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Francois Barker, Product Group Head

Francois Barker

Product Group Head

Practice areas

  • Financial services
  • HR Consultancy
  • Pensions

Practice notes

Francois is a partner and head of our Pensions group. He has over 20 years' experience of advising corporate sponsors and pension funds on UK and international pensions and benefits issues in relation to both defined benefit and defined contribution arrangements. He is praised by the legal directories for “having an incredible fountain of knowledge in terms of pensions issues and approaching things in a can-do and imaginative way”, for “expressing complex issues in an easy to understand way and getting his arguments across in a compelling manner", and for his “detailed knowledge of the entire regulatory landscape".

His recent experience includes:

  • Advising on de-risking strategies for legacy defined benefit pension plans, including asset backed special purpose funding structures;
  • Advising on UK and EU governance requirements for defined contribution plans;
  • Helping a European fund management house to roll out a Luxembourg based pension plan across Europe;
  • Advising on complex funding, security and guarantee packages for defined benefit plans;
  • Handling pensions-related litigation to Court of Appeal level; and
  • Working with plans to appoint captive IFA panels to advise the plan members.

Francois is active in developing pensions law and policy in the UK and Europe: most recently he was involved in developing the simpler annual benefit statement and the template chair’s statement for UK DC plans.   He advises the CBI's Pensions Panel, and is a member of Pensions and Lifetime Association's DC Policy Committee.  He also works with Pensions Europe and the Hundred Group Pensions Committee. He has written many articles on Pensions issues and is co-author of "Tolley's E-Pensions". He is a regular speaker at industry conferences, and is often quoted by the press.

One Minute on pensions - Hot topics for 2018 with Francois Barker