Pension Litigation

For Trustees Seeking Advice

Straightforward pension advice with innovative fixed fees structures

Pension Disputes

  • Hourly Rate nil
  • Fixed Fee Average £1200
  • Preliminary Advice Report £195

Our clients:

  • employers • trustees (including independent trustees appointed in insolvency situations and pensioneer trustees) • actuaries and other pension advisers (including independent financial advisers) • members and other beneficiaries • investment advisers and fund managers • insolvency Practitioners • accountants.

Lawyer and Client:

  • Quite apart from conducting a full fact find and taking instructions from a new client a lawyer must agree with his client the scope of the lawyer’s responsibility in providing advice .
  • In some cases it may be appropriate for the lawyer’s maximum liability to a client ( should the lawyer get his advice wrong) to be capped.
  • The lawyer will issue a client care letter which will deal with all these issues and others including fees levels etc.
  • There are also money laundering regulations which must be complied with.

Pension Trusts

Superannuation Trust

Nearly all occupational pension schemes sponsored by employers are set up under a trust. Also, many personal pension schemes are established in the same way. So what is a trust? In simple terms a trustee is a person who holds money and/or property for someone else ( “the beneficiary”) and has to deal with the money as instructed to do so by rules contained in a document called a trust deed. A trust therefore is the entity created by the terms of the trust deed linked to the money and/or property given to the trustee by the person wanting to benefit the beneficiary ( “the settlor”). This basic definition of a trust has to be refined for a pension scheme because very often it is the case that the beneficiary/scheme member is putting money into the scheme for his own benefit. Also, there is judicial recognition that even when money is paid into a pension scheme by employers in respect of its employees that this is not a gift ( which is normally the case when most settlors make such payments e.g. payments into a family trust) . Contributions to a pension scheme by an employer are regarded effectively as deferred remuneration under the employees’ contracts of service. Members of pension schemes are often also trustees. The normal law of trusts would prevent such a trustee/member being able to draw benefits from the scheme because of a rule of trusts which provides that trustees should not profit or benefit from the trust they are a trustee of. However , there are special rules for pension fund trustees which provide relief from this strict rule. However, such a trustee must still act in the best interests of all the members and not seek to “feather his own nest “ in disregard of the interests of scheme membership as a whole.

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