Elmer Doonan > Dentons > London, England > Lawyer Profile


Work Department



Elmer Doonan is a partner and head of pensions group with over 25 years experience in pensions matters. He has dealt with some of the most complex restructuring and insolvency related pensions issues over the years on behalf of employers, insolvency practitioners and pension trustees. He has acted in numerous court applications on pensions matters and on behalf of both trustees and employers and in matters involving the exercise of the Pension Regulator’s moral hazard powers, most notably the recent Lehman FSD case where he acted for 28 Lehman companies.


Made partner at present firm 1996.


Association of Pension Lawyers.


Leeds University (LLB); London School of Economics and Political Science (LLM).

Lawyer Rankings

London > Employment > Pensions: dispute resolution

‘Punching above its weight’, the pensions dispute group at Dentons handles contentious issues for employers and trustees, concerning both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes. Lawyers bring to bear experience as non-contentious pensions practitioners, giving them a well-rounded view of the area. The team is situated in the people, reward and mobility department, under the leadership of Virginia Allen. Eleanor Hart is the UK head of the rewards sub-group, and is the key contact for pensions disputes, often representing trustee clients. The ‘refreshingly upbeat and candidElmer Doonan is a seasoned contentious pensions specialist, with particular expertise in the intersection between insolvency and pensions law.

London > Employment > Pensions (non-contentious)

The team at Dentons houses pensions veterans with experience in advising on all issues pertaining to defined benefit and defined contribution schemes, in addition to life assurance agreements and healthcare trusts. The group has expertise in transactional work related to pensions and regularly supports the corporate team on multi-jurisdictional deals. Taking the lead is Eleanor Hart, commended for having ‘a wealth of experience and is accomplished in a range of complex restructuring, financing and related issues of crucial importance to pension schemes‘. A former practice head who became a consultant in 2020, Elmer Doonan  is a well-respected expert in insolvency-related pensions matters, and continues to advise trustees and employers on pension restructurings, acquisitions and disposals.