London — Global law firm Mayer Brown successfully represented the trustees of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund (MNRPF) in the significant Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund Trustees Limited v Stena Line Limited & Others case at the High Court. The judgment followed a month-long trial.

The judgment, handed down today, concerns the proposed introduction of a new deficit contribution regime to address a substantial funding deficit in the MNRPF, an industry-wide pension scheme for ratings in the British merchant navy. The court approved the new regime put forward by trustees of the MNRPF.

Mrs Justice Asplin's judgment says: "I am happy to approve the proposed exercise of the power of amendment in the form which has been put before the Court and which has become known as the New Regime... It seems to me that the Trustee dealt with this matter in a meticulous manner and sought all relevant and proper advice upon which it quite properly relied."

This is not only an important decision for the MNRPF, but the judgment also includes a comprehensive analysis of the legal principles concerning the exercise of trustees' duties and clarifies important points of technical pensions law.

The Mayer Brown team advised the trustee of the MNRPF on the legal issues relating to the development of the new regime and then acted for the trustee in the High Court proceedings.

The team was led by Head of Pensions, Philippa James, and Litigation & Dispute Resolution partner and co-head of the Pensions Litigation team, Stuart Pickford and included Pensions partner Andrew Block, senior associate Giles Bywater and Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyer (Australia) David Smith.

The Counsel team instructed by Mayer Brown comprised Michael Tennet QC, Edward Sawyer and James Walmsley, all of Wilberforce Chambers.