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Addleshaw Goddard

Work 0113 209 2000
Fax 0113 209 2060
12004 LEEDS

Rachel Uttley

Work 0113 209 2157
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.

London: Human resources


Within: Pensions

Addleshaw Goddard fields  'a strong team with a high degree of technical knowledge'. Its pensions expertise encompasses auto-enrolment issues, public sector pension work and pension products with particular expertise in self-invested personal pension (SIPP) and small self-administered scheme (SSAS) products. The national practice is led by Rachel Rawnsley, who 'instils confidence in clients', and includes pension products team head Jade Murray, who is 'always great and an excellent strategist'; Catherine McAllister, who leads the public sector pensions team; Rachel Uttley and Susan Garrett, who is the key name for contentious matters.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Human resources


Within: Pensions

Addleshaw Goddard's pensions group represents blue chip corporates, key regional businesses and trustee boards in a range of both contentious and non-contentious matters. Rachel Rawnsley heads the national pensions practice, and is supported by Jade Murray, Susan Garrett and Rachel Uttley in the Yorkshire region. The practice is instructed by Saga plc on a cross-border matter consulting staff on amendments to pension schemes. In another work highlight, the team advised WPP 2005 on the £150m buy-in transaction of all pensioner and deferred liabilities with Pension Insurance Corporation, involving five defined benefit schemes. The team has also been engaged by the trustees of a number of pension schemes to provide data protection advice prior to the implementation of the GDPR. With particular experience in both the education and retail sector, key clients of the group include the trustees of the University of Sheffield and the University of Leeds pension schemes, in addition to the trustees of the Asda Group Pension Scheme and Asda Pension Plan and the Co-operative Group. The team also has experience representing clients in the manufacturing, financial services and institutions, and energy and utilities industries.

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