DURHAM University law students are now offered the opportunity to gain work experience at leading law firms and chambers which specifically specialise in pensions law.

The Pensions Law module, introduced at Durham Law School at the start of this academic year, is believed to be the first undergraduate pensions law module in the UK.

It is taught by Durham University’s first Visiting Professor of Pensions Law, Philip Bennett.

The work placements have been made possible thanks to the support of Allen & Overy LLP, Arc Pensions Law LLP, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Macfarlanes LLP, Outer Temple Chambers, Sacker & Partners LLP and Travers Smith LLP.

Together they offer 11 one-week work placements to the first group of third year Durham Law School undergraduates to study the pensions law module. Its aim is to enhance the options available to Durham Law School undergraduates and enable those who choose this module to acquire knowledge of an important area of the law.

There are more than 40 million members of UK 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.

Professor Thom Brooks, Dean of Durham Law School, said: “I would like to thank all of these law firms and chambers for providing this wonderful opportunity to our students on the pensions law module to see how the pensions law they have been taught operates in practice.”

Prof Bennett said: “I would like to add my thanks to those of Professor Thom Brooks. The generosity of the support provided by all of the law firms and chambers for the pensions law module is a recognition of the importance of this area of the law and the need to help to encourage and support the development of future generations of pensions lawyers.”