Pensions & Benefits 2017: Analysis

In this edition we also highlight over 300 pensions and benefits lawyers from 202 firms across 43 jurisdictions who are considered leading practitioners in their respective markets.

Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira earns top place in our research for its superb practice and pre-eminence in the European market and across the world.

Proskauer Rose, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Stikeman Elliott impress across the North American continent while both Outer Temple Chambers and Wilberforce Chambers are marked out as leading sets at the UK Bar. 


UK-based SACKER & PARTNERS sees eight practitioners listed for their pensions expertise.
Ian Pittaway is a renowned expert on pension schemes; he advises a raft of trustees and funds and is also a respected arbitrator and expert witness.
Mark Greenlees focuses on high-profile pension schemes in financial services, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals where he has over 30 years of experience.
Pauline Sibbit advises on merging schemes and funding matters where she is recognised as a market authority.
Michaela Berry advises on both set-up and wind-up and M&A matters relating to pension schemes and is highly regarded in the market.

CMS CAMERON MCKENNA achieves the highest number of lawyers listed across Europe this year with nine practitioners recognised.
Mark Grant is head of the firm’s pensions ombudsman unit and has vast expertise advising multinational corporations on pensions schemes and wider pensions law.
Mark Atkinson specialises in occupational pension schemes and advises companies and trustees including numerous multinational corporations.
Neil Smith advises on the whole gamut of pensions-related matters and is also highly sought after for his experience in professional negligence actions.

NORRBOM VINDING sees six listings this year and an accomplished pensions practice.
Jørgen Vinding has represented parties in pensions cases in the Supreme Court and is recognised as a seasoned practitioner.
Yvonne Frederiksen is one of Denmark’s leading lawyers in the field; she advises clients on all types of pensions and incentives matters.
Christian Clasen is a noted expert on pensions law and specialises in HR matters and industrial relations where she advises both private and public companies.

CUATRECASAS GONÇALVES PEREIRA receives the largest number of nominations of any firm in this chapter and sees five lawyers featured.
Juan Bonilla is once again regarded as one of Spain’s top lawyers in this area. He specialises in pensions and incentives, employee compensation and share-based schemes.
Salvador del Rey has “a deep knowledge of pensions law” where he advises on all aspects of employee compensation systems.
Jorge Aranaz is an authority in the pensions and benefits space and is a well-known lawyer in the market.

BAKER MCKENZIE achieves three listings across Europe, two of them in Spain and one in Germany.
Fermín Guardiola in Madrid negotiates on executive compensation and restructuring of employee benefits. One respondent says, “His work is of a very high level; he is very experienced.”
David Díaz in Madrid advises on social security and pension liability matters where “he has a great attitude towards providing solutions for clients”.
Christian Reichel in Frankfurt is recognised as a specialist in pension law in Germany; he advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Three lawyers at Danish firm KROMANN REUMERT are recommended in our listing this year.
Marianne Granhøj advises corporations and pension funds where she is "strong on regulatory matters relating to the financial sector”.
Helene Amsinck is recognised as an expert on collective redundancies and reorganisations pertaining to pension matters.
Jens Lund Mosbek is “strong on executive contracts”, share-based payment arrangements and pension schemes. He is also an accomplished representative of parties in court and arbitration proceedings.

Leading German outfit CMS HASCHE SIGLE has three experts listed.
Co-head of the employment and pensions group Christopher Jordan is an expert in works constitution and collective bargaining where he is considered a market leader.
Björn Gaul is a go-to lawyer for pensions matters relating to restructuring, outsourcing and flexible work schemes.
Gerlind Wisskirchen specialises in advising international corporations on pensions matters and receives praise for her strategic outlook and keen analysis.

ELMZELL ADVOKATBYRÅ sees three leading pensions lawyers recognised.
Founding partner Lars Hartzell advises clients in both the public and private sector and is a distinguished counsel in disputes.
Jenny Hellberg is an expert who provides advice to both national and international clients and is a leading voice on pensions matters.
Ulrika Runelöv has vast experience in the pensions field and has spent several years as an appellate judge.

