Catherine McKenna is a partner in our Pensions practice group. Her particular expertise is in providing advice to companies and trustees on all aspects of pensions law, including advice on managing pension risk and developing creative solutions to assist with funding shortfalls. She deals with pension plan restructuring, governance, and the pensions issues arising on corporate activity. Catherine also specialises in Pension Regulator applications and intervention, pension disputes and negotiating all types of pension fund investment management, custody and other third party agreements.

Catherine is an associate of the Pensions Management Institute (PMI), and a former Chairman and committee member of the North East Group of the PMI and the Yorkshire Group of the National Association of Pension Funds. She writes frequently in the local and national press on pension issues, is a regular speaker at pension industry conferences and is a contributor to several pension books and publications. She is a principal author of our 2012 and 2013 pension White Papers, “Pensions in the Age of Austerity” and “Shaping the Pensions Landscape for Social Care”. She sits on the CBI’s pension policy panel (we are one of only two law firms to do so), whom we have advised for over a decade.
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  • Pension plan reconstruction and buy-out of all liabilities.
  • Advice on transition and investment management agreements following investment strategy review.
  • Advice on security and funding arrangements following taking private of sponsoring employer.
  • Advising on management of pension risks and related funding and pricing implications in several UK corporate acquisitions and disposals.
  • Leading discussion on risk management and devising a risk monitoring policy for a large corporate.
  • Several mergers of pension plans.


  • College of Law, Chester, LL.B., 1987
  • The University of Nottingham, LL.B., 1986


  • England and Wales (solicitor), 1989
  • Included in the Seventh Edition of The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom (2018)
  • Recommended in Chambers UK 2018 for Pensions, North East and Yorkshire
  • Recommended as a Leading Individual in The Legal 500 UK 2017 for Pensions
  • Recognized as a leading individual by Chambers UK 2016
  • Recommended as a Leading Individual in The Legal 500 UK 2015 for Pensions
  • Recommended as a leading lawyer in The Legal 500 UK and Chambers UK 
  • Chambers UK 2013, "Global head of pensions Catherine McKenna is recognised as "exceptional" by clients, with sources praising her communication skills and clarity.”
  • The Legal 500 UK 2013, “Catherine McKenna is "one of the best"."
  • The Legal 500 UK 2009, "Lauded by clients for her "straightforward, business like approach and industry knowledge".
  • Chambers UK 2008, "An absolute star in the industry,” Catherine McKenna has a superb reputation for pensions work and has been involved in a number of significant transactions with clients."
  • Chambers UK 2007, "Catherine McKenna is firmly established as a leader in the region, as she “has the ability and the eye for the important issues; she never wastes time with minor points."
  • The Legal 500 UK 2006, "Catherine McKenna is 'admired for her presentation skills and all-round excellence'. Clients describe her as smart, forthright and commercial. 'We like her because she understands business as well as law, and knows what we want to achieve'."
  • Chambers UK 2006, "Head of pensions Catherine McKenna wins plaudits for displaying excellent leadership qualities and a friendly manner."

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