Pensions in Yorkshire And The Humber

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's pensions group advises on a broad variety of pensions matters ranging from pension products to pensions liberation and fraud, independent trustee work and pension buyin and buyout work; its client roster encompasses a combination of blue-chip corporates, regional businesses and trustee boards. The group is jointly led by national practice head Rachel Rawnsley, who has particular expertise in the utilities, energy, universities and building society sectors; Jade Murray, who advises on self-invested personal pensions and small self-administered schemes; and Rachel Uttley, who is a name to note for pension buyin and buyout transactions.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Rawsnley; Jade Murray; Rachel Uttley


Addleshaw Goddard‘s pensions practice provides advice that is consistently clear, pragmatic, of a high quality and provided promptly.

Addleshaw Goddard‘s pensions team has extensive experience across a range of clients, which contributes to the quality of advice.

The pensions team at Addleshaw Goddard is excellent at quickly getting to grips with a matter, developing a plan, and then most importantly, delivering in a highly professional manner.

Rachel Rawnsley provides advice tailored to clients’ businesses.

Jade Murray has a national reputation for pensions work, she is very practical and commercial and very good on the technical elements.

Key clients

University of Sheffield trustees

Trustee of the Asda Group Pension Scheme and the Trustee of the Asda Pension Plan

Saga PLC

Michelin UK

Skanska Construction UK

Britvic plc

National Express pension trustees


Ibstock Brick pension trustees

De Beers Group

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the trustees of the Asda Group Pension Scheme and the trustees of the Asda Pension Plan on issues relating to Asda’s £2.5bn final salary scheme, which included advising on the impact of the proposed sale of Asda by Walmart to J Sainsbury.
  • Acted for the Trustee of the National Express Group Pension Plan on resolving a range of complex issues enabling a buy-in of all the scheme’s liabilities with Rothesay Life.
  • Advised Skanska UK and Innovia UK on the closure of their pension schemes, avoiding serious business disruption or member objection.
  • Advised William Jackson Food Group on the £210m sale of Aunt Bessie’s to Nomad Foods Europe.
  • Advised WPP on the move from buy-in to buy-out of five of its DB schemes.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The pensions team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has significant experience acting for a combination of trustees, employers and providers on a range of instructions. Richard Shelton advises on the full spectrum of pensions matters, and heads up the team which includes the well-regarded Anthea Whitton and principal associate Gemma Hanley; Hanley has particular expertise in advising employers and trustees in the energy, water and rail sectors.

Practice head(s):

Richard Shelton

Other key lawyers:

Anthea Whitton; Gemma Hanley

Key clients

British Airways’ Airways Pension Scheme


Greggs plc

Deloitte Pensions Master Plan

BT Hybrid Scheme

Formica Limited

Fletcher Building Limited

Communisis PLC

The Trustees of the Southern Electric Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme

Anglian Water Group

The Trustees of the RFS Pension Scheme

Association of Colleges

Work highlights

  • Advised the trustees of British Airways’  Airways Pension Scheme on its £4.4bn buy-in with Legal & General.
  • Advised Aviva UK Life and Pensions on its application to the Pensions Regulator for master trust authorisation of the Aviva Defined Contribution Master Trust.
  • Instructed by Greggs and the trustees of its pension schemes to handle the updating of its defined benefit scheme’s trust deed and rules.
  • Advising the Deloitte Master Plan trustee on all aspects of the governance of the master plan, including transfers into the plan.
  • Advised Formica on the closure of its two defined benefit pension schemes, including how the company can effect the closure, how the closure needed to be structured and other employment issues.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's pensions and long-term savings group handles contentious and non-contentious mandates for its client roster, which includes a range of large long-standing schemes, major trusts and financial services firms. Practice head Jacqui Timmins specialises in traditional pension law and defined benefits schemes, while the 'experienced, pragmatic and commercial' Tom Barton heads up the team's defined contribution practice. Andrew Masterson and Julian Sladdin are key names to note for pensions litigation.

Practice head(s):

Jacqui Timmins;


The pensions team at Pinsent Masons LLP boasts good strength in depth.

