Next Generation Partners

Pensions in Yorkshire And The Humber

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard houses the region’s preeminent pensions practice. The group is praised for its ‘excellent knowledge and technical expertise’ and regularly handles large scale transactions for FTSE100 clients. Jointly led by Jade Murray  and Rachel Rawnsley, the team has particular specialisms in SIPP and SSAS, buy-ins and buy-outs and university pension schemes. Rachel Uttley also leads the wider group and its specialist bulk annuity practice, which was further strengthened by the arrival of Richard Shelton in September 2021 from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. In Manchester, Susan Garrett is the head of the pensions disputes team.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Uttley; Jade Murray; Rachel Rawnsley; Susan Garrett

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Stewart; Andrew Steer; Richard Shelton

Testimonials

‘Quite simply this is a super organised and professional team with high quality lawyers.’

‘The advice is always well-considered and pragmatic with a strong focus on moving matters forwards.’

‘Rachel Uttley is an absolute master of the detail whilst always keeping an eye on the bigger picture. Rachel is an exceptional pensions lawyer.’

‘Excellent knowledge and technical expertise. An ability to take complex matters and explain them in a way that non experts can understand. Well thought out advice that takes client specific circumstances into consideration.’

‘Jade Murray is excellent. Practical, technically first rate, and excellent input at all key stages of the negotiation.’

‘Rachel Rawnsley has an in-depth knowledge of our pension plan and brings that to the table in every discussion.’

‘Very expert advice offered in a way that is easy for the Trustees to understand. We are kept updated on all issues and legislative changes that are relevant to and may impact us – we always know they have our back.’

‘Very timely, focused, collaborative, involve as many people as needed, keeps team updated at own cost. It’s the advisor that we rely on the most as they always ensure that our roles as trustees and the interests of members are protected. They work collaboratively with legal counsel of our sponsoring company.’

Key clients

Trustee of the Asda Group Pension Scheme

Pension Insurance Corporation

Trustee of the Kellogg GB Pension Fund

Rothermere Continuation Limited (shareholder of Daily Mail and General Trust Plc)

Britvic Plc

Trustee of the Short Brothers Pension Scheme

Diageo

Trustee of the Ibstock Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Royal Blind Group Pension Scheme

Co-operative Group

Virgin Money

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Carclo

Anglian Water

FNZ Group

Work highlights

  • Advising RCL on a £3bn reorganisation and related contractual takeover offer for Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT) and a complex settlement agreement with DMGT’s pension scheme trustees.
  • Acting for Britvic Plc in relation to ongoing matters connected with the pension increases provisions of its DB pension scheme rules.
  • Advising Pension Insurance Corporation as a panel firm on its bulk annuity transactions (buy-ins and buy-outs).

Arc Pensions Law

Arc Pensions Law is one of the ‘leading pensions boutiques' in Leeds. The team is ‘exemplary’, jointly led by Vikki Massarano and Kate Payne who handle a broad range of contentious and non-contentious mandates, respectively. It continues to develop its expertise in bulk annuity transactions and has experience advising on GMP equalisation and other de-risking exercises. Other key practitioners include Robert Walker, legal director Max Ballad and associate Claire Goodby. In December 2021, Alex Rodger  joined from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, bolstering the firm’s employment offering.

Practice head(s):

Vikki Massarano; Kate Payne

Other key lawyers:

Max Ballad; Claire Goodby; Robert Walker; Alex Rodger

Testimonials

‘They are experts in the field of pensions law.’

‘Arc are one of the two the leading pensions boutiques – their ability to deliver commercial, sensible, expert advice in a manner welcomed by clients and their instructing lawyers is second to none – they are exemplary.’

‘Deep knowledge of the pensions industry. Small very dedicated team delivering excellent levels of service.’

‘Vikki Massarano is a great example of the way Arc works – very knowledgeable and experienced without being patronising, delivers advice in plain English and with pragmatism.’

‘Easy to work with – friendly, but professional. Standouts are Kate Payne and Robert Walker.’

‘We have worked with Max Ballard who always provides a clear concise practical answer to what are often complex issues.’

‘Advice is always clear and straight to the point.’

‘They are happy to work on a transparent fee basis including on a fixed fee for certain advice, which makes them very easy to work with.’

