Justin McGilloway

Partner - Head of Pensions & Employee Benefits

Pensions & Employee Benefits

T: +44 (0)20 7395 3076


Justin advises a wide range of clients – employers (UK and international), trustees (including offshore), pension product providers and individuals – on all aspects of pensions law including the intricacies of pension scheme documentation, corporate transactions, Pension Regulator clearance, reorganising schemes and Pension Protection Fund negotiations, funding matters, closing schemes to future accrual and winding-up schemes. He also deals with pension scheme disputes with a particular interest in Pension Ombudsman complaints.

Justin also specialises in employee benefits work and regularly provides advice on the structuring, implementation, maintenance and vesting of management and employee incentive arrangements to both UK and overseas companies. For the last decade of so he has been involved in unwinding historic Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) arrangements and negotiating settlements with HMRC.

Recent Experience

  • Advising a number of distressed employers (including ‘not for profit’ organisations) on their defined benefit pension liabilities and how to manage a pension scheme separation exercise.
  • Acting for a major international online gaming company on the pension aspects of its first UK corporate acquisition including clearance from the Pensions Regulator and Pension Protection Fund negotiation.
  • Advising the trustee boards of several UK occupational pension schemes sponsored by a NYSE listed conglomerate on a major restructuring project.
  • Advising the trustee board of a UK occupational pension scheme sponsored by a major European airline on restructuring needed to achieve Pension Protection Fund coverage.
  • Acting for a private individual in a ground-breaking Pension Ombudsman case regarding significant pension overpayments over a number of years. Successfully arguing the clients right to retain the overpayments and recovering full costs from the respondent insurance company.
  • Advising start-up businesses across a number of sectors (Fintech, restaurants and pharmaceutical) on employee incentive arrangements including growth shares and enterprise management incentive schemes.

Career History

Justin joined Wedlake Bell in 2010 and became a partner in 2012. He trained with KLegal (KPMG’s law firm) and qualified in 2003 with McGrigors (now Pinsent Masons) specialising in all aspects of employee benefits including tax efficient bonus planning structures and share schemes including a secondment with KPMG’s employment tax group. He then spent four years at Hogan Lovells where he specialised in pensions law.

He is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers, The Employee Share Ownership Centre and the QCA’s Share Schemes Expert Group.


Justin is a regular contributor to the Pension and Employee Benefits team’s e-bulletins, speaks at seminars and has also written articles for Pensions World magazine, The Sunday Telegraph magazine, The Guardian and various pension industry journals.

""He is a very commercial pensions adviser while being technically very strong.""

— Chambers UK, 2018

"The ‘very commercial and approachable’ Justin McGilloway leads the practice, which is ‘more than capable when dealing with highly complex issues’."

— Legal 500, 2016

"Justin McGilloway heads Wedlake Bell LLP's pensions and employee benefits team and advises on the full spectrum of pensions law issues. Clients say: "He has his finger on the pulse of all issues and explains it in layman's terms.""

— Chambers UK, 2017

"The team is led by the ‘very responsive’ Justin McGilloway."

— Legal 500, 2017


Pension Ombudsman lays down the law to, ahem, “The Law”


Promises, promises… (of a pensions nature)


Q&A with Justin McGilloway, Head of Pensions & Employee Benefits


BHS – the “pensions” tail wagging the dog


BT set to “hang-up” on its DB pension scheme


Pensions Compass


Ombudsman gets tough on poor administration


Pensions Regulator cleans up Hoover’s pension mess


Pension Sharing on Divorce: ex-spouse fails to convince Pensions Ombudsman


Overseas Pension Transfers: The Pitfalls


BHS: Where are we now?


US Acquisitions in the UK – how to manage UK pension risks


Death Benefits: No duty on employer to tell member about less generous death benefits


Pensions and bankruptcy: a difference of opinion


Managing Pension Scheme Liabilities – the options