Varied perspectives help us to build constructive working relationships.


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022

Portrait of Sean McNulty
Areas of expertise: Pensions


Sean is a managing associate in the pensions team, based in the London office. He advises on all aspects of pensions law, and has a substantial level of experience across the whole scope of pension arrangements. Sean guides clients through the complexity of pensions law and the pensions tax rules to a solution which meets their own needs in their own specific circumstances. 

He advises both trustees and companies alike, and his work includes advising on defined benefit pension schemes which have liabilities in the hundreds of millions of pounds, small self-administered schemes or SSASs set up by SMEs and individuals about their own pension rights. Sean has, for many years, provided advice for clients based outside the UK about pension liabilities in the UK. In particular, he assists with all aspects of buy-ins and buy-outs of pension liabilities with insurers. Sean also advises on compliance with technical requirements such as the implementation of GMP equalisation, and complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman.  

A member of the Association of Pension Lawyers, Sean also works with sellers and buyers (of companies or assets) in corporate transactions to address pension related risks. He has advised leading high street banks in connection with the potential for criminal offences under the Pension Schemes Act 2021.   

Recent work highlights

  • Acting for the trustees of a pension scheme on a buy-out of liabilities with an insurer where there were five historic bulk transfers of members from other schemes, and where pension benefits were not properly documented.
  • Advising the trustees of a pension scheme on a method proposed by the scheme actuary for the implementation of GMP equalisation.
  • Advising an EU company on the possibility of a cross-border merger with a UK company in connection with the management of UK pension liabilities.
  • Acting for a sponsoring employer of a pension scheme in connection with a member complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman whilst the pension scheme was preparing to implement a buy-out of liabilities with an insurer.
  • Advising a leading high street bank lending to a sponsoring employer of a defined benefit pension scheme in connection with addressing the potential for criminal offences under the Pension Schemes Act 2021.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP