Walker Morris names new head of pensions team

Law firm Walker Morris has appointed a new head of pensions and expanded its pensions team as it looks to meet the growth in demand.

jo ratcliffe: I think there are challenges related to the pensions industry generally.

Jo Ratcliffe takes over from the firm’s chairman Andrew Turnbull as the new head of pensions, while Walker Morris has also expanded its pensions team with the appointment of pensions barrister Ruth Bamforth.

Ms Ratcliffe told The Yorkshire Post that she didn’t think the department and her in her new role faced any direct challenges.

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She said: “I think there are challenges related to the pensions industry generally, for example the new pensions flexibilities that has been introduced by the government which will result in an increase in workloads.

“We are very well placed to deal with the challenges. We have an experienced team now and with Ruth’s appointment as an associate; Ruth is an 18-year qualified barrister, we have the manpower to actually grow and bring forward the business.”

Ms Bamforth, who has joined from Gordons LLP, has almost 20 years’ experience of advising trustees and employers of occupational pension schemes. The pensions team at Walker Morris has also promoted Tamsin Tinkler to director.

Following her appointment at Walker Morris, Ms Ratcliffe said that her appointment as head of pensions at Walker Morris ranks at the top.

After continuing regulation in the pensions industry, Ms Ratcliffe said she would like a period of consolidation from the next government.

She said: “It is continuing regulation, every time we think something’s settled, something else is then introduced by the government.

“For example when I first joined there was no statutory funding. Statutory funding was introduced just as I was coming in to law. That statutory funding was then abolished and replaced in 2004 so it’s a constant churn of legislation.

“What I would like to see is a period of consolidation, for the government to actually look at final salary schemes and look at the fact that the constant imposition of regulations and new legislations does have a financial cost attached to it.”

Prior to joining Walker Morris, eight years ago, Ms Ratcliffe was head of pensions at the Manchester office of Addleshaw Goddard.