Allen & Overy (A&O), Eversheds and Lovells are advising on the pension issues thrown up by the recent demerger of Cable & Wireless Worldwide from the Cable & Wireless Group.
Eversheds partners Harold Lewis and Jeremy Goodwin are acting for the trustees of the Cable & Wireless Worldwide Retirement Plan, which will have half the total pension assets following the equal split of the £2.4bn scheme.
The original scheme’s deficit, which was reportedly £309m at 30 September 2009, will be split on a proportionate basis between the two businesses. Eversheds is advising the trustees of BA’s £13bn pension fund on all ongoing matters, together with the trustees of the £1.5bn Vauxhall Motors pension scheme. It picked up the client following a tender in which it fought off competition from Sacker & Partners and Wragge & Co in the final round of a three-stage process.
The Eversheds team advised on the set-up of the new Cable & Wireless Worldwide Retirement Plan and negotiated the terms of the transfer from the Cable & Wireless Communications pension scheme. It will continue to advise the pension scheme trustees.
Goodwin, who worked with senior associate Hugh Gittins and associate Paul Rose, said: “Apart from being a very large scheme, one of the most high-profile bits related to the fact that it had a £1bn buy-in policy with The Prudential. The insurance company annuity was held in the trustees names.”
Additional insurance advice was provided by Eversheds partner Michael Wainwright.
Meanwhile, Lovells is acting for the trustees of the Cable & Wireless Communications Superannuation Fund. The team is led by pensions partners Claire Southern and Stephen Ito.
Cable & Wireless demerged recently to create two separate companies, Cable & Wireless Worldwide – the UK-focused business arm – and Cable & Wireless Communications - a consumer brand operating in 38 countries.
A&O pensions partner Dana Burstow and associate Andy Cook advised Cable & Wireless Group.