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Michael Uberoi practises in commercial and regulatory litigation, with a particular focus upon pensions and financial services. The Legal Directories state, “his written advocacy is clear and persuasive, and he is a pleasure to work with” (Pensions, Legal 500, Leading Junior), and describe him as “a very talented barrister who has a keen eye for detail” (Financial Services Regulation, Legal 500, Leading Junior). They also describe him as “an exceptional advocate”, who is “very, very hard-working”, and as a “bright junior with a strong intellect and good judgement”.
Some recent pensions cases include: Univar v Smith & Ors  EWHC 1596 (Ch) (rectification / collateral contracts / estoppel – Univar was the first contested pensions rectification action in eight years); Safeway Ltd v Newton (Cases 1 and 2 in the Court of Appeal, and in the CJEU-  EWCA Civ 869;  EWCA Civ 1482 – construction and equalisation); Sheffield v Kier Group plc  EWHC 986 (Ch) (jurisdiction of the Pensions Ombudsman); Smith v Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  PLR 5 (maladministration of benefits). Some ongoing pensions cases include: acting for individual trustees and board members in relation to proceedings brought regarding the Bic UK Pension Scheme; advising 51,000 scheme members in relation to how a state integration rule was incorporated in the rules of the scheme of a major Bank; defending a claim for rectification brought by a major multi-national Company; and acting for a major SIPP provider in relation to a group action of SIPP mis-selling claims.
Michael appears in all courts (both as sole and junior counsel) and is frequently instructed to obtain or resist interlocutory relief. Recent examples include: successfully obtaining a freezing injunction over assets totalling £3 million; successfully resisting an application for a mandatory injunction in a dispute between company directors; and successfully resisting an application to convert an interim anti-suit injunction into a final injunction. He has particular expertise in cases involving the interaction between financial services regulation and commercial litigation (Lampo v Royal Bank of Scotland  EWHC 3824).
Michael sits on the Education & Training Sub-Committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers. He is a member of COMBAR, and is registered with the Dubai International Financial Centre. He is also called to the Bar of Northern Ireland.
Michael acted throughout the Safeway litigation the case of Safeway v (1) Newton (2) Safeway Pension Trustees Ltd  EWCA Civ 869;  EWCA Civ 1482 (led by Andrew Short QC), a claim that represents a significant authority in the context of equalisation claims and their interpretation of EU case law (as well as construction of pension scheme documentation). Believed to be the largest equalisation claim to have come before the courts (the claim was worth over £100 million), Michael was successful both in the Court of Appeal and in the CJEU in arguing that levelling down was prohibited even where the rules of the scheme allowed it.
Michael acted for the Representative Beneficiary in Univar v Smith & Ors  EWHC 1596 (Ch) This first contested pensions rectification case in over eight years, this fifteen day trial concerned rectification, “South West Trains” contracts, estoppel, and exercise of powers, and was the first major authority to consider the “new” test for rectification set out by the Court of Appeal in FSHC.
Other cases (recent, or ongoing) that he has conduct of as sole counsel include:
- Advising over 51,000 members in relation to an action against a major Bank;
- Defending a claim for rectification in relation to a personal pension scheme, with a value of approximately £1 million;
- representing a class of scheme members (group litigation order) in a claim for Part 8 Declaratory relief, arising out of an alleged collateral contract and an ensuing dispute over the correct definition of pensionable pay, against a major multi-national company;
- defending a major SIPP provider against claims of misselling in regard to transfers out of DB Schemes (claims with an aggregate value of over £2 million);
- advising the employer in connection with a s.75 employer debt under the Employer Debt Regulations, with regard to employment cessation events and limitation;
- representing former trustees and company board members in a claim for restitution and breach of director and trustee duties, brought in connection with the Bic UK Pension Scheme;
- a High Court appeal involving the extent of the Pensions Ombudsman’s jurisdiction, and legitimate expectations / A1P1 rights (Sheffield v Kier Group plc  EWHC 986 (Ch));
- acting for the claimant in an ongoing claim for pension misselling with regard to the transfer of funds to a DC scheme (and associated issues regarding the lifetime allowance);
- representing the Targets in a prohibition order hearing before the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator.
Michael frequently advises on matters before the Pensions Ombudsman, and on appeals from determinations of the Ombudsman (including in cross-over appeals from determinations of the Financial Ombudsman Service, in relation to pension misselling).
