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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 appointments) and non-regulatory aspects, including construction, rectification and blessing claims, as well as professional liability actions. He is recommended in both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 for his pensions work and is described as “respected for his acumen and raw intelligence, particularly in actuarial or financial matters.“ “His ability to distil vastly complex fact patterns into practical advice is extremely impressive.” 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 Pensions Regulator before the Determinations Panel, Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal in connection with its pursuit of an FSD in relation to the Box Clever scheme.
  • Acting for the Pensions Regulator in connection with the BHS Scheme, including in the Upper Tribunal in its action against Mr Dominic Chappell.
  • 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 Trustee in the MNRPF litigation [2015] EWHC 448 (Ch).
  • Acting for a group of employers in PNPF v Taylor (the “Pilots” litigation).
  • Advising on a number of matters relating to the construction of pension scheme rules and 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 in addition to 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 the employer-related investment regime.
  • Advising in relation to DB Superfunds.
  • 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).