a good result for our trustee and sponsoring employer clients.”

Keith Jones, chairman of the Whitbread Group Pension Fund, said “This buy-in is a key stage in the Fund’s de-risking journey. It helps to provide greater certainty to members about the security of their benefits and we are delighted to have completed it with Standard Life.