Michael Shovlin is Of Counsel at Arthur Cox and a member of the firm’s Pensions and Employee Benefits Group, advising on all aspects of pension schemes and equity incentive arrangements.

Michael trained at Arthur Cox and acquired a wide range of experience as a corporate lawyer with the firm prior to specialising in pensions and equity incentive work.  His work today sees him advise employers and scheme trustees on the establishment, restructuring, and day-to-day operation of pension and equity incentive schemes, including drafting and amending scheme documentation, advising on liability management exercises, advising on IORP II compliance, reviewing and negotiating items such as investment management agreements and other agreements with service providers.  He also advises on pension scheme reorganisations and on the pensions and equity incentive elements of corporate transactions.

Relevant Experience

  • Advising a former commercial State company on the restructuring of the State funding mechanism for pre-vesting day pension liabilities of its defined benefit pension scheme
  • Advising a listed public company on the restructuring of its defined contribution pension arrangements in Ireland and on the wind-up of legacy defined contribution schemes
  • Advising sponsoring employers across various sectors on the closure to future accrual of defined benefit pension arrangements and on revisions to legacy arrangements
  • Advising SME employer on the establishment of KEEP share option scheme
  • Advising private and listed public companies on the establishment and day-to-day operation of (both unapproved and all-employee Revenue Commissioners’ approved) equity incentive arrangements, including on the extension of US ESPP and other parent company schemes to group employees in Ireland
  • Advising the corporate trustee of defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes established for the benefit of the Irish employees of a multi-national employer on their preparations ahead of the transposition of IORP II in Ireland
  • Advising the trustees of a number of occupational pension schemes on the day-to-day running of their arrangements including queries regarding membership, entitlements to benefits on retirement and leaving service, ill-health early retirement, death in service (insurance cover and claims), late retirement requests, etc.
  • Advising pension fund trustees on the legal aspects of pension investment issues, including on the first investment in an ICAV structure, and on the drafting and negotiation of investment management agreements (and ancillary documents, including side letters)
  • Advising both private and public sector pension trustees on their GDPR obligations
  • Advising various clients on the pension and equity incentive related aspects of share or asset transactions, including undertaking related due diligence and negotiating purchase agreement provisions, and advising generally on pensions and benefits aspects of corporate transactions