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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 2020 which describes him as “a great QC to have in a crisis, and is more than willing to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in.”