Nick practises in commercial and chancery law with a focus on pensions, financial services and professional negligence. He is much in demand for his expertise in cross-over work involving regulatory issues and commercial law. The directories recommend Nick for his client care, for his advocacy, for developing new arguments, and for finding solutions; he is described as being “second to none”.

Nick’s ongoing work includes professional negligence matters (for solicitors, benefits consultants and investment advisers), company disputes (including various insolvency matters), indexation work, and regulatory work both for and against the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator.


Notable Commercial & Chancery cases

A multi-party, multi-jurisdictional high value shareholder dispute concerning various alleged frauds, breaches of fiduciary duties and numerous other claims in respect of an investment fund in the Cayman Islands and its investment manager in the BVI. Nick was led by Andrew Spink QC for the directors of the corporate entities central to the dispute.

Advising and acting (alone) for the subsidiary of a well known PLC to obtain a freezing injunction and search order arising from a fraud committed by a fiduciary of the company. Nick appeared (alone) at the original ex-parte hearing, on the return date and on the successful application for summary judgment in respect of the substantive proceedings.

Acting (led by Richard Lissack QC) in a case concerning the procedure for the transfer of shares in an oil company following a successful claim for breach of contract and an order for specific performance.

Advising a public authority (alone) on a complex claim for deceit and breach of contract.

Acting (with Richard Lissack QC) in an LCIA Arbitration representing a Belize company (with subsidiaries in Cyprus and Russia) in respect of a multi-million pound breach of contract by a Russian company.

Nick is a leading pensions junior; he is “right on top of the subject”, “finds solutions to problems”, “thinks of new arguments” and is “excellent with clients”.

In the last year, in addition to the matters set out above, Nick was instructed by tPR in confidential proceedings, in three major professional negligence actions involving pension schemes, was appointed to the Litigation Committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers, and has given talks on indexation, professional negligence issues, and equalising for the effect of unequal GMPs.

Recent case highlights include:

(1) Lloyds Banking Group Pensions Trustees Limited v Lloyds Bank Plc [2020] EWHC 3135 (Ch). This 2020 Judgment addressed the obligation to equalise for the effect of unequal GMPs on transfers out. Nick also acted for the Representative Beneficiaries in the major 2018 Judgment ([2018] EWHC 2839 (Ch) and [2018] EWHC 3343 (Ch)].

(2) Gleeds v Aon and ors, acting for the defendant solicitors in a significant professional negligence matter.

(3) Ove Arup & Partners International Ltd v Trustees of the Arup UK Pension Scheme [2020] EWHC 1064 (Ch). A case concerning the “functional replacement” of the RPI.

(4) ColArt International Holdings Limited v (a) ColArt Pension Trustees Limited (2) Mark Coulson [2019] EWHC 3081 (Ch). Rectification proceedings representing the claimant company.

Notable Pensions cases

A massive interpretation/rectification claim listed for two days in February 2021 (acting for the trustees);

On-going professional negligence claims for solicitors and benefit consultants;

Advice to the MOD as a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown in respect of inter alia the various armed forces pension schemes;

Advice to public and private sector clients on the various Police Pension Schemes, Firefighter Schemes, and the Teachers’ Pension Scheme;

Cross-over advisory work in Pensions and Financial Services (see Pensions Misselling: cracks in the system (New Law Journal, May 2018)); and various rectification claims

Nick’s practice crosses the regulatory and civil aspects of financial services and is built on invaluable experience gained in 2010/11 on secondment to (what was then) the General Counsel’s Division at the Financial Services Authority. At the FSA Nick advised on a broad range of matters, including the first ever use of the SRR and BIP under the Banking Act 2009 (Re Southsea Mortgage and Investment Company). He had regular engagement with FSA Enforcement and SFO investigatory work.

Nick continues to be instructed by the FCA. Work over the last few months for the FCA has included advice on perimeter matters, information gateways, and work on ISAs and Child Trust Funds.

