Pensions in Yorkshire And The Humber

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard leverages the expertise of its highly experienced team to service a number of significant funds in a range of de-risking, transactional, or more specialist matters. Rachel Uttley sits at the helm of the team, leading on the specialist bulk annuity mandates, but also with considerable expertise in transactional work and in providing advice on a range of strategic matters. The ‘excellent team’ also consists of the ‘direct, clear, robust and pragmaticJade Murray, who boasts a specialism in SIPPs and pension products; and legal directors Richard Shelton and Jonathan Stewart, who are both highly experienced in this sector. Managing Associates Leanne Oddy, Alexandra Frickle, Andrew Steer, and Adam Lees are also of note.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Uttley

Other key lawyers:

Jade Murray; Susan Garrett; Richard Shelton; Johnathan Stewart; Leanne Oddy; Alexandra Frickle; Andrew Steer; Adam Lees


Very thorough. You know they have your back, particularly during a transaction. They are prepared to go the extra mile.’

They are the most collaborative legal firm I work with. We have a joint client and we work jointly together to get the best outcome for our client. We are one team. They always have a strong point of view and their advice is thorough but clear.’

‘They never sit on the fence. If I had a tough situation to navigate through, I would want to have the Addleshaw Goddard team on my side.’

The individuals I work with are strong and principled. Leanne Oddy and Rachel Uttley have all been very impressive throughout my time working with them. We have had complex and urgent negotiations and they’ve been utter professionals throughout. The team are wonderful role models for others in the industry. They are also friendly and personable, which matters hugely to me in an ongoing working relationship.

We use Jade Murray for all strategic pensions advice. She is absolutely excellent. Direct, clear, robust and pragmatic. Jade does not sit on the fence. She will always give a judgement, even where the issue is a grey area. Absolutely top class.’

Very strong team technically, but also has the ability to explain the critical points and facilitate decision making.

Jade Murray is excellent technically, but also able to identify and respond to the issues that are important to her client.’

‘Rachel Uttley and Andrew Steer are excellent technically; very thorough and efficient.’

Key clients

Trustee of the Asda Group Pension Scheme

Pension Insurance Corporation

Trustee of the Kellogg GB Pension Fund

Daily Mail & General Trust Plc

Britvic Plc

Trustee of the Short Brothers Pension Scheme

Saga plc

Trustee of the Ibstock Pension Scheme

Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited

Co-operative Group

Trustees of the Tioxide Pension Fund

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

De Beers Plc

Anglian Water

FNZ Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Pensions Insurance Corporation on a number of buy-in transactions, including a £1.1bn transaction involving the EDS 1994 pension scheme.
  • Advised Daily Mail & General Trust Plc on a number of strategic pension matters relating to their multi-billion DB scheme.
  • Advised Britvic Plc on ongoing matters connected with the pension increases provisions of its DB pension scheme rules after success in the Court of Appeal.

Arc Pensions Law

Arc Pensions Law is ‘extremely knowledgeable’ of both the employer and trustee sides of pensions law, with experience acting as sole advisor to funds and corporate clients, as well as working in conjunction with other firms that do not have pension-related expertise. As a pensions boutique, the firm naturally possesses excellent technical ability, but is also noted by clients for its ‘practicality’ and ‘flexibility’, with key team members being able to apply their perspective as former trustees on pensions funds. Vikki Massarano co-heads the Leeds-based team and is noted for being ‘commercial’ and ‘practical’. She works alongside co-head Kate Payne, who is regarded as a ‘leading expert in pensions law’.

Practice head(s):

Vikki Massarano; Kate Payne


Pragmatic, proportionate and cost-effective advice.

Very clear in their advice and in their belief of adding value to clients.

Pragmatic, down-to-earth and easy to deal with, don’t talk down to you, and will give their view or opinion rather than just telling you what the law says. I work with Vikki Massarano and all of this is true of her.’

Key clients

D.M. Keith Motor Group

Trustee of the BASF UK Group Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Stanley Black & Decker UK Pension Plan

Trustee of the Leeds Building Society Staff Pension Scheme

Real Good Food plc

Trustees of the Nursing & Midwifery Council Pension Scheme

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Trustees of the SIG plc Retirement Benefit Plan

Trustees of the Nikon UK Limited Pension Scheme

Trustees of the John Wiley & Sons Ltd Retirement Benefits Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advised 3G Capital on the pensions implications of its $7.1bn acquisition of 75% of the Hunter Douglas Group.
  • Advised the trustee of BASF UK’s multi-section segregated pension scheme on an ongoing basis, including on all day-to-day issues and strategic projects.
  • Advised Buckthorn Partners and One Equity Partners on the pensions aspects of their £400m acquisition of infrastructure management and engineering company Amey plc.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP undertakes high volumes of work for a number of major pension funds, with capabilities across the full range of transactional mandates, including M&A and de-risking, as well as undertaking regulatory and advisory work. The team’s strong capabilities in servicing master trusts, insurers, and other pension businesses are bolstered by the hire of Andy Wright from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in March 2023, who brings a focus on more traditional work on big DB schemes. This new addition complements the work of practice head Tom Barton, who, in addition to heading the national practice, is a leading expert in respect of DC master trusts, and is highly proficient in consolidation and governance work.

