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Nicolas Stallworthy QC

Nicolas Stallworthy QC

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Year of Call:

1993

Silk:

2011


Nicolas Stallworthy QC’s practice involves the interaction of commercial trusts, contract law, insolvency and professional negligence at very high levels of complexity and value.

He undertakes cases concerning the interpretation of trusts, contracts, financial instruments & legislation; and the application of trust principles in the broader commercial context. His professional negligence practice focusses on solicitors, insurance companies, benefits consultants, professional trustees, actuaries & investment advisers.

He also has extensive experience of regulatory cases under the pensions regulatory regime.  His work is conducted in the Chancery Division (including the Companies Court), the Tax & Chancery Chamber of the Upper Tribunal and appellate courts.

Nick’s expertise is acknowledged by the legal directories. He is top-ranked by both Chambers & Partners UK (2016) and Legal 500 (2016) for Pensions. Chambers & Partners UK (2016) and Chambers & Partners Global (2016) also rank him for UK Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery, and the Legal 500 (2016) ranks him for Professional Negligence.

Nick is called to the Bar of Northern Ireland (2010) and registered at the DIFC (2013).

Pensions & Trusts

Nick is one of the most highly regarded practitioners at the pensions bar, with specialist knowledge of almost all issues affecting pensions schemes. His cases have concerned the interpretation of trust deeds & rules and legislation (including e.g. indexation issues), the scope and exercise of powers (in particular, amendment powers and the formal validity of amending instruments), the application of equitable doctrines in the pensions context, rectification, the employer debt and scheme funding legislation, the powers of the Pensions Regulator (in particular its financial support direction and contribution notice powers), pensions and insolvency, European law’s impact on pension schemes (in particular in connection with ‘equalisation’) and pensions-related professional negligence claims (concerning solicitors, insurance companies, benefits consultants, professional trustees, actuaries & investment advisers).

Nick is top-ranked as a pensions expert by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.

Nick’s wider trusts practice covers other commercial trusts and financial instruments; in particular their interpretation (including applications under section 48 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985); rectification; applications to set aside transactions (on grounds of equitable mistake, the principle in Re: Hastings-Bass, collateral and improper purposes and/or conflicts of interest/duties); and proceedings to challenge or confirm the formal validity of the exercise of powers.

Nick is ranked by Chambers & Partners UK (2016) and Chambers & Partners Global (2016) for UK Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery.

Cases

IBM v Dalgleish – The ‘Project Waltz’ proceedings – ongoing in the Court of Appeal;

The Pensions Regulator v ITV & Granada – Re: Box Clever Pension Scheme;

Re: the Barnardo’s Pension Scheme;

Re: the Wandel & Goltermann Pension Scheme;

Re: the Docklands Light Railway;

The Lehman Litigation – Re Storm Funding Ltd and Re: Nortel & Re: Lehman Brothers Pension Scheme;

IBM v Metcalfe – the rectification proceedings;

Industry-Wide Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme Co-ordinator v Industry-Wide Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme Trustees;

Bridge Trustees v Yates;

PNPF v Taylor;

HR Trustees v German – Re IMG Pension Plan;

Kennedy v Kennedy;

Smithson v Hamilton.

Professional Negligence

Nick has substantial expertise in professional negligence cases concerning solicitors, insurance companies, benefits consultants, professional trustees, actuaries, investment advisers and insurance companies, particularly in connection with pension schemes or trusts.

He has acted in some of the most well-known pensions professional negligence cases, including:

Capital Cranfield  Trustees Ltd v Pinsent Curtis;

Harland & Wolff Pension Trustees Ltd v Aon Consulting Financial Services Ltd.

However, most of the time Nick manages to keep his clients, particularly his defendant clients, out of court: e.g. operating successfully behind the scenes in claims related to cases such as:

Misys v Misys Retirement Benefits Trustees;

Kennedy v Kennedy; and

Archer v Travis Perkins plc.

He has sued or defended nearly 20% of the firms listed by Chambers & Partners for pensions expertise.

Nick’s expertise is acknowledged as by all the main legal directories, including Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, with Legal 500 (2016) ranking Nick for Professional Negligence, and Chambers & Partners UK (2016) and Chambers & Partners Global (2016) ranking Nick for UK Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery.

Cases

Capital Cranfield  Trustees Ltd v Pinsent Curtis;

Harland & Wolff Pension Trustees Ltd v Aon Consulting Financial Services Ltd.

