Pensions in North West


DLA Piper advises the trustees of the Universities Superannuation Scheme, as well as other major pension schemes. Partner Ben Miller leads the UK pensions team and acts on pension scheme issues involving investment, compliance, and risk mitigation, while Gary Davies leads the Manchester office and is noted for his work on buy-in and buy-out of pension scheme liabilities. Senior associate Scott Rorke joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in November 2021 and focuses on pension scheme matters involving North West corporate transactions and complex bulk transfer of benefits.

Practice head(s):

Ben Miller; Gary Davies

Other key lawyers:

Scott Rorke


‘Pragmatic advice and responsive to very tight project deadlines. Available to discuss and explain the advice provided.’

‘Gary Davies and Ben Miller were very helpful and responsive on a project with very tight deadlines.’

‘DLA are the human side of pensions law. They are friendly, accessible and pragmatic – very much part of the client team’

‘There is no one better than Ben Miller when the going gets tough. He is accessible, reliable, and is the legal adviser you want by your side when in the trenches

‘Strong pensions knowledge and in particular around the ESPS (Electricity Suppliers Pension Scheme). Good commercial pragmatism and find innovative solutions. Explains complex issues in a way that non-legal people can understand and not feel daunted by.’

‘Partner has good commercial pragmatism, innovative solutions. Support team effective.’

‘The DLA pensions team are extremely efficient and provide thorough well thought out responses. Even through the difficulties of covid the team worked around any issues, in particular the signing/posting of deeds etc. The knowledge within the team is of the highest standard and even though team members may progress within the team and company, they remain approachable and contactable.’

‘I have worked for many years with DLA and in particular Gary Davies and Ben Miller. Both Gary and Ben are approachable and quite happy to jump on a call to talk through the matters upon which we are seeking advice.’

Key clients

Trustee of the Universities Superannuation Scheme

Trustees of Warburtons Pension and Life Assurance Plan

MAG Airport Limited (“MAG”)

Trustee of the Royal Insurance Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Tremco Illbruck Pension Plan

The Trustees of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme

The Trustees of Rollalong Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the Atlas Ward Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the BDP Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the Beatson Clark Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the Charles Stanley & Co Ltd RBS

The Trustees of the Greif UK Works Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the James Gibbons Pension Scheme (1981)

The Trustees of the Jenks & Cattell Engineering Limited

The Trustees of the Owens Corning Pension Plan

The Trustees of the Pension Plan of Posford Haskoning

The Trustees of the Royal Agricultural Society of England

The Trustees of the Samuel Banner Staff Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the Union of Democratic Workers Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the Wheelabrator Group Pension Scheme

The Trustee of the Timpson Group plc Pension Scheme

The Trustees of Johnson Group Defined Benefit Scheme

Trustees of the Carrs Billington Agriculture Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Harvest Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Pension and Life Assurance Plan of Griffiths & Armour

Trustees of the DISA Industries UK Ltd Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the Weatherbys Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

PJH Group Ltd

Northumbrian Water Group Limited

Trustees of the Navigator Terminals UK Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Lubrizol Limited

Cerestar UK Pension Trust Limited

Bangor University

Arena Housing Group Pension Trustees Limited

Alpla UK Limited

Trustees of the Nichols PLC Retirement Benefits Scheme

Vinci Construction UK Limited

Vinci Pension Trustee Limited

The Trustees of the PSC Freyssinet Ltd Retirement Benefits

The Trustee of the Svitzer Marine Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the SGS United Kingdom Limited Retirement Benefits Plan

Trustees of the Stantec Pension Plan (UK)

Beiersdorf UK Limited

ABB Limited

The Trustee of the Trinity Retirement Benefits Scheme

Trustee of the Royal Liver Assurance Limited Superannuation Fund

Trustee of the Jacob’s Bakery Retirement Scheme

The Trustees of the Medical Research Council Pension Scheme

Clariant Services UK Limited

The Trustees of the Horserace Totalisator Board (1968) Pension Scheme

Travis Perkins plc

Work highlights

    Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

    Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP acts on pension issues for global corporates seeking advice on UK pensions, with special expertise involving advising on developing pensions law and policy. Practice head Ele Lovering covers risk, liability, and debt management, while Charmian Johnson is a key contact regarding pension provisions. Jon Walters deals with restructuring, de-risking transactions, and compliance and disclosure matters, and Simon Daniel is noted for his expertise on bulk annuity and longevity-hedging transactions. Principal associate Amanda Small specialises in DB and DC arrangements. Principal associate Lauren O’Connor covers de-risking exercises, scheme funding negotiations, and section 75 debt management, while legal director Sarah Lown advises on valuations and managing DB risk.