Key clients

Trustee of the BASF UK Group Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Stanley Black & Decker Pension Plan

Trustees of the Leeds Building Society Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Marshalls Pension Scheme

Trustees of two Baxenden Pension Schemes

Trustees of the PDM Pension Schemes

Trustees of the Firth Rixson Pension Plan

Trustees of the Engineering Employers Federation Staff Pension Fund

Real Good Food plc

Swann Morton Limited

Trustees of the Nursing & Midwifery Council Pension Scheme

Mishcon de Reya

Utmost Life and Pensions Limited

Trustee of the SIG Retirement Benefit Plan

Trustees of the T C Harrison Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Wabco Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Marubeni Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Moores Furniture Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the W R Swann Limited Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Timothy Taylor Limited pension scheme

Trustee of the Grenco Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Nikon UK Limited Pension Scheme

CPL 1972 Pension Plan

Trustees of the Unipres Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Cleveland Potash Limited 1978 Managers Pension Plan Europrint

Global Risk Partners Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Simon Mohun as Representative Beneficiary in the Court of Appeal on Britvic’s appeal from a High Court decision on the construction of pension increase and revaluation provisions.
  • Working alongside a US firm, Arc engaged with the trustees of a significant DB pension scheme, and advised on Pensions Regulator powers, in the context of a large acquisition.
  • Advising the Trustee on an FAA when a statutory employer in a last man standing scheme for non-associated employers changed from an unincorporated association to a company limited by guarantee.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Clients consider Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP to be ‘one of the best firms in the region’ for pensions law expertise. The group frequently advises on multi-billion pound schemes, with practice head Anthea Whitton noted for her expertise in both DB and DC master trusts. It has a strong pool of juniors, including principal associates Andy Wright and Catherine Lonergan. Legal director Gemma Hanley is also recommended for her experience in scheme closure, mergers, compliance issues and industry wide schemes. Richard Shelton left the firm in September 2021 for Addleshaw Goddard.

Practice head(s):

Anthea Whitton

Other key lawyers:

Andy Wright; Gemma Hanley; Catherine Lonergan

Testimonials

‘In the specialist area of pensions law they are one of the best firms in the region that comes highly recommended.’

‘Quality of advice is excellent. At all times they look out for you and try to identify all potential issues.’

‘Good ability to bring in resource from other areas when needed. Very good in high pressure/urgent/complex environment.’

‘We have been consistently impressed with the advice we have received from Eversheds’ pensions team. The team provides excellent service: their advice is clear and well communicated, they meet every deadline, and their proposed solutions are always sensible and pragmatic.’

‘Anthea Whitton has a deep technical knowledge and an ability to find practical, straight-forward solutions. Anthea’s advice is always carefully considered, well thought-through, and presented in a calm professional manner which inspires confidence and builds consensus.’

‘Our main dealings are with Andy Wright who has a breadth and depth of knowledge on pensions. We cannot fault the quality of the service he provides. He is a credit to Eversheds.’

‘A standout feature of the team is their willingness to cut to the heart of the matter and present advice in a way that answers our specific questions and is accessible to professional and lay trustees alike. I wish all lawyers would communicate this clearly.’

‘Gemma Hanley, and the Leeds team that she is part of, provides first class advice for both business as usual matters and complex circumstances.’

Key clients

BT Hybrid Pension Scheme

The People’s Pension

Trustees of the Bombardier Transportation UK Limited

Pension Scheme

Formica Limited

Thames Water Utilities Limited

Trustees of the Bombardier Transportation UK Pension Plan, Bombardier Transportation UK 2003 Pension Scheme and the Bombardier Transportation UK Vice-Presidents Pension Scheme

Work highlights

    Pinsent Masons LLP

    Pinsent Masons LLP maintains a stellar reputation in master trusts and defined contribution arrangements; clients consider the group to have a ‘real strength and advantage’ in this area with Tom Barton noted for his niche expertise, with associate Katie Lodge providing strong support. The group also has significant experience in pensions litigation, representing clients in big-ticket and cross-border class actions; Julian Sladdin and Andrew Masterson are the key contacts. Elsewhere, practice head Jacqui Timmins, Katie Hainsworth and Andrew Wilson are specialists in defined benefits as well as buy-ins and buy-outs.