Practice head(s):

Tom Barton

Other key lawyers:

Andy Wright; Jacqui Timmins


Tom Barton is considered and thorough with a good commercial overview.

The pension team is very capable and has assisted us for a number of years, so has a good understanding of the industry. They are very pragmatic in their approach to legal queries and are able to work through complicated documents and scenarios with ease. Very good at both partner and associate level, thereby seeing continuity in the long term.

Jacqui Timmins is exceptional and a delight to work with.

Key clients

Trustee of the Capita Pensions and Life Assurance Plan

TPT Retirement Solutions

Verity Trustees Limited

Trustee of the NatWest Group Retirement Savings Plan

Trustees of the Vaillant Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Hickson Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Willis Towers Watson LifeSight Master Trust

Trustees of the Lewis Workplace Master Trust

Trustee of the Croda Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Henry Boot SPLA Scheme

Trustee of the Bitmac Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advised the Trustee of the Capita Pensions and Life Assurance Plan on a huge documentation, governance, and risk management project.
  • Advised TPT Retirement Solutions on all aspects of operating within the master trust regulatory regime.
  • Advised the Trustee of the NatWest Group Retirement Savings Plan on all aspects of operating within the DC regulatory regime.


CMS provides a particularly strong offering in relation to disputes, restructurings, and public schemes, and is able to draw upon the pensions expertise of the wider firm to cover the full range of work. John Hanratty works out of the Sheffield office, employing his extensive experience in both the private and public sectors where he has worked on a number of cutting edge mandates, and has overseen the firms continued growth in both its team and clients.

Practice head(s):

Mark Grant; John Hanratty


‘High level of experience and ability to see things from the client’s perspective.’

‘Breadth of expertise in a very complex field.’

‘Great depth of subject knowledge and a can-do attitude.’

Key clients

TPT Retirement Solutions

Trustee of the Bettys & Taylors Management Pension Scheme

Teesside Pension Fund

Board of the Pension Protection Fund

Trustee of the Scottish Solicitors’ Staff Pension Fund

Serco Limited

Fujifilm Imaging Colorants Limited

Oasis Community Learning

Trustees of the Hoare Lea & Partners 1978 Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

P&O Ferries

Trustees of the Benn. R. Vickers & Sons Limited Retirement Benefits Plan (1975)

Trustee of the Broadbent (1983) Pension Plan

Trustee of the ASD Plc Retirement Benefits Scheme

ARK Schools

Trustee of the Whiteley Pension Scheme

Trustee of the East Yorkshire Motor Company Pension Scheme

WSP UK Limited

Trustees of the Lakeland Laboratories Limited 2012 Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advising Newable Limited on a corporate restructure, including an exit from the London Pension Funds Authority section of the Local Government Pension Scheme.
  • Advised the trustees of the Broadbent (1983) Pension Plan on the equalisation of the Plan’s normal retirement date in the early 1990s.
  • Advising the Trustees of the Lakeland Laboratories Limited 2012 Pension Scheme on a de-risking exercise involving the buy-in and buy-out of annuities.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a strong focus on clients in the manufacturing and financial services sectors, but its broad offering also extends to a range of trustees, corporates, and pension providers. Andrew McIlhinney leads the group in Leeds and advises major clients on a national and international scale, as well as local clients. David Young specialises in litigation, with a broad expertise extending to commercial and trusts disputes, and covering a range of sectors in relation to pensions litigation.

Practice head(s):

Andrew McIlhinney

Other key lawyers:

David Young; Craig Looker


‘They have wide experience of both the sponsor’s industry and the pensions scheme’s unique situation. The team are good at providing pragmatic and sensible advice.’

‘Craig Looker and Andrew McIlhinney are always approachable to discuss the issues and run through the practical options before finalising their advice.’

‘Good and clear advice. Strong collaboration with clients.’

Craig Looker is an excellent legal adviser. He understands the needs of his clients and tells them what they need, not what he thinks they want.

Andrew McIlhinney gives us a good and timely service.

Always know what to expect and they act in a timely fashion.

