Pensions in London Bar
Consistently rated the 'pre-eminent set' for pensions and trust litigation, the barristers at Wilberforce Chambers are said to be: 'absolutely steeped in these technical areas'. Specifically, in Safeway v Newton, Brian Green QC and Sebastian Allen secured a reference to the EU's Court of Justice on the implications of domestic/EU law for trustee powers (this is the largest-ever equalisation case worth over £100m). In addition, Michael Tennet QC and Paul Newman QC tackled the complexities of modified ill-health benefits (regarding past pensionable service) in Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund Trustees Ltd v Stena Line Ltd and others. Moreover, the 'top tier' Michael Tennet QC recently addressed the appropriate exercise of discretionary powers in one of the sector's principal cases: British Airways plc v Airways Pension Scheme Trustees Ltd.
Outer Temple Chambers is consistently rated as 'one of the top' pensions teams. In particular, Nicolas Stallworthy QC, 'without doubt, one of the leading QCs in this field', recently represented the regulator in its successful defence against ITV and four subsidiaries. In addition, Andrew Spink QC, 'probably the best advocate at the pensions bar', acted for a group of Atos companies' RPI disputes, while Andrew Short QC and Keith Bryant QC took opposing sides in Britvic v Britvic Pensions Limited and Simon Mohun (a matter concerning statutory minimum increases). Richard Hitchcock QC has substantive experience in complex Part 8 claims and is described as 'a great strategic thinker'.
Radcliffe Chambers, summarised as an 'excellent set for pensions and advice', incorporates the talents of 'superstars' Keith Rowley QC and Elizabeth Ovey. Highlights include the retention of Airways Pension Scheme Trustees Ltd v Fielder and British Airways plc, a matter concerning discretionary increases above CPI (and supported by distinguished junior Henry Day), Lloyds Banking Group Pensions Trustees Ltd. v Lloyds Bank plc & Ors (an issue focused on the under-calculation of an outgoing member’s transfer payments) and representing the defendant in Mitchells & Butlers Pensions Ltd v Mitchells & Butlers Plc (a disputatious 'rectification of deeds' case). Wendy Mathers is seen as 'a real up-and-coming junior who will fight hard for clients'.