    Practice head(s):

    Ele Lovering

    Other key lawyers:

    Charmian Johnson; Jon Walters; Simon Daniel; Amanda Small; Lauren O’Connor; Sarah Lown


    ‘A first class in-depth technical resource. With a feeling of personal service and attention at partner level. Knowing that if a matter arises which is complex, there is a firm-wide network which will assist to bring the best advice forward from specialists in other offices. Also the billing process is handled openly with advance warning of costs and the matters dealt with. Compares very favourable in relation to other large firms encountered in this speciality.’

    ‘Clear advice, a feeling of personal attention, and ready when asked.’

    ‘In the North West of England, Eversheds Sutherland’s practice stands above the rest. The partner-led service is backed up by talented support and juniors, and there’s a lot of value if you compare the team to regional or particularly London rivals.’

    ‘Ele Lovering’s level of oversight and involvement makes the whole advice piece hang together, balancing pragmatism and commerciality with not being afraid to give advice that needs to be given. For someone in her position, she stays very down to earth. On our files, she works closely with Lauren O’Connor. Lauren’s also always good to work with, and a very safe pair of hands.’

    ‘The whole team is good to work with. Always clear and thoughtful.’

    ‘Ele Lovering is the lead partner. She is sensible and thoughtful in her delivery.’

    Charmian Johnson is always pragmatic.’

    ‘Always available and quick to respond. Have a deep understanding of the business and of the scheme.’

    Key clients

    Joy Global Industries Pension Scheme

    Outokumpu Stainless Limited

    Electricity North West Limited

    ABB Pension Plan

    Trustee of the MSD Animal Health Pension Scheme



    7x schemes sponsored by the INEOS group

    7x schemes sponsored by The Cooperative Group

    Calsberg UK Limited Pension Scheme

    Work highlights

      Hill Dickinson LLP

      Hill Dickinson LLP has been active advising insurers on buy-ins and buy-outs, as well as pensions litigation and dispute resolution matters. The team also covers GMP rectification and equalisation matters. Barry Gibb leads the team and covers both transactional and scheme advisory work, especially involving benefit change exercises, mergers, restructurings, and buy-outs. Paula Warnock is another name of note regarding her work on GMP equalisation and negotiating settlement agreements involving pensions-related professional negligence claims.

      Practice head(s):

      Barry Gibb

      Other key lawyers:

      Paula Warnock


      ‘Very knowledgeable about the subject matter in the pensions sector.’

      ‘Clear advice offered, very pragmatic with few grey areas.’

      ‘Pragmatic advice with a strong technical team to support that look for solutions to issues arising.’

      ‘Barry Gibb is always looking to find solutions to issues arising and prepared to ‘come off the fence’ with his advice.’

      ‘The team has been excellent – technically very strong with a thorough understanding of our specific pension scheme rules. Technical competency is rarely a differentiator so I must commend them on the delivery of their advice – written and verbal communication has been exceptionally clear and concise (and where possible pragmatic) which is highly valued. Our lead advisor has made herself available for formal and informal discussion of key topics whenever required.’

      ‘Paula Warnock’s advice has been exceptional – both technically clear and concise and delivered with empathy and wherever possible pragmatism. It has been a relatively busy year with a number of legal challenges to overcome and in times like this you value the quality of your advisors.’

