Jennifer Seaman’s practice in chancery and commercial litigation has an emphasis on pensions, trusts and probate disputes, civil fraud, professional negligence, property and insolvency.

Jennifer is appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel. Through this appointment, she has advised a number of government departments and agencies (including the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) on issues concerning trusts, trustee powers and pensions law.

She is recommended as a Leading Junior in the field of Pensions in Chambers & Partners and in the Legal 500.

Jennifer was instructed on two high-profile Supreme Court cases: Futter v HMRC [2013] UKSC 26 (trustee powers and mistaken dispositions) and Benedetti v Sawiris [2013] UKSC 50 (restitution and quantum meruit awards).

Expertise

Jennifer is an established junior in the field of pensions and is recommended in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for her pensions experience.

Her recent cases in this area have included wide-ranging issues such as the professional negligence of actuaries and solicitors; the construction and rectification of pension deeds and rules; the validity of deeds and estoppel; and the proper exercise of pension trustee powers. She has also acted for the Pensions Regulator, including in an oral hearing before the Determinations Panel in a Master Trust case.

Jennifer is a co-author of Tolley’s Pension Law chapter: “Dispute Resolution and Pension Scheme Litigation”.   Also, as an acknowledged expert on pensions, Jennifer regularly gives talks on pension related matters.

Notable Pensions cases


Univar UK Ltd v Smith & Ors [2020] EWHC 1596 (Ch)

Jennifer acted for the Representative Beneficiary in a rectification action brought by Univar for the Deed and Rules of its pension scheme. The Representative Beneficiary raised defences such as estoppel, binding contracts, the proper exercise of trustee powers and the members being third party purchasers. Instructed by Burges Salmon LLP.

SPS v Moitt [2020] EWHC 2421 (Ch)

Jennifer was instructed with Nicolas Stallworthy QC to act for the company, SPS, to bring Part 7 proceedings to serially rectify three deeds of a pension scheme. The matter proceeded to summary judgment. Instructed by Shakespeare Martineau.

Re Salvus Master Trust (Oct 2019)

Jennifer acted on behalf of The Pensions Regulator in an oral hearing before the Determinations Panel, on whether the Salvus Master Trust pension scheme should be authorised under the Pensions Schemes Act 2017.

Caribonum Pension Trustee Ltd v Pelikan Hardcopy Production AG [2019] 6 WLUK 362

Jennifer was instructed with Richard Hitchcock QC to act for Pelikan (a Swiss company) on the question of whether a pension trustee was entitled to summary judgment on a deed of guarantee given by Pelikan. The matter involved issues of construction and questions of Swiss law.

Cross-Border Merger Project (May 2018)

Jennifer was instructed by Eversheds Sutherland to act for the trustees of a pension scheme alongside Andrew Spink QC and Ceri Bryant QC in a matter involving the Companies (Cross-Border Mergers) Regulations 2007.

The Coats Pension Plan / Guinness Peat Group [2015]

Jennifer was instructed by The Pensions Regulator in investigations under the Pensions Act 2004 into matters connected with the Coats Pension Plan.

Re Butcher; Sharp v. Hutchins [2015] EWHC 1240 (Ch)

Jennifer acted for the successful claimant, Mr Sharp, in upholding a Will challenged on the grounds of want of knowledge and approval.

GE v. KE [2014] EWHC 1938 (Fam); [2014] Fam. Law 1113

Jennifer successfully appeared on behalf of the administrators of the deceased’s estate and his widow in a dispute as to whether the widow was legally married to the deceased at the date of his death.

Futter v. HMRC [2013] UKSC 26

Jennifer was instructed, with Robert Ham QC and Richard Wilson, to act as junior counsel for the Appellant trustees in their appeal to the Supreme Court, which concerned the existence and limits of the principle known as the rule in Re Hastings Bass. Instructed by Withers LLP.

