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James Ayliffe QC

Call: 1987    QC: 2008

+44 (0)20 7306


James has wide experience of pensions matters, with a particular focus on cases involving

  • negligence claims against pensions professionals;
  • claims in relation to pensions misselling; and
  • claims arising out of the misappropriation or mismanagement of pension assets.

Some representative cases include:

  • acting for SIPP managers resisting appeal against Pensions Ombudsman’s determination dismissing claim against them for breach of duty in relation to investment chosen by SIPP investor;
  • representing City solicitors facing complex claim by scheme trustees for damages for losses arising out of failure to equalise retirement ages;
  • advising the Pensions Regulator in relation to a ‘failure to agree’ between trustees and employer under Part 3 of Pensions Act 2004;
  • advising beneficiaries under SIPPs arrangements regarding claims against trustees and managers for mismanagement of trust investments;
  • successfully representing the Pension Protection Fund in its first court case involving pursuit of a winding up order against an employer based on a contingent S 75 debt;
  • advising the trustees of a large occupational pension scheme regarding issues relevant to assessment of employers’ ability to satisfy its potential s. 75 liability;
  • advising the trustees of a large occupational pension scheme regarding ‘employer related investments’;
  • acting for pension fund trustees on multi-million pound claim against a major life office for mismanagement of a core investment;
  • acting for City solicitors in defence of multi-million pound claim by pension fund trustees in respect of allegedly negligent advice/drafting of scheme documentation;
  • advising major life office in relation to potential claims exceeding £300m regarding negligent advice in respect of changes to pension arrangements;
  • acting on claim against benefit consultants arising out of re-structuring of pension scheme on sale of business.


He also has a particular expertise in relation to with profits (see further ‘Financial Services” tab under ‘Commercial’) which extends to pension arrangements.