Kirsty Maclean is a partner in the London office and member of the Corporate & Financial Services Department. Kirsty advises insurance, reinsurance and other financial institution clients on a broad range of transactions and non-contentious matters. Kirsty has gained a reputation as a notable lawyer in the longevity and pension de-risking market, having advised European and US-based clients on many of the largest and highest-profile longevity transactions completed to date. Kirsty regularly advises on complex collateralised reinsurance transactions and has a particular focus on the interface between (re)insurance and the capital markets.

Kirsty is recognised by Chambers UK (2024) for Insurance: Non-Contentious, where clients have noted that “she is dedicated to providing an excellent service and is a leading subject matter expert in relation to longevity reinsurance.

She is also recognised as a “Next Generation Partner” by The Legal 500 UK (2024) for Insurance: Corporate and Regulatory. Clients have reported to The Legal 500 that she “has incredible industry knowledge which makes her an invaluable asset to anyone who works with her. She has a solution-focused approach to transactions which produces results that work for her clients long into the future”.


Kirsty has gained substantial experience working in-house in the insurance and reinsurance sectors. In particular, she advised Swiss Re’s life and health structured transactions business in Europe and Asia from January 2013 until she joined Willkie in December 2015.

Kirsty served as the governance secretary of the LLMA (Life and Longevity Markets Association), a not for profit organisation established to promote a liquid traded market in longevity and mortality related risk from February 2013 to November 2015. She is a co-author of a chapter dedicated to longevity securitisation within The Handbook of Insurance-Linked Securities published by Wiley in 2009.

Kirsty has advised on the following significant matters*:

  • Baloise Belgium NV in an approximately €900 million collateralized reinsurance transaction with RGA 
  • Prudential Financial on a significant number of longevity-only reinsurance transactions with bulk annuity insurers, including Scottish Widows, Legal & General, Phoenix Life Limited, Rothesay Life, Aviva and Pension Insurance Corporation
  • A global reinsurer on its entry into the UK longevity risk transfer market. Kirsty has provided advice in respect of the structuring, regulatory and compliance aspects of such reinsurer’s longevity reinsurance offering, including advising on its longevity-only reinsurance transactions with nearly all of the active bulk annuity insurers
  • Prudential Financial on a £6 billion longevity swap and reinsurance transaction for a UK pension scheme trustee which was intermediated by Zurich Assurance Ltd
  • Prudential Financial on a £3.4 billion transaction with the trustee of the MMC (Marsh & McLennan Companies) Pension Fund intermediated by a trustee-owned company on the “Mercer Marsh” captive platform
  • Developing transaction documents for a global reinsurer and supporting them in executing multiple funded reinsurance transactions with four bulk annuity insurers
  • NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative Limited on a collateralised longevity reinsurance transaction in respect of annuity policies issued in Singapore reinsured by Swiss Re Asia Limited
  • A European reinsurer on the amendment of a transaction with a UK bulk annuity insurer to include both pensioner and deferred members
  • Swiss Re on its reinsurance of Friends Life Limited (now part of the Aviva Group) with respect to its longevity insurance transaction with the Trustees of the Scottish & Newcastle Pension Plan
  • Swiss Re in relation to the longevity reinsurance of the Aviva Staff Pension Scheme, the pension fund of Aviva Life & Pensions UK Ltd
  • Swiss Re on a substantial international value-in-force reinsurance transaction
  • A global reinsurer on a transaction involving the retrocession of risk relating to adverse longevity developments on an existing book of business to a Guernsey PCC that was funded through capital lent by an investment bank
  • A European reinsurer on an innovative transaction involving the reinsurance of a portion of asset and longevity risk where market risk was separated from the longevity risk through the use of a special purpose vehicle in Bermuda
  • UK insurer on the implementation of an internal company restructure
  • North American insurer with respect to a major proposed acquisition
  • Pension Insurance Corporation on various longevity reinsurance transactions
  • Abbey Life Assurance Company Limited in relation to its longevity insurance transaction with the Trustees of the BMW UK Pension Scheme
  • The Trustees of the Pall UK Pension Scheme on the first index-based longevity derivative transaction
  • Investment Banks on the categorisation of certain financial products as either insurance or derivatives

* Kirsty advised on some of these matters prior to joining Willkie.



University of Pretoria, South Africa, AIPSA Diploma, 2004 University of Cape Town, South Africa, LLB, 2003 University of Cape Town, South Africa, B.A., 2001

Bar Admissions

England & Wales, 2009 South Africa, 2006