Robert West

Senior Counsel
Baker & McKenzie LLP


Robert West is ranked as a leading pension lawyer in Chambers UK and Legal 500. He has been voted the UK’s top all-round pension lawyer in Pensions World’s poll. He previously served as Non-Executive Director of the government-sponsored Pensions Advisory Service and as Chairman of the Association of Pension Lawyers. Robert has over 35 years of experience practising in the area of pensions law and has advised the government on matters related to new pension legislation. He is a current member of the Consulting Editorial Board of LexisPSL Pensions.

Practice Focus

Robert advises both companies and trustees on all aspects of pensions law. His advice covers pension plan deficits, plan restructuring, planning for the valuation process and statutory debts — including reducing liabilities through insurance arrangements and liability management. He has extensive experience of advising multi-employer and industry-wide plans.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Acted for the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund, an industry-wide, multi-employer pension fund, in securing over GBP 1 billion of liabilities with an insurer and in pursuing steps to recover deficit contributions from participating employers.
  • Advises major employers in connection with the restructuring of their benefit pension plans and on merger of defined benefit plans.
  • Advised the employer in its successful application to the European Court of Justice in the sex equalization case of Neath v. Hugh Steeper.
  • Advised on litigation arising from the payment of surplus assets to the UK government on the privatization of national bus companies.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Association of Pension Lawyers - former chairman
  • Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association
  • International Employee Benefits Association - former secretary


  • England & Wales~United Kingdom (1978)


  • Cambridge University (Clare College) (B.A.) (1974)
  • College of Law (S.F.E.) (1975)
  • Cambridge University (Clare College) (M.A.) (1977)


  • English