    Practice head(s):

    Jacqui Timmins

    Other key lawyers:

    Tom Barton; Julian Sladdin; Katie Lodge; Andrew Masterson; Katie Hainsworth; Sara Eggett

    Testimonials

    ‘The entire team is very knowledgeable providing excellent practicable advice and reacting quickly to client demands in a professional and efficient manner.’

    ‘Always very helpful and go that extra mile to explain their advice. Always contactable.’

    ‘Tom Barton has developed a niche specialism advising master trusts and other DC arrangements. He is an expert in these fields. He is also pleasant to deal with and extremely thorough and professional.’

    ‘Katie Hainsworth and her senior Jacqui Timmins are always very helpful.’

    ‘The team are very personable and approachable and will always listen and taken on board your point of view.’

    ‘The team all strive to make the famously complicated subject matter easy to use.’

    ‘Pinsent Masons has established a strong reputation advising DC Master Trusts; this stands it apart from other pensions practices and is a real strength and advantage.’

    ‘The Leeds’ pensions team is well regarded and comprises a number of experienced pensions lawyers who are well liked by their contemporaries at other firms.’

    Key clients

    Trustee of the Croda Pension Scheme

    Trustee of the Henry Boot SPLA Scheme

    Arran Isle Group

    Trustees of the Bitmac Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the Capita Pensions & Life Assurance Scheme

    TPT Retirement Solutions

    The trustees of the Hickson UK Group Pension Scheme

    The trustees of the Vaillant Group Pension Scheme

    Royal London

    Royal Bank of Scotland Retirement Savings Plan

    Work highlights

    • Advising the trustees of the Capita/CPLA Scheme, a £1.7bn pensions fund, on the delivery of a complex suite of documentation, advice and governance for this 200+ section DB scheme.
    • Advising the trustees of the RBS Retirement Savings Plan which is, at £2bn assets under management, one of the largest DC schemes in the market.
    • Advising the trustees of the Vaillant Group Pension Scheme on the revision of negative pledge terms with the German corporate group which supports this £700m DB scheme.

    DLA Piper

    DLA Piper's pension team has a particular focus on manufacturing and financial services clients. It has seen an increase in buy-ins and corporate restructuring work as well as providing advice to trustees on GMP equalisation. Andrew McIlhinney leads the team that includes legal directors Simon Evans and Craig Looker, who have experience in pensions insurance law and guiding trustees through engagement with the Pensions Regulator, respectively. On the contentious side, David Young is the key practitioner.

    Practice head(s):

    Andrew McIlhinney

    Other key lawyers:

    Craig Looker; David Young; Simon Evans

    Key clients

    Trustees of the Yorkshire Building Society

    Trustees of the Ronseal Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the Bibby Line Group Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the Univar Company Pension Scheme (1978)

    Trustees of the Urenco UK Pension Scheme

    RR Donnelley Inc

    Ardagh Glass

    Arconic Manufacturing (GB) Limited

    Marshalls Plc

    Rittal CSM Ltd

    Work highlights

    • Arranging the buy-in of the entire benefits provided under the Scheme with a bulk annuity provider, including the project management of the selection of the buy-in advisers and the insurance provider for this £350m.
    • Assisting Ardagh Glass UK with the demerger of two (out of three) sections of a DB occupational pension scheme, into two new schemes – including the project management role.

    Squire Patton Boggs

    Squire Patton Boggs has a strong market presence in regulated utilities, with a particular focus on water, nuclear and electricity sponsored schemes. Led by Catherine McKenna, the group is ‘excellent’ and is active on ESG strategy and compliance as well as GMP equalisation solutions. Senior associate Anna Tomlinson advises on corporate transactions while Jane Briggs advises in relation to retail pensions, insurance providers and master trusts. Based in London, Clifford Sims is the firm’s national head of pensions.

    Practice head(s):

    Catherine McKenna; Clifford Sim

    Other key lawyers:

    Jane Briggs; Jason Blakey; Anna Tomlinson

    Testimonials

    ‘Tight knit team of lawyers of varying qualification. Very adaptable to ensure they meet our needs especially in terms of updates and billing.’

    ‘Sound knowledge, excellent resourcing, quick responses.’

    ‘All queries and requests for advice etc. are dealt with promptly and extremely efficiently.’

