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James McCreath

Call: 2009   

+44 (0)20 7306 0102jmccreath@wilberforce.co.uk

Pensions

James undertakes a range of pensions litigation and advisory work, where he is instructed on his own as sole counsel and as junior counsel as part of a larger team.  He has experience acting for employers, trustees, and members, and in cases across a range of areas in pensions law, including  regulatory matters.

His recent experience includes:

  • Acting (with Brian Green QC) for the corporate targets in the regulatory proceedings relating to the Carrington Wire Pension Scheme.
  • Assisting as part of the multi-jurisdictional team for the UK Pension Claimants and the PPF in the proceedings in Canada the US, and the UK in the US $7bn Nortel insolvency.
  • Acting and advising in various matters concerning S75 debts, including in multi-employer schemes (including as junior to Paul Newman QC and to Jonathan Hilliard QC), and in matters involving the proposed use of regulated agreements to seek to minimise any debts arising.
  • Acting (as junior to Paul Newman QC) for the employer in Briggs v Gleeds [2014] EWHC 1178 (Ch). The case raised a variety of important issues in pensions law, including whether a link to final salary is an ‘accrued’ benefit, whether estoppels binding the trustees can bind members, and when contracts with individual members can override contrary provisions in scheme rules. It also raised issues of wider importance, including whether documents which do not comply with statutory formalities can be made valid by estoppel, and whether representations of law can found estoppels.
  • Acting (as junior to Paul Newman QC) for the rep ben in rectification proceedings.
  • Successfully obtaining an order striking out a claim for over £3m brought by a former trustee for benefits he claimed were due to him under the scheme.
  • Acting (as junior to Michael Furness QC) for the defendants in a substantial professional negligence claim relating to an alleged failure validly to effect equalisation in four schemes.
  • Acting (as junior to Michael Tennet QC) for the employer and trustees in proposed rectification proceedings.
  • Acting in a multi-million pound proceedings for breach of trust and professional negligence brought against the former trustees and professional advisors of a scheme.
  • Advising employers, trustees, and the PPF on various questions of statutory construction or interpretation of schemes’ governing documentation.
  • Acting (as junior to Paul Newman QC) in proceedings for fraudulent breach of trust threatened against a former trustee.
  • Acting (as junior to Michael Tennet QC) for the trustees in Danks & Others v Qinetiq Holdings Ltd & Another, [2012] EWHC 570 (Ch) [2012] Pens LR 131, which considered whether a switch to CPI from RPI was prohibited by s.67 of the Pensions Act 1995.