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Durham Uni teams up with ex-Slaughter and May partner to launch first LLB ‘pensions law’ module

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Former magic circle lawyer Philip Bennett appointed visiting professor

durham university law
Philip Bennett

A former Slaughter and May partner is swapping London for Durham to teach what is believed to the country’s first undergrad course in pensions law. Pensions whiz Philip Bennett was unveiled as a visiting professor at Durham University Law School by head honcho Thom Brooks yesterday.

While at Slaughters, Bennett advised on some of the biggest pension scheme mergers and restructures in town and became a partner at the august outfit just seven years after qualifying. Relaxing into retirement, the Durham Uni alumnus has been giving expert evidence to the Work and Pensions committee of MPs and dashing off papers like Must an occupational pension scheme take into account ESG factors even if there is a risk of financial detriment to the pension fund? Well, obviously.

Back in Pensions Law 101, Bennett explains that “there are more than 40 million members of workplace pension schemes. Their pension rights under those schemes are often their most valuable asset, or their second most valuable asset after their house or flat. Those rights are protected by pensions law”.

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Unveiling his star signing, Brooks said:

“I am delighted to be welcoming such a distinguished practitioner of pensions law to join us as our first Visiting Professor of Pensions Law. Philip will be teaching what I believe to be the first undergraduate pensions law module in the UK, further enhancing the options available to our law undergraduates.”

Bennett’s appointment comes just months after Durham Law School launched a new Centre for Chinese Law and Policy in a bid to make its aspiring lawyers more “internationalised”. The interdisciplinary centre provides research-led teaching and is understood to be one of the largest of its kind in the UK, with over 60 members of staff and counting.

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