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Pensions & Trusts

"Outer Temple has a large bench of QCs and juniors who specialise in pensions law [...]. The set complements its pensions work with expertise in related areas of law such as employment and banking and finance."

Chambers and Partners 2019

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Outer Temple Chambers has long been established as one of the leading Chambers specialising in this field. Members advise on all aspects of pensions and trusts law and are regularly instructed in disputes.

Pensions & Trusts Barristers

Our pensions & trusts barristers and associates advise on all legal aspects of pensions and trusts law, from interpreting the most technical details of new legislation to applying arcane aspects of trust law.


Our specialist pensions team command a significant presence in the pensions field. With a specialist team of 5 QC’s and 10 juniors, whose expertise is reflected in the leading legal directories, we have for many years been involved in the most significant pensions work of the day. Members of our team routinely conduct pensions litigation in the High Court, the Appellate Courts, before the Pensions Ombudsman and the Determinations Panel. With a wealth of experience at all levels of seniority we have a proven track record of delivering excellent advice in a package that puts the client first.


Our specialist trusts team undertake some of the highest value, most complex trusts litigation and advisory work at the Bar, with practitioners listed by Chambers & Partners UK 2016 in Commercial Chancery, Pensions, Financial Services and Banking & Finance, all of which involve trust expertise in the commercial sphere (whether in the context of hedge funds, pension schemes, bonds or insolvency). Our leading presence in this field and in the pensions field means that our practitioners regularly deal with aspects of trust law such as trust powers, variation of trusts, equitable mistake, the principle previously known as the Rule in Re Hastings-Bass, rectification, ‘fraud on a power’ (or improper purpose), breach of fiduciary duties, estoppel, equitable remedies and related procedural applications including disclosure, representation orders, Beddoe relief and summary judgment applications.

In addition to commercial trust work, some of our practitioners undertake private and charitable trust work for individuals and trustees, often with cross-border / international issues (whether in Dubai, Guernsey, Caribbean or US jurisdictions).

We have a number of practitioners who hold key appointments and memberships in the field of trusts and commercial chancery law. David Russell QC is a member of the Worldwide Council of the Society of Trusts & Estates Practitioners (“STEP”), Chair of STEP’s International Client Special Interest Group and former Chair of STEP Australia. He also co-edits the OUP publication Trusts & Trustees. Andrew Spink QC, the head of Chambers’ Business Department, is a deputy High Court judge in the Chancery Division and Vice-Chair of the Commercial Bar Association (“COMBAR”). Jennifer Seaman is a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (“ACTAPS”) and a STEP Affiliate Member, and Teresa Peacocke is a member of STEP and ACTAPS, and an experienced mediator in trust and probate disputes.

As of July 2017, Andrew is 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.

David Russell QC: Chairman of the STEP International Client Special Interest Group.

Pensions Cases


This litigation needs no introduction. Members of our team – at all levels of seniority – have, and continue to be, involved.

Carrington Wire

This case involved the Pension Regulator’s first ever exercise of its material detriment powers. We have also been involved in other numerous other regulatory cases such as Box Clever, Garvin Trustees, Nortel & Lehman and Storm Funding.

McCloud v Ministry of Justice

A case concerning over 200 judges who are challenging changes to their pension rights on the basis of discrimination.

Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund

One of the largest pieces of pensions litigation of recent times concerning the regard that trustees should have to employers’ interests when amending a scheme.

Philips Pension Trustees Limited & Philips Electronics UK Limited v AON Hewitt & Alliance Bernstein

An enormous professional negligence claim arising out of investment losses occasioned by the Credit Crunch.


Given the move from RPI the indexation provisions of many schemes have come under scrutiny. We routinely advise clients in this developing area of the law. By way of example see Danks v Qinetic Holdings.


In addition to being involved in the rectification aspects of IBM we are routinely involved cases concerning the rectification of mistakes in scheme documents particularly through the use of the summary judgment procedure. A limited selection of such cases includes Industrial Acoustics v Crowhurst, Citifinancial Europe v Davidson and CIT v Gazzard.

Pensions Liberation

The recent introduction of pension freedoms mean that pensions fraud is an ever-increasing problem. We have been involved in the leading cases of Dalriada v Woodward and Dalriada v Faulds.

Scope of Amendment Powers

We regularly assist clients in identifying the proper scope of amendment powers. We have been significantly involved in two of the key cases in this area namely PNPF and Merchant Navy.

Regulatory Disputes

We routinely advise clients on the potential for regulatory