      Key clients

      Trustees of the North of England Zoological Society Pension Fund

      MOL (Europe Africa) Ltd

      Trustees of the Multitone Electronics plc Retirement Benefits Plan

      Trustees of the Hatch Kaiser Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the Davies & Metcalfe Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the Instem LSS Pension Scheme

      Vynova Runcorn Limited

      Swissport Group

      Trustees of the A&P Group Pension Scheme

      Hellmann Logistics

      Keysight Technologies UK LImited

      Trustees of the Chapelthorpe plc Pension Fund

      Trustees of the Seddon Group 1972 Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the Greenwood & Coope Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the Bransby Agricultural Trading Association Employees’ Superannuation Scheme

      William Jackson Trustees Limited

      Trustees of the H J Enthoven Limited Pension Scheme and H J Enthoven Limited

      Holmen Iggesund Paperboard Limited and the Trustees of the Iggesund (UK) Pension Scheme

      Port of Milford Haven

      MPHA RBS Trustee Company Limited

      SAD Holdings LImited

      Trustees of the Woodbridge Foam (UK) Limited Retirement Benefit Scheme

      Trustees of the PJKI Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the Federated Pension Scheme for Finchale College

      Trustees of the MHH Engineering Limited Retirement Benefit Scheme

      Trustees of the Rickerby Limited Staff Pension and Assurance Scheme

      Trustees of the Graham & Brown Retirement Benefits Scheme

      Nifco Limited

      Trustees of the Kingsland Wine Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the St Paul’s Pension Scheme

      Work highlights

      • Advised the Trustees of the North of England Zoological Society Pension Fund in relation to a buy-in transaction with Aviva to de-risk the scheme.
      • Successfully obtained an order for rectification from the High Court in the reported case of Iggesund Paperboard v Messenger to reinstate a power into the Scheme Rules to choose an alternative index to RPI for pension increases and revaluation of benefits.
      • Advised the Trustees of the A&G Group Pension Scheme in respect of GMP rectification and equalisation project to enable the scheme to meet its deadline with an insurer.

      Pinsent Masons LLP

      Pinsent Masons LLP advises financial institutions, insurance companies, and pension providers on complex pensions schemes, as well as restructurings, de-risking, and buy-ins and buy-outs. The team also has an active pensions litigation team at hand to cover complaints and professional negligence claims. The practice is lead by Stephen Scholefield, promoted in December 2021 to national head of pensions, who deals with strategic matters and complex reorginisations. Howard Ridley covers large buy-ins and buy-outs, Robert Tellwright is noted for his work on risk transfer negotiations, and Hayley Goldstone specialises in pensions litigation. Pippa Read is a key contact regarding international dispute resolution cases.

      Practice head(s):

      Stephen Scholefield

      Other key lawyers:

      Howard Ridley; Robert Tellwright; Hayley Goldstone; Pippa Read


      ‘The Pinsent Masons team ensures it has detailed knowledge of the schemes it advises on and ensures it uses this knowledge to provide sensible, understandable and pragmatic advice. They cut through the jargon and that is a refreshing approach compared to many of the leading firms.’

      ‘The team is highly experienced and pragmatic. Their approach is  particularly good and considers the impact on members as its primary objective. They have a great team who is not shy of expressing its views. Their diversity of thought is commendable. A pleasure to work with a team with personality.’

      ‘Howard Ridley has been very good at managing expectations of all those involved in the the issue. He does it very skillfully by giving it a lot of thought in the approach. His technical expertise is of the highest standard.’

      ‘A good team with pensions expertise which we now use for four of our pension schemes.’

      ‘Stephen Scholefield is high-quality, reliable and clear in delivering technically complicated advice. Happy to deal on any level – with advisors or trustee. Peter White – good listener to ensure answers the question being asked.’

      ‘The pensions team at Pinsent Masons is always very prompt to address any issues that I have which quite often are ‘last minute’. They are always sensitive to fee increases and will discuss any increases well in advance to enable me to react accordingly. Their advice and solutions to any associated issues are always pragmatic.’

      ‘Stephen Scholefield is always extremely helpful and never makes me feel inadequate if I don’t understand anything. He will always take the time to ensure I am fully comfortable with any advice given.’

      Key clients

      Balfour Beatty Pension Fund

      Royal Ordnance Pension Schemes

      Laird Pension Scheme

      Unite the Union Pension Scheme

      Newell Rubbermaid UK Pension Scheme

      Mercer Limited and Mercer (Ireland) Limited

      Baxi Group Pension Schemes

      Just Group

      Capita Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

      Eurotunnel Pension Schemes

      Work highlights

      • Advised the £4bn Balfour Beatty Pension Fund on a wide range of pension issues.
      • Appointed to advise the £1.6bn Capita Pension and Life Assurance Scheme on a project to assess and document the benefits across all of its 200+ sections.
      • Advised Baxi Group Pension Schemes on a wide range of pensions issues, both complex/unusual and day-to-day.

