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Dawn Heath


Technical understanding is first class. Very responsive, talented and hard-working

Legal 500 2015

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About Dawn Heath

Dawn advises employers, trustees and financial institutions on all aspects of pensions law.

She has a particular focus on UK defined-benefit pension schemes and their associated challenges:

  • the application of the UK Pensions Regulator's powers to make third parties (including non-UK parties) liable for funding deficits;
  • liability management, including changing future service benefits, restricting pensionable pay, enhanced transfer value exercises, buy-in and buy-out;
  • pensions aspects of corporate and financing transactions (including in distress situations) where either the seller or purchaser group includes a UK defined benefit pension scheme, including transactions on an international basis; and
  • general legal and regulatory issues in operating a defined benefit pension scheme and pensions disputes.

Dawn is involved in industry forums seeking to shape the future of pensions law, including being a member of the legislative and parliamentary committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers. She previously served on the investment committee from 2010 to 2012.

She speaks and writes regularly on a range of pensions issues, including issues arising from the Olympic Airlines case in Professional Pensions (2015).

She is a contributor to Freshfields on Corporate Pensions Law (2012-2015 editions).

Recent work

  • Advising Monarch Airlines (2014), De Vere (2014) and Kodak (2013) on the pensions aspects of their complex restructurings, including reaching agreement with the pension scheme trustees and obtaining UK Pension Regulator and Pension Protection Fund consent.
  • Advising John Laing (2014-2015) on the pensions aspects of its IPO, putting in place new funding and security arrangements for the John Laing pension fund.
  • Advising the trustees of the Imerys UK pensions scheme on its closure to future accrual and related funding arrangements (2014-15).



  • Nottingham Trent University, UK (diploma in legal practice)
  • University of Nottingham, UK (bachelor of law)