Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS) and Herbert Smith are thrashing out key pensions issues that are vital if Delta Two’s acquisition of J Sainsbury is to go ahead.

A DWS team, led by head of employment, pensions and benefits Alan Jarvis, is advising Sainsbury’s pension fund trustees, while a Herbert Smith team, led by pensions head Ian Gault, is acting for Delta Two.

Members of the Sainsbury family, which own a minority stake in the company, have reportedly refused to back Delta Two’s £10.6bn takeover bid unless an agreement over pension funding is reached with trustees.

The fund has 85,000 members and £4.25bn in funds under management. It is believed trustees are asking for between £1bn and £2bn in funding.