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Emer Murphy

Call: 2009   

+44 (0)20 7306


Emer is ranked as a Leading Junior in the Pensions field by The Legal 500 2016, where she is described as ‘Feisty and clever – a rising star.’

Emer is an associate member of the Association of Pension Lawyers.

Emer has particular experience in the following areas:

  • Equalisation
  • Regulatory matters (including financial support directions)
  • Rectification and estoppel
  • Construction
  • Limitation of actions
  • Revaluation
  • Related professional negligence

Notable cases include the following:

British Airways Plc v Trustees of the Airways Pension Scheme (2017)

  • These proceedings concern the decision of the trustees of the Airways Pension Scheme to grant discretionary increases to pensions in payment, following the scheme’s switch from the Retail Prices Index to the Consumer Prices Index as the measure of pension increases.
  • Proceedings were commenced by BA as employer. The case centres around the supervision by the court of trustee decision-making.
  • Emer assisted Michael Tennet QC, Sebastian Allen and Michael Ashdown with a number of aspects of the case, including BA’s successful appeal from the refusal of the case management judge to permit expert evidence: see British Airways Plc v Spencer [2015] EWHC 2477, [2015] Pens. LR 519.

Swan Mill v Mercer (2016)

  • Acting as a junior to Michael Tennet QC, Emer represented the claimants (trustees of a pension scheme and the employers who pay for the scheme) in a high-value professional negligence claim against Mercers.
  • The rules of the scheme provided for a certain rate of increase to be applied to deferred pensions. Emer’s clients alleged that, negligently, Mercer administered the scheme on a different basis.
  • The case settled late 2016.

Trustees of the Dresser-Rand UK Limited Pension Scheme v Dresser Rand UK Limited [2014] EWHC 170 (Ch); [2014] Pens. L.R. 153

  • Acting as a junior to Robert Ham QC, Emer successfully represented Dresser Rand UK Limited in this Part 8 claim.
  • This case concerned at attempt in 1991 to equalise the normal retirement dates of men and women in the Dresser Rand Pension Plan.
  • The proceedings focused on the correct interpretation of the powers of amendment in the plan’s documentation.


  • Acting alongside Brian Green QC, Jonathan Hilliard QC and a number of junior members of Wilberforce, Emer advised a private equity fund which was a target of the Pensions Regulator’s ‘moral hazard’ powers.

Dutt v Paymaster (2013)

  • Acting on her own account, Emer represented Paymaster, the paying agent of NHS pensions, who was sued by a disgruntled pensioner who claimed part of his benefits had been wrongly paid over to his ex-wife.
  • The case raised issues of the scope of duty, abuse of process and occurrence of loss.
  • Emer successfully assisted Paymaster in having the claim struck out.

Independent Trustee Services Ltd v GP Noble Trustees Ltd (2012)

  • Emer represented Hassans law firm in Gibraltar in this litigation which arose out of the transfer of assets belonging to a number of underfunded UK pension schemes by their corporate trustee, GP Noble.
  • The case raised issues of civil fraud, breach of trust and professional liability.

Confidential: Various

  • Emer has acted in a number of multi-million-pound professional negligence actions against benefit consultants, on both the claimant and defendant side.
  • The actions relate to alleged negligence in the context of deferred revaluation rates, pension increases, equalisation, amendments removing Inland Revenue limits, and RPI vs CPI.