      Brabners LLP

      Brabners LLP covers the full range of pension-related matters, including negotiations with the Pension Protection Fund. Ian Mylrea heads the pensions team and is a key contact regarding bulk transfers, buy-outs, and rectification and professional negligence cases involving pensions. He is also noted for his expertise on executive pension schemes, while Caroline Curran has niche expertise in pensions indexation matters and liability management. Solicitor Siu Yin Ho is experienced in a wide range of areas, including equalisations of schemes, pension scheme mergers, and establishing new schemes.

      Practice head(s):

      Ian Mylrea

      Other key lawyers:

      Caroline Curran; Siu Yin Ho


      ‘Highly personable and pragmatic, will always offer a commercial view and not “sit on the fence”.’

      ‘Ian Mylrea is excellent. He is affable, commercial and pragmatic with an excellent understanding of the law.’

      ‘The Brabners Pensions team has a real attention to detail and sense of responsibility. It feels like we are working with members of our team, rather than a separate firm – there is real collaboration and a desire to ensure we have practical ways forward.’

      ‘Caroline Curran takes a thorough, practical, hands-on approach, is incredibly easy to work with and makes everyone feel at ease.’

      ‘A close-knit team that provides a pragmatic services for a very reasonable fee. The team works well together and I feel very involved in the advice process throughout rather than being presented with final advice with no pre-warning.’

      ‘Ian Mylrea leads a team of friendly, commercial individuals and is one of the leading pension lawyers in the North West. Caroline Curran brings a depth of complementary experience from her previous roles.’

      ‘Siu Yin Ho has a total attention to detail and willingness to ensure satisfaction. Excellent at her job and brilliant people skills.’

      ‘I find Brabners LLB to be approachable, understanding of the nature of the sector and prompt in responding to issues that are raised with them. They are open and clear with invoicing and fully open to discussion over anything that needs further clarification.’

      Key clients

      Trustees of the Hallé Concerts Society Retirement Benefits Society

      Ebor Trustees Limited

      Cobalt Housing Association

      Bridgestone Europe NV/SA UK Branch

      Panasonic Manufacturing UK Limited

      Faltec Europe Limited

      Trustees of National Association of School Masters and Union of Women Teachers Managed Pension Plan

      Shaw Trust

      Trustees of the Unity (1993) Retirement Benefits Scheme (a GMB scheme)

      Trustees of the Dunlop GRG Holdings Limited Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the H.S.T. Feeds Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme

      Trustees of the Farr Filtration Limited Pension Plan

      Peaks & Plains Housing Trust Limited

      Trustees of the Radio Links Communications Limited Retirement Savings Plan

      Arighi Bianchi and Co Limited

      Catalyst Choices Limited

      Trustees of the Mitras (UK) Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the Germinal Holdings Limited Retirement Benefit Scheme

      The Trustee of the Hydreco Hydraulics Limited Section of the Deloitte Pensions Master Plan

      Caritas Diocese of Salford

      Work highlights

      • Advised the Trustees of the Hallé Concerts Society Retirement Benefits Scheme in relation to the introduction of a bridging pension option to the Scheme.
      • Advised Peaks & Plains Housing Trust Limited in respect of proposed terminations of its defined benefit pension provisions (including cessations of all defined benefit accrual in both the Local Government Pension Scheme and the Social Housing Pension Scheme).
      • Advised the Trustees of the HST Feeds Limited Retirement Benefit Scheme on GMP equalisation issues applicable to members who previously transferred out, part of a wider project to wind-up the scheme following the bulk transfer of its members to another scheme.


      CMS advises on the full range of pensions matters, but is particularly strong on master trusts, pension restructuring and PPF-related matters, as well as pensions-related dispute resolution and complex non-contentious pensions advisory work. Practice head Tim Green is a highly regarded pensions litigator, often handling complex large multi-employer and industry-wide schemes and master trusts. John Hanratty splits his time between Manchester and Sheffield and is a key contact regarding public sector pensions work. Associate Heather Lucas specialises in pensions litigation matters, including rectification and professional negligence claims.

