Overview

Our dedicated team of pensions disputes lawyers has a leading national reputation. Clients describe us as 'one of the best contentious pensions teams on the market'. We regularly act for employers, trustees, members, pensions professionals and their insurers and industry bodies.  

We act in the largest and most complex pensions related professional negligence claims to come before the courts, and represent trustees, employers and members in cases which have developed and defined the law in this area.

We work with leading barristers’ chambers, actuaries, investment consultants and mediators. Internally, we have the combined knowledge of our disputes experts and Tier 1 rated non-contentious pensions team. These key relationships, combined with our own expertise, means we provide our clients with the most effective pensions dispute resolution service tailored to individual needs.

We take an innovative approach to pensions dispute resolution and aim to make court the last resort. Most of our cases are resolved out of court or at an early stage during litigation. Where litigation is necessary, we have the experience to manage large and/or complex cases. Our aim is to resolve pensions disputes as quickly as possible and with minimal cost.

Areas of focus

We regularly advise on the following issues:

  • Documentation problems: unclear drafting and errors, and validity of scheme documents
  • Investment: portfolio claims, investment management disputes, market value adjustment disputes
  • Administration errors and disputes with administration providers: GMP equalisation, tax issues
  • Member disputes: IDRP complaints, complaints to the Pensions and PPF Ombudsmen, and the FOS
  • Negligence claims acting for and against all advisers to pension schemes
  • Representing members, Beddoe proceedings and litigation funding
  • Regulatory disputes
  • Data protection and cybersecurity
  • Advice to FCA regulated financial services firms offering SIPPs and SSASs in relation to pensions and investment issues
Experience
Professional negligence: high-value multi-party disputes regarding errors in scheme documentation and administration, including:

Acting for Gleeds UK and the Trustees of the Gleeds Group Pension Scheme in a multi-million pound High Court claim against their former advisers. This claim was one of the largest professional negligence cases before the courts in England.

Advising the PPF-appointed Professional Trustee in a claim against a leading pensions consultancy and leading international law firm due to errors committed in the closure of a defined benefit scheme to future accrual, as well as in implementing other scheme changes.

Scheme documentation issues

Representing the Trustee of the Honda Pension Scheme in a claim in the High Court and Court of Appeal, and the compromise of that claim. Working alongside the scheme actuary and administrators to implement compromise benefits.

Advising the members in the landmark case of Univar v Smith, the first contested rectification in 8 years and the first to hear argument on the implications of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Four Seasons v GLAS trust.

Equalisation

Acting for the affected members of the Safeway Pension Scheme in a case which attracted industry-wide interest, and concerned the construction of the Scheme’s power of amendment and the interaction of EU law (Article 119) and domestic law. This was the largest equalisation case ever to come before the courts and raised important issues as to the interrelation of UK and EU law in the context of equalisation of retirement ages.

Administration errors

Advising multiple trustees on administration errors, benefit rectification and tax implications.

GMP equalisation

Advising trustees and employers on forfeiture, surrender, benefit rectification issues and tax implications in this context.

Judicial review

Representing two local authorities in the Local Government Pension Scheme as Interested Parties in judicial review proceedings concerning a contractor’s right to receive an 'exit credit' on exiting an LGPS pension fund.

Acting for the trustees of the Silentnight Pension Scheme in defending a judicial review claim that arose during the course of regulatory proceedings.

Meet the team
Justin Briggs

Justin Briggs Partner

  • Pensions Disputes
  • Trustees and Trust Companies
  • Professional Negligence
Suzanne-Padmore---132A6872

Suzanne Padmore Partner

  • Pensions Disputes
  • Private & Commercial Trust Disputes
  • Professional Negligence
Richard Pettit

Richard Pettit Partner

  • Pensions Regulatory
  • Pensions Services
  • Pensions in Northern Ireland
Clive Pugh

Clive Pugh Partner

  • Pensions Regulatory
  • Pensions Services
  • Pensions Legal Advice 
Amy Khodabandehloo

Amy Khodabandehloo Senior Associate

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Professional Negligence 
  • Commercial Contract Disputes

What others say...

'fields a team of strong tactical thinkers who step up to the plate every single time' 
Legal 500 2019

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