Rachel Uttley > Addleshaw Goddard > Leeds, England > Lawyer Profile

Addleshaw Goddard

Work Department

Pensions (commercial division).


Rachel advises trustees and corporates on all aspects of occupational and personal pension schemes. She has particular expertise in pension scheme mergers, DB liability management, corporate transactions and employer debt issues. She is the team’s expert on buy-in and buy-out transactions. She is also part of the SIPPs and pensions products team and advises SIPP providers and trustees on establishing and amending SIPPs and all day-to-day queries relating to the operation of SIPPs. Her clients include the trustees of the lbstock Pension Scheme, Shepherd Building Group, WPP, Carclo plc and the Co-operative Group.

Rachel’s recent experience includes:

advising the UK subsidiary a NASDAQ listed business specialising in connectivity infrastructure and services for global deployments of broadband networks on all their UK pensions issues, including advice on scheme funding negotiations, how to manage a legacy error where administration practice did not accord with scheme rules and the buyout and wind up of the DB pension scheme with a UK insurer;

advising the trustees of a DB scheme in relation to administration errors resulting in overpayments to members and the legal and practical issues for the trustees in determining how to manage this and mitigate the risk of complaints from affected members;

advising a sponsoring employer of a DB scheme on the ability to switch from RPI to CPI for pension increases as part of wider strategic discussions regarding the DB scheme;

advising the trustees of a DB scheme on a very successful pension increase exchange exercise and a subsequent enhanced transfer value exercise;

advising trustees on the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the steps required to ensure compliance;

advising a sponsoring employer on potential equalisation exposure  in over 25 different legacy pension arrangements including advice on both technical and strategic and practical issues relating to how to deal with remediation of benefits;

advising a sponsoring employer on the switching off of long-standing discretionary practice previously exercised in member’s favour and the legal risks including whether the discretion may have converted into a legal right;

advising the trustees of a £600mil+ DB scheme on the closure to future accrual undertaken by way of extrinsic contracts with members and their obligations and duties;

advising a corporate in connection the pensions issues arising out of a major disposal of certain divisions of the business which participated in the group’s DB pension scheme, which included putting in place a £15mil pensions bond with two bond providers for the benefit of the purchaser;

advising the trustees of a DB scheme on a professional negligence claim and potential rectification claim arising out an historic drafting error in their governing documents;

advising in connection with the complex separation of benefits in a SSAS arising out of a business dispute; and

advising numerous clients on changes to their life assurance arrangements and the introduction of excepted group life schemes and advising on the governance of these schemes.


Trainee solicitor with Addleshaw Booth & Co based in Leeds 2001-2003; admitted in September 2003; associate in pensions at Addleshaw Goddard 2003-2007 (for the first two years practiced pensions and share schemes mixed discipline); managing associate in pensions at Addleshaw Goddard 2007-2015; partner in pensions at Addleshaw Goddard (May 2015); working cross site in our Leeds and Manchester offices. Director of Sovereign Trustees Limited, the independent pension trustee company operated by Addleshaw Goddard.


Member of the Association of Pension Lawyers and on the committee for the North East Association of Pension Lawyers.


Woldgate School, Pocklington; University of Nottingham (1999 First Class BA Hons in History); College of Law, York (2000 Common Professional Examination (Distinction), 2001 Legal Practice Course (Distinction)).


Enjoys cooking, ballet dancing and spending time with her two young daughters.

Lawyer Rankings

Yorkshire and the Humber > Employment > Pensions

Addleshaw Goddard’s pensions practice group is ‘excellent’ and is widely considered the region’s key name for a full-service pensions offering. The team is jointly managed by a trio of experts including national head of the practice Rachel RawnsleyJade Murray and Rachel Uttley, who advises corporate clients and trustees on M&A activity. On the litigation side, Susan Garrett in Manchester is the key name, handling a significance amount of high-value claims, fraud matters and other disputes. The team also has a specialist bulk annuity team, which handles buy-out transactions and advises on buy-in policies. Legal director Jonathan Stewart is the contact for advisory work pertaining to trustees.