Overview

This cross-disciplinary model allows us make the most effective use of our pensions experience, while also being able to deploy the broader dispute resolution and case management skills of our commercial litigation team in a seamless way.

We handle all types of disputes concerning UK pension arrangements - from complaints before the Pensions Ombudsman through to litigation in the High Court and appellate courts. We also advise regularly on risk management, alternative dispute resolution and avoiding litigation.

We pride ourselves on addressing the issues raised in any pensions dispute in their overall context. The issues involved in litigation concerning occupational pension scheme cannot be separated from the other crucial aspects of the scheme itself including funding, investment decisions and relations with members/employees which need careful and sensitive handling.

Particularly against the backdrop of market volatility and increasing financial pressures on scheme sponsors and trustees alike, embarking on pensions litigation can rarely now be treated as a stand alone exercise for those involved. The impact of the issues in question may not only threaten the viability of the scheme but the sponsoring employers as well.

Our recent experience includes resolving issues concerning the interpretation of scheme rules, the scope and exercise of powers of amendment, trustees' duties in relation to the exercise of their powers, employers' duty of good faith and apportionment of deficit repair contributions in multi-employer schemes.

We represented the trustees in one of the leading cases on estoppel in the pensions context and have recently acted in what has been described by the press as "one of the most important cases ever for final salary schemes."

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Highlights

Experience

We are instructed on behalf of employers, trustees and member representatives, examples of which are the following reported cases:

Prudential Staff Pensions Limited v The Prudential Assurance Company Limited & Ors [2011]
Stena Line Limited v Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund Trustees Limited & Another [2010] / [2011]
AGCO Ltd v Massey Ferguson Works Pension Trust Ltd [2003]

Law Debenture Trust Plc v Lonrho Africa Trade & Finance Ltd [2003]

BEC Pension Trustee Ltd v Sheppeck [2002]

Marsh & McLennan Companies UK Ltd v Pensions Ombudsman and Anor [2001]

Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund Trustees Ltd v Chambers and Anor [2001]

Lansing Linde Ltd v Alber and Ors [2000]

Libby and Ors v Kennedy [1998] Merrett Holdings v Pensions Ombudsman and Anor [1999]

Buckley v Hudson Forge Limited and Others [1999]

Express Newspapers Pension Trustees Ltd v Express Newspapers Plc and Anor (1999)

South West Trains v Wightman [1998]

In addition, members of the team have been involved in numerous professional negligence claims involving actuaries, financial advisers, professional trustees and other industry participants, both in the pensions and the financial sectors.

Our insurance specialists have extensive knowledge of those financial products which have given rise to disputes affecting the pensions and financial sector, including split capital investment trusts, endowments and precipice bonds.





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