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Pensions in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP has an excellent reputation across the board for its pensions work in the South West, and has the largest dedicated team in the region. Clients range from high-profile multinational companies to major governmental legal panels. Adept at both private and public sector work, the team is also a leader in the regulatory field. Practice head Richard Knight advises many of the firm's biggest clients, while Clive Pugh is noted for his specialist knowledge of dealing with the Pensions Regulator. Susannah Young has built up a portfolio of major clients. Another name to note is director Catrin Young, who has expertise in non-associated multi-employer schemes.

Practice head(s):

Richard Knight


Well-resourced, knowledgeable and very experienced. Personable and very helpful.

A personal touch, with strong governance capabilities.

Alice Honeywill – outstanding pensions technical knowledge and an ability to contribute in wider areas

A great team, real strength in depth. They have been a feature in some of the biggest pension cases in recent years. Technical proficiency with good resources that they will throw behind a case.

Justin Briggs is a key industry figure and a pleasure to work with. Richard Pettit is a careful and meticulous lawyer, excellent at leading a team.

The team is very knowledgeable and its advice is very accessible. It has good strength in depth and key individuals have excellent availability and client focus.

Alice Honeywill’s speed of response and commitment to delivering the advice we need makes us feel as if we are her only client.

Key clients

Western Power Distribution



Leonardo schemes – helicopters, electronics and Futureplanner



Methodist Church

UK Atomic Energy Authority

Department for Education

University of Oxford

Work highlights

  • Advising the trustees of the Silentnight pension scheme on a significant regulatory matter.
  • Assisting Honda with a billion pound pension scheme in relation to a complex security and funding arrangement.
  • Acting for Transport for Wales on the pension arrangements involved in the establishment of the Wales and Borders Rail Service, a newly created rail franchise for Wales.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke's pensions department is distinguished by its leading public sector practice; it advises both the Local Government Pension Scheme and the Pension Protection Fund. Other areas of expertise include corporate restructurings and insolvency-related work, pensions disputes and defined contribution matters. Team leader Jonathan Hazlett is known for his expertise in the not-for-profit, railway and shipping sectors. Associate Daragh McGinty is a specialist in local government pension scheme matters. In addition, another associate to note is Rebecca Cantrell, who has a fast-growing practice. Claire Rankin joined from Burges Salmon LLP in May 2019. Mark Womersley has retired from private practice.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Hazlett


Clear advice that answers the clients’ questions. Able to work to short timescales. Pragmatic and commercial.

Jonathan Hazlett and Joe Webster are good-humoured and easy to work with.’

The team at OC are all very knowledgeable, responsive, and work well together, ensuring we always receive a quick response or acknowledgement to each request. Their advice is also very practical and clear.

Clearly expert and knowledgeable in their field. Excellent communicators. Pro-active, sensible advice. Quick response times. All the team are excellent.

Strong and experienced team with excellent pensions update briefings. Very good at tailoring the advice to the needs of the charity sector and explaining the legal issues to the trustees of the scheme.

Claire Rankin is skilled at explaining the key issues to trustees and ensuring that we concentrate on the really important issues for the scheme.

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

Dell Corporation Limited

Berendsen Healthcare Limited

SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK Limited

Senior plc Pension Plan

Students’ Union Superannuation Fund

Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund

Grant Thornton Pension Fund

House of Fraser Pension Scheme

Muntons plc Retirement Benefits Scheme

Kohler Mira Pension Scheme

Sharp Electronics (UK) Limited Pension Scheme

Bank of Ireland UK Pension Fund

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Pensions Protection Fund on a full range of services, including assisting over 15 schemes through the PPF assessment process in the last 12 months.
  • Advising the LGPS National Procurement Framework for Legal Services, providing scheme administration, outsourcing, benefits and investment advice.
  • Providing ongoing legal advice to the trustees of the Lincoln staff pension plan.


TLT provides pensions support to corporate clients ranging from UK household names to multinational organisations. The pensions team in Bristol is integrated into a nationwide network of offices, enabling it to handle work across the country. It is also notably active in the public sector. Other main sources of work include pensions investment, SIPP/SSAS work and governance. Sasha Butterworth, who heads up the national pensions team for the firm, has expertise in large outsourcing projects and scheme restructurings, among other matters. Associate Lizzie Stone is also active in this space, particularly in management liability exercises.

Practice head(s):

Sasha Butterworth


In-depth knowledge of the area, responsiveness and ability to see the issues from the client’s perspective and to proactively suggest suitable options and pragmatic solutions.

Practical and realistic, good attention to detail and good response times.

Sasha Butterworth is technically excellent, good business sense. Chris Crighton is very dynamic, engaging and practical. Richard Leigh is an absolute pleasure to work with.

Key clients

Arkema Bostik Pension Trustee Limited

Fujitsu Retirement Services Trustee

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime


Biffa Waste Services Limited

Trustees of Colas (UK) Pension Plan


Work highlights

  • Advising the trustees of the Institute of Biomedical Science pension scheme on the legal aspects of a full scheme liabilities buy-in with Aviva.
  • Providing strategic advice on and implemented for Hartley Pensions two separate acquisitions of SIPP books, the book of GPC SIPP Limited (In Administration) and Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Limited (In Administration).