Hall Of Fame

Pensions in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

The national practice at Burges Salmon LLP has a  sizeable team with over 40 dedicated lawyers overseeing non-contentious pensions matters. It is well known for its expertise across regulatory matters and personal pension schemes. The practice, which is led by Richard Knight, regularly advises high-profile clients, including Clarks, Transport for Wales and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. Notable recent matters include the firm's work for the trustees of Honda-Group UK Pension Scheme; Susannah Young and Knight led with the support of Tom Dunn.

Practice head(s):

Richard Knight

Other key lawyers:

Clive Pugh; Richard Pettit; Michael Hayles; Susannah Young; Alice Honeywill; Chris Brown; Crispin Freeman


‘The team have a friendly but professional practice. I always feel that they do care about the cases they deal with, and are willing to provide additional support or clarification to their formal advice. The advice itself is always comprehensive and understandable to non-legal readers.’

‘The team has significant knowledge of the pensions industry and I feel confident in the advice they provide.’

Key clients

AT & T Istel Pension Plan

RiverStone Management Pension & Life Assurance Plan

Clarks Shoes

Honda- Group UK Pension Scheme

Transport for Wales

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority

Trustees of the Silentnight Pension Scheme

Bespak Plc Retirement Benefits Scheme

QinetiQ Pension Scheme

Western Power Distribution

Trustees of the Cardiff University Pension Fund

Trustees of the C F Fertilisers Pension Schemes

London Luton Airport Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advised the Trustees of Silentnight Pension Scheme on a regulatory case widely regarded as the case that led to the introduction of the Pensions Regulator’s stronger powers under the Pension Schemes Act 2021.
  • Advised Clarks on negotiations with its Trustees defined benefit pension scheme, UK and US lenders, private equity sponsors and the Pensions Regulator in connection to the restructuring of the Clarks Group.
  • Advised Trustees of three UK pension schemes sponsored by CF Fertillisers Limited.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Th team at Osborne Clarke LLP advise across the full spectrum of pension matters, and was reappointed to the Pension Protection Fund legal panel in February 2022. It is also renowned for its expertise in risk settlement work for defined benefit schemes. Jonathan Hazlett leads the practice; other key names include Paul Matthews and Brent Wright, who advised the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund on its £1.8bn bulk purchase annuity pensioner buy-in with Standard Life, and Claire Rankin, who leads the firm’s ongoing advice to the trustees of the Senior plc Pension Plan.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Hazlett

Other key lawyers:

Paul Matthews; Brent Wright; Claire Rankin; Tobias Hole; Rebecca Cantrell; Daragh McGinty


‘Jonathan Hazlett and Toby Hole listen, they are proactive, they jump in when necessary, they explain well. They make their client feel as part of their team.’

‘The team are professional, reliable and give their client confidence. Project plans are agreed and stuck to, third parties liaised with as appropriate, and no unnecessary expenditure incurred. Clear advice is provided, risks highlighted and options discussed. They are open to client feedback and suggestions, and work with you.’

‘Brent Wright is a breath of fresh air; he is personable, open, honest and speaks plain English. He is open to a tailored way of working befitting the client and subject, but is thorough and pushes back/influences as appropriate. He doesn’t shy away from asking for additional business or promoting other services, but the approach is just right. He has made himself available at short notice and responded out of hours, to keep the project on track.’

‘Claire Rankin: very knowledgeable, first class advice, proactive, always gets in touch when requested, and approachable’

‘Jonathan Hazlett has an encyclopaedic knowledge and is superb.’

‘Toby Hole exemplifies all the attributes of the team. His resilience in terms of interpreting short notice instructions and reminding us of precedent and scheme nuances is impressive – as well as his good nature and humour – he is operating way above his current grade.’

Key clients

Pension Protection Fund

Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund

Keyser Ullman Group Pension Fund (part of HSBC)

Senior plc Pension Plan

Transport for London

Pennon Group Pension Scheme

LGPS Pension Funds

National Education Union

ITW Pension Fund

Lincoln Staff Benefits Plan

Bristol Airport

Work highlights


    The practice at TLT has an array of expertise, particularly in pensions matters concerning the public sector, regulatory issues, self-invested personal pensions and small self-administered pension schemes. The practice is led by Sasha Butterworth, who has specialist experience advising over pension structures and products, pension legacy issues and governance issues. Senior knowledge lawyer Katherine Swire joined the team from Sackers in January 2022.