France’s CAPSTAN AVOCATS has three listings.
Pascal Lagoutte specialises in employer/employee relations and is renowned for his longstanding expertise in employment and pensions law.
The firm’s co-founder Jean-Michel Mir is a trusted counsel on employee savings and shareholding schemes.
Bruno Serizay is a co-founder of the pensions group of Ius Laboris and is known for his longstanding practice, which is one of the best in France.

LK SHIELDS SOLICITORS performs the best of our Irish contingent and achieves three listings.
Jamie McConville advises on all manner of retirement arrangements and employee benefits and has experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters.
Michael Kavanagh is a leading light in pensions disputes, according to our research. He has significant expertise acting before the Commercial Court and is also highly regarded for his litigation expertise.
Aoife Bradley is head of the employment and pensions team and is an expert in contentious matters and litigation.

Dutch firm BRONSGEEST DEUR has three leaders in the pensions world.
Co-founder Erik Deur is recommended for his corporate restructuring expertise in relation to pensions and employee benefits.
Philip Nabben is an eminent legal mind in pensions law; he leads all of the firm’s cross-border projects.
Hylda Wiarda is recommended as a top-tier pensions lawyer and a specialist in European law.

SAGARDOY ABOGADOS sees four practitioners listed for their expertise.
Román Gil is one of the most highly nominated practitioners in our research and is “excellent, one of the very best pensions lawyers”, according to impressed sources.
Iñigo  Sagardoy is regarded as a longstanding expert on pensions matters and has an extensive knowledge in the field.

KLIEMT & VOLLSTÄDT receives four listings in this year’s research.
Stefan Fischer is renowned as an industry leader in pensions and social security law. He is an expert on individual and collective employment law.
Michael Kliemt advises on occupational pension plans where he is a leading figure in the sector.

DITTMAR & INDRENIUS in Finland sees two of its renowned pensions lawyers listed.
Petteri Uoti is “a tier-one lawyer” in pensions and is a seasoned expert in dispute resolution including litigation and arbitration.
Head of the employment, benefits and pensions practice Seppo Havia is an expert in Finnish pension law and counsels national and international clients

URÍA MENÉNDEZ demonstrates its acumen in pensions law with two listings.
Mario Barros advises on termination of employment contracts and social security law, alongside workforce restructuring.
Ignacio García-Perrote is “superb, one of the best employee benefits lawyers in the country” and has significant experience in contentious matters.

Employment and pensions powerhouse CLAEYS & ENGELS achieves two listings.
Olivier Debray “has a strong practice” that focuses on social security law, compensation and benefits. He is often called on by management and company directors for his expertise.
Jan Van Gysegem specialises in occupational pensions, executive compensation and pension fund governance.

Portuguese outfit PBBR & ASSOCIADOS – SOCIEDADE DE ADVOGADOS sees two entries this year.
Inês Reis is an expert in social security law and employee benefits; she is a national leader in the area.
Bruno Barbosa is a recognised authority on pensions and employee benefits and is highly sought after by Portuguese and international clients.

CASTEGNARO in Luxembourg achieves two listings.
Founding partner Guy Castegnaro is recognised as one of Luxembourg’s leading employment and pensions experts and is a social security law specialist.
Ariane Claverie is a skilled and respected practitioner with over 15 years of experience.

Renowned Swiss boutique BLESI & PAPA receives two listings.
Roberta Papa is a certified social security law expert with an acute understanding of the Swiss market.
Alfred Blesi advises on all matters of employment and pensions law where he is a distinguished name in the field.

Russian firm ALRUD LAW FIRM demonstrates its expertise in the field with two lawyers included in our listings.
Irina Anyukhina is noted for her corporate expertise where she handles executive compensation, employee benefits and outsourcing matters.
Olga Pimanova advises on employee share option plans including real and phantom shares and is highly regarded as a great strategist.

