Herbert Smith advises on Government’s civil service pensions move

Herbert Smith has advised on the establishment of a joint venture between the Government and private sector to administer civil service pensions.

The so-called ‘John Lewis-style’ business MyCSP is a creation between the cabinet office and the Equiniti Group. It is the first model to be launched by cabinet office minister Francis Maude as he looks to revolutionise the way government back-office functions work.

The MyCSP enterprise gives employees a 25 per cent ownership stake, representation at board level and a share in profits. A further 35 per cent stake is retained by the Government on the basis that taxpayers benefit as the business grows in value.

The remaining 40 per cent was put out to tender, which was won by Equiniti Group’s Paymaster, which will bring private sector business expertise, specialist support, capital investment, and a new IT platform to administer the pensions of the 1.5 million members of the civil service scheme.

The cross-practice Herbert Smith team was led by London corporate partners Adrian Clough and Michael Walter and also included Stephen Rayfield, Paul Butcher and Anand Gangadia (corporate), Nick Pantlin, Alba Bozo and Ruth Wilson (IT and outsourcing), Mark Ife and Bradley Richardson (incentives) and Ian Berry (pensions).

Elizabeth Hambley, head of ERG legal team from the cabinet office, and Donna White from the Treasury Solicitor’s office were also involved.

Clough said: “MyCSP is a pathfinder at the cutting-edge of public service reform. Central government mutuals have the potential to be a significant new programme for delivering public services.”

The joint venture will lead the direction the Government is moving in with its austerity and efficiency drive. Its chairman will be Lord Hutton.