Pensions and benefits

“Very helpful service.”

Legal 500 2019

“It is a very competent organisation with great knowledge and flexibility.”

Chambers and Partners 2019
The Blake Morgan Pensions and Benefits team provides expert advice to employers, trustees, banks and other financial institutions on private and public sector pension arrangements. 

Main areas of practice

The team has significant and wide ranging experience gained in both top City law firms and leading actuarial and benefit consultancies. This blend means that we can better understand the issues faced by our clients and so add value in the advice and services we provide. 

Our Pension and Benefits lawyers provide specialist advice on all aspects of pension law, including:

  • Regulatory compliance - automatic enrolment, interpretation and drafting of legal documents and agreements
  • Schemes - advice on alterations and winding up, scheme mergers, closures to accrual or new entrants
  • Pensions disputes - member complaints, disputes with advisors and administrators or between trustees and employers and including rectification
  • Other employee benefitsincluding life assurance, private medical arrangements, including self-insured trusts, long term sickness schemes, share schemes etc

The team also provides training for employers and trustees on regulatory scrutiny and governance and advice on issues connected with public sector transfers or outsourcing, guarantees and other contingent asset arrangements and reviews of investment management and fiduciary management agreements.

We work closely with:

  • Our Employment and HR Consultancy teams to provide advice on contractual and employee relations issues.
  • Our Corporate and Banking and Finance teams to ensure that pension and benefit issues are addressed in the context of any corporate restructuring or refinance.
  • Our Insolvency team in relation to pension issues in any insolvency process.
  • Our Real Estate team in relation to property investment in a variety of schemes including small self-administered schemes and self-invested personal pension plans.


Our experts on pension law advise employers, scheme trustees, banks and other organisations involved in the operation of occupational pension schemes and personal pension scheme arrangements. 

Clients who have benefited from our specialist pensions advice include: 

  • Large public sector health trusts and charities
  • Asset management companies
  • Private sector financial institutions and trusts
  • Social housing organisations
  • Charities, universities, colleges and academies

Significant experience

Examples of how clients have benefited from our pensions expertise include:

  • Advising an employer on the changes that need to be made to its defined benefit pension scheme in order for it to satisfy the statutory requirements of an automatic enrolment scheme.
  • Assisting a UK-based, US-owned manufacturing company in advising the transferring trustees on a proposal from the UK sponsoring company and its US parent company to merge the scheme with two other group UK pension arrangements.
  • Advising the trustees of the Industrial Acoustics Company Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme in successful rectification proceedings (Industrial Acoustics v Crowhurst [2012]).
  • Advising the trustees of a number of defined benefit schemes in relation to the appointment by the trustee boards of a fiduciary manager.
  • Advising the trustees of Milford Haven Port Authority Retirement Benefits Scheme on a £9m investment into a solar park in the form of an asset back contribution. We advised on risks for the Trustees around employer-related investment legislation and the use of the Scottish Limited Partnership. We ensured the trustees were protected with indemnities and secured a funding underpin from the Port Authority.

“They understand what issues are important, and what I particularly like about them is that they are on top of the deadlines. There is no need to push them as you know they will deliver.”

Chambers and Partners 2018

“They have the benefit of having lawyers with large firm experience, while being local and able to provide that experience to smaller schemes.”

Chambers and Partners 2019

“Excellent, timely and reasonable fees. Adrian Lamb is viewed as very approachable and knowledgeable.”

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

Blake Morgan's Employment law update – April 2019 Employment law changes


Are you ready for the April 2019 Employment law developments?

Automatic enrolment alert: Consultation with employees – some pitfalls


Employers should be alert to the mandatory increases in total minimum contributions to their qualifying workforce pension schemes under the automatic enrolment regulations.

Pensions Outlook Newsletter - Winter 2019


In this Winter edition of Pensions Outlook we consider a number issues in the pension's and benefits arena.

GMP Equalisation - the Lloyds Bank judgment - some greater clarity and certainty?

If you are a trustee or sponsor of a pension scheme that was contracted out of the state-earnings related scheme before 6 April 1997 this affects you.

Is the current approach on valuing pensions fit for mediation?

There are not many occasions in a mediation where I hesitate to say that mediations are conducted in the "shadow of the court". However, I must admit to some discomfort over pensions.

Life assurance schemes – the top 10 compliance risks employers should avoid

Life assurance schemes can be established either as tax registered schemes, or non-registered schemes where the underlying benefits will not count towards the member's lifetime allowance which is currently £1.25 million.

Supreme Court rules on meaning of ‘unfavourable treatment’

Matthew Smith discusses a recent Supreme Court decision that confirmed a common-sense approach to the meaning of ‘unfavourable treatment’ under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010.

What employers need to know about paying life assurance benefits

What should you consider when paying out life assurance benefits – and what are the implications if you get it wrong? Adrian Lamb, Legal Director in our Pensions and Benefits team considers the issues involved for employers and trustees.

Group Life Newsflash:- excepted schemes

A lot of employers are being advised to consider unregistered group life schemes for their staff for the provision of lump sum death in service benefits.