With great industry knowledge and experience, Pinsent Masons LLP‘s team always makes sure to keep up to date with what is going on in the wider industry, in addition to advising on the legislation.

Pinsent Masons LLP‘s pensions team has an unparalleled breadth of expertise and can cover any pension law issue that clients encounter. This, combined with its ease of use and responsiveness, sets it apart from others in the field.

Tom Barton is a stand out DC legal practitioner in the UK; he provides the legal advice in a commercial wrapper and is always thinking ahead of the game.

Tom Barton possesses the rare combination of forensic pensions law knowledge and commercial outlook. He often anticipates the direction of travel and so the client’s needs are met before we have arrived there.

Key clients

Trustee of the Croda Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Henry Boot SPLA Scheme

Arran Isle

Trustees of the Bitmac Pension Scheme

TPT Retirement Solutions

The Trustee of the Firth Rixson Retirement Benefit Plan

The Trustees of the Hickson Group Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the Vaillant Group Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Assisted Arran Isle with the negotiation of revised terms with its independent pension trustee board, and also advised on the sale of part of the group’s international business.
  • Advised the trustees of the Bitmac Pension Scheme on the negotiations with the US parent company regarding the potential buy-out of the pension scheme, and provided strategic advice on GDPR compliance and GMP Equalisation.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs acts for a range of private and public sector clients on the full spectrum of pensions instructions and counts the manufacturing, engineering, automotive, healthcare, financial services, infrastructure and education sectors as key areas of expertise. Elizabeth Graham advises a range of private, public and charity sector clients and heads up the team, which includes Catherine McKenna, who has significant experience in Pensions Regulator applications. Other names to note include director Jane Briggs, who frequently acts for retail pensions, insurance providers and master trusts; and senior associate Anna Tomlinson, who is particular experienced in advising on GDPR compliance.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Graham

Key clients

Trustees of the Ashland UK Pension Fund


Trustees of the Pentair UK Defined Benefit Scheme

Trustee of Kelda Group Pension Plan

Trustee of the Northern Powergrid Group of the ESPS

Trustees of the Network Rail CARE and DC Pension Schemes

Trustees of the Fenner Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Lucite International Pension Fund

Trustees of the Redcats Schemes

Work highlights

  • Assisted Ashland UK Pension Fund with strategic investment support.
  • Provided governance and investment support to Hertfordshire County Council Pension Fund.
  • Advised the trustees of the Lucite International Pension Fund on a large number of benefit-related, covenant and funding issues, and an investment strategy review involving a transfer to delegated investment arrangements.
  • Advised the trustees of the Fenner Pension Scheme on all aspects of its arrangements, including funding and investment issues, governance and risk work, and data protection compliance.
  • Assisted the trustees of the Huntsman Pension Scheme with complex risk and compliance matters.

Walker Morris LLP

Walker Morris LLP advises its high-profile clients on a range of pensions matters with particular expertise in the privatised utilities sectors including water, electricity, coal, gas and nuclear clients; it also assists charities and not for profits including universities, and public sector clients. Practice head Jo Ratcliffe has specialist TUPE and Beckmann liabilities knowledge, and Gwendoline Davies is highlighted for pensions litigation. Other names to note include directors Craig Looker and Ruth Bamforth; Looker is 'an excellent, technical lawyer' and has particular expertise in employer debt and sex equalisation issues in defined benefit schemes, while Bamforth has experience handling a range of pensions matters, from reorganisations to the winding-up of schemes and regulator interventions.

Practice head(s):

Jo Ratcliffe


Walker Morris LLP has a strong pensions team, which is well known in the local market, with a strong brand and reputation.

Walker Morris LLP has a significant Leeds based pensions team with a large number of senior practitioners, which provide a high-quality service.

The pensions team at Walker Morris LLP is pragmatic and sensitive to the culture and behaviours of clients.

Jo Ratcliffe is experienced, well known and respected and has strong leadership skills.

Director Craig Looker is very impressive in client situations, calm, measured and brings experience and good commercial skills.

Director Ruth Bamford has stand-out technical skills and is very much respected in the market.