Keith Maxwell Tamlin & Ors v. Holly Holbrook Samuel Edgar & Ors (Times, February 23, 2012)

Jennifer acted (as sole counsel) for the third defendant, a beneficiary under two related family trusts. The case concerned the claimant trustees’ application for the Court’s approval of advancements to wind-up the two trusts. Instructed by Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

Re Hampel Discretionary Trust 1999 [2012] EWHC 2395 (Ch)

Jennifer successfully appeared on behalf of the applicants to rectify an inter vivos trust deed, which did not represent the applicants’ intentions.

Hallett v. Hallett

In July 2012, Jennifer successfully appeared on behalf of the Claimant widow, who was awarded 50% of the deceased’s net estate under the 1975 Inheritance Act.

McCall v ITN & Baker

In 2012, Jennifer acted with Sarah Asplin QC on behalf of ITN in a claim concerning the construction of the ITN pension scheme. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP and Burness LLP.

Entrust Pension Ltd v (1) Prospect Hospice Ltd and (2) Yvonne Hunter [2012] EWHC 1666 (Ch) & [2012] EWHC 3640 (Ch)

Jennifer acted as a junior on behalf of the Second Defendant, a representative member of the ‘Flexiplan’ pension scheme, in a two stage trial regarding the level of benefits due to scheme members. Instructed by Eversheds LLP.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd v Applegate [2012] EWHC 3741 (Ch) & [2013] EWHC 2536 (Ch)

Jennifer acted on behalf of the trustees of the Konica Minolta pension scheme in proceedings commenced by the employer for rectification of the scheme rules.

Re Great Lakes (UK) Limited Pension Plan (2011); Chemtura Manufacturing UK Ltd

In 2011, Jennifer acted with Sarah Asplin QC on behalf of the Trustees of the Plan in response to a Warning Notice issued by The Pensions Regulator, in connection with an alleged shortfall. Instructed by Burges Salmon LLP.

Beddoe application

Jennifer acted as junior counsel on behalf of a professional trustee, in relation to a substantial application for Beddoe relief. The proceedings were heard in private in the Chancery Division by Lindsay J in May and June 2010. Instructed by Boodle Hatfield LLP.

Jennifer has been involved in a number of important Private Client cases.

Jennifer was in the landmark Supreme Court case of Futter v. HMRC (heard with Pitt v. Holt) [2013] UKSC 26, the leading case on trustee powers and the equitable jurisdiction to provide relief for a mistake.

She also acted for the successful claimant in the highly publicised probate claim of Sharp v. Hutchins [2015] EWHC 1240 (Ch).

Her experience in this area includes: the construction and rectification of trusts and wills; probate disputes; inheritance act claims; breaches of trust and the nature and exercise of trustee powers; trusts concerning property and issues under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996; and the removal and appointment of executors.

Jennifer is a full member of STEP, ACTAPS and ConTrA.

She is regularly asked to write articles in leading publications, such as Trusts & Trustees and Trusts Quarterly Review.  She often gives lectures on Private Client topics.

Jennifer’s practice includes Court of Protection matters in relation to property and financial affairs.

Her work in this area includes: deputyship applications; applications relating to Powers of Attorney, and directions regarding property and financial affairs.

Jennifer’s practice includes areas of general commercial and commercial chancery litigation, such as contractual disputes and commercial fraud.

Jennifer has a particular interest in cases involving restitution / unjust enrichment. She was in the landmark Supreme Court case of Benedetti v Sawiris [2013] UKSC 50, which concerned issues of restitution and the valuation of a quantum merit award.

Notable Commercial Chancery cases


Nortel Networks UK (in administration) & Other European Nortel Companies (2014)

Jennifer assisted Herbert Smith Freehills acting for the EMEA Claimants in relation to evidential matters in the global insolvency and sale of the Nortel group and related proceedings in the English, US and Canadian courts.

Benedetti v Sawiris [2013] UKSC 50

Jennifer was instructed, with Mark Howard QC and Andrew Twigger QC, to act as junior counsel for Mr Benedetti in his appeal to the Supreme Court, which concerned issues of restitution and the valuation of a quantum meruit award.