BENER LAW OFFICE sees two of its lawyers recommended as some of Turkey’s leading legal minds.
Maria Celebi in Istanbul listed for her extensive corporate expertise and her reputation as one of Turkey’s leading pensions lawyers.
Founding partner Erim Bener has an international practice and is regarded by clients as a trusted counsel in pensions and employee benefits matters.

RACZKOWSKI PARUCH’s founder Bartłomiej Raczkowski is an expert on HR issues and has over 20 years of experience in advising Poland’s leading corporations on pensions-related matters.

Nataša Randlová of RANDL PARTNERS specialises in transfer of undertakings, reorganisation and termination of employment where she is one of the country’s leading authorities.

KUNZ SCHIMA WALLENTIN RECHTSANWÄLTE sees Georg Schima recognised for his expertise in pensions agreements and retirement contracts. He is highly sought after in Austria and across Europe.

At OUTER TEMPLE CHAMBERS, Andrew Short QC focuses on pensions matters with discrimination-related aspects. One respondent says, “He has a really good technical understanding of pensions law and is a leader on age discrimination cases.”

WILBERFORCE CHAMBERS sees Michael Tennet QC recognised for his litigation experience in the field of pensions including professional negligence, financial services and trusts.

 North America

PROSKAUER ROSE achieves six listings from across the US.
Lloyd Chinn in New York is a noted litigator who is recognised for his longstanding expertise representing clients before federal and state courts and arbitration tribunals.
Erika Collins in New York advises clients on preparing competitive employment packages and is a leader in her field.
Howard Shapiro in New Orleans is one of the nation’s foremost ERISA litigators and frequently represents management in disputes relating to retirement packages and employee benefits.

ORRICK HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE sees two leading lawyers recommended.
Michael Delikat is recognised in our research for his expertise across all matters of pensions law. He specialises in advising clients in the financial services industry.
William Berry in San Francisco is compensation and benefits senior counsel and advises on qualified retirement plans, welfare benefits and deferred compensation.

Two top practitioners from FORD & HARRISON are listed in this year’s research.
Salvador Simao has served as lead trial counsel in the US District Court of New Jersey and receives high accolades for his robust practice.
Herbert Gerson advises clients on both national and international issues and is a seasoned practitioner.

Thomas Hurka at MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS in Chicago is one of the leading names in our research and has expertise in ERISA-related matters. He is one of the leading lawyers in the field and advises clients in numerous sectors including insurance, TMT, finance and life sciences.

Eric Hilfers of CRAVATH SWAINE & MOORE in New York is head of the firm’s executive compensation and benefits department and is an expert in the design and implementation of compensation schemes alongside tax and ERISA-related matters.

DINSMORE & SHOHL sees Michael Glassman in Cincinnati represents employers regionally and nationally and is highly respected for his vast expertise and strong client base.

GALL LEGGE GRANT & MUNROE’s Andrea Zwack in British Columbia advises on matters of pensions, benefits and compensation where she is a national authority.

Patrick Benaroche at STIKEMAN ELLIOTT in Montreal has experience in a vast array of pensions and benefits matters and frequently advises on cross-border matters.

BARTEAUX DURNFORD’s Nancy Barteaux QC focuses on management-side advocacy and is revered for her skills in negotiating complex disputes.

Latin America

Specialist employment law firm MUNITA & OLAVARRÍA in Chile sees two pensions experts listed in this year’s chapter.
Enrique Munita L has a national and international practice; he has specialist experience in outsourcing and social security matters relating to pension provision.
Cristián Olavarría is a leader in the field of compensation and benefits for employees and is noted for his experience in collective bargaining.

