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James Ayliffe QC

Call: 1987    QC: 2008

+44 (0)20 7306

Financial Services

James has wide experience of financial services matters, including

  • FSMA perimeter, compliance and enforcement issues;
  • advice and ‘misselling’ claims;
  • investment mismanagement claims;
  • issues relating to collective investment schemes;
  • life assurance;
  • with profits;
  • pensions.

Some representative cases include:

  • advising FCA regarding issues arising in relation to crowd-funding;
  • acting for action group of investors in proceedings to recover £45 million of pension funds which were invested in a failed Caribbean beachfront resort;
  • acting for SIPP beneficiary in proceedings against trustee for recovery of misapplied funds;
  • acting for SIPP trustees and/or operators in several claims involving alleged breach of duties in relation to range of permitted investments;
  • advising financial services firm regarding authorisation requirements for SIPP trustees and managers;
  • advising regarding the proper interpretation and operation of FCA rules relating to collective investment schemes for investment in real property;
  • advising independent expert appointed in relation to the introduction by Royal London of a new form of with profits product (‘profit share accounts’);
  • advising trustees of employee benefit trusts regarding claims against investment advisers in relation to losses on failed Lehmans fund;
  • advising FCA regarding issues arising in relation to consumer debt management;
  • acting for Policyholder Advocate appointed to represent the interests of policyholders of Commercial Union and Norwich Union (both now part of Aviva) in relation to the reattribution of its £5bn inherited estate;
  • advising Channel Islands financial regulator regarding issues relating to trading of overseas firms through use of serviced offices and other facilities;
  • acting for Equitable Life in high-profile litigation regarding ’guaranteed annuity rates’ culminating with the House of Lords decision in Equitable Life v Hyman;
  • advising ‘nationalised’ bank regarding financial services issues arising from the impact of a collapse in its share price on staff incentive arrangements;
  • acting for SIPP managers on appeal against Pensions Ombudsman determination;
  • advising Pensions Regulator in relation to a ‘failure to agree’ between trustees and employer under Part 3 of Pensions Act 2004;
  • successfully representing the Pension Protection Fund in its first court case involving a winding up petition against an employer based on a contingent s. 75 debt;
  • advising trustees of large occupational pension scheme regarding assessment of employer’s ability to satisfy its potential s. 75 liability;
  • advising trustees of large occupational pension scheme regarding interpretation and effect of key provisions of the Investment Regulations;
  • acting for wealthy investor on multi-million pound claim in respect of losses arising from investment in capital redemption contracts;
  • advising ACD regarding exposure to claims from mismanagement of ICVCs;
  • acting for pension fund trustees on multi-million pound claim for mismanagement of core fund investment;
  • acting for investors seeking to recover investments following the collapse of the Bahamas-based Imperial Consolidated Alpha Plus Fund;
  • advising on claims arising from the misselling of split capital investment trusts;
  • advising major life office in relation to potential claims exceeding £300m regarding advice in respect of changes to pension arrangements;
  • acting for custodian trustee of Docklands property enterprise trust in a successful defence of claims by investors.

James is ranked for his financial services work in the Legal 500 2019 which describes him as “great with clients, strong strategically, and an excellent advocacy style”.