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Pensions Dispute Resolution

Linklaters' Pensions team has a market leading Pensions Dispute Resolution practice

Our Pensions Dispute Resolution team deals with many different types of issues for our clients, most of which never become publicly known. We are expert at resolving and avoiding disputes. We always take the most proactive and constructive approach, avoiding going to Court if we can. However, we are always ready to fight our client’s corner.

We have been at the cutting edge of pensions cases for over 35 years starting with Courage - one of the first ever pensions cases.

Types of issues we typically advise on:
  • construction questions where there is ambiguity in pension scheme documents
  • rectification issues where errors have been identified in Scheme Rules
  • “moral hazard” investigations by the Pensions Regulator
  • member complaints before the Ombudsman and courts
  • contractual disputes between trustees and third party service providers
  • professional negligence claims
We are known for:
  • being a commercial, pro-active and solution driven firm - we come up with solutions to avoid ending up in Court where possible
  • having a market leading, full-time specialist pensions disputes resolution partner with extensive experience, dedicated to this area, who heads up the practice
  • we help our clients with early and effective risk management
  • we provide an all-round, in depth service, seeing problems from all angles, within our mainstream Pensions group

Litigation experience highlights


For the trustees of the scheme in a complex case which we settled concerning the scope of amendment powers in the scheme and ill-heath early retirement benefits with implications for other schemes. The Court approved the settlement in February 2022.

British Airways

For British Airways PLC in its ground-breaking claim against the Trustees of the Airways Pension Scheme over their decision to implement discretionary pension increases above the increases provided by statute, in a scheme with a substantial deficit. We won the case before the Court of Appeal and it was then settled with approval from the Court.



For BBC on their forthcoming case to be heard before the Court of Appeal concerning the meaning of ‘interests’ in the Scheme amendment power.

BNP Paribas

For the trustee and sponsoring employer in a rectification claim relating to an error in the Scheme Rules from the 1990s.

The Pensions Trust

For Verity Trustee Limited in proceedings related to questions arising from an extensive benefit review exercise which is due to go to trial in February 2025.

Regulatory action experience highlights

BHS pension schemes

For Taveta companies in the well-publicised regulatory proceedings brought by the Pensions Regulator against Sir Philip Green and certain group companies by way of financial support directions and a contribution notice in relation to the BHS Pension Schemes. The case was settled.

Box Clever Pension Scheme

For ITV plc on its long-running ‘moral hazard’ case brought by the Pensions Regulator in relation to the Box Clever Pension Scheme.

Coats Group

Acting for trustees in relation to the settlement of the Regulator’s moral hazard case against Coats Group plc in relation to the Coats, Staveley and Brunel schemes

Lehman pension scheme

For the administrators of Lehman companies in regulatory proceedings brought by the Pensions Regulator for a financial support direction which proceeded to the Upper Tribunal. We successfully defended the case before the Supreme Court over whether the claim was an expense in the administrations and the claim was thereafter settled.

Southern Water

For Southern Water in novel regulatory proceedings brought by the Pensions Regulator to exercise its scheme funding powers. The case was settled and is the subject of a s89 report by the Regulator.

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