      Practice head(s):

      Tim Green

      Other key lawyers:

      John Hanratty; Heather Lucas


      ‘The CMS Manchester team is stand-out as a regional practice. Its charging structure is favourable as compared with London firms, but it has all the skills of those in London as well as the strength in depth that comes from a very big team. It has excellent specialist knowledge of PPF matters and equalisation.’

      ‘Tim Green is very experienced, extremely personable, delivers great service and is confident and slick. You can instruct him on just about anything and be confident he’ll deliver. Hi advice is succinct and clear and he doesn’t sit on the fence.’

      ‘Strength in depth, national team status.’

      ‘Omnipresent Tim Green really sticks to his guns, but brings everybody with him every step of the way.’

      ‘Big-hitting London lawyers taking the Manchester market by storm.’

      ‘Tim Green is one of our most trusted legal partners. He delivers solutions-driven, pragmatic advice, always with an eye on our objectives.’

      ‘Top pensions firm, dealing with heavy-weight pensions cases and very often instructed in important and complex matters.’

      ‘Tim Green – huge pensions law brain, but very strategically aware and clear in his advice.’

      Key clients

      Trustee of the Motor Industry Pension Plan

      Trustee of the Nottingham City Transport Pension Scheme

      TPT Retirement Solutions

      Trustee of the Time Warner Money Purchase Pension Plan

      Trustee of the British Regional Airlines Group Pension Scheme (Flybe)

      Board of the Pension Protection Fund

      Trustee of the Scottish Solicitors’ Staff Pension Fund

      Trustee of the Reynards UK Ltd Section of the SME Centralised Pension Scheme

      Fujifilm Imaging Colorants Limited

      Oasis Community Learning

      Trustees of the Hoare Lea & Partners 1978 Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

      P&O Ferries

      Scapa UK

      Trustee of the ASD plc Retirement Benefits Scheme

      Trustee of the Munro & Miller Fittings Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme

      Work highlights

      • Advised the Trustee of the Motor Industry Pension Plan in relation to pensions litigation, winding up sections, section 75 matters and funding.
      • Appointed to the PPF legal panels and advised in relation to multiple PPF assessment periods under both English and Scots law.


      DWF advises on industry-wide pension arrangements and schemes for both public and private sector employers, as well as pension-related matters involving corporate transactions. It also has contentious pensions experience, including advising on benefit changes, equalisation disputes, and consultation in union negotiations. Senior associate Sinead Sheehan leads the team and is ‘an excellent pensions lawyer‘ with ‘a real eye for detail‘. Associate Lucinda Burgoine is noted for her work on scheme closures, equalisations, and wind-ups.

      Practice head(s):

      Sinead Sheehan

      Other key lawyers:

      Lucinda Burgoine


      ‘A genuinely pragmatic, commercially-minded approach.’

      ‘Sinead Sheehan is an exceptional black-letter lawyer with a real eye for detail. She has helped us arrive at commercially-focused solutions for our pension schemes.’

      ‘Sinead Sheehan is an excellent pensions lawyer with first class professional and commercial judgement.’

      Key clients

      WM Morrison Supermarkets plc

      Trustee of the Princes Pension Scheme and the Princes (1977) Pension Scheme

      Trustee of the Edmundson Electrical Group Pension Schemes

      Bentley Motors Limited

      Multi-employer industry wide pension scheme

      Work highlights

      • Provided the full range of both projects and ad hoc legal advice to Morrisons plc and advised Safeway Limited on the equalisation proceedings Safeway v Newton.
      • Advised the Trustee of the Princes Pension Scheme and the Princes (1977) Pension Scheme on all business as usual matters including: obligations and ongoing responsibilities under GDPR; application and implementation of Lloyds Banking judgment and GMP equalisation; MNT and general trustee arrangements.
      • Provided the full range of pensions advice to the Trustee of the Edmundson Electrical Group Pension Schemes, including multiple different pensions arrangements with various benefit structures, ad hoc advisory matters from GMP reconciliation and adherence of new employers, in addition to project work including benefit specification advice and consolidation of pension scheme documentation.