    ‘Their knowledge of pensions is excellent, and they respond in a language that we can understand and easily act upon. Their billing is exact and concise.’

    ‘All queries and requests for advice etc. are dealt with promptly and extremely efficiently. Their knowledge of Pensions is excellent, and they respond in a language that we can understand and easily act upon. Their billing is exact and concise.’

    Key clients

    Trustee of Kelda Group Pension Plan

    Trustee of the Northern Powergrid Group of the ESPS

    ACCESS Pool of the Local Government Pension Scheme

    Trustee of the Lucite International Pension Fund

    Trustee of the Fenner Pension Scheme

    Trustee of the Belden Pension Scheme

    Trustee of the Huntsman Pension Scheme

    Trustee of the Intelek Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the SPX Pension Scheme

    Northern Gas Networks

    Trustee of the B/WIP Pension Plan

    Work highlights

    • Assisting Northern Powergrid Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme with implementing a new deed of amendment and updating various retirement processes.
    • Acting as Trustee of the Kelda Group Pension Plan, covering all legal aspects for the scheme, including update of governance practices, member retirement and administration processes, and covenant and funding approach.
    • Acting as Trustee of the Lucite International Pension Fund, advising on review of the fund’s investment and governance arrangements as well as covenant and funding issues following a disposal.

    Walker Morris LLP

    Specialising in privatised utilities, charities and not-for-profits, Walker Morris LLP's pensions team has significant expertise in complex Pensions Regulator funding interventions. The team handles a mixture of contentious and non-contentious matters, with practice head Jo Ratcliffe being an expert in TUPE and Beckmann issues. Ruth Bamforth has experience advising on the international pensions aspects of banking and corporate transactions as well as public sector outsourcings.

    Practice head(s):

    Jo Ratcliffe

    Other key lawyers:

    Ruth Bamforth; Gwendoline Davies; Elizabeth Graham

    Testimonials

    ‘The Walker Morris pensions practice provides a large number of high quality pensions professionals at a great price. They are well networked within a wider practice who provide a full range of legal services.’

    ‘Jo Ratcliffe is a very experienced, practical and commercial partner. She is very personable and great to work with.’

    ‘Ruth Bamforth – very competent and dedicated lawyer.’

    ‘Approachability, pragmatism and commerciality. In particular individual staff members who go above and beyond to develop and maintain relationships.’

    Key clients

    Trustees of the Forth Ports Group Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the Drax 2019 Defined Benefit Pension Scheme

    Capita Group plc

    Trustees of the Capita Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

    Trustees of the Water Associated Pension Scheme (a sectionalised scheme for non-associated employers)

    Trustees of the York University Pension Fund

    Trustees of the University of Manchester Superannuation Scheme

    Trustees of the PACCAR UK Pension Plan

    Trustees of the NG Bailey Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

    Trustees of the Banco do Brasil Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the Ashland Scheme

    Trustees of CMP Batteries Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the Capita International Retirement Benefits Scheme

    Trustees of the Hashimoto Limited Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the Billington Final Salary Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the NG Bailey Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

    Work highlights

    • Advised Phamaron UK Limited on the pensions aspects of Project Corner (the acquisition of Aesica Pharmaceuticals Limited) from Consort Medical Limited.
    • Advised the trustees of Ashland UK Pension Scheme in relation to GMP equalisation and GMP conversion.
    • Advised the trustee of the Capita Pension and Life Assurance Scheme in relation to the day-to-day matters arising, investment issues, data protection, scheme funding and covenant issues and advising on member queries and disputes.

    Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

    The team at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP is ‘extremely talented’ and best known for its trustee advisory work, and also for its work advising charities and clients within the public sector; practice co-head Kate Buckham continues to develop this expertise and is adept at handling industry wide pension schemes and public sector pension arrangements. Louise Edwards jointly leads the group and has extensive experience advising on buy-in and buy-out liability management exercises. Vicki Acomb, who advises on occupational pension schemes, is also recommended.

    Practice head(s):

    Kate Buckham; Louise Edwards

    Other key lawyers:

    Vicki Accomb

    Testimonials

    ‘The pensions team at Wrigleys are renowned for their excellent reputation. They are all extremely talented and their attention to detail is second to none.’

