Joanna Smith

Associate Director


Joanna advises employer and trustee clients on a wide range of pension issues including managing employer debts, scheme mergers and benefit design changes. Joanna also advises on discrimination in a pensions context and TUPE transfer issues in relation to pension administration outsourcing. She has particular experience of advising clients in the banking, insurance, media, services, technology and energy sectors.

Recent experience in relation to DB benefits includes:

  • Advising on two DB scheme mergers
  • Preparing consolidated Rules, updated for recent legislative changes
  • Advising on a buy-out of pension liabilities and reviewing the individual member policies
  • Advising on changes to benefit structures including salary capping and changing to CARE accrual
  • Reviewing member booklets and communications of various types
  • Advising on pension administration outsourcing projects.

Recent experience in relation to DC benefits includes:

  • Drafting a trust deed and rules for a new industry-wide DC arrangement and advising on the legal aspects of setting up the arrangement
  • Advising on a transfer-out of DC benefits to a contract-based plan
  • Reviewing DC communications in light of the new disclosure requirements around pension flexibilities
  • Advising on bulk transfer of members between occupational DC arrangements.

Joanna is also a regular speaker at the PMI Secretary to the Trustees training course.

Memberships and Qualifications

Membership of professional bodies:
Association of Pension Lawyers (Full Member)

Career history

Qualified: 2006, England and Wales

Pensions experience: 2006

Joined Sackers: 2011

Employers: Hogan Lovells International LLP (2004-2011)

Academic history


University of Sheffield (1997-2001)
University of Trier, Germany (1999-2000)
University of Muenster, Germany (2001-2002)
Nottingham Law School (2002-2003)

Degree: BA Law with German
LL.M German Law
Legal Practice Course

Further Information

Extracurricular interests and activities:

Theatre, travel and live music.