Pensions dispute resolution

Empathetic to resolving pensions issues in the easiest way possible. Our team have immense experience in all pensions related disputes. We take cases from inception to completion managing Pensions Ombudsman, High Court and alternative dispute resolution cases. Our focus is our clients and their need for a proportionate approach in scale with the dispute.
  • Profile
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Our breadth of work covers simple Pensions Ombudsman matters to mediating out of court and advising on investment negligence claims. We focus on efficiency and finding a solution for our clients.

The team's work includes acting for trustees, employers and beneficiaries and are experienced in the following types of cases:

  • rectification and construction cases seeking clarification of the meaning of pension fund documents
  • pursuing professional negligence cases to a successful conclusion
  • defending clients who are pursued in professional negligence
  • matters in front of the Pensions Ombudsman
  • Financial Ombudsman Service
  • alternative dispute resolution ranging from facilitating a resolution of smaller and larger cases by means of mediation etc
  • small claims
  • providing mediation services to the pensions industry.

Our early risk management advice limits the potential for future disputes and where disputes do arise, we pursue, defend and settle disputes through mediation, the Pensions Ombudsman, the Financial Ombudsman Service or the courts.

Our clients range from pension scheme trustees and sponsoring employers to actuaries and scheme administrators. We have also advise a number of not-for-profit and charity clients.

Visit our pensions hub

"Stephenson Harwood has a very pragmatic approach to understanding client's needs and translating them into effective strategy."
The Legal 500 UK 2020

Trustees of the Barnardo Staff Pension Scheme, construction of RPI

Advised the trustees on a claim for construction of the definition of "Retail Prices Index" in the scheme rules (Miles Buckinghamshire and others v Barnardo's and others [2015]).

Board of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), dispute on compensation

Representing the PPF in an ongoing dispute, effectively seeking to challenge the scope of PPF compensation (Grenville Holden Hampshire v The Board of the Pension Protection Fund [2014]).

Sterling Insurance Trustees Limited, construction of amendment power

Acting for the trustee in proceedings to construe a restriction to the power of amendment affecting whether the final salary link remained (Sterling Insurance Trustees Limited v Sterling Insurance Group Limited [2015]).

Trustees of the TUI Travel Plc Pension Scheme, Ombudsman complaint

Advised the trustees on a member complaint about the disinvestment of a pension pot when transferring out during a wind up of the scheme.

Rectification of rules on increases to pensions in payment

We advise trustees on a claim proposed by the employer to rectify the scheme rules regarding increases to certain pensions in payment, remedying a drafting error.

Professional negligence: amendments for sex equalisation and pension increases

Acted for the employer in a claim against three former advisers asserting that amendments to the scheme's benefit structure for sex equalisation and pension increases were negligent.

Representative beneficiary of the Industry-Wide Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme (IWCSS)

Advising the representative beneficiary in a construction claim where the court refused to insert a provision in the rules correcting a drafting error. (IWCSS Co-ordinator Ltd v IWCSS Trustees Ltd [2012]).

Construction/rectification of rules: application of Limited Price Indexation to AVCs

We acted for trustees on the settlement of a construction/rectification claim relating to the provisions of the scheme's rules on the application of limited price indexation to AVCs.

Professional negligence: error in scheme's deed of amendment

We identified a drafting error in a deed of amendment substantially increasing the scheme's liabilities and then advised the principal employer on bringing a professional negligence claim for the error.

Failure to incorporate an early retirement pension

Advising trustees on professional negligence, rectification and construction claims arising from the failure of a former adviser to incorporate an early retirement pension for certain members in the scheme's rules.


Helena Berman Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2196
M:  Email Helena | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

23 Nov 2020

From Insights

GMP equalisation – clarification on requirements for past transfers out

The long-awaited conclusion to the guaranteed minimum pensions equalisation litigation, concerning the Lloyds Banking Group’s defined benefit scheme, was handed down o..


08 Oct 2020

From Insights

SPS Technologies v Moitt provides helpful clarification for future pensions rectification cases

Members of Stephenson Harwood’s pensions litigation team (part of the newly formed EPP practice) have advised the Representative Beneficiary in the latest summary judg..


17 Aug 2020

From Insights

Media coverage: Professional Pensions - What the new corporate insolvency law means for the pensions industry

The 248-page Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act provides additional options and protections for companies that would otherwise be facing insurmountable financial ..


23 Jan 2019

From Insights

A practical guide to GMP equalisation – the story so far

There are some key issues relating to guaranteed minimum pensions (GMP) equalisation that trustees should be aware of.


07 Nov 2018

From News

Stephenson Harwood secures Supreme Court clarification for trustees of Barnardo's staff pension scheme

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has advised the trustees of Barnardo's staff pension scheme on a long-running legal process, culminating in a Supreme Court decision.


20 Apr 2018

From Insights

Why the Burgess & others v Bic decision matters for pensions and wider trust law practitioners

Following the High Court ruling earlier this week, senior associate Naeem Noor shares his views on why the Burgess & others v Bic decision matters for pensions and wid..


14 Jul 2017

From Insights

Supreme Court strikes out same sex survivors' pensions discrimination

On Wednesday 12 July 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that an exemption in the Equality Act 2010, which had enabled pension schemes to limit certain same sex survivors' p..


01 Mar 2017

From News

Stephenson Harwood named 'Pensions Law Firm of the Year 2017'

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has been named 'Pensions Law Firm of the Year 2017' by the Pensions Age Awards.


12 Dec 2013

From Insights

Media coverage: Engaged Investor

Graham Wrightson is quoted in a guide to pensions and divorce.


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.