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Simon Atkinson

Call: 2011   

+44 (0)20 7306


Simon’s pensions work encompasses contentious and non-contentious instructions relating to both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes.  Simon has advised upon and has acted in numerous pensions matters: from regulatory proceedings to ombudsman disputes, from claims for rectification of governing documentation to professional negligence actions.  Simon has acted for individual and institutional trustees, companies, members and representative beneficiaries; he has also acted for and against the Pensions Regulator.

Notable instructions include:

  • Appearing for the defendants in PS Independent Trustees Ltd v China Shipping (UK) Agency Co Ltd [2019] EWHC 1222 (Ch). This claim was for the payment of substantial debts under s. 75 of the Pensions Act 1995 and concerned the proper interpretation of regulations governing multi-employer defined benefit pension schemes and the circumstances in which there may be a deemed segregation of such a scheme upon the insolvency of one or more employers.
  • Appearing (with Paul Newman QC) for the employer in Dutton v FDR Ltd [2015] EWHC 2946 (Ch); [2017] EWCA Civ 200. This claim concerned how an underpin operated in relation to the rate of increases for pensions in payment under a pension scheme’s rules. The underpin arose as a result of a defective trust deed executed in 1991 which purported to change the rate at which pensions in payment were increased from 3% to 5% LPI.
  • Appearing (with Edward Sawyer) in Pollock v Reed [2016] Pens LR 129 on behalf of the trustees of an occupational pension scheme seeking court approval of a proposed bulk transfer of the scheme’s assets and liabilities without individual member consent to a new scheme. This case concerned whether a scheme actuary, when undertaking the statutory certification process, was required to take into account the security of members’ benefits under the respective schemes.
  • Acting (with Brian Green QC, Edward Sawyer, Sebastian Allen, James McCreath and Bobby Friedman) for target respondents in proceedings brought by the Pensions Regulator seeking to impose a Contribution Notice in relation to a defined benefit pension scheme following the purchase out of administration of the business and assets of the scheme’s employers.
  • Appearing for third-party defendant solicitors in a professional negligence claim brought by the trustees of a pension scheme against its actuarial advisers concerning the equalisation of normal retirement dates.
  • Appearing in Spencer v Fielder [2015] 1 WLR 2786 for the representative beneficiary. These were Beddoe proceedings relating to litigation between British Airways and the trustees of the Airways Pension Scheme concerning the decision of the trustees to grant discretionary benefit increases to members.
  • Acting (with Brian Green QC, Jonathan Hilliard QC, Emily McKechnie, Emer Murphy and Bobby Friedman) for target respondents in proceedings brought by the Pensions Regulator seeking to impose a Financial Support Direction in relation to three defined benefit pension schemes.
  • Acting (with Jonathan Hilliard QC) for the defendant actuarial advisers in a professional negligence claim concerning the equalisation of normal retirement dates.
  • Acting for a complainant in proceedings before the Pensions Ombudsman in respect of alleged maladministration by the trustees of a defined benefit pension scheme.
  • Acting for companies holding investments on behalf of an occupational pension scheme in circumstances where the replacement trustee of the scheme alleged that the investments, which had been made by the previous trustee, were or may have been improper.