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Chambers of Michael Furness QC

Work 020 7306 0102
Fax 020 7306 0095

Paul Newman QC

Work 020 7306 0102
Wilberforce Chambers (Chambers of Michael Furness QC)


Barrister who has a litigation and advisory practice concentrating on financial and private client disputes, most notably pensions, financial services and trusts. A substantial proportion of his practice also involves advising on and acting in liability and negligence disputes involving professionals. As well as representing some of the highest profile pension schemes in the UK and several major life insurers, He acts regularly for The Pensions Regulator. He has been heavily involved in advising on, and appearing in cases relating to, various provisions of the Pensions Act 2004, and also has extensive experience of advising and litigating on various public sector and industry-wide pension schemes. He has advised the Royal Bank of Scotland in connection with its successful recovery of pension benefits from Sir Fred Goodwin. He has also advised the Department of Work and Pensions on the age discrimination regulations, and has recently advised the senior UK judiciary on the effect of the reforms to public sector pensions on the judicial pension schemes. He regularly acts in contentious private and commercial trust disputes both in the UK and overseas, particularly Jersey and the Caribbean, involving disputes concerning the role of protectors, claims by beneficiaries and the role and duties of trustees.

Major recent reported cases include: Labrouche v Frey [2012] 1 WLR 3160 (appeal involving heavily-contested trust litigation); IBM United Kingdom Pensions Trust Limited v IBM United Kingdom Holdings Limited [2012] PLR 469 (rectification of pension scheme) Lehman Brothers v The Pensions Regulator [2013] 3 WLR 504 (Supreme Court decision on the priority of financial support directions in corporate insolvencies); ICM Computer Group Ltd v Stribley [2013] EWHC 2995 (insertion of mistakenly-omitted words in equalisation document by construction); Industry-Wide Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme Coordinator Ltd v IWCSS Ltd [2013] PLR 55 (rectification of drafting mistake in pensions legislation); IBM UK Holdings Ltd v Dalgeish [2014] PLR 335 (leading case on employer’s duty of good faith); Briggs v Gleeds (Head Office) & Ors [2014] 3 WLR 1469 (consequences of the invalidity of a number deeds seeking to amend a pension scheme); Ellis v Cabinet Office [2015] PLR 379 (meaning of “resignation” in the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme); Sterling Insurance Trustees Ltd v Sterling Insurance Group Ltd (unreported, 3 July 2015) (construction of a limitation on an amendment power); Re BCA Pension Plan [2016] 4 WLR 5 (application under s.48 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 for permission to administer several pension schemes); Dutton v FDR Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 200 (application of pension increase underpins); Granada Group Ltd v Law Debenture Pension Trust Corp Plc [2017] EWCA Civ 200 (whether a secured unfunded retirement benefits scheme required shareholder approval under s.320 of the Companies Act 1985). 


Called 1991; QC 2009.


Chancery Bar Association; Association of Pension Lawyers; Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists


Downing College, Cambridge (MA First Class Hons); Harvard Law School (LLM).

London Bar


Within: Pensions – Leading silks

Paul Newman QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is impressive in his rigorous analysis of the legislation.

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Professional negligence

Within: Professional negligence – Leading silks

Paul Newman QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is thoughtful in his responses and gives clients confidence.

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