David Francis has more than 19 years' experience of providing client focused solutions for high profile employers, trustees and pensions and investment service and product providers on all pension-related matters. His expertise ranges from the establishment of plans (including plan design, documentation, administration, compliance (most recently, in relation to IORPII), investment and cross-border pension issues) through to providing strategic advice on funding, merging, pension benefit changes, liability management exercises, restructuring and winding up.
His expertise includes advising on the establishment of master trusts and cross-border pension arrangements, as well as participation in and transfers to such arrangements.
David also has particular expertise in advising on complex aspects of trust law as well as the pension aspects of disputes and mediation including high-profile pensions' litigation before the courts. He has considerable experience in advising on the pension aspects of corporate mergers, acquisitions, re-organisations, flotations, outsourcing and privatisations.
Areas of Expertise
- Founders on the establishment of a master trust as well as employers and trustees on participating in / transferring to such arrangements.
- Financial service providers and trustees in relation to investment management and investment consulting agreements.
- Employers and trustees of large defined benefit schemes on changes to scheme benefits, including stopping defined benefit accrual and providing defined contribution benefits for the future.
- Employers and trustees on liability reduction exercises, including enhanced transfer value exercises, scheme mergers, contingent assets and section 50 orders.
- Trustees of a large industry-wide defined benefit scheme with over 250 participating employers and in particular in relation to funding obligations.
- Employers and trustees in relation to cross-border issues for IORPS in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere and in relation to BREXIT and HMRC requirements.
- The trustees of the Irish Airlines General Staff and Pilots Superannuation schemes.
- Allied Irish Banks plc in relation to its proposed acquisition of Goodbody Stockbrokers, subject to required regulatory approvals.
- Bidvest/Noonan on the acquisition of various entities of the Lynch Interact Group, subject to required regulatory approvals.
- Davy as principal underwriter to the proposed sale of 25% the Irish State's share in AIB by IPO, the largest IPO in Europe in 2017.
- CPP Investment Board (Canada Pension Plan) on its strategic partnership in the Corrib Natural Gas Field in Ireland.
- Carlyle Group on the pensions aspects of its acquisition of Sam McAuley Chemists.
- AIG on the pension aspects of its acquisition of Laya Healthcare.
- Nestec S.A. on the pensions aspects of its purchase of Pfizer's nutritional foods business.
"Incredibly responsive service from David Francis. He always has best interests of client in focus and is available at all times" (Legal 500 2022)
"Knows the law but is commercial and great with clients at the same time. Very easy to deal with." (Legal 500 2021)
"His advice, which is valued greatly by clients, is always very clear and thorough – every angle is covered." (Legal 500 2020)
"Brilliant advice that has proven to be absolutely spot on." (Chambers Europe 2019)
David has featured in the Irish pensions trade press on a number of occasions and enjoys training and speaking on pensions matters. He is a member of the Council of the Association of Pension Lawyers in Ireland and the Pensions Management Institute in the UK.
David was awarded 'Pensions & Benefits Lawyer of the Year 2021' for Ireland at the Client Choice Awards.
- Solicitor, Law Society of Ireland
- LLM, University of London, Queen Mary and Westfield College
- LLB, National University of Ireland, Galway
- BA, National University of Ireland, Galway