Andrew Spink QC
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Andrew Spink QC is a highly respected advocate with 35 years’ experience at the Bar, of which 17 years have been as a successful QC. He is one of the Heads of Outer Temple Chambers and a part-time judge sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions of the English High Court and as a Justice of the Astana International Financial Centre in Kazakhstan (where he is also a member of the panel of arbitrators). Andrew served as the Chair of the Commercial Bar Association from 2017 to 2019.
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, cross-jurisdictional issues, 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, a wide range of other commercial contracts (currently with a focus on cases of force majeure and frustration arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic) professional negligence claims (acting for both claimants and defendants) and company law and insolvency issues.
As well as appearing as a leading 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; 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; advising on issues of contractual interpretation in day-to-day commercial business life and on company law issues).
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, International Financial Centres, and participants in multiparty group actions.
In the international context, Andrew is a registered advocate at the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”) Court. He has expertise in various aspects of DIFC law, both in terms of the application of existing DIFC Law to ongoing disputes but also having led the team of Outer Temple Chambers barristers which in 2016-17 provided the DIFC Authority with advice on how to amend its existing Companies Law, leading to the enactment of Companies Law DIFC Law No.5 of 2018. In 2019-20 Andrew led another OTC team which advised the DIFC Authority on the appropriate legal structure for, and then undertook the drafting of some of the key framework documents necessary to implement, the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings Plan, a groundbreaking trust-based end-of-service benefit arrangement design to align the DIFC workforce with global retirement savings standards.
Andrew is ranked in Band 1 for Pensions in Chambers UK, which notes that “One of the most experienced pensions silks at the Bar. He’s user-friendly, hugely knowledgeable, pragmatic and commercial” and in the top tier for Pensions in Legal 500 which notes that he is “Probably the best advocate at the pensions bar. Great team leader. He gets the best out of the juniors on the case.” Andrew is also listed as a leading silk for Professional Negligence and Commercial Litigation in Legal 500 2021, where he is recognised as an advocate who “always finds the right argument, and the right way to deliver it, he also knows when to step in and fits in very well to a client team.”
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.”
Banking & Financial Services – Cases
Philips Pension Trustees Limited & Philips Electronics UK Limited v AON Hewitt & AllianceBernstein (2011 – 2016)
Claims by the employer and trustees of one of the biggest UK pension schemes against the scheme’s former investment strategy consultants (one of the UK’s biggest) 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 risks inherent in and the market perception of the financial products, and an important and untested issue as to whether or not the scheme’s investment strategy consultant was an authorised person carrying on regulated activities for the purposes FSMA 2000.
Warners Retail Ltd -v- National Westminster Bank and Barclays Bank (Chancery Division 2014)
Action against bank for misselling of interest rate hedging products to a company in 2006 and 2007, in this case bank cancellable swaps, in relation to the selling of which the bank owed a statutory duty to observe FSA conduct of business rules. The swaps were entered into to hedge loans made by the bank to the company. Issues arose as to the suitability of the swaps for the customer, the relevant standard of practice in the banking industry at the time, causation and quantum, and as to the appropriateness and need for expert evidence.
Axa Sun Life v Ideal Financial Planning & ors (2011)  EWCA Civ 133
Court of Appeal decision in case involving issues of contractual estoppel, various contractual construction issues including the scope of an “entire agreement” clause, a “conclusive evidence” evidence clause and an exclusion clause, misrepresentation, whether an exclusion clause fell within the scope of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and, if it did, whether it was reasonable for the appellant to rely on it. All issues arose in relation to the appellant’s standard form agreement under which it appointed the various respondents to act as its representatives to sell investments and other products on its behalf.
Various Claimants v Various Banks (2009 – 2010)
Advised in relation to allegations of negligence, breach of contract and statutory and fiduciary duty made against the financial services/wealth management departments of a number of banks by a group of investors whose assets were invested on their behalf by or on the advice of those banks in the collapsed AIG Enhanced Variable Rate Fund marketed as an alternative to a cash deposit account.
Equitable Life (2007)
Advised in 2007 in relation to the group action brought by several hundred investors against Equitable Life involving allegations of mis-selling of with-profit pension annuities.
Banking & Financial Services – Advisory Work
New workplace savings pension vehicle (2015 – 2016)
Advising on technical issues arising under the pensions legislation (in particular the scope of the definition of “occupational pension scheme”) in the context of the development of a proposed new financial product.
P Trust v M Financial Services Ltd (2010)
Advising a network of IFAs authorised and regulated by the FSA under FSMA 2000 on a claim arising out of loan-backed purchases by sophisticated investors of portfolios of traded endowment policies in the context of a Final Notice having been issued against the product provider. Issues included whether there had been breaches of fiduciary duty in relation to commission, non-disclosure and unsuitability of the product and date of crystallisation of loss and quantum.
A v B (2010)
Advising in relation to a proposed claim arising out of advice given by an IFA to a high-earning senior academic member of a fully funded final salary pension scheme to leave the pension scheme and invest the transfer value in a SIPP.
Appointments & Memberships
Between 2017 and 2019, Andrew was 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.
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.
With effect from 1 January 2018, Andrew was appointed on a part-time basis as one of the initial panel of Justices at the Astana International Financial Centre Court in Kazakhstan together with Lord Woolf (Chief Justice), Sir Robin Jacob, Sir Rupert Jackson, Sir Jack Beatson, Sir Stephen Richards and Lord Faulks QC. See: http://aifc-court.kz/about-the-aifc-court.
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.
Andrew Spink QC 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.
Areas of Law
- Insolvency & Restructuring
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Commercial & Chancery
- Disciplinary & Regulatory
- Financial Services
- Pensions & Trusts
- Professional Negligence
“An authoritative and experienced advocate well known for his handling of high-profile pension disputes.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2021
“He is extremely commercial in his approach, gets to the heart of the matter very quickly and produces clear, client-friendly advice.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2021
“He has consummate client care skills, complete mastery of an incredible volume of material, and the ability to distil complex matters and cut a path to a practical as well as a legally correct solution.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2021
“He has long experience of valuer and pensions-related professional negligence cases. Confident in court and a good delegator.” Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2021
“Probably the best advocate at the pensions bar. Great team leader. He gets the best out of the juniors on the case.” Pensions, Legal 500 2021
“He always finds the right argument, and the right way to deliver it, he also knows when to step in and fits in very well to a client team.” Commercial Litigation, Legal 500 2021
“An authoritative and experienced advocate well known for his handling of high-profile pension disputes. He frequently undertakes regulatory work as well as Part 7 and 8 claims in relation to pensions. He also offers experienced advice on the inflation index to be applied to pension increases.” Pensions, Chambers and Partners 2020
“One of the most experienced pensions silks at the Bar. He’s user-friendly, hugely knowledgeable, pragmatic and commercial.” “He combines a calm and genial approach, which goes down very well with clients, with top-notch advocacy and advisory skills.” Pensions, Chambers and Partners 2020
“Personable, great with clients and as an advocate; adopts a calm, knowledgeable and impressive approach.” Pensions, Legal 500 2020
“He is highly skilled.” Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2020
“An exceptional pensions silk who is approachable, practical with his advice and well prepared.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2019
“Client-friendly and a superb cross-examiner.” “A very accomplished advocate.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2019
“He is very bright and user friendly with excellent technical knowledge.” Pensions, Legal 500 2019
“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