‘Craig Looker is excellent technically and an extremely capable lawyer who is able to explain some very complex issues and problems in a way that laymen can understand. He understands his clients’ needs and is a real asset to the DLA team.’

Good and clear advice. Strong collaboration with clients.’

Key clients

Trustees of the Westinghouse Electric UK Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Univar Company Pension Scheme (1978)

Dorman Traffic Products Pension Trustees Ltd

Sytner Group Ltd

Trustee of the Yorkshire Building Society Pension Scheme

Scientific Games International Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the Trustee of the Westinghouse Electric UK Pension Plan on establishing a new registered, defined benefit occupational pension scheme to receive members, assets, and liabilities from the Combined Nuclear Pension Plan.
  • Advising the Trustee of the Yorkshire Building Society on a highly complex and very large DB pension scheme in relation to their GMP equalisation arrangements.
  • Advising the Sytner group on its purchase of a car dealership, including the TUPE transfer of employees with enhanced pension rights.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP acts for a number of the largest pension schemes in the country, and has a demonstrable ability to impact policy and law. Newly promoted partner Gemma Hanley has significant expertise in industry-wide schemes, and principle associates Kate Sheehan, Catherine Lonergan, Patricia Critchley, and Cat Ellis, cover between them the full scope of public and private sector pension work. Former group head Anthea Whitton is now a consultant with the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Hanley; Kate Sheehan; Catherine Lonergan; Patricia Critchley; Cat Ellis; Andrea Whitton


‘Kate Sheehan gives pragmatic advice’.

‘Eversheds Sutherland have large teams covering a wide variety of legal matters with office locations across the globe providing great international reach. Eversheds Sutherland’s breadth and depth of expertise means they are able to support us on a range of issues and cover all of our requirements for external legal support.’

‘Eversheds Sutherland have a diverse client base and the team have a really good knowledge and understanding of many different industries and sectors, which is invaluable when it comes to navigating industry wide issues. Their lawyers are technically first class and their advice and guidance is always on point; they really stand out as leaders in their field.’

‘They provide great support on smaller local issues and can also quickly assemble large teams with full project management support, which really helps to coordinate larger cross-border projects. Eversheds Sutherland places a high priority on client satisfaction and retention, and their client relationship management is excellent.’

‘Their horizon scanning and legal updates are always relevant, their seminar and in-house lawyer development programmes are also really useful and help with development of our internal team. They offer an online matter instruction portal backed up with excellent reporting, which helps streamline the instruction process and gives excellent visibility over matters and management information.’

‘Eversheds Sutherland are really taking the time to get to know our internal team and understand our business, which enables them to better support us and act as a true extension of our in-house team. It also enables them to focus on the big picture and deliver pragmatic business solutions to complicated legal issues.’

‘Their lawyers are prepared to adopt a commercial approach when required and give us clear recommendations rather than simply laying out the options. They have excellent attention to detail and are able to tailor their advice to our specific needs and provide it in a way that can be efficiently relayed to our internal clients.’

‘They are always very responsive and able to manage tight deadlines. Gemma Hanley has provided a lot of support on pension issues. Gemma really understands our business and has a wealth of experience in this area, which has been instrumental in resolving various issues related to our UK pension schemes.’

Key clients

The People’s Pension

Thames Water Utilities Limited

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs provides a full pensions offering, with a focus in local government, non-profits, and utility companies, namely water, energy, and nuclear. Drawing on the strengths of the wider national firm, the Leeds office acts for a number of high-value pension schemes and is active in affecting government policy. Catherine McKenna, former head of the firm’s nationwide practice, manages the team in Leeds where she works alongside Jane Briggs, who has specialist experience assisting clients in relation to retail pensions and master trusts.

Practice head(s):

Catherine McKenna; Matthew Giles

Other key lawyers:

Jane Briggs


‘Catherine McKenna is excellent. She stands out because of her strong negotiating skills and commercial approach.’

We have used SPB for many years. I have found the staff very accessible and they give advice in a clear and concise manner.

My main contact is Catharine McKenna, and I have always been very satisfied with the speed of her responses.’

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

The Trustees of the Omya UK Pension Scheme

Standard Life Master Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised the Trustee of the £1.8bn Kelda Group Pension Plan for over 25 years, including on investment arrangements and evolution of the plan’s integrated risk framework.
  • Advised the Group Trustees of the Northern Powergrid Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme on the Group’s governance, investment, and secretariat arrangements.
  • Advised the Trustee of the Fenner Group Pension Scheme on its longer-term investment strategy and on its funding and security arrangements.

