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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > South West > Human resources > Pensions > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Pensions
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Sasha Butterworth - TLT

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Burges Salmon LLP has ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and provides ‘practical and pragmatic’ ‘first-class advice’ on pensions in the regulatory field. The team’s expertise encompasses the full range of pension matters relating to personal pension schemes, including self-invested personal pension (SIPP) and small self-administered scheme (SSAS) arrangements, but also includes occupational pension schemes. Clients include the trustees of FirstGroup, Oxford University, and several local authorities. ‘Calm and unflappable’ practice head Richard Knight provides ongoing advice to the trustees of the Selex Pension Scheme. Richard Pettit acted for the trustees of Brunel Holdings Pensions Scheme on one of the largest ongoing moral hazard investigations by The Pensions Regulator (TPR). The ‘hugely experiencedTim Illston led in advising the trustees of the Beales Pension Scheme on the company voluntary arrangement and subsequent scheme rescue from an insolvency process. The ‘pragmaticClive Pugh represented a global technology and manufacturing giant in complex funding negotiations with the scheme’s principal employer, and advised the trustees of the Silentnight Pension Scheme on the defence of judicial review proceedings. Alice Honeywill and Susannah Young, who gives ‘excellent practical advice’, were promoted to partner; both also led on high-profile matters. ‘Top lawyerMichael Hayles and Justin Briggs are also recommended. Senior associate Sarah Jeffrey-Gray joined Pi Consulting UK.

The ‘very good’ and ‘proactiveOsborne Clarke provides ‘prompt and appropriate advice’ and ‘excellent service’ to employers and trustees. Particular areas of expertise are pensions issues in relation to corporate insolvency and restructuring, and advising authorities as well as private and third sector employers on all legal issues regarding the Local Government Pension Scheme, including advice on outsourcing, investment strategy, governance, benefit issues and disputes. Pension disputes as well as investment and custodianship of scheme assets, including private equity and currency hedging, are other key areas of work. The team also advises on the Railways Pension Scheme, the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund, and the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund, also assisting with pension issues affecting charities, ecclesiastical bodies, and higher education institutions. Jonathan Hazlett, who heads the team, and senior associate Joe Webster provide ‘pragmatic advice with a superior understanding of TPR requirements’. Mark Womersley advised the Trustees of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund on the legal implications of a participating employer departing the fund, in particular on the use of a flexible apportionment arrangement. Paul Matthews was lead partner in advising the Trustees of the Western Provident Association Pension Scheme on a closure of the scheme to future accrual. Another highlight matter was advising the Trustees of the National Museum of Wales Pension Scheme on changes to the future service benefits, including a move to a career-average basis of accrual. Brent Wright is ‘clear and practical’ and has a ‘well-considered style which is robust in his client’s interest without being aggressive or confrontational’.

TLT advises on scheme governance, SIPPs and SSASs, and public sector pension issues. The practice, which regularly handles asset-backed funding arrangements, multi-national restructurings, and flexible buy-ins, has a specialist investment team. It provides an extranet to its clients which includes an interactive trust deed and rules in order to help trustees fulfil the requirements of good governance. Sasha Butterworth heads the group, which includes James Dean. She led the team in advising the trustees of a large well-known insurance company on a defined benefit pension scheme with over £100m pounds in assets. The team also advised on the pensions aspects of the strategic reorganisation of a large FTSE-listed company’s corporate group. Other clients include WHSmith and the Co-operative Group.

Foot Anstey has ‘expert knowledge’ on all aspects of pension law, including the full range of issues in relation to final salary pension schemes, pension harmonisation and reorganisation issues, as well as public sector outsourcing arrangements. Its expertise also includes handling strategic pensions advice, assisting with the pension aspects of corporate transactions, and dealing with issues relating to occupational defined benefit, defined contribution pension schemes and automatic enrolment legislation. Clients come from a variety of sectors, with a particular focus on media and technology, financial services, local and central government, and charities. Karen Bates took over the lead of the practice from Matthew Huddleson who left in April 2017. Senior associate Helen Trethewey, whose ‘level of knowledge is second to none’ according to a client, led in advising Odeon Cinemas/UCI on Odeon’s two final salary pension schemes. She also assisted Vospers Motorhouse Group with the transition from one master trust to another pension provider. Other clients include Morgan Lloyd Administration, and the County Councils of Somerset and Devon, as well as Plymouth City Council.

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