    Practice head(s):

    Sasha Butterworth

    Other key lawyers:

    Chris Crighton; Lizzie Stone


    ‘Sasha Butterworth is simply great. Easy to contact very responsive and pragmatic with advice.’

    ‘TLT have been supportive generally in working with us, sharing opportunities and knowledge. They have a strong pensions team and gave us some guidance to help develop a potential proposition in the pensions space.’

    ‘Sasha Butterworth has a strong breadth of understanding of the pensions market.’

    ‘The team have worked very collaboratively with our business on a number of difficult pension matters.’

    ‘Sasha Butterworth – knowledgeable and good communicator.’

    ‘Lizzie Stone has delivered exceptional service through a pension scheme review and change. Calm determination and resolve to deliver, impressive attention to detail on highly esoteric points.’

    ‘Chris Crighton excellently manages his team to provide quality, timely legal advice clearly addressing the questions asked, but also identifying wider issues for client consideration. He and his team have been particularly flexible in providing advice to tight deadlines when necessary. Chris is extremely responsive and provides valuable insight to the likely length and complexity of matters enabling a clear understanding at the outset of estimated fees. Chris is an excellent communicator with juniors and seniors alike and clearly explains complex legal issues to both legal and commercial clients.’

    ‘Chris Crighton is knowledgeable, practical, considered and client focused.’

    Key clients

    Anglian Water

    Government Legal Department

    Fujitsu Technology Solutions International Pension Plan Trustee

    Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited

    Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

    Viridor Waste Management Limited



    Arkema Bostik Pension Trustee Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised the Trustees of the Kioto Europe Limited pension scheme in regard to the buy out and winding up of its scheme and related liabilities.
    • Advised the Trustee of the Fujitsu Technology Services International Limited Pension Plan on the successful bulk transfer of the Defined Contribution Section of the Plan, to the Legal & General WorkSave Mastertrust.

    Simmons & Simmons

    Simmons & Simmons advises on a wide range of pensions matters, with particular expertise in the financial services sector. The team’s work includes de-risking defined benefit pension arrangements, litigation and compliance concerning pension arrangements, as well as the pensions aspects of cross-border M&A deals. The practice is led from London by Danny Tsang who has over 25 years’ experience in pension law; the key name in Bristol is consultant James Dean, who is well-regarded for his ability to ‘translate complex concepts into simple terms.’

    Practice head(s):

    Danny Tsang

    Other key lawyers:

    James Dean; Edward Smith


    ‘They are a close-knit team, who are readily available, and respond to requests quickly. They have an excellent knowledge of pensions.’

    ‘Danny Tsang is an expert, who communicates well and is readily available.’

    ‘James Dean is excellent when he is needed to step in. Experienced and knowledgeable.’

    ‘The pensions team is top notch and provides a timely and thorough service without fuss’

    ‘James Dean is accessible, efficient and clear.’

    ‘The approachability, supportiveness and knowledge level of the team is second to none. I would highly recommend Simmons & Simmons for anyone requiring specialist pensions advice and will absolutely continue to use them for our company’s future pension needs.’

    ‘James Dean is an absolute pleasure to deal with. He is highly knowledgeable, but at the same he is easily able to translate complex concepts into simple terms (for non-pensions people). From a client perspective, I find him very accessible, flexible and extremely supportive.’

    ‘Their excellent depth of knowledge and ability to distil technical matters into easy-to-understand terms makes working with them a pleasure

    ‘The team fully embraced the opportunity and worked collaboratively to understand my requirements and deliver an excellent and comprehensive review of the documentation required.’

    ‘Ed Smith’s ability to clearly articulate the matter hand, in an understandable, but also interesting manner is stand-out. This is a point that many trustees have commented on in the past.’

    ‘Working with both Ed Smith and James Dean is very enjoyable and they are always willing to go the extra mile to deliver a first-class service.’

    Key clients

    DXC Technology


    Confederation of Health Service Employees (COHSE)

    BASF plc

    Doosan Babcock Trustees

    Anheuser-Busch InBev Group

    West Ferry Printers Pension Scheme

    Work highlights

    • Advised the trustees of the Doosan Power Systems Pension Scheme on all aspects of its scheme, particularly on its asset backed funding arrangement.
    • Advised BASF plc on its pension matters and the make-up of its trustee body.
    • Advised trustees of AB InBev UK Ltd Pension Trust Limited and Stag Brewing Pensions Limited, on two pension plans for the Anheuser-Busch InBev Group,