    ‘They are very personable individuals, who have a great rapport with clients and other professionals. It is always a pleasure to work with them.’

    ‘I work extensively with Louise Edwards and Kate Buckham. Their advice is comprehensive yet pragmatic and always delivered in a timely fashion.’

    ‘The service is very personable and advice is clear and pragmatic. The team clearly has good morale and is long standing.’

    ‘London quality advice, but with Leeds location and fees.’

    ‘The team have a great approach. They understand the clients needs and constraints and apply this with ease to the situation and advice needed.’

    ‘Very easy to deal with. Immediate well informed responses in easy to understand language.’

    ‘An extremely good knowledge of Pensions Law, with depth it terms of the team.’

    ‘Wrigleys, as a regional based practice, offered a better cost based solution with a level of expertise that is ideal in relation to our overall requirements.’

    Key clients

    TMD Friction UK Pension Scheme

    Donaldson (UK) Pension and Death Benefits Plan

    The British Dental Association Pension Scheme

    Ringways Retirement and Death Benefit Scheme

    London South Bank Students’ Union

    Work highlights

      Bevan Brittan LLP

      Specialists in the public sector, Bevan Brittan LLP handles industry-wide pension arrangements that includes the social housing, local government, NHS and teachers’ pension schemes. It has a strong transactional practice, handling risk reduction projects, including scheme closures and winding-ups. Practice head Nigel Bolton, along with Philip Woolham, continue to develop the group’s private sector offering.

      Practice head(s):

      Nigel Bolton

      Other key lawyers:

      Lyndsay Mair; Philip Woolham

      Testimonials

      ‘Very knowledgeable and confident on their advice.’

      ‘Just an excellent service provider. Highly recommend.’

      Key clients

      GW Padley (Holdings) Limited

      Northumberland County Council

      Local Pensions Partnership

      Barts Health NHS Trust

      Local Government Association

      Pioneer Housing Association

      Work highlights

      • Advising Secure Trust Bank on pension matters relating to its client’s MBO.
      • Advising Catalyst Housing Association & Peabody Housing Associatio as part of wider firm team on pension aspects of the merger of the two housing association groups.
      • Advised Mencap and Golden Lane Housing Association as part of a wider firm team, on the establishing of GLH as a standalone entity, having originally been set up as part of Mencap.

      CMS

      Under John Hanratty‘s leadership, the CMS pensions practice has particular experience in public service pension scheme law as well as pensions in the third sector. The group leverages its national reach, with offices in Manchester, Liverpool and Scotland to advise on corporate restructurings, scheme closures and winding-ups, buy-ins and buy-outs, amongst others.

      Practice head(s):

      John Hanratty

      Other key lawyers:

      Wills Crump

      Testimonials

      ‘”Hands on” legal advice and support, finding solutions to issues.’

      ‘John Hanratty is stand-out practitioner.’

      ‘The team are highly responsive and transparent (and fair) in the costs, meaning clients of all sizes are able to accept all the advice they need for their circumstances.’

      Key clients

      TPT Retirement Solutions

      Cox Automotive

      NG Bailey Group Limited

      Practice Plus Hospitals Group

      Oasis Community Learning

      PCS Group

      Spectrum Brands

      Trustees of the Broadbent (1983) Pension Plan

      Trustees of the Benjn. R. Vickers & Sons Retirement Benefit Scheme (1975)

      Trustees of the Roquette UK Pension Scheme

      Ark Schools

      Trustees of the Schindler UK 1998 Pension Scheme and the Schindler UK 1998 Pension Scheme

      Trustees of the Stoelzle Flaconnage Pension Scheme

      Work highlights

      • Advised European Cleaning Services Limited in connection with the pension aspects of their first local government outsourcing contract including reporting on the admission agreement and drafting commercial terms.

      Freeths LLP

      Freeths LLP advises a broad client base that includes family-owned/SMEs, FTSE 250 companies and public sector bodies. It has experience handling a range of pension schemes as well as experience acting for both sponsoring employers and trustees in relation to final salary, money purchase and hybrid pension arrangements. Kim Jones leads the team that welcomed Nigel Jones from Arc Pensions Law in July 2021.

      Practice head(s):

      Kim Jones

      Other key lawyers:

      Nigel Jones

      Work highlights