Commercial & Chancery

Nick’s Commercial & Chancery dispute resolution practice includes: the interpretation of debentures (e.g. the Box Clever litigation), sale and purchase agreements (e.g. warranties and expert determination clauses), commercial trust instruments and legislation (e.g. the Lehman litigation); challenges to the exercise of contractual discretions (e.g. IBM) and expert determinations; rectification; the application of trust principles in commercial contexts; restitution; insolvency, such as the principle against ‘double dipping’ (e.g. Re: Storm Funding); regulatory investigations (e.g. Duke Street Capital, Re: Focus & Do-It-All) and professional negligence claims.

Chambers & Partners UK (2016) and Chambers & Partners Global (2016) ranks Nick for UK Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery; and the Legal 500 (2016) ranks him for Professional Negligence.

Cases:

IBM v Dalgleish – the ‘Project Waltz’ proceedings – ongoing in the Court of Appeal;

The Pensions Regulator v ITV & Granada – Re: Box Clever Pension Scheme;

Re: the Docklands Light Railway;

The Lehman litigation – Re Storm Funding Ltd and Re: Nortel & Re: Lehman Brothers Pension Scheme;

IBM v Metcalfe – the rectification proceedings;

Industry-Wide Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme Co-ordinator v Industry-Wide Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme Trustees.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Association of Pension Lawyers
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association

Areas of Law


Recommendations


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Testimonials


“He is highly analytical, very commercially aware and presents very well to clients in conference.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2018

“He is a force to be reckoned with and has a very practical approach.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2018

“Very good on the detail and a fine strategist. He is a confident advocate, who is always very well prepared.” Chancery, Chambers & Partners 2018

“An accomplished advocate who makes his points very well and convincingly.” Chancery, Chambers & Partners 2018

“His encyclopaedic knowledge and innovative approach set him apart from competition.” Pensions, Legal 500 2017

“Very able.” Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2017

“He is a very creative lawyer who is quite dogged and an intimidating opponent. He will think of every angle to a case.” Chancery, Chambers & Partners 2017

“If anyone can win you a slightly unwinnable argument, he is your man.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2017

“He has a first-class mind and he masters the evidence to a very impressive degree.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2017

“A formidable operator.” Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2016

“A leading silk, who knows every case inside out and is not afraid to nail his colours to the mast.” Pensions, Legal 500 2016

“Commands considerable respect for his commercial chancery practice and is renowned for his pension scheme expertise.”Commercial, Chambers & Partners Global 2016

“A highly sought-after pensions silk recognised for his abilities in complex cases that require sophisticated analysis and a high level of commerciality”. Commercial, Chambers & Partners 2016

“A leading silk, who knows every case inside out and is not afraid to nail his colours to the mast .” Pensions, Legal 500 2016

“Never gives anything other than the full detail and devotion to his cases.” Commercial, Chambers & Partners 2016

“He is extremely tenacious and hard-working and brings a real commercial approach to cases.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2016

“He is an exceptional intellect and great on his feet.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2016

“He is incredibly helpful and his advice is incredibly digestible for the clients. He is also very commercial and very good on his feet.” “Thorough and practical, he is the most deeply analytical thinker at the Pensions Bar.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2015

“He absolutely puts in the hours for his clients.” Commercial, Chambers & Partners 2015

“He is unafraid to take novel points.” Pensions, Legal 500 2015

“He has an incisive, brilliant mind and he is an excellent tactician to boot.” “Nicolas is extremely tenacious and hard-working, and brings a real commercial approach to cases.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2014

“His advocacy is very persuasive and you can tell that he enjoys making a case. He knows the law inside and out.” Commercial, Chambers & Partners 2014

“An encyclopaedic knowledge of pensions law.” Pensions, Legal 500 2014

“Nicolas Stallworthy QC, “who knows the area backwards” and is “right at the cutting edge of pensions work.” Stallworthy’s popularity has gone from strength to strength since taking silk, and he is now one of the hot tickets at the Pensions Bar. His fluency and “infectious enthusiasm” make him an effective advocate who is very much in demand. His name appears on most of the leading cases in the pensions arena and he is widely tipped to further improve his standing.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners, 2013

“Nicolas Stallworthy QC was the subject of a torrent of praise from interviewees, who say that “he thoroughly deserved to be made silk and will, no doubt, do very well.” They add that he is “meticulous and logical” in the advice he offers and someone who “demonstrates a client commitment which is second to none.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2012

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