Our Pensions and Lifetime Savings team has been widely respected across the UK with leading clients for over 30 years. Our unique model and collaborative culture ensures that our pension lawyers are focused on delivering the highest quality of advice and service to our pension clients.

Our national client base comprises more than 750 trustee and employer clients across the private and public sectors. Our specialist pension lawyers help trustees with defined benefit, defined contribution and hybrid schemes. Our advice is underpinned by our broad understanding of how ESG issues and considerations affect both defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes. ESG considerations are fundamental; they can impact both the scheme investments and employer covenant. Importantly, ESG and sustainability not only present risks but also offer valuable opportunities for trustees.

Our pension lawyers regularly provide tailored training for trustees and run seminars in our Bristol, London and Edinburgh offices, and in Northern Ireland.

Our team is one of the largest pensions teams in the UK – with eight pensions partners and 40 pensions lawyers overall. 

We have developed interactive guides designed to aid the understanding of our clients and the wider pensions industry:

  • Our Pensions Schemes Act Triage Tool supports employers and trustees with navigating the Pensions Regulator’s new powers which were introduced by the Pension Schemes Act 2021. Find out more here.
  • Our Pension Schemes ESG Tool aims to simplify ESG expectations and requirements for trustees and sponsoring employers. Find out more here.

Areas of focus

Our pension law expertise includes the following:

  • Automatic enrolment
  • ESG
  • Scottish specific aspects of pensions
  • Northern Irish pensions
  • Pensions disputes and litigation
  • Pensions legal advice
  • Pensions regulatory
  • Pensions tax
  • Personal pensions and small occupational pensions
  • Public sector pensions
  • Share schemes and incentives.

Advising Western Power Distribution for many years on all aspects of its five pension arrangements (total assets in excess of £5 billion).

Advising the trustees of the AT&T ISTEL Pension Plan and the AT&T Pension Scheme on all UK pensions issues.

Advising Babcock in relation to its various defined benefit pension schemes, including in relation to the benefits to be provided to former public sector employees who transferred to Babcock.

Ongoing legal advice to the trustees of the Brunel Holdings Pension Scheme including advising on the potential exercise of moral hazard powers by the Pensions Regulator against listed parent company of the Scheme sponsor.

Advice to the trustees of First UK Bus’ large, mixed-benefit scheme on all issues including the implications of major divestment of part of bus division and steps to protect the covenant supporting the scheme.

Advising the trustees of the Great Lakes UK Limited Pension Plan in relation to the bankruptcy proceedings of the Chemtura group, the greatest regulatory repatriation of funds in 2011.

Advising the trustees of the Honda UK Pension Scheme on all legal issues including drafting complex deeds of amendment, assisting in funding negotiations, reviewing investment management agreements and advising on governance issues.

Advising the Yell (now Hibu) Pension Scheme including in respect of the restructuring of the Yell Group, leading to a successful Regulatory Clearance in this £4 billion restructuring.

Advising the QinetiQ Pension Scheme in relation to funding arrangements and restructuring including landmark hearing in the High Court.

Advising the trustees of the University of Oxford Pension Scheme on all aspects of pensions law including review of University covenant and contingent asset.

Retained legal adviser to the Wessex Water Pension Scheme.

Retained legal adviser to the AgustaWestland Pension Scheme, the Selex Pension Scheme and FuturePlanner.

Meet the team
Richard Knight

Richard Knight Partner

  • Head of Pensions Practice
  • Pensions Services
  • Pensions Legal Advice
Michael Hayles

Michael Hayles Partner

  • Pensions
  • Public Sector Pension Schemes
  • Financial Services
Alice Honeywill

Alice Honeywill Partner

  • Pensions Services
  • Public Sector Pension Schemes
  • Life and Pensions
Richard Pettit

Richard Pettit Partner

  • Pensions Regulatory
  • Pensions Services
  • Pensions in Northern Ireland
Clive Pugh

Clive Pugh Partner

  • Pensions Regulatory
  • Pensions Services
  • Pensions Legal Advice 
Susannah Young

Susannah Young Partner

  • Pensions Services
  • Trustee Advice and Training
  • DC Expertise
Justin Briggs

Justin Briggs Partner

  • Trust Disputes
  • Tax Negligence
  • Pension Disputes

Suzanne Padmore Partner

  • Pensions Disputes
  • Professional Negligence
  • Financial services Disputes and Enforcement 
Crispin Freeman

Crispin Freeman Director

  • Pensions Services
Chris Brown

Chris Brown Partner

  • Pensions Services
  • Pensions Regulatory
  • Pensions Legal Advice
Kate Granville-Smith

Kate Granville Smith Director

  • Pensions Services
Helen Woodford

Helen Woodford Lead Pensions Lawyer Scotland

  • Pensions
  • Pensions Regulatory Advice  
  • Pensions advice to charities and the not-for-profit sector

What others say...

All round excellent pensions team. Up there with the best in the UK. Great experience and depth of quality.

Legal 500 2024

Pensions Law Summaries

Pensions Regulatory Casebook

Pensions Schemes Act Triage Tool

Our interactive online tool will help you to understand more about the Pension Regulators new powers, the key defences and the practical steps to consider for certain business events.
Find out more