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Burges Salmon LLP

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Work 0117 939 2000
Fax 0117 902 4400
Bristol, London

Richard Pettit

Work 0117 902 6674
Burges Salmon LLP

Work Department



Richard is a partner in the pensions team working across the full range of the pensions specialism. He advises companies and pension scheme trustees on issues including moral hazard investigations, corporate restructuring, Pension Protection Fund work, funding negotiations, scheme documentation, closures and mergers. He is dual qualified in Northern Ireland and England and Wales. Richard's recent work has included advising scheme trustees on a high-profile moral hazard investigation by the Pensions Regulator involving a financial support direction being sought against a UK and overseas listed plc; advising a manufacturing company with a pension scheme with a £60 million deficit on the entry of the scheme into the Pension Protection Fund; and providing legal advice on the detailed mitigation for a pension scheme in the context of a £4bn restructuring of the supporting employer group.


Richard joined Burges Salmon in 2004, having graduated with a degree in law from Oxford University and completed the Legal Practice Course at the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice. He specialised in pensions on qualification and has worked solely in this area ever since. Trainee at Burges Salmon (2004-06), solicitor at Burges Salmon (2006-09), associate at Burges Salmon (2009-12), senior associate at Burges Salmon (2012-15), partner at Burges Salmon (2015 to date).


Association of Pension Lawyers.


Attended King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon; Exeter College, Oxford, BA Jurisprudence; MA (2003); Oxford Institute of Legal Practice, LPC (2004).


Aviation enthusiast (occasional private flying and general interest, eg member of the Vulcan to the Sky Club and Bristol Aero Collection Trust etc).

South West: Human resources


Within: Pensions

The ‘accessible, knowledgeable and responsive’ practice at Burges Salmon LLP  provides advices on all pensions matters for trustee and employer clients across the public and private sectors. Clients include AT&T, Honda, Siemens, Toshiba, Department for Education and UK Atomic Energy Authority. Clive Pugh acted successfully acted for the trustees of the Silentnight scheme in a Judicial Review brought against the Pensions Regulator in relation to the case. Partner Richard Pettit  advised Brunel Holdings Pension Scheme on one of the largest ongoing moral hazard investigations by the Pensions Regulator. Tim Illston advised on the merger of five legacy-defined benefit and hybrid pension schemes with a total value of over £1bn. The ‘knowledgeable, supportive and accessibleAlice Honeywill advised University of Oxford Staff Pension Scheme on a large-scale benefit restructuring. The ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Michael Hayes advised FirstGroup in relation to consolidation of its pension assets in to the local government pension scheme (LGPS). Susannah Young  advised the trustees of the Leonardo Pension Schemes in relation to its transition to a new administrator. Practice head Richard Knight and Justin Briggs are also recommended.

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Legal Developments by:
Burges Salmon LLP

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

    - Burges Salmon LLP

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