His work for private clients over the last 12 months or so has included:

  • regulator perimeter queries
  • advising an American PE fund on sanctions issues arising from contracts concluded in London
  • advice on regulatory risks for a major insurance corporation (involved in pension scheme buy-ins and buy-outs)
  • advice on collective investment schemes
  • a successful appearance in front of the RDC for a mid-level manager at a well-known Building Society

Nick’s Financial Services practice often leads to instruction in commercial litigation (including professional negligence matters). He has acted in a wide range of mis-selling claims (often in respect of derivative products, including LIBOR linked products and pension matters (see his article Pensions Misselling: cracks in the system (New Law Journal, May 2018)) and in major litigation concerning involving (allegedly) negligent advice to a fund in 2007 to invest £2 billion of trust assets in credit default swaps and £500 million in US sub-prime mortgage backed assets (Philips Pension Trustees Limited & Philips Electronics UK Limited).

Nick is the author of chapter 3 of “The Bribery Act 2010” in the Second Edition of Lissack and Horlick on Bribery (LexisNexis) and writes for Lexis PSL (including on Corporate Transactions and Bribery, January 2016).

Nick started his advocacy career in the Employment Tribunal. He gained extensive experience appearing in the tribunal (across the country) for Claimants and Respondents (25:75). His practice included unfair dismissal, TUPE and discrimination claims across the range of protected grounds.

Nick continues to advise and act in employment and discrimination matters on occasion and has a particular interest in cross-over work involving Pensions and Employment and Financial Services and Employment.

Notable Employment & Discrimination cases

Successfully appearing (at trial) for a well-known charity resisting a disability discrimination claim (London South).

Acting for an international fashion brand (at trial) successfully defeating a claim for race discrimination (London Central).

Obtaining a protective award of 90-days for 104 Claimants following the closure of a factory (Ashford).

Representing a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting vulnerable adults with disabilities in defeating 51 separate allegations at trial (Reading).

Acting for the subsidiary of a well known PLC in the High Court in obtaining a freezing injunction arising from a fraud committed by company employee. Nick appeared (alone) at the original ex-parte hearing, on the return date and on the successful application for summary judgment in respect of the substantive proceedings (in respect of both breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract).

In the field of professional negligence Nick is described as a “fantastic advocate”, who is “excellent with clients” and as having “a great eye for detail”.

Frequent clients are solicitors, actuaries, and pension consultants. As is so often the way in this field much of Nick’s work is confidential but his cases include:

  • Complex limitation arguments (on both s14A and s14B of the Limitation Act 1980), deployed in a summary judgment application by Nick’s defendant client. The claim was discontinued by the claimants upon receipt of the application.
  • Fiercely fought claims for damages for professional negligence by the employer and trustees of a large 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.
  • The Gleeds v Aon and ors litigation, acting for defendant solicitors.
  • Acting for solicitor defendants in a case where the claimants were persuaded to pursue Part 8 rectification proceedings instead of continuing with the (issued) Part 7 claim.

Related updates

Nicholas Hill 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.

"Nicholas is very bright and very thorough. Excellent with clients. He is hard working and has a calm, assured presence."

Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2022

"Excellent with clients. Very bright and practical. I would highly recommend him - I use him frequently. He is a superb lawyer."

Pensions, Legal 500 2022

"He is excellent with clients, has a great eye for detail and picks up the background very quickly."

Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2021

"Enormously thorough and quick. Right on top of the subject, and you can rely on him to know what the case is about and then spot a new angle. Second to none."

Pensions, Legal 500 2021

"He is doing big and high-profile cases."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2021

"A junior with significant expertise in financial services law. He can boast extensive experience in Part 8 claims, professional negligence and contribution disputes."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2020

"He is very technically minded and easy to get along with."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2020

"He is a very good pensions junior."

Pensions, Legal 500 2020

"A fantastic advocate."

Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2020

"Excellent with clients and really bright. He thinks of new arguments and is great in court."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2019

"He finds solutions to problems and is very helpful."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2019

"An excellent junior barrister, he grasped an enormous amount of documentation and information, knew his way around the trust instrument quickly, and advised senior clients with confidence and skill in a lengthy conference."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2018

"He is good on his feet, knows his stuff and is a very good team player."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2018

"An up-and-coming junior with significant expertise in financial services law. He can boast extensive experience in part 8 claims, professional negligence and contribution disputes."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2017

"He’s very practical and gets straight to the point."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2017

To find out more, contact Sam Carter on +44 (0)203 989 6669 or George Bennett on +44 (0)207 427 0807 for a confidential discussion.

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