International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised 10 Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Funds on the creation of the Brunel Pension Partnership (BPP), which will act as a new £27.5 billion investment pool.

At the heart of the pool is a new investment company (BPP Limited).  It will be responsible for managing this new multi-billion pound pool of pension fund assets on behalf of the 10 LGPS funds, all based in the south and southwest of England.  These are the Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Environment Agency, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire Funds.  They provide pension benefits for employees working in important public services, such as local authorities and schools, as well as environmental protection and many charities.

This has been a highly innovative project to set up a unique new investment pool in response to new regulations for LGPS Funds across the UK.  The policy aim behind the new pooling arrangements is to achieve greater investment efficiencies and cost savings.

In support of this project, Osborne Clarke has undertaken technically cutting-edge work across the pension, investment and public procurement disciplines, involving a large number of highly skilled experts in the firm.  Over an extended period Osborne Clarke worked closely and collaboratively with the 10 Authorities responsible for the LGPS Funds that make up the Brunel Pension Partnership.

Mark Womersley, Osborne Clarke Partner commented: “Osborne Clarke is delighted to act as legal adviser to the new Brunel Pension Partnership.  Creating from scratch a new investment pool of this size and substance for the 10 LGPS Funds has been a ground-breaking initiative. I’m incredibly proud of the work that has been done by our highly skilled specialist lawyers.”

Denise Le Gal, Independent Chair of the Brunel Pension Partnership commented:  “This is a key milestone in the long term development of the Brunel Pension Partnership. The formation of the new investment company and the recruitment of the new executive team marks a very important stage in our journey to pooling the assets of the 10 participating Funds.”

Dawn Turner, Chief Executive Officer of the investment company commented:  “Having worked over an extended period with a very dedicated team of colleagues and our professional advisers, it is a privilege to be appointed Chief Executive Officer for the Brunel Pension Partnership’s new investment company. With this critical foundation in place, I look forward to implementing the new multi-billion pound pool of pension fund assets on behalf of the 10 LGPS Funds that make up the Brunel Pension Partnership.”

Osborne Clarke’s team advised on a range of complex matters that required delivery against very demanding government timescales for the setting up of new multi-billion pool of pension fund assets. The team was led by pensions Partner Mark Womersley, who was supported by corporate Partner Mark Wesker, investments Partner Helen Parsonage, public procurement Partner Catherine Wolfenden and employment Partner Julian Hemming, along with several specialist solicitors from within their teams.

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