David Francis is a partner in A&L Goodbody's Pensions group and has more than 20 years' experience 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.
- Purchasers, Vendors and Underwriters in relation to the pension aspects of acquisitions, sales, mergers, re-organisations, flotations, outsourcing and privatisations.
"Incredibly responsive service from David Francis. He always has best interests of client in focus and is available at all times" (Legal500 2022)
‘Superb support -available at all times, always has best interest of client in mind.’ (Legal500 2023)
"His advice, which is valued greatly by clients, is always very clear and thorough – every angle is covered." (Legal500 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 for Ireland at the Client Choice Awards in 2021 and 2022.
- Pension Trustee Practitioner, LIA
- 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