Michael acts in commercial disputes. Recent and ongoing cases include:
- advising a major insurer in applications regarding freezing and disclosure injunctions (and Bankers Trust orders) against a partner in a joint venture;
- acting for a Dubai based trading entity in connection with a claim for breach of contract / misrepresentation over the terms of a foreign exchange trading account, and a decision to close out positions (breach of contract / misrepresentation);
- acting for a leisure company in defending a claim for breach of contract (formation of terms / whether any settled contract was agreed / quantum meruit);
- acting for a major wholesale food entity in an action involving alleged breach of a verbal agreement regarding commission payments, the Commercial Agency Regulations, fraudulent misrepresentation and deceit;
- obtaining a freezing injunction (in the sum of approximately £3 million) and advising in relation to the underlying breach of loan agreement / guarantee action, on behalf of an international marketing firm. The case settled for its full value shortly after the freezing injunction was obtained;
- a claim for breach of contract, misrepresentation, and failure to exercise a contractual lending discretion in good faith against a major bank which settled in the claimant’s favour for a sum of approximately £2.5 million;
- advising a Premier League footballer with regard to his sponsorship agreement with a major sportswear manufacturer, in connection with alleged penalty clauses.
Michael is an experienced regulatory advocate who frequently appears on behalf of professional individuals and regulated entities.
Michael is a contributing author to the publication Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents (Financial Services), published by Lexis Nexis, and has previously undertaken a secondment at the Financial Conduct Authority, where he worked on a number of investigations arising out of alleged breaches of the FCA Handbook.
Recent instructions include; advising a major lending entity with regard to potential breaches of the Regulated Activities Order, and whether underlying loan agreements were therefore unenforceable under s. 28 FSMA; advising a major private wealth management firm in relation to an ongoing investigation by the regulator with regard to client transfers out of SIPPs; representing a mortgage brokerage in connection with disciplinary action being taken against it by the Financial Conduct Authority; and advising various entities in respect of fines issued by the Pensions Regulator following alleged breaches of auto-enrolment obligations.
Appointments & Memberships
- Association of Pension Lawyers (APL) (Education & Training Sub-Committee)
Michael Uberoi 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
- Commercial & Chancery
- Disciplinary & Regulatory
- Financial Services
- Pensions & Trusts
- Private Client
- Professional Negligence
“His written and oral advocacy is clear and persuasive and he is a pleasure to work with.” Pensions, Legal 500
“A very talented barrister who has a keen eye for detail.” Financial Services Regulation, Legal 500 2020
“Approachable and easy to work with.” “An excellent senior junior.” Chambers & Partners 2019
“Very likeable and very good on his feet.” Chambers & Partners 2018
“He puts clients at ease, and is well prepared and easy to get on with.” Chambers & Partners 2018
“Exceptionally skilled in communicating with clients.” Legal 500 2017
“An exceptional advocate, who is doggedly determined to ensure fairness for his client.” Legal 500 2017
“Exceptionally good. Very, very hard-working, incredibly incise, lots of panache and confidence. A really good advocate.” Chambers & Partners 2017
“Highly thought of junior who represents professionals before the FCA Enforcement Division. Analytical, calmly persuasive and thorough; when you send him papers, you know he’ll have read, analysed and carefully prepared every aspect of the case.” Chambers & Partners 2017
“Michael is a very impressive junior barrister who is knowledgeable and accomplished beyond his years. He is sensible, realistic and pragmatic in his advice, whilst his care in presenting a case is notable.” Chambers & Partners 2017
“A great team player, who takes a sensible, pragmatic approach.” Legal 500 2016
“An excellent junior, who punches above his weight.” Legal 500 2016
“He adopts a firm but calm approach, and clearly sets out the reality of a case to clients. He is extremely well prepared for all his cases and employs imaginative arguments on behalf of his client to achieve the best results possible.” “He is knowledgeable and accomplished beyond his years.” Chambers & Partners 2016
“A good advocate who comes over very well.” “He is extremely hard-working, highly approachable and a good communicator.” Chambers & Partners 2016
“A bright junior with a strong intellect and good judgement; he will go far.” Legal 500 2016
“He did an extremely good job in difficult circumstances.” Chambers & Partners 2015
“He is already very good and in five years will be a major name in the field.” Chambers & Partners 2014
“Michael Uberoi appears regularly in public inquiries. [He] recently advised the former Director General of the BBC in connection with his appearance before the Pollard Inquiry.” Chambers & Partners 2014
Michael Uberoi “Also tackles sports-related cases…[he] has a growing practice in this field and is building a solid reputation amongst his peers.” Chambers & Partners 2014
“Knowledgeable beyond his years.” Legal 500 2014
“Michael Uberoi is making a name for himself.” Chambers & Partners 2013