Craig Looker has the ability to address the most complex of problems in a practical and supportive manner. He has a clear communication style and is personable and easy to engage with.

Craig Looker is highly approachable and takes personal ownership of finding solutions. He is an excellent team player, working smoothly alongside other advisers.

Key clients

Capita Group plc

Trustees of the Capita Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Rockware Glass Pension Scheme

Trustees of the PACCAR UK Pension Plan

Trustee of the Banco de Brasil Pension Scheme

Trustees of the University of Manchester Superannuation Scheme

Trustees of the Toyota Material Handling UK’s Two Pension Schemes

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

Leeds University

Trustees of the York University Pension Fund

Work highlights

  • Acted for HIG Capital on its acquisition of Bucks Consultants from Conduent.
  • Provided advice to pension scheme trustee clients on compliance with GDPR.

ARC Pensions Law

Boutique pensions specialist firm ARC Pensions Law counts major defined benefit and defined contribution schemes, sponsoring employers and other law firms among its impressive client roster, which it acts for on a range of matters. Vikki Massarano and Kate Payne, who are both well-regarded in the market, jointly head the team and have particular experience advising on the pensions aspects of corporate activity and scheme governance respectively.

Practice head(s):

Vikki Massarano; Kate Payne

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Jones; Robert Walker; Max Ballad

Key clients

Trustee of the Reliance Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Nottingham Building Society Pension Scheme

Real Good Food plc

Swann-Morton Limited

Trustees of the WABCO Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Nursing & Midwifery Council Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Marshalls plc Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Moores Furniture Group Pension Scheme

Marubeni Bank UK Pension Scheme Trustees

DLA Piper

The pensions team at DLA Piper UK LLP advises its impressive client roster, which includes a full spectrum of pension schemes, on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Andrew McIlhinney, who advises on a range of scheme governance and transactional matters, heads up the practice alongside pensions litigator David Young. Legal director Simon Evans is another name to note for non-contentious pensions advice.

Practice head(s):

Andrew McIlhinney; David Young

Other key lawyers:

Simon Evans; Hannah Watson; Claire Goodby


Andrew McIlhinney is always accessible, makes himself available at extremely short notice and most importantly is hugely experienced and knowledgeable.

DLA Piper UK LLP‘s pension team is unique in its professionalism coupled with pragmatism to support a balanced solution for clients.

Andrew McIlhinney is very balanced in his views and communicates excellently with clients.

Along with technical skills and knowledge, Andrew McIlhinney is a very nice man, which is a trait that is not prevalent much in business these days, but one which is hugely valuable.

Legal director Simon Evans is very pragmatic.

Key clients

Trustees of the Yorkshire Building Society Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Urenco UK Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Univar Company Pension Scheme (1978)

Trustees of the Clariant Pension Plan

Trustees of the Bibbyline Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Britvic (Northern Ireland) Pension Plan

Trustees of the North of England Zoological Society Superannuation Fund Scheme

Trustees of the Cerestar Pension Plan (Cargill Group)

Lloyds Banking Group (Self Invested Pensions Portfolio)

Leeds Building Society

Trustees of the Buccleuch Estates Pension Scheme

RR Donelley

Arconic Manufacturing (GB) Limited

Arch Chemicals Limited

Marriott Hotels

Trustees of the Heerema Retirement Benefits Scheme

Link Market Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for a financial services client on the completion of the buy-in of a section of scheme liabilities with an insurance provider.
  • Acted for a manufacturing client on the closure of a defined benefit pension scheme by member consent.
  • Assisted a financial services client with the redrafting of the scheme’s governing deeds and rules.
  • Advised the trustees of a Zoological Society scheme on the without-consent transfer of benefits into a master trust.
  • Advised on an investment by a private equity fund into a high street store, with historic defined benefit pension scheme obligations.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

The pensions team at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP has a reputation for acting for trustees of defined benefit pension schemes on a range of governance and trust issues. It also acts for scheme employers, third sector organisations and education clients. The group is led by Leigh Holmes, who focuses on pension scheme wind ups, buyins and buyouts; and includes Kate Buckham, who counts GDPR compliance, amendment power restrictions and contingent assets among her areas of expertise. Consulting partner Raymond Ainscoe provides advice on benefit questions including equalisation issues.

