Contact details

Chris Edwards-Earl

T: +44 20 7809 2113 M: +44 7786 248 687 Email Chris | vCard Office: London

Awards

Pensions dispute resolution

Pensions dispute resolution

Chris Edwards-Earl Senior associate

Contact details

Chris Edwards-Earl

Chris Edwards-Earl
Senior associate

T: +44 20 7809 2113 M: +44 7786 248 687 Email Chris | vCard Office: London

Chris specialises in helping clients to resolve complex contentious issues concerning pension schemes, trust funds, and with their advisors.
  • Profile
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He has considerable experience acting for trustees and employers, parties acting in an interest-based or representative capacity, and for clients pursuing or defending high-value professional negligence actions.

Chris has advised clients extensively on a range of matters concerning: the funding of pension schemes; the Pension Regulator's moral hazard regime; the construction and rectification of trust documents; pension claims in insolvency; cross-border disputes arising out of trusts; and, breach of contract and professional negligence claims.

He is experienced in submissions to the High Court and Court of Appeal dealing with the construction of pensions legislation and documentation, as well as working with clients to resolve their disputes through mediation.

Chris has particular experience working with clients who have a global presence and international concerns, particularly Canada and the US.

Chris is a qualified solicitor-advocate, having attained his Higher Rights of Audience. Chris was elected to the Education & Seminars Committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers in 2020.

"He is very strong in terms of presenting a case, establishing the extent of the risk exposure of his clients and how to deal with that." 

Chambers UK 2021

  • Private client, trusts and fiduciary services
  • Pensions advisory
  • Professional and management liability
  • Commercial litigation
  • Pensions dispute resolution

Part 8 claim concerning administration of trust instrument

Acting for trustees further to Part 8 proceedings to obtain clarity on the proper manner of winding-up a trust with an unclear governing instrument.

Cross-border claims for debts arising from a shareholder agreement and trust instrument

Acting for a client enforcing debt obligations internationally arising from a shareholder agreement and trust instrument.

Claims against previous trustees and improper disposal of trust assets

Pursuing claims against ex-trustees, seeking to recover trust assets and forfeit pensions payable to those trustees.

Rectification of trustee powers in a pension fund’s governing documents

Acting for a plan trustee (acting in a representative capacity) further to its claims for rectification of historic deeds purporting to grant the sponsor the power to change the rate by which pensions under that plan are increased and deferred pensions revalued.

Enforcement of s75 debts

Advising a trustee client with potential issues relating to the calculation, certification and enforcement of a section 75 debt.

Advising on cessation of accrual

Advising a trustee client on employer proposals for scheme reorganisation and cessation of accrual.

Scheme merger

Advising an international client with issues arising from merging two schemes and switching to CARE going forwards.

Various central asset reserves

Working with clients to put in place or restructure asset backed funding structures involving various types of underlying assets and revenue streams.

More: Pensions advisory

Claims against previous advisors for failures to prepare scheme documentation

Advising a trustee client with historic faults with its scheme documentation (such as various invalid executions, appointment/removal of trustees and drafting issues) and associated claims against historic advisors.

Claims against advisors and previous trustees

Acting for a professional trustee client on professional negligence claims against historic advisors and claims against previous trustees.

Defending various pensions consultants and legal advisors against professional negligence claims 

Advising actuarial and consultancy specialists further to alleged failures to prepare pension documentation (such as to properly reflect equalisation, address indexation, sever final salary link, and alleged failures to advise on execution formalities).

Rail procurement litigation concerning pension fund liabilities

Advising on a Part 7 expedited claim in the TCC (alongside Judicial Review) of the Secretary of State’s decision to disqualify bidders for rail franchises due to bids not complying with the DfT’s proposed risk sharing for pension liabilities.

Cross-border claims for debts arising from a shareholder agreement and trust instrument

Acting for a client enforcing debt obligations internationally arising from a shareholder agreement and trust instrument.

Nortel (Nortel Networks, Inc. et al, 09-10138 (KG) & Nortel Networks Corporation (Re), 2015 ONSC 2987; Re Nortel Networks Corporation et al, 2014 ONSC 6973).

Acting for the trustee of the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan & the Board of the PPF, further to insolvency proceedings regarding the allocation of the proceeds of the insolvent group's worldwide asset sales.

More: Commercial litigation

Advising on a sequence of invalid governing documents of a pensions plan

Advising a trustee client with historic faults with its scheme documentation (such as various invalid executions, appointment/removal of trustees and drafting issues) and associated claims against historic advisors.

Rectification of trustee powers in a pension fund’s governing documents

Acting for a plan trustee (acting in a representative capacity) further to its claims for rectification of historic deeds purporting to grant the sponsor the power to change the rate by which pensions under that plan are increased and deferred pensions revalued.

Disputes concerning inflation rates applicable for pension funds

Advising several trustee and employer clients further to proposals to change rates of pension increases and/or revaluation (and the disputes arising thereto).

