Paul Williams

Paul Williams

Baker & McKenzie
Solicitor admitted in England & Wales


Paul is a UK-qualified director designate in the Employment & Compensation practice who specializes in pensions law in the UK and South Africa. He also has experience in advising on pensions law in other sub-Saharan African jurisdictions.

Practice Focus

Paul advises pension fund trustees, employers and financial services providers on issues arising in the pension fund context in the UK and South Africa. His practice involves:

  • day-to-day advisory work, drafting of plan rules and other pensions-related documentation and contract review
  • pensions-related project work, such as the transfer of pensioner liabilities to insurers
  • corporate transactions and reorganizations, including post-sale integration of benefit arrangements in multi-jurisdictional deals

Representative Legal Matters

  • Principal contact for GSK on the pensions and benefits aspects of its consumer healthcare joint venture with Pfizer and the subsequent demerger of its consumer healthcare business, now listed as Haleon, across approximately 100 jurisdictions.
  • Advising a UK benefit consultancy in relation to the establishment, and drafting the plan documentation, of a defined benefit master trust which is unique in its risk-pooling arrangements.
  • Advising a UK pension trustee on the acquisition of a bulk purchase annuity in respect of all pension liabilities.
  • Advising a South African-based pension fund on the transfer of pensioner liabilities to a long-term insurer, including the negotiation of the policy documentation.
  • Advising the board of a large South African pension fund as the fitness of one of its members to hold office and of how to manage the issue to minimise future legal or regulatory risk.
  • Assisting Hitachi on the pensions aspects of a substantial multi-jurisdictional joint venture with ABB.
  • Advising a legal consultant in the development of a capital-backed investment solution designed to allow UK defined benefit pension schemes to achieve buy-out funding with a substantially reduced risk of benefit reduction and without the employer having to make contributions beyond any entry contribution

Industry contribution and recognition

  • Current steering committee member of IPEBLA (the International Pensions and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association)
  • Received the Tony Thurnham Award from IPEBLA in recognition of the most outstanding article published in the IPEBLA journal in the years 2019-2022
  • Assisted the Pension Policy Institute with a research series into climate change and ESG investing
  • Former President of Pension Lawyers Association of South Africa and member of the Legal & Technical Committee of the Institute of Retirement Funds Africa

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Pension Lawyers Association of South Africa
  • Association of Pension Lawyers (UK)
  • International Pensions and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association (IPEBLA)


  • England & Wales~United Kingdom (1999)


  • University of Warwick (LLB) (1995)
  • University of Bordeaux (Certificat en Droit Français) (1994)