      Fieldfisher is noted for its experience in areas such as advising on the pensions tax regime, pensions de-risking, DC freedoms, trust law duties, and benefit changes. Its clients include large defined benefit occupational pension schemes acting in manufacturing, chemicals, utilities, and higher education industries. The Manchester team is led by Jeremy Harris, who covers compliance, age discrimination, and scheme benefit changes as well as pensions disputes. National pensions head David Gallagher is well regarded for his work on scheme restructurings, investment, and pensions litigation matters. They are both supported by associate Katie Whelan, a key contact regarding occupational pension schemes.

      Practice head(s):

      Jeremy Harris; David Gallagher

      Other key lawyers:

      Katie Whelan


      ‘Fieldfisher’s pensions law capability is excellent. They are responsive, practical & pragmatic, understanding their client well & anticipating issues without being overly pushy.’

      ‘Jeremy Harris acts as lead partner & primary adviser – very knowledgeable – nothing escapes him.’

      ‘Fieldfisher acted as a trusted partner. We found the advice and support provided was exceptional.’

      ‘Diligent service provided by knowledgeable and experienced professionals.’

      Key clients

      Trustees of the Sibelco UK Occupational Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the Cooper Consolidated Pension Plan

      Trustees of the MTL Instruments Group Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the Willsher & Quick Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the Warwick International Group Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the WJB Pension Fund

      Trustees of the Blankstone Sington Staff Pension Fund

      Trustees of the Coleherne Limited (1976) Retirement Fun

      Trustees of the Danisco (UK) Limited Pension Plan

      Gateway Trustees Limited

      Trustees of the JSB Electrical Staff Pension Scheme

      Organon SIPP Services Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advised a major UK manufacturing company with overseas parent company in relation to £1bn defined benefit pension scheme.
      • Advised Trustees of defined benefit pension scheme sponsored by UK subsidiaries of a multinational company in relation to the appropriate steps and decisions to be made by the trustees in relation to requests for transfer payments out of the scheme to overseas pension arrangements, including the time limits applicable and the need to guard against a pension scam.
      • Advised Trustees of three UK defined benefit pension schemes sponsored by employers controlled by a US multinational in relation to GMP equalisation.

      Gateley Plc

      Gateley Plc often advises trustees and sponsors on middle-market pension schemes, with specialist experience advising on large pension scheme transactions and managing legacy pension liabilities, as well as niche experience in surety pension bonds. Practice head Patrick Kennedy is noted for his work in the UK pension bond market, while Sarah Sabin is especially strong regarding pensions litigation. Stuart Evans and associates Hannah Francois and Jess Pigg are key contacts regarding Enplan, the team’s platform-based legacy pension liability consolidator.

      Practice head(s):

      Patrick Kennedy

      Other key lawyers:

      Sarah Sabin; Stuart Evans; Hannah Francois; Jess Pigg


      ‘The individuals leading the practice are superb. Both Patrick Kennedy and Stuart Evans are at the top of their game.’

      ‘Patrick Kennedy and Stuart Evans are consummate professionals, technically gifted, but also commercial, pragmatic and so user-friendly.’

      ‘The Gateley pensions team is very good at seeing things through the eyes of trustees having a very successful independent professional trustee practice. This helps them communicate the trustee perspective to members and sponsors of scheme from the trustee perspective.’

      ‘The team is very personable and has realistic expectations of what can be achieved in relation to a scheme. Team members are able to identify when advice needs to be taken and guide clients in a a collaborative way to meet objectives. Stuart Evans is great to work with and clear in his preferred approach. Jess Pigg has a clear focus on client objectives in her advice delivery and Patrick Kennedy has a great strategic outlook and helps clients take long term view in reducing pension risks.’

      ‘Good clear advice – they cut through the jargon.’

      ‘Patrick Kennedy is excellent – knowledgeable, straight-talking, clear advice.’