Trade Air Airline Support Ltd v Kingdom Holdings Company

In 2012, Jennifer acted on behalf of Kingdom Holding Company in a commercial dispute concerning the Kingdom’s private 747 aircraft. Instructed by Hogan Lovells LLP.

Arab Banking Corporation & ABC Islamic Bank v Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers (AHAB) (2011)

Jennifer was instructed as a junior with Andrew Twigger QC, to act on behalf of ABC and ABCIB banks to recover a sum in excess of US$100 million from AHAB, a partnership based in Saudi Arabia. The case was set to be one of the largest cases before the Commercial Court in 2011, but ended on the 4th day of trial after AHAB admitted contractual liability. Instructed by Herbert Smith LLP.

Drawing on Jennifer’s expertise in pensions, trust and probate claims and commercial litigation, Jennifer’s practice includes professional negligence litigation in these related fields. In particular, professional negligence claims against solicitors, accountants, auditors, actuaries and financial practitioners.

Notable Professional Negligence cases


Ballinger & Anor v Mercer Ltd & Anor [2014] EWHC 372 (Ch) & [2014] EWCA Civ 996

Jennifer was instructed as a junior to act on behalf of the Defendants who provided actuarial services to the pension scheme in a claim brought by the trustees. In the Court of Appeal, the Defendants successfully argued that Claimants should not have permission to amend their claim when there was, prima facie, a limitation defence.

Jennifer has experience of appearing in numerous Insolvency and Company law cases, including petitions and applications relating to bankruptcy and corporate insolvency, applications for administration and for the appointment of a liquidator, shareholder and director disputes, unfair prejudice petitions and disputes about contractual arrangements between investors.

Related updates

Jennifer Seaman is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

"Jennifer is simply excellent. Very thorough, approachable and has excellent technical knowledge."

Pensions, Legal 500 2022

"She is extremely assiduous and considered, very thorough, careful and creative."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2021

"Extremely bright, takes care to absorb the detail of the case and is proactive and very reliable. Also diligent, hardworking and able to work well with counsel from other sets."

Pensions, Legal 500 2021

"Bright, responsive and human." "Very experienced and a delight to work with."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2019

"She is a well-balanced junior who forms a clear opinion and communicates it clearly."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2018

"She an absolute pleasure to deal with, extremely intelligent, self-assured, quietly confident and firm in her views."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2018

"Highly regarded by clients and opponents alike."

Pensions, Legal 500 2017

"She is absolutely fabulous. She has the ear of the judge when she speaks."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2017

"She's a good advocate; she has a very calm understated manner."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2017

"A junior of real talent and ability."

Pensions, Legal 500 2016

"A highly sought-after junior in the pensions industry… Her practice is supported by her related expertise in trusts and probate law.” “She gives us quick turnarounds when necessary and she is good on her feet too."

Chambers & Partners 2016

"A junior rising in prominence who receives acclaim from peers."

Chambers & Partners 2015

"An able advocate in her own right."

Legal 500 2015

To find out more, contact Matt Sale +44 (0)20 7427 4910 or Peter Foad +44 (0)20 7427 0807 for a confidential discussion.

Our dedicated practice management team can help you identify the right barrister for your case.

Jennifer is the author of numerous articles on trusts and pension litigation including:

  • Guernsey’s recent controversial decision on the so-called ‘rule in Hastings-Bass’: M v St Anne’s Trustees Limited for Trusts & Trustees (2018) (link available here)
  • Shannan & Others v Viavi Solutions UK Limited & Others [2016] EWHC 1530 (Ch), [2016] Pens LR 193, for Trusts & Trustees (2017) (link available here)
  • The ‘best interests’ principle and seeking the Court’s blessing: Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund Trustees Ltd v. Stena Line Ltd, Trusts & Trustees (2016)
  • Commonplace mistakes in drafting wills and trusts and what can be done to resolve them (Trusts & Trustees 2015 21 (4): 438-448)
  • An Exercise in Good Citizenship? on the Pitt v Holt and Futter v Futter decisions in TQR Oct 2013 (Co- author)

She is also the author of Tolley’s Pension Law chapter on Dispute Resolution and Pension Scheme Litigation.

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