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Univar v Smith; first contested pensions rectification trial in over eight years


Judgment was recently handed down by the High Court in Univar v Smith & Ors. Michael Uberoi looks at what lessons can be learned for future pensions cases. Read his detailed case note here.

Judgment in the case of Univar v Smith & Ors [2020] EWHC 1596 (Ch) was handed down by the High Court on 19th June 2020.

Univar was the first contested application for the rectification of pension scheme documentation for over eight years, and was also the first judgment by the High Court to apply the Court of Appeal’s new, subjective test for rectification, as declared by Leggatt LJ in FSHC Group Holdings Ltd v GLAS [2019] EWCA Civ 1361.

The 15 day trial involved cross-examination of over a dozen trustee and company witnesses who were the relevant decision-makers for the scrutinised Deed, as well as actuarial expert evidence.

Case Note

In the attached case note, Michael Uberoi, who acted for the Representative Beneficiary in Univar (instructed by Burges Salmon LLP), discusses what lessons can be learned about the new test for rectification in light of Trower J’s approach to it in Univar, as well as the case’s handling of the alleged South West Trains contract, and its approach to construction.

Read the full case note here.


The Judgment can be found here.

Find Out More

Michael Uberoi practises in commercial and chancery litigation, with a particular focus upon pensions and financial services. Recent significant pensions cases include Univar UK v Smith & Ors [2020] EWHC 1596 (Ch)Safeway v Newton [2020] Pens L.R. 4, and Sheffield v Kier Group plc [2019] EWHC 986 (Ch).

Michael is recommended as a Leading Pensions Junior and a Leading Financial Services Junior by Legal 500.

To find out more about Michael, please contact his Practice Management Team: Matt Sale (+44 (0)20 7427 4910) or Peter Foad (+44 (0)20 7427 0807).

Barristers: Michael Uberoi
Categories: Pensions | News | Legal Blog & Publications | Pensions