LITTLER MEXICO, Mexican arm of US employment powerhouse Littler Mendelson, achieves two listings.
Mónica Schiaffino is highly regarded as an expert in pension plan implementation. She is also a seasoned litigator.
Enrique García Conde represents multinational corporations in cross-border matters and is considered to be a distinguished practitioner in the field.

Argentinian outfit FUNES DE RIOJA & ASOCIADOS Ernesto Arguello Bavio has over 30 years of experience and is recognised as a market leader.

VEIRANO ADVOGADOS sees Priscyla Ellen Felix Barbosa in São Paulo recognised for her corporate expertise relating to pensions and employee benefits.

GRANADEIRO GUIMARÃES ADVOGADOSGustavo Granadeiro Guimarães in São Paulo is “well known and well respected in the field” for his work in pensions and administrative law.

Middle East and Africa

BOWMANS in South Africa achieves three listings.
Tashia Jithoo in Cape Town has been a specialist pensions lawyer for over 15 years, she has advised pension funds and retail funds and is well regarded for her acute knowledge of pensions legislation in South Africa. One respondent says, “She provides clear, insightful thinking and can develop a concise and logical argument.”
Graham Damant in Johannesburg is “a real pensions expert and a leading employee benefits lawyer” with significant expertise advising pension funds and advising on employee contribution scheme conversions.
Karen Fulton in Johannesburg is a specialist in employee benefits and is recognised for her expertise in cross-border matters and disputes.

Two leading lights from JONATHAN MORT are recognised.
Jonathan Mort receives high praise for his expertise in advising pension funds and their members on a range of matters including governance issues.
Vanessa Bell has two decades of legal experience and is one of the country’s leading authorities on pension fund law.

Two lawyers from SHEPSTONE & WYLIE are highly nominated.
Johan Esterhuizen is “a very experienced pensions lawyer”; he is a recognised expert on the Pension Funds Act and an approved liquidator of retirement funds.
Samantha Davidson is head of pensions law at the firm where she advises hybrid pension funds and retirement funds. One peer says, “I would rate her as one of the best pensions lawyers in the country.”

Hunter  Thyne at CLIFFE DEKKER HOFMEYR is one of the most nominated lawyers in our research this year. He advises on employee benefits and specialises in medical schemes.

Michelle David at NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT SOUTH AFRICA is an expert in the Pension Funds Act and all legislation related to employee benefits.  She focuses particularly on pension schemes in the life sciences and medical sector.

Asia - Pacific

ANDERSON MORI & TOMOTSUNE emerges as Japan’s leading firm in pensions and benefits with three lawyers.
Hideki Thurgood Kanoh is a specialist in social insurance and pension plans including defined contribution, defined benefit, welfare pension funds and tax-qualified retirement pensions. Kazutoshi Kakuyama advises national and international clients on pensions matters; he is recognised for his corporate expertise and skill in dispute resolutions.
Nobuhito Sawasaki has experience with all aspects of pensions law. His clients include Japanese and multinational corporations.

Australian powerhouse MINTERELLISON achieves two listings.
Maged Girgis in Sydney is an authority on superannuation funds and is “highly regarded, definitely one of the best”.
Regional markets leader William Thompson in Brisbane advises on tax issues relating to pensions and is recognised as a superb strategist.

MAYER BROWN sees two preeminent practitioners recommended in Hong Kong.
Duncan Abate advises on all aspects of employee benefits law alongside regulatory issues where he is one of the regional authorities.
Hong Tran is a highly valued member of the practice and is well-respected for his disputes expertise.

Michael Vrisakis of HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS in Sydney is a leading name in our research and is a powerhouse in regulatory matters relating to employee benefits, particularly superannuation.

DLA PIPER AUSTRALIA’s Peter Charteris in Sydney is renowned as a specialist in funds management, superannuation and transactions within the superannuation industry.     

ALLENS sees Michelle Levy in Sydney recognised as an expert in pensions funds including superannuation. She is praised for her deep knowledge of the field and her vast experience.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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