Claire van Rees



Claire advises trustee and employer clients on a wide range of pensions issues such as pension scheme mergers, liability management exercises, tax legislation and auto-enrolment issues. She also has experience of advising insurance companies on their pensions products, and has a particular interest in defined contribution benefits and master trusts.

Claire sits on the Association of Pension Lawyers’ Legislative and Parliamentary Committee.

Recent experience includes:

  • Benefit charge exercises
  • Trust deed and rule rewrites for a number of schemes, including drafting new CARE sections
  • Advising on amendments to scheme rules to meet auto-enrolment objectives
  • Advising on complex tax issues arising out of changes to the annual allowance
  • Advising on three scheme mergers
  • Advising on section 75 debt issues related to an employer ceasing to participate and taking a bulk transfer from the scheme.

On DC related matters, Claire’s recent experience includes:

  • Advising on the set up of three new new master trusts, as well as providing on-going advice to master trusts
  • Advising pension product providers on various current issues
  • Drafting a new DC section and an auto-enrolment section
  • Advising on issues arising from the changes to the statutory definition of money purchase benefits
  • Advising on security of asset issues associated with DC platform providers and AVC policies
  • Advising on compliance with new legislative and regulatory requirements in respect of DC benefits.

Claire was voted ‘up and coming lawyer of the year’ in the annual survey of pension lawyers in 2014 and 2015.

Memberships and Qualifications

Membership of professional bodies:
Association of Pension Lawyers (Full Member) – Legislative and Parliamentary committee member

Career history

Qualified: 2004 (England and Wales)

Pensions experience since: 2004

Joined Sackers: 2010

Joined Partnership/LLP: 2014

Employers: Hogan Lovells LLP (2002-2010)

Academic history


St Anne’s College, Oxford University (1997-2000)
Nottingham Law School (2000-2001)
Leiden University, Netherlands (2007-2008)


MA (Oxon) in Jurisprudence
Legal Practice Course
LLM (advanced) in Public International Law

Further Information


APL Introductory Course 2012, 2013 and 2014 – “The Pensions Act 2004, the Pensions Regulator and the PPF”

NAPF Training Course – Managing DC Pensions, 2012 – speaking on DC governance and monitoring and switching DC investment options and providers

Extracurricular interests and activities:

Travel, music


Tel: + 44 (0)20 7615 9573


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DC schemes


Master trusts

DC flexibilities

Latest News & Media

Claire van Rees comments on the new rules for master trusts announced in the Pension Schemes Bill.

Claire van Rees comments on moving to a mastertrust

Budget 2016 – A turning point for lifetime savings? Poll results

Claire van Rees speaks to REWARD about freedom and choice in pensions

FCA Retirement Income Market Data highlights information and advice gap

Claire van Rees named 'top up and coming pensions lawyer' for second year in a row

Claire van Rees discusses what Pensions Input Periods changes mean for schemes

Claire van Rees on expert panel for live webinar on Pensions Input Periods

Claire van Rees to speak at PMI Technical Seminar

Claire van Rees named top ‘up and coming pensions lawyer’

Latest Knowledge

Pension Schemes Bill

ICAEW: Assurance reporting on Master Trusts – Sackers’ response to consultation

British Steel Pension Scheme - Sackers' response to consultation

Poll findings - Budget 2016: A turning point for lifetime savings?

The Registered Pension Schemes (Provision of Information) (Amendment) Regulations 2016

Pensions tax: bridging pensions

Strengthening the incentive to save: a consultation on pensions tax relief - Sackers' response to consultation

Better workplace pensions: putting savers' interests first

The Draft Taxation of Pensions Bill - Sackers' response to consultation

The Finance Act 2004 (Registered Pension Schemes and Annual Allowance Charge) (Amendment) Order 20XX - Sackers response to consultation