Pensions in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

With the largest dedicated pensions team in the South West, Burges Salmon LLP is extremely well regarded for its work with high quality public and private sector clients, acting for large multinational firms and large government legal panels. The team is particularly regarded for its regulatory pensions work, much of which is led by partner Clive Pugh. It also has strong experience de-risking pension plans, as well as working with personal pension schemes. Susannah Young represents a broad array of high-quality clients and director Catrin Young is well regarded for her work with multi-employer pension schemes. Richard Knight heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Richard Knight

Other key lawyers:

Clive Pugh; Michael Hayles; Richard Pettit; Alice Honeywill; Susannah Young; Suzanne Padmore; Justin Briggs; Catrin Young


‘Great strength throughout the team. The associates are very knowledgeable and the partners are fully engaged from day one and remain so. This involvement greatly assists with the efficient running of the case. ’

‘They combine technical knowledge with a commercial approach. Clive Pugh is simply fantastic. Catrin Young is also superb – she has a great eye for detail and is always fully on top of the minutiae.’

‘Personal service from a diverse and engaged team’

‘Value for money, fully aware of financial restraints’

‘Clive Pugh is commercial and knowledgeable. He makes pensions fun, is pragmatic, cuts through everything to help give the client good, solid advice. no waffle or sitting on the fence.’

‘Responsive, forward-thinking, professional partner and supporting team constantly adding value to Trustees discussions in both formal and informal meetings.’

‘They are approachable and knowledge of our scheme is shared among the members of our team. They allow and encourage their employees to develop their skills. They keep us up to date about current developments in the field and how they will impact us.’

‘ The team know each other’s strengths and are able to present a joined-up solution to issues. There is also a strong feeling that they really understand their client and any fee constraints that may exist ’

Key clients


Wessex Water Pension Scheme


Cardiff Bus

Bernard Matthews

Luton Airport Pension Scheme

Transport for Wales

UK Atomic Energy Authority

Department for Education

University of Oxford

Work highlights

  • Advise the Honda-Group UK Pension Scheme on a full range of issues including COVID-related issues, namely furlough.
  • Advising the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority on all aspects of its £9bn pension arrangements, including in the context of its “STEP” programme.
  • Advising the trustees of the London Luton Airport Pension Scheme on urgent negotiations to defer deficit repair contributions as a result of COVID.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP's pensions department offer a full set of services to its national client base, acting on behalf of hundreds of trustees and employers. The team is most notable for its public sector work, providing legal advice to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and the Local Government Pension Scheme. Its specific work includes experienced with defined contribution pensions and high court disputes. Jonathan Hazlett, who heads the team, is highly regarded for his PPF work, as well as his advocacy work in disputes. Legal Director Daragh McGinty is known for his local government work, and associate Rebecca Cantrell is also well regarded.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Hazlett

Other key lawyers:

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


‘Claire Rankin is approachable and good at the explanation of complex issues.’

‘Definitely the leading pensions practice outside of the City. They are consistently involved with the biggest pensions cases. The team have great expertise and combine it with a genuinely helpful and commercial approach. A stellar practice.’

‘They are very approachable and prioritise common sense and pragmatic solutions.’

‘Jonathan Hazlett is a leading light in the pensions industry. Intellectually very able, pragmatic in his advice and great fun to work with. You definitely want him in your corner. You can’t do better.

‘A very strong pensions team that is pragmatic and commercial. Very approachable and take the time to understand your issues and to find solutions that work.’

‘Jonathan Hazlett really is at the top of his game. Sensible and insightful. Claire Rankin is very knowledgeable, with the ability to assimilate complicated detail.’

‘Claire Rankin is always extremely thorough and she is clearly very knowledgeable. She is very approachable and willing to provide advice at short notice when required. She works well together with other scheme advisers.’

Key clients

Pension Protection Fund

LGPS National Procurement Framework for Legal Services (including sole legal adviser to the Environment Agency Pension Fund)

Transport for London

Hammerson Group Management Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Savills Pension Plan

Bank of Ireland UK Pension Fund

Dell Corporation Limited

Royal Society of Chemistry Pension Scheme

SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK Pension Plans Trustees Limited

Senior plc Pension Plan

Students’ Union Superannuation Fund

Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund

Grant Thornton Pension Fund

Kohler Mira Pension Scheme

Sharp Electronics (UK) Limited Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advised over 30 schemes on PPF related matters.
  • Advises to Local Government Pension Schemes with combined asset size of circa £20bn.
  • Advises both the Trustee of Pennon Group Pension Scheme and the Trustee of the Pennon Defined Contribution Pension Scheme on a number of complex workstreams.


The pensions team at TLT has a broad array of experience, acting on government panels as well as for household-name UK companies and multinationals. It is known for its work advising on SSAS/SSIP funds, and advice on regulatory matters involving superfunds. TLT has also won multiple high-profile panel appointments recently, most notably serving on the Government Legal Department pensions panel. Sasha Butterworth leads the team from Bristol, offering unique expertise in risk reduction and ESG governance issues. Associate Lizzie Stone is well regarded as well for her strong technical abilities.

Practice head(s):

Sasha Butterworth

Other key lawyers:

Chris Crighton; Lizzie Stone


‘The pensions team works well with each other to ensure that they have full cover at all times. They are always proactive in and out of the formal meetings, giving clear succinct responses and guidance. Their charges are fair and definitely very good value for money.’

‘Sasha Butterworth leads the team, she is clear in her advice and responses on a timely basis with the facts, interpretation and solutions whenever tasked to solve an issue.’

‘Chris Crichton gives a very personalised service with excellent response times. Nothing appears to be too much trouble.’

‘Excellent team – skilled and practical. Detailed understanding of subject matter, approachable and realistic in their solutions’

‘Sasha Butterworth and Chris Crighton lead a strong team, are easy to talk to and realistic in their pricing, timescales and practical approach to resolving issues’

‘Good knowledge of pensions and work in a collaborative way.’

‘Chris Crighton is knowledgeable, practical and efficient.’

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

IBMS Trustees

Work highlights

  • Advising The Trustees of the Institute of Biomedical Science Pension Scheme in relation to the full buyout of all scheme liabilities and the eventual winding-up of the scheme.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons has an ‘extremely knowledgeable‘ team in Bristol, which works in tandem with the firm’s London practice, primarily acting on behalf of trustees and corporate clients. The team is highly regarded for its pensions advice on cross-border mergers, de-risking defined benefit pensions, and compliance matters. It has a significant deal of experience working on behalf of financial services companies, particularly insurers. James Dean leads the Bristol team, advising corporate clients on matters including pension investments, de-risking projects, and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

James Dean; Danny Tsang (London)


‘An extremely knowledgeable team – good experience in relevant areas.’

Key clients

DXC Technology


Confederation of Health Service Employees

BASF plc

Doosan Babcock Trustees

Anheuser-Busch InBev Group

West Ferry Printers Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advising on all aspects of the Doosan Power Systems Pension Scheme, in particular regarding asset-backed funding and innovative investment opportunities.
  • Advised BASF on a wide range of pensions matters, including substantial changes to the plan documentation to consolidate several sections and complex historic provisions.
  • Advised the AB InBev group on the integration of various new membership and contribution structures into one of their schemes.