Enforcement of s75 debts

Advising a trustee client with potential issues relating to the calculation, certification and enforcement of a section 75 debt.

Moral hazard and tPR investigations

Advising trustee and employer clients further to investigations by the Pension Regulator, exercises of moral hazard powers and disclosure obligations to tPR. 

Anthony Beaton v The Board of the Pension Protection Fund [2017] EWHC 2623 (Ch)

Acting for the Board of the PPF in an appeal from the PPF Ombudsman regarding the operation of compensation caps.

Thales UK Limited v Thales Pension Trustees Limited [2017] EWHC 666 (Ch)

Acting for the trustee of the Thales UK Pension Scheme in Part 8 proceedings to determine what rate of indexation should be applied in that plan.

Nortel (Nortel Networks, Inc. et al, 09-10138 (KG) & Nortel Networks Corporation (Re), 2015 ONSC 2987; Re Nortel Networks Corporation et al, 2014 ONSC 6973).

Acting for the trustee of the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan & the Board of the PPF, further to insolvency proceedings regarding the allocation of the proceeds of the insolvent group's worldwide asset sales.

More: Pensions dispute resolution

  • Funds and financial services
  • Professional services
  • Pensions

Cross-border claims for debts arising from a shareholder agreement and trust instrument

Acting for a client enforcing debt obligations internationally arising from a shareholder agreement and trust instrument.

Part 8 claim concerning administration of trust instrument

Acting for trustees further to Part 8 proceedings to obtain clarity on the proper manner of winding-up a trust with an unclear governing instrument.

Claims against previous trustees and improper disposal of trust assets

Pursuing claims against ex-trustees, seeking to recover trust assets and forfeit pensions payable to those trustees.

Rectification of trustee powers in a pension fund’s governing documents

Acting for a plan trustee (acting in a representative capacity) further to its claims for rectification of historic deeds purporting to grant the sponsor the power to change the rate by which pensions under that plan are increased and deferred pensions revalued.

Claims against previous advisors for failures to prepare scheme documentation

Advising a trustee client with historic faults with its scheme documentation (such as various invalid executions, appointment/removal of trustees and drafting issues) and associated claims against historic advisors.

Claims against advisors and previous trustees

Acting for a professional trustee client on professional negligence claims against historic advisors and claims against previous trustees.

Defending various pensions consultants and legal advisors against professional negligence claims

Advising actuarial and consultancy specialists further to alleged failures to prepare pension documentation (such as to properly reflect equalisation, address indexation, sever final salary link, and alleged failures to advise on execution formalities).

Advising on a sequence of invalid governing documents of a pensions plan

Advising a trustee client with historic faults with its scheme documentation (such as various invalid executions, appointment/removal of trustees and drafting issues) and associated claims against historic advisors.

Rectification of trustee powers in a pension fund’s governing documents

Acting for a plan trustee (acting in a representative capacity) further to its claims for rectification of historic deeds purporting to grant the sponsor the power to change the rate by which pensions under that plan are increased and deferred pensions revalued.

Disputes concerning inflation rates applicable for pension funds

Advising several trustee and employer clients further to proposals to change rates of pension increases and/or revaluation (and the disputes arising thereto).

Enforcement of s75 debts

Advising a trustee client with potential issues relating to the calculation, certification and enforcement of a section 75 debt.

Moral hazard and tPR investigations

Advising trustee and employer clients further to investigations by the Pension Regulator, exercises of moral hazard powers and disclosure obligations to tPR.

Anthony Beaton v The Board of the Pension Protection Fund [2017] EWHC 2623 (Ch)

Acting for the Board of the PPF in an appeal from the PPF Ombudsman regarding the operation of compensation caps.

Thales UK Limited v Thales Pension Trustees Limited [2017] EWHC 666 (Ch)

Acting for the trustee of the Thales UK Pension Scheme in Part 8 proceedings to determine what rate of indexation should be applied in that plan.

Rail procurement litigation concerning pension fund liabilities

Advising on a Part 7 expedited claim in the TCC (alongside Judicial Review) of the Secretary of State’s decision to disqualify bidders for rail franchises due to bids not complying with the DfT’s proposed risk sharing for pension liabilities.

Cross-border claims for debts arising from a shareholder agreement and trust instrument

Acting for a client enforcing debt obligations internationally arising from a shareholder agreement and trust instrument.

Nortel (Nortel Networks, Inc. et al, 09-10138 (KG) & Nortel Networks Corporation (Re), 2015 ONSC 2987; Re Nortel Networks Corporation et al, 2014 ONSC 6973).

Acting for the trustee of the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan & the Board of the PPF, further to insolvency proceedings regarding the allocation of the proceeds of the insolvent group's worldwide asset sales.

More: Pensions

Awards

Pensions dispute resolution

Pensions dispute resolution

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