      Work highlights

        Squire Patton Boggs

        Squire Patton Boggs specialises in regulatory compliance, pensions disputes, de-risking, and investment advice, especially for clients in regulated industries such as water, nuclear, and electricity industries, as well as not-for-profits and other schemes in the charity sector. Practice head David Griffiths is noted for his broad experience in areas such as reorganisations and restructurings, GMP equalisation, de-risking, buy-ins and buy-outs, and corporate transactions. Pension dispute specialist Victoria Leigh was promoted to partner in May 2021.

        Practice head(s):

        David Griffiths

        Other key lawyers:

        Victoria Leigh


        ‘Sensible, pragmatic, proportionate and cost-effective advice.’

        ‘David Griffiths is excellent at distilling complex legal matters and explaining them in terms that lay trustees can understand. He is a very reassuring presence when working through multi-faceted projects.’

        ‘David Griffiths: Very reliable, reasonable, practical. Helps us find reasonable outcomes. Solid advice.’

        ‘David Griffiths is very thoughtful in his approach, reasonable on guidance and fees.’

        ‘Good support across the team.’

        ‘David Griffiths is commercial and pragmatic. He responds promptly and is not afraid to come to a view.’

        Key clients

        Trustees of Gas Controls Equipment Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme

        Trustees of the Sappi UK Pension Scheme.

        Bestrustees Limited

        Marriott Hotels

        Nampak Staff Pension Scheme

        Young & Co.’s Brewery plc

        Representative Beneficiary of the Newell Rubbermaid UK Pension Scheme

        Tata Limited Pension Scheme

        PZ Cussons plc

        Representative Member of Cobb Pension Scheme

        Trustees of Brammer Services Retirement Benefits Scheme

        Fugro NV


        Work highlights

          Weightmans LLP

          Weightmans LLP advises employers, trustees, and pension providers, as well as clients in local and central government on all pensions-related matters, including winding up of pension schemes and risk management. Practice head Mark Poulston advises on risk reduction projects, pensions disputes, and pension-related matters concerning corporate transactions. Jane Marshall is highly experienced in the intersection of employment and pensions law, covering areas such as education sector pensions and public sector scheme changes and outsourcing.

          Practice head(s):

          Mark Poulston

          Other key lawyers:

          Jane Marshall


          ‘Weightmans very clearly have a deep understanding of the legal aspects of pension schemes and have provided us with advice that proved to be perfectly accurate and beneficial. The advice given was in respect of the closure of a DB scheme which was handled very professionally and without controversy. The approach recommended to us was novel which resulted in a quick and cost-effective closure process.’

          ‘The clarity of advice, both written and oral, was excellent. Legal mumbo-jumbo was avoided wherever possible and the supporting documentation well prepared. I take this public opportunity to thank Mark Poulston for his guidance and clear explanations.’

          Key clients

          The Scheme Advisory Board for the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme

          Equality and Human Rights Commission

          Southbank Centre Limited

          Surrey Police

          Sussex Police

          British Insurance Brokers’ Association

          Colas Limited

          N Brown Pension Trustees Limited

          Bridgewater School

          The Post Office

          The Football Pools Limited

          London Business School

          Swissport GB Limited

          Michael Weinig UK Limited

          Anixter Limited

          Work highlights

          • Advised The National Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) of the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme on the current Firefighters’ Pension Schemes and helped shape future changes to the schemes.
          • Advised numerous independent schools on withdrawal from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and the future provision of defined contribution pensions to teaching staff.
          • Advising several employer clients on the potential termination of their trust based occupational pension scheme and the implementation of a defined contribution scheme for future pension provision.

          gunnercooke LLP

          gunnercooke LLP is noted for advising clients in the public sector and education sector, as well as Master Trusts, on the full range of pensions matters, including outsourcing and corporate transactions. Suresh Bhatt deals with both contentious and non-contentious pensions matters, including advising on CPI/RPI considerations and pensions scam cases. Ginevra Gatrell frequently advises on private sector schemes on compliance, complex pension benefit complaints.

          Other key lawyers:

          Suresh Bhatt; Ginevra Gatrell

          Key clients


          The Kennel Club

          Shoe Zone Pension Scheme

          Colt Life Assurance and Retirement Scheme

          Bridon Group (2013) Pension Scheme

          Chartered Management Institute

          B E Wedge Holdings Limited Pension

          Inspired Gaming Group Pension Scheme

          Dalriada Trustees Limited

          Methodist Church

          Work highlights

          • Advised on the buy-out of pension schemes liabilities, including the first insurance company buy-out of benefits.

