Andrew Spink QC
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Andrew Spink QC is a highly respected advocate with 30 years’ experience at the Bar, of which 14 years have been as a successful QC.
Andrew has a broad-based business law practice, specialising particularly in disputes relating to the interpretation or breach of most types of commercial contract and trust deed, claims for breach of fiduciary duty, freezing injunctions and asset recovery, CPR Part 8 claims as well as hostile CPR Part 7 claims for damages and other relief in the context of pensions and other commercial trusts, banking and financial services, and professional negligence claims. As well as appearing as an advocate, he is highly sought after for the provision of expert technical and strategic advice to clients both in relation to complex commercial civil disputes and in non-contentious situations (corporate mergers or takeovers, or in relation to the many issues arising in the administration of large occupational pension schemes, including dealing with the UK Pensions Regulator, advising on pensions issues in the area of corporate insolvency, or over issues of contractual interpretation in day-to-day commercial business life).
Andrew is also experienced in cases involving mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution, together with regulatory cases in front of the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator and the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber). This is a relatively new and fast-developing pensions jurisdiction where Andrew has been involved in several of the most significant recent cases. Andrew’s clients include individuals, partnerships, companies (including financial institutions), pension scheme trustees / employers / members, Government departments, and participants in multiparty group actions.
Andrew is ranked in the top tier (Band 1) for Pensions in Chambers & Partners, which also notes that “He is an extremely well-respected silk, winning glowing praise from market sources for his exceptional advocacy skills and client-focused approach”.
Over the years, Andrew has been variously described in the legal directories as “terrifyingly good in court”, “highly valued”, “seriously good”, “reliable, commercial and pragmatic” and “very personable and down to earth.” “[He is] Terrifyingly good and incisive” and “He has a very good client manner; he puts clients at ease and always seems in control.” The Legal 500 adds that he is “definitely someone you want on your side…he has extensive expertise and is a real pleasure to work with.”
Andrew is joint head of Outer Temple Chambers and Head of the Business Department.
Professional Negligence – Cases
Philips Pension Trustees Limited & Philips Electronics UK Limited v AON Hewitt & AllianceBernstein (2011 – ongoing)
Fiercely fought Part 7 claims for professional negligence (in the investment field) by the employer and trustees of a massive UK pension scheme against the scheme’s former investment strategy consultants and one of its fund managers, arising out of the scheme’s investment in 2007 of £2 billion of trust assets in credit default swaps and £500 million in US sub-prime mortgage backed assets, which caused the scheme massive losses during the Credit Crunch. The issues include the scope of the duty owed by the Defendants to the trustee/employer, the risks inherent in the financial products, and an important issue as to whether or not the investment consultant was an authorised person carrying on regulated activities for the purposes of FSMA 2000.
Legal professional negligence claim – pensions law – RAA (2014 – ongoing)
Andrew is advising the pensions team of a well-known law firm in relation to a claim brought by scheme trustees and the Pension Protection Fund for damages for alleged negligence in relation to the law firm’s advice in connection with a regulated apportionment agreement entered into by the trustees.
Actuarial professional negligence claim – failure to equalise (2012)
Andrew advised a major actuarial firm on a claim brought against it by trustees of a pension scheme arising out of an alleged failure to equalise benefits, which was successfully settled at a mediation. The claim raised issues relating to scope and breach of duty, construction of amendment powers, causation, quantum and limitation.
Legal professional negligence claim – pensions law – equalisation / failed amendment (2011 – 2013)
Andrew advised and represented at a mediation the pensions team of a well-known law firm in a claim against them for professional negligence alleged to have occurred in the context of benefit changes purportedly introduced into pension scheme rules but which fell foul of the scope of the power of amendment
Legal professional negligence claim – pensions law – pension increases / failed amendment (2011)
Andrew advised the trustees and principal employer of a final salary scheme in relation to a claim against the scheme’s former solicitors for negligence arising out of an alleged failure to comply with the power of amendment in the scheme rules when purporting to reduce the annual rate of increase on pensions in payment. The issue related to the correct actuarial basis for calculating the trustees’ or employer’s losses.