Practice head(s):

Leigh Holmes

Other key lawyers:

Kate Buckham; Raymond Ainscoe


Wrigleys Solicitors LLP‘s pensions team provides pragmatic and speedy advice.

The pensions team at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP focuses on clients’ needs and, whilst the advice is always top notch, it is delivered in a much more ‘human’ way.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP‘s pensions advice is second to none. It has a team of highly competent technically able individuals who are approachable and personable.

The pensions team at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP has the ability to resolve problems in a timely fashion with solutions not roadblocks.

Leigh Holmes is highly skilled, personable and accessible.

Kate Buckham is extremely bright, thorough and painstaking in her detail, but is also able to relay highly complicated matters relating to pensions drafting and interpretation in an understandable way to clients.

Solicitor Louise Edwards is pragmatic and provides careful and reasoned analysis in a practical way.

Kate Buckham and solicitor Vicki Acomb deliver straightforward advice, that is always timely and accurate.

Work highlights

  • Advised the trustees of a mass media conglomerate’s pension scheme on GDPR compliance and the review of a member’s complaint regarding benefit entitlement.
  • Advised a UK  employer in the retail sector on the negotiation of a guarantee to support its obligations to fund the pension scheme.
  • Instructed on matters connected to a proposal to make a without consent bulk transfer of a scheme’s defined contribution benefits into a new defined contribution section of the scheme.
  • Assisting the trustees of a pension scheme with a significant member benefit rectification exercise.
  • Acting for an employer on the wind-up of its pension schemes following a buy-in of all benefits in two schemes.


The financial market and pensions group at CMS acts for a range of public and private sector clients with particular expertise in the healthcare and infrastructure sectors and acting for all of the major statutory schemes. Practice head John Hanratty, who splits his time between the Manchester and Sheffield offices, has particular expertise advising on public service pension scheme law and pensions in the third sector.

Practice head(s):

John Hanratty

Key clients

TPT Retirement Solutions

NG Bailey Group Limited

Care UK Limited

Teesside Pension Fund

Donvale Holdings Limited

ARK Schools

Investec Wealth and Investment Trustees

University of Southampton

Schindler UK Pension Scheme Trustees

Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate

Lakeland Laboratories Trustees

Oasis Community Learning

Work highlights

  • Represented the directors and shareholders of Donvale Holdings in resolving pension administrative problems including equalisation and appropriate accrual structures.
  • Advised Teesside Pension Fund on the release of security over the assets of an admitted body following the guarantee offered by sponsoring authorities.
  • Advised Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate on an amendment to the governing documentation of its scheme and an interpretation of the pension increase rule.
  • Advised the trustees of the Investec Wealth & Investment Pension Scheme on the movement of the benefits and assets of the scheme to a master trust and winding up the scheme.
  • Representing an individual in a claim before the Pensions Ombudsman relating to their decision to buy added years under the NHS Pension Scheme when they were a hospital doctor and, as a consequence of a structural issue with the NHS Pension Scheme, this resulted in a reduced pension level.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP acts for a range of clients spanning family-owned businesses, SMEs, large corporates and public sector clients. The team was established following the arrival of practice head Nigel Bolton and Kim Jones in November 2017 from Irwin Mitchell. Bolton is frequently instructed on public sector outsourcings and advising trustees on scheme closures, mergers, data protection issues and scheme funding issues, while Jones has particular expertise assisting with scheme mergers and scheme wind-ups on a solvent and insolvent basis.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Bolton

Other key lawyers:

Kim Jones


Freeths provide an excellent, pragmatic and practical pension legal service to middle-market businesses at a very competitive price.

Nigel Bolton is a very experienced pension lawyer with a strong commercial understanding of entrepreneurial and family businesses. His capability to devise practical solutions to pension legal problems is unsurpassed in the market.

Kim Jones has a great capability to communicate complex issues in a manner that is clearly understandable by trustees and senior management teams alike.

Nigel Bolton and Kim Jones provide an excellent service, responding quickly and sensibly to requests for advice.