          Shoosmiths LLP

          Shoosmiths LLP often advises on scheme mergers, restructuring and closures, wind-ups, and GMP equalisation, amongst other key areas of pensions law in the contentious space. Paul Carney leads the Manchester team and is a key contact regarding pensions litigation and advising on public service pension schemes. Principal associate Alexandra Ventham is noted for her pensions litigation expertise and knowledge at the intersection of pensions and corporate transactions.

          Practice head(s):

          Paul Carney

          Other key lawyers:

          Alexandra Ventham


          ‘This team is very responsive and incredibly knowledgeable about a constantly changing, and complex, area of law. The advice received is always clear and sets out actionable pathways, or straightforward guidance, that can be implemented by in-house counsel, trustees and advisors alike.’

          ‘Paul Carney is fantastic to work with – beyond being knowledgeable and commercial, he has a great way of really focusing on the critical issues and presenting practical, commercial solutions and advice. Paul focuses on the client, understanding the full needs, the history, and the overall strategy, enabling him to be proactive in his advice/issue flagging, as well as ensuring that he’s ‘horizon-scanning’ in a sensible way. I really cannot recommend Paul enough!’

          ‘Paul Carney – deep experience in pensions law, and able to combine technical capability with sound judgement and practical advice. Nice manner.’

          ‘Great recommendation, we have subsequently recommended to other contacts. Good advice, well explained and supportive team.’

          ‘Paul Carney’s involvement with the pension has been exceptional. Items always explained in lay terms for non-legalese and proportionate to a scheme of our size.’

          ‘The team is very responsive to requests and proactive when necessary. They are very attuned to the way we work as an organisation and their competitive pricing and clearly laid out invoices make it is easy to control our legal budget. They have helped in the past with numerous projects and their unfussy, uncomplicated approach and clear advice is appreciated by the senior management team.’

          ‘Paul Carney has proved to be an excellent solicitor and offers key pension advice to our team as and when queries arise. Paul will clearly explain the advice given and builds a good rapport when working with colleagues outside of our legal team including HR and operational leads.’

          ‘Paul is very approachable. He will make himself available for meetings and will turn work around quickly when required. Paul has a wealth of experience and this enables him to provide practical advice. The work provided by Paul is detailed and it is clear that time is spent to ensure the advice given is accurate and relevant to our queries.’

          Key clients

          Trustees of the Trafford Park Printers (1990) pension scheme

          Trustees of the JN Bentley Pension Scheme

          Trustees of the Evergreen Pension Plan

          Stellantis Group (formerly Peugeot SA)

          Elior Limited

          Civica UK Limited

          Trustees of the Shoreham Port Pension Scheme

          Trustees of the British Salt Pension Scheme

          Trustees of the Burger King Pension Scheme

          Work highlights

          • Advised Stellantis (formerly PSA) in relation to a restructuring of the provision of employment benefits in the UK, including closing three occupational defined benefit scheme to the future accrual of benefits.
          • Advised the Trustees of the JN Bentley pension scheme in relation to its merger into the Mott MacDonald pension scheme.
          • Advised the Trustees of the CSVL Pension Scheme in relation to its merger into the Crane Pension Scheme.


          Noted for its specialist expertise in self-invested personal pension (SIPP) and small self-administered (SSAS) pension plans, TLT also covers migration into Master Trusts, bulk transfers, and acquisitions and disposals. Legal director Damien Garrould leads the North West pensions team and is the key contact regarding SIPP and SSAS pension schemes, as well as employer-financed retirement benefits schemes. Associate Kate Beech's expertise includes GMP equalisation matters.

          Practice head(s):

          Damien Garrould

          Other key lawyers:

          Kate Beech

          Key clients

          Hartley Pensions Limited

          boohoo Group plc

          Government Legal Department

          Work highlights

          • Advised PSG SIPP Limited on the acquisition of a book of circa 5,000 SIPPs.
          • Advised Merlin Entertainments Limited on the pensions aspects of its acquisition of the business and assets of Cadbury World UK from Mondelez International.