Pensions in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP acts for more than 750 trustee and employer clients in the private and public sectors, with a primary focus on trustee mandates. The firm is on both the central and local government legal panels for pensions work, which enables it to undertake large-scale legal work across the UK. Personal and occupational pension schemes are another area of strength. Practice head Richard Knight is the key point of contact for the practice's major clients. Susannah Young is one of the other key figures in the group.

Practice head(s):

Richard Knight

Other key lawyers:

Clive Pugh; Richard Pettit; Alice Honeywill; Susannah Young


Burges Salmon are a pragmatic team; rather than just flagging potential issues they seek to find a practical and proportionate way through them. They have a good experience of the impact of corporate transactions on pension schemes and dealing with the Pensions Regulator

Burges Salmon understand well the dynamics of pensions regulator proceedings, and are very client focused

They have a pragmatic, measured approach, and collaborative approach with other advisors

They offer excellent knowledge that is applied in a sensible pragmatic commercial manner. We can depend on them to get the job done without unnecessary fuss or delay

Burges Salmon provide excellent advice with a clear, practical approach. We feel like we are in safe hands, and the depth of the team is excellent providing quality support at short notice when required

A key differentiator against other firms which provide purely pensions advice is the cross departmental support we have the benefit of

My experience working with lawyers in Burges Salmon’s pension team is generally very positive. They are highly regarded by their clients, and very much considered a trusted partner

Compared to other firms of lawyers I have dealt with they are more attuned to providing the type of day-to-day support (in areas such as good governance for example) that many pension scheme trustee clients require

Richard Knight was very impressive on a recent corporate transaction project. He took overall responsibility for the project, giving the client comfort that all the necessary advice and tasks would be completed. He delivered the findings clearly and concisely

Clive Pugh understands very well how corporate groups work and comes up with creative solutions to corporate pension problems

Michael Hayles is excellent. He is straight to the point, doesn’t mess around and is a clear and engaging communicator

Richard is experienced, knowledgeable, intelligent, available, commercial & client focused

Susannah Young  is very responsive and personable with excellent client care skills. She frequently provides cost and timescale updates, and provides clear, commercial and practical advice

My experience of working with Richard is very positive. He provides pragmatic advice and has a calm, reassuring presence which is particularly valued by his clients

Susannah is an experienced pensions lawyer with a very collaborative approach, whether working with clients or other pensions professionals

Alice Honeywill is an experienced pensions lawyer and is particularly strong technically with wide-ranging pensions knowledge

Key clients

Western Power Distribution (employer)

FirstGroup (trustees)

Silentnight (trustees)

Leonardo schemes – helicopters, electronics and Futureplanner (trustees)

Honda (trustees)

AT&T (trustees)

Methodist Church (trustees)

UK Atomic Energy Authority

Department for Education (employer)

Oxford University (trustees)

Work highlights

  • The firm advised the trustees of the Brunel Holdings Pension Scheme on the successful merger of three existing schemes in the group into a new, £2.2bn scheme.
  • Advising the trustee of a leading international business’s pension scheme in respect of two Warning Notices issued by the Pensions Regulator relating to defined contribution matters.
  • The firm is advising two major SIPP providers on DC Governance and compliance issues, as well as pensions regulatory investigations in respect of one of these providers.
  • Assisted the pensions management team at Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) with ensuring that its two defined benefits schemes and its defined contribution scheme were ready for the new GDPR legal regime.
  • The firm is advising Western Power Distribution (WPD) in ensuring full pension protection for certain of its former employees following the liquidation of Carillion Services Limited in January 2018.

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke undertakes the full spectrum of pensions work for employers and trustees, with particular strengths in corporate insolvency, public sector pensions and corporate work involving pension schemes. In the corporate insolvency space, the team acts for the Pension Protection Fund on matters concerning pensions, investments, restructuring and insolvency, financial services and public procurement. The practice is notably active in the public sector, where it advises clients on issues arising from the Local Government Pension Scheme, including outsourcing, investment strategy, governance, benefit issues and disputes. Jonathan Hazlett leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Hazlett

Key clients

Pension Protection Fund

LGPS National Procurement Framework for Legal Services

Trustees of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund

Trustees of the Kohler Mira Pension Scheme

Transport for London

Fyffes plc / Total Produce Limited / Geest Line Limited

Endsleigh Limited

Brunel Pension Partnership

Outward Bound Trust / Mayday Trust / Ramblers’ Association / Finton House Educational Trust / Manchester High School for Girls

Trustees of the Global Marine Systems Pension Plan

Trustees of the Lincoln Staff Pension Plan

Caledonia Investments plc

Trustees of the Sharp Electronics (UK) Limited Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Grant Thornton Pensions Fund

Trustees of the Muntons Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • As part of the Local Government Pension Scheme National Procurement Framework for Legal Services, the firm provides the full range of pensions-related services,  including scheme administration, outsourcing, benefits and investment advice.
  • Advise the trustees of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund on routine benefit queries, including the distribution of death benefits to beneficiaries, the calculation of spouse’s pensions, GDPR integration processes and investment issues.
  • Retained legal advisers to the Trustees of the Lincoln Staff Pension Plan and continue to provide on-going legal advice to the Trustees.
  • Ongoing legal advice to Caledonia Investments plc on many of the UK pension arrangements within its portfolio companies and other investments.
  • Retained legal advisers to the trustees of the Kohler Mira Pension Plan; currently advising the client on transferring all of the accrued money purchase benefits in the Plan to a master trust operated by Scottish Widows, without member consent.


TLT advises trustees and employers on a wide range of pension schemes, including master trusts. The scope of its work includes multinational restructurings, outsourcing projects, governance advice, buy-ins and buyouts. The firm acts for a number of multinational clients, and is noted for its public sector experience. Sasha Butterworth heads up the pensions team, which has notable expertise in outsourcing projects, risk reduction and scheme mergers.

Practice head(s):

Sasha Butterworth

Other key lawyers:

Chris Crighton


‘The strength is that they have very detailed knowledge that they can disseminate in an easy to understand manner and a modest cost. Their advice is to the point and very practical.’

‘Sasha Butterworth never fails, she is always on her game and able to be constructive and to the point on all pension issues. A pleasure to deal with. Available to discuss issues and hits deadlines with ease.’

‘Lizzie Stone is very knowledgeable and able to articulate complex issues in an easy to understand manner.’

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


TClarke plc

Work highlights

  • We are advising the trustees of an industry-wide pension scheme on a wide range of complex legal issues in the run up to the proposed winding-up of the Scheme within the next 12 months.
  • Advised a major UK bank in relation to complex funding arrangements in relation to its UK defined benefit pension scheme.
  • Following the completion of a merger of two pension schemes within the sponsor’s corporate group, we have prepared a new definitive trust deed and rules for the Scheme.