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James’ pensions practice involves contentious and non-contentious matters relating to personal and occupational pension schemes (both defined benefit and defined contribution). In recent years, James had had particular experience of acting for the Pensions Regulator and in professional negligence.
Recent instructions include:
- Advising and acting (led by Mike Tennet QC) in a professional negligence claim against a firm of solicitors in respect of advice given to a trustee of a scheme in respect of pension benefits liable to statutory indexation.
- Advising and acting for the employer of a Guernsey defined benefit scheme in respect of claims brought against it by scheme members, raising issues of the Imperial duty of mutual trust and confidence owed in circumstances of a closure of the scheme to future accrual.
- The Pensions Regulator: James regularly acts both for TPR and for Targets in respect of regulatory action brought by the Regulator. The nature of such projects is often confidential,but James has significant experience of the Regulator’s powers to impose Financial Support Directions and under s. 231 of the Pensions Act 2004.
- Bloxwich Pension Scheme. James was instructed alongside Jonathan Hilliard QC to act for the defendant law firm facing professional negligence claims in relation to an alleged failure to equalise scheme benefits.
- The wide-ranging and substantial litigation concerning the BA pension schemes
James also has a wide advisory practice in relation to matters concerning pensions. Recent examples include advice in respect of:
- appeals from the pension ombudsman.
- The recovery of pension payments made by mistake.
- Whether benefits under a pension scheme form part of a bankruptcy estate.