Walker Morris LLP

Walker Morris LLP acts for a range of high-profile pension schemes and provides pension support to a number of US law firms, particularly in relation to major transactional mandates. The Leeds team, led by Jo Ratcliffe with her ‘huge depth of knowledge and experience‘, has a sector specialism in privatised utilities, charities, and public sectors. Also of note is Elizabeth Graham, who has developed a large client roster of pension funds from her work both nationally and internationally.

Practice head(s):

Jo Ratcliffe

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Graham; Ruth Bamford


Highly knowledgeable and experienced, particularly in complex transactions and negotiations.’

‘Great breadth of knowledge and skills in the team. Very easy to get hold of and work with.’

‘Their Pensions Breakfast Seminars in Leeds are well-known for being innovative, fun, and engaging.’

Jo Ratcliffe is down-to-earth, warm and engaging, and easy to work with. Jo is has a huge depth of knowledge and experience and I would want her on my team on any difficult negotiations.

Friendly and very knowledgeable. Gave practicable advice at all times.’

Good attention to detail.

Key clients

Trustees of the Forth Ports Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Drax 2019 Defined Benefit Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Capita Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Water Associated Employers Pension Scheme

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 Pension Scheme

Trustees of CMP Batteries Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Hashimoto Limited Pension Scheme

Trustees of the NG Bailey Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP employs its expertise in trusts to advise the trustees of small and mid-sized private funds, and is particularly active in the not-for-profit space where the work frequently intersects with the public sector. Kate Buckham co-heads the team in Leeds, working alongside the firm’s charity's practice to provide comprehensive assistance to non-profit organisations. Co-head Louise Edwards focusses on liability management and the winding up of schemes, while Helen Woodford chairs the team in its expanding public sector work.

Practice head(s):

Kate Buckham; Louise Edwards

Other key lawyers:

Helen Woodford


‘The Pensions practice at Wrigleys have been used by our scheme for several years and we have dealt with various senior staff and/or partners. Thus far, we have achieved our requirements and have been very satisfied with the depth and quality of advice received from the team.

‘The team I have dealt with at Wrigleys has been Kate Buckham, Louise Edwards and Helen Woodford. All three gave me an impression of absolute professionalism and I cannot fault any for the work they produced for our scheme. For me, as a legal layperson, I needed comfort and confidence in the quality of advice and the certainty that we were receiving the best advice or recommendations for appropriate action, in particular as regards compliance with relevant pension regulations and related matters.’

‘I was happy with the fast, efficient service.’

‘Very friendly, with excellent, no sitting on fence advice’

‘Contactable, friendly, and excellent delivery.’

‘Friendly, professional, knowledgeable, and dedicated team.’

‘Excellent team-based approach. Wrigleys constantly demonstrates that they are protecting our interests with a thorough and proactive approach.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable and provides timely and, very importantly, pragmatic advice. They take time to understand the clients needs and have provided excellent solutions satisfying the legal requirements alongside realistic solutions to sometimes complex issues. This has ensured the advice is cost effective and resulted in practical rather than esoteric solutions.’

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP has a wide range of capabilities across disputes, redesigns, and transactional mandates, with particular specialisms in relation to the public sector and healthcare, especially in respect of outsourcing, trustee duties, taxation, and overseas arrangements, as well as industry-wide pension schemes. The Leeds team is led by Nigel Bolton, who has significant experience across both the private and the public sector.

Practice head(s):

Jodie Sinclair; Nigel Bolton

Key clients

Peabody Housing Association

Barnet Council

Merton Council

Surry & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Pioneer Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Peabody Housing Association on its merger with Catalyst Housing Association.
  • Advising the London Borough of Barnet on its capacity as Administering Authority of the Barnet Pension Fund.
  • Advising the London Borough of Merton on pension issues involved in the sale of its subsidiary to a private sector buyer.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP works primarily with smaller pensions schemes, offering services to assist in a range of matters, including regulatory issues and criminal claims. Kim Jones heads the national pensions practice from Leeds, with the pensions aspects of transactions being a particular focus of her work. Director Nigel Jones also has transactional expertise, with a specialism in M&A pensions work. Director Max Ballad joined the group in early 2023.

Practice head(s):

Kim Jones

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Jones; Max Ballad


‘The team are innovative and have strong technical capabilities. They have been able to identify innovative solutions for complex issues.’

‘Kim Jones is personable and attentive, ensuring excellent client services are delivered.’

‘Nigel Jones has strong technical knowledge and is able to identify innovative solutions for complex issues.

‘Freeths provides a team with a combination of strong commercial understanding of small and medium-sized entities with great technical knowledge of pensions law.’

‘Kim Jones is a very personable partner, with great communication skills and commercial acumen.’

‘Nigel Jones is a really good lawyer who combines technical capability with the ability to create practical solutions.’

Key clients

National LGPS Framework for Legal Services