Actuarial negligence claim – failure to equalise (2011)
Andrew advised a pension scheme’s trustees and principal employer on a claim against the scheme’s former actuarial advisers for negligent advice relating to an allegedly failed equalisation of normal retirement ages. The issues included scope and breach of duty and limitation.
Philips v Hewitt (No. 1) (2006 – 2009)
Andrew advised the trustee and employers of the Philips Pension Plan in its successfully settled claim against Hewitt, based upon allegations of actuarial negligence.
Professional Negligence – Advisory Work
Andrew has wide experience of advising, on both sides, in relation to legal and actuarial negligence alleged to have occurred in the context of failed attempts to equalize normal retirement ages post-Barber, as well as in many other pensions-related contexts. As well as raising breach of duty, causation and (often complex) quantum questions, these cases almost invariably involve issues over limitation.
Appointments & Memberships
As of July 2017, Andrew is the new Chair of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR), having previously served as COMBAR’s Vice Chair as well as Chair of its International Committee, which is responsible for coordinating the Association’s activities in all non-UK jurisdictions.
Before that, Andrew was Chair of COMBAR’s North American Committee and organised the annual North American Meetings for 2012 and 2013.
Internationally, Andrew is a registered advocate at the Dubai International Financial Centre.
In the UK, he sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in both the Chancery and Queen’s Bench Divisions and has been a Civil Recorder since 2005. He was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge in the QBD in 2008 and the Chancery Division in 2011.
Andrew was elected as a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 2010.
He is joint head of Outer Temple Chambers and Head of the Business Department.
Andrew has been a Civil Recorder since 2005 and was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge in the QBD in 2008 and in the Chancery Division in 2011. He was elected as a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 2010.
Areas of Law
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Commercial & Chancery
- Disciplinary & Regulatory
- Financial Services
- Pensions & Trusts
- Professional Negligence
“He is an extremely practical and commercial QC who puts clients at ease.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2018
“He is technically excellent and driven by the client’s goals.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2018
“Masters very technical briefs quickly.” Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2017
“A powerful advocate, who has the ear of the court and can be relied on in an emergency.” Pensions, Legal 500 2017
“Any opinion of his carries weight with the other side.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2017
“He takes everything into account, thinks outside the box and thinks commercially.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2017
“A leader in the field.” Pensions, Legal 500 2016
“He has a very measured type of approach and he is very thorough.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2016
“A superb thinker who processes all of the arguments and delivers first-rate analysis.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2016
“An excellent barrister who comes up with well-considered, persuasive answers. A good man to use in practice and not just academically. He has the ability to convey incredibly difficult matters clearly, and is terrifyingly good. He is tactically brilliant and is an exceptionally good all-rounder.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2015
“Great with clients and as an advocate.” Pensions, Legal 500 2015
“Terrifyingly good and incisive.” “He has a very good client manner; he puts clients at ease and always seems in control.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2014
“He has brilliant commercial instincts and extraordinary attention to detail.” Pensions, Legal 500 2014
“Extremely easy to work with, responsive, hard-working and a lawyer who understands the issues clients face.” Noted for having “one of the best attitudes to client service at the Bar”, he received glowing praise from instructing solicitors across the country, who were taken with his “commercial and robust” advice. Pensions, Chambers & Partners, 2013
Andrew Spink QC is “terrifyingly good in court.” Pensions, Legal 500 2013
Andrew Spink QC has demonstrated that “he can mix it with the best, and do so with an easy, commercial manner.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2012
Andrew Spink QC demonstrates “great leadership and tactical nous.” Pensions, Legal 500 2012
“Highly regarded as someone who is “not only strong technically, but is also very hands-on and practical.” Especially good when in court, “he has an impressive portfolio of cases.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2011
“Definitely someone you want on your side”, “he has extensive expertise and is a real pleasure to work with.” Pensions, Legal 500 2011