Dispute resolution

We advise trustees and employers on all categories of dispute from member complaints right through to appeal court litigation. For a number of clients we act alongside, or effectively as, their in-house disputes team.

Our “respected team of pension litigators” (Chambers UK 2020) acts for both claimants and respondents in all forms of pensions and investment litigation. This includes High Court trustee applications, contentious regulatory investigations and proceedings, investment-related claims involving pension schemes, professional negligence claims and mediations, and Pensions Ombudsman and Financial Ombudsman complaints.

We also provide advice on the governance issues relating to pension schemes’ participation in shareholder class actions both in the UK and abroad, including tailored protocols and guidance notes.

As the pensions landscape continues to change, so too do the risks and governance challenges. We are experienced in dealing with historic problems that are now being uncovered in mature pension schemes, such as equalisation and issues concerning use of a scheme’s power of amendment. Our work also extends to the developing areas of pensions and investment litigation such as pension fraud and shareholder claims.

We provide trustees, employers and pension scheme administration teams with practical training to help them effectively manage errors and member complaints.

Recent experience

  • Acting for the Halcrow Trustees, we brought a test case in exercising Trustees’ powers and propriety in a benefit restructuring situation
  • We acted for the trustees of the Coats Pension Scheme in relation to TPR’s ‘moral hazard’ powers. We also acted for the trustees of the Sea Containers scheme in proceedings when the first ever Financial Support Direction was issued, and have acted for parties and other stakeholders in relation to numerous other instances of intervention by TPR
  • We acted for Honda on a complex construction issue in the Court of Appeal
  • We acted for the EMI trustees in a funding dispute which was settled the week before a scheduling hearing before the Pensions Regulator Determinations Panel
  • We acted for a prominent employer in the Pilots’ National Pension Fund case, and more recently acted for trustees in enforcing a disputed employer debt which was settled on advantageous terms shortly before trial
  • We acted for the four representative beneficiaries in the well-known Prudential case in the High Court, which has become one of the leading authorities on the employer’s duty of good faith
  • We acted for the employer of the Citifinancial pension scheme and obtained Court-ordered rectification (by summary judgment) of historic mistakes in the scheme’s documentation and subsequently recovered the costs of doing so through a professional negligence claim that was settled at mediation
  • We advised the BBC and other clients in the group action against Henderson, an important case against the investment managers and administrators.