Neil advises a mixture of trustees and employers on their pension arrangements with a client base including some of the biggest funds in the UK. Recently, Neil has assisted clients with key strategic changes such as benefit reviews, contingent funding arrangements and closure of schemes to future accrual, as well as guiding them through the changing regulatory environment (particularly the impact of auto-enrolment). He also has a great deal of experience in liability management, including advising in a number of the significant recent buy-in and longevity swap transactions.
Neil sits on the Legislative and Parliamentary Subcommittee of the Association of Pensions Lawyers and also served on the committee of the Society of Pension Consultants. He regularly speaks at industry conferences and training events.
"Neil Bowden, who leads the team, has probably unrivalled experience across a wide range of schemes and circumstances. He wears this experience lightly, being down to earth and pragmatic, whilst never losing focus on the interests of members." Legal 500 UK 2021 (Pensions (Non-contentious))
"Jane Higgins and Neil Bowden are both excellent and a real pleasure to work with. They understand what is required, and produce no more and no less." Legal 500 UK 2021 (Pensions (Non-contentious))
"Neil Bowden has a deep knowledge of pensions law and our trustees followed him from his previous firm." Legal 500 UK 2021 (Pensions (Non-contentious))
"Neil Bowden is a good communicator and pragmatic." Chambers UK 2021 (Pensions)
"Neil Bowden is highly regarded for his work advising trustees and sponsors on the many facets of their pensions arrangements including in liability management and significant buy-in transactions. Sources say: "His key strengths are pragmatism, communication, and his advice," adding: "He is a very easy lawyer to work with and very readily understands our team." Chambers UK 2019 (Pensions) - ranked: Band 1
"The "excellent" Neil Bowden." Chambers UK 2019 (Pensions)
Allen & Overy LLP
One Bishops Square
Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 1998
Admitted as solicitor, Scotland, 1997
Advising the Trustee of the Lloyds Bank Group Pension Schemes on their industry changing GMP equalization high court application. The test case provided clarity in an industry issue that had been unresolved for almost 30 years and affects the majority of UK pension schemes, with an estimated impact of around £20 billion.
Advising on the pension aspects for the implementation of bank ring-fencing on two of the big four high street banks. These were complex, long running projects involving multi-billion pound contributions to the pension arrangements, sectionalisation of schemes, negotiation with trustees and sponsors and clearance from the Pensions Regulator.
Advising on many of the biggest buy in and longevity transactions in the market. In particular Neil has guided the ICI Pension Fund through their long running de-risking programme with more than a dozen transactions over a 6 year period. He also advised the Lloyds Pension Scheme Trustee on their market leading longevity swap in 2020.
News & insights
Publications: 25 AUGUST 2021
Welcome to our quarterly pensions litigation briefing, designed to help pensions managers identify key risks in scheme administration, and trustees update their knowledge and understanding.Read more
Publications: 09 MARCH 2020
Trustee disclosure requirements on investment governance issues, stewardship and engagement continue to evolve rapidly; the new disclosure requirements that apply from 1 October 2020 will affect some…Read more
Publications: 10 DECEMBER 2019
The trustee boards of many schemes providing DC benefits must prepare an annual governance statement known as the Chair’s Statement. The Pensions Regulator has produced a substantial amount of…Read more
Publications: 01 OCTOBER 2019
1 October 2019 marked the deadline for UK pension schemes to take a step forward in detailing how they take environmental, social and governance issues into account in investment decision-making, and…Read more
"Neil Bowden is a high-profile pensions solicitor with particular expertise in advising trustees on strategic direction and risk mitigation. Sources say: 'He is able to explain complex issues clearly and concisely, and react in a thoughtful and measured way, even with limited preparation time.'"
Chambers UK 2018 (Pensions)
"Neil Bowden is highly regarded for his work advising trustees and sponsors on the many facets of their pensions arrangements including in liability management and significant buy-in transactions. Sources say: "His key strengths are pragmatism, communication, and his advice," adding: "He is a very easy lawyer to work with and very readily understands our team."
Chambers UK 2019 (Pensions) - ranked: Band 1