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James has extensive experience in the pensions field, building on his financial and policy experience before joining the Bar. His expertise covers both regulatory (moral hazard powers, scheme funding, trustee appointment) and non-regulatory aspects. He is recommended in both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 for his pensions work and is described as “a key name for regulatory actions”, who is “very responsive and technically brilliant”. He was featured as one of the 10 stars at the Bar (five years call and under) in the 2013 edition of Chambers & Partners.
Relevant experience includes:
- Acting for the Trustee in the MNRPF litigation in which Asplin J’s judgment stands as the leading decision on the duties of pension scheme trustees owed to employer.
- Acting for the administrators of Lehman Brothers entities in three different proceedings (Nortel & Lehman v TPR in the Supreme Court, Storm Funding in the High Court, FSD proceedings in the Upper Tribunal) arising out of the Regulator’s pursuit of an FSD in relation to the Lehman Pension Scheme.
- Acting for the Pensions Regulator in connection with its pursuit of an FSD in relation to the Box Clever scheme.
- Acting for a group of employers in PNPF v Taylor (the “Pilots” litigation).
- Advising on a number of matters relating to rectification, including acting for the trustees of the MNOPF in a successful rectification claim in December 2013.
- Acting for targets, Trustees and the Pensions Regulator in connection with a number of high profile moral hazard investigations other than those referred to above.
- Acting for the Pensions Regulator in relation to a number of matters relating to the Regulator’s scheme funding powers under S 231. Also advising trustees and employers on
the resolution of funding disputes.
- Acting for the Pensions Regulator in relation to matters concerned with trustee appointments (including one can where the appointment was challenged and the matter reviewed by the Upper Tribunal) and also sections 15-16 of the Pensions Act 2004.
- Advising on and acting in a number of professional negligence claims arising out of pension schemes (both occupational and personal), including in connection with failures to equalise and failures in connection with the execution of scheme documents.
- Acting for the Financial Conduct Authority, the Pensions Regulator and others in matters related to pensions liberation.
- Advising in connection with the PPF risk-based levy.
- Acting in connection with Pensions Ombudsman and PPF Ombudsman disputes.
- Acting in a number of cases concerning SIPPs, commonly where the documentation has not catered for events that have arisen, and regularly involving property-related issues (enabling James to build on the experience in the property sector in earlier years of his practice).