Suzanne Burrell > Shoosmiths LLP > Reading, England > Lawyer Profile

Shoosmiths LLP

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Suzanne is an experienced pensions lawyer advising both trustees and employees on a wide range of pensions issues. Suzanne has experience advising on both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes of all sizes ranging from under £10m to schemes in excess of £1bn.

Suzanne has particular experience advising clients in the co-operative sector and is familiar with the typical pension scheme structure in that sector. Additionally, she advises schemes run by charity sector employers and is well versed in the pensions issues facing charity employers.

Suzanne’s recent experience includes:

  • advice to employers on the implementation of auto-enrolment including amendments to a pension scheme rules for a defined contribution scheme to ensure compliance with the automatic enrolment legislation;
  • advice on redesign of pension benefits including capping pensionable salary and introduction of career average benefits and draft scheme documents to implement the changes;
  • advice in relation to the closure of a pension scheme to future accrual including the setting up of an escrow account and security over the scheme sponsor’s assets in exchange for a decision to defer winding up of the pension scheme;
  • pensions aspects of corporate transactions including advice on a flexible apportionment arrangement and review of a clearance application to the Pensions Regulator where the target company was to be de-linked from the group pension scheme;
  • negotiations between trustees and scheme sponsors on employer covenant issues around, and pension scheme funding including the drafting and negotiation of contingent asset documents including parent company guarantees (including pension protection fund compliant guarantees);
  • advice on interpretation of scheme rules including advice on whether historic changes have been properly implemented;
  • review and advice on agreements with third party providers including agreements on employer covenant review, administration agreements and investment management agreements;
  • internal dispute resolution procedure and ombudsman cases on a wide range of disputes including a challenge by a member on the way his pension is increased.

Suzanne also advises clients on public sector pensions issues. This includes advice on steps to be taken by private sector employers on the transfer of employees with public sector benefits, whether on the setting up of a broadly comparable scheme or the review and negotiation of admission agreements.


Suzanne undertook her training contract and qualified into the Pensions department at Mayer Brown International LLP (formerly Rowe & Maw) in 2001. She is a Member of the Pensions Management Institute (DipPMI) and a full member of the Association of Pension Lawyers.  Suzanne is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers Legislative and Parliamentary Subcommittee


DipPMI (Diploma Member Pensions Management Institute); Association of Pensions Lawyers.


Weald School Billingshurst; St Peter’s College, Oxford (1994 BA Jurisprudence 2(1) (converted to MA in 2004); Guildford College of Law (postgraduate diploma in Legal Studies, distinction).


Reading, running.

Lawyer Rankings

South East > Employment > Pensions

Split across three offices in Milton Keynes, the Thames Valley and Solent, Shoosmiths LLP‘s sizeable pension team provides comprehensive support on high-value and often complex matters to clients across the South East and beyond. The team’s experience is broad and it handles the full range of issues from day-to-day advice and long-term strategies to complex mergers, scheme changes, and buy-outs and buy-ins. The team has also seen an uptick in GMP equalisation work and issues arising from automatic enrolment. Milton Keynes-based Heather Chandler oversees the firm’s corporate pensions practice, while Tracey Hemingway works for clients including global agricultural and commodities companies from the Solent office, and Suzanne Burrell acts for trustees and employers from her base in the Thames Valley.

South East > Private client > Charities and not-for-profit

Shoosmiths LLP is able to cater to a wide range of issues for charities clients, including employment and data protection, and is praised for its ‘excellent knowledge of the charitable sector and in particular the area of contentious wills’. Thames Valley-based Angela Bowman leads the national charities practice, and is a member of ACTAPS. Suzanne Burrell focuses on pensions issues from the Reading base.