Expertise

Catherine joined Addleshaw Goddard as a pensions Partner in 2007 and has 20 years’ experience.

Catherine has experience of a wide range of corporate transactions involving creative solutions to address both moral hazard concerns and section 75 debts triggered on sales of subsidiaries, internal reorganisations and other transfers under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment). She is Head of AG's public sector pensions team which advises on all types of public sector pension schemes including the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, NHS Pension Scheme, Local Government Pension Scheme, Railways Pension Scheme and Electricity Supply Pension Scheme, as well as the 'protected person' regime.

Catherine has extensive experience advising companies on all aspects of pensions law including implementing pension scheme changes, dealing with tax changes, and negotiating actuarial valuations. She has experience advising trustees of occupational schemes on a full range of issues including:

  • Day to day issues: tax queries, pension sharing on divorce, interpretation etc.
  • Scheme mergers
  • Drafting trust deeds and rules
  • Documenting complex investment solutions, including asset backed funding arrangements and derivative investments through ISDAs

As well as advising on traditional final salary schemes, Catherine has experience of defined contribution schemes and dealing with the ever increasing governance requirements, career average revalued earnings (CARE) schemes, and cash balance schemes and how they have been impacted by legislative change to clarify the meaning of "money purchase".

Catherine's employer clients include Admenta/Lloyds Pharmacy, Chemtura Inc, Columbia Threadneedle, HS1, Samworth Brothers and Wolseley UK. Her trustee clients include the trustees of the Credit Agricole Scheme, CGI's three defined benefit schemes, the multi-employer Citrus Pension Plan and the Unisys Public Sector Pension Scheme. Catherine also advises HM Treasury and the Pension Protection Fund.

Catherine's recent experience includes advising:

  • Samworth Brothers on the establishment of a new occupational defined contribution scheme
  • A large railways employer on the full range of day-to-day pensions issues, including implementing future service changes to offset the additional employer National Insurance costs from 6 April 2016
  • A small railways employer on negotiations relating to the actuarial valuation and the establishment of an excepted group life scheme
  • Trustees on scheme mergers
  • The trustees of the Citrus Pension Plan on the introduction of two new CARE benefit structures
  • Diageo on the pensions aspects of the disposal of the Gleneagles Hotels Ltd which participated in a group final salary scheme and a group cash balance scheme
  • Trafford Council on pensions aspects of a large scale outsourcing of services to the private sector
  • Royal Mail Group on the pensions aspects of its acquisition of e-Courier
Professional memberships
  • Association of Pension Lawyers (APL)
  • Catherine also sits on the APL's legislative and parliamentary sub-committee
Education
  • Law Society qualification date: 1997
  • The University of Edinburgh – LLB (1992)
  • McGill University, Montreal – Bachelor of Engineering (1987)
Testimonials

"Catherine McAllister offers a broad pensions law expertise encompassing matters such as the pensions aspects of corporate transactions, moral hazard issues and exit debts. Interviewees describe her as "technically very strong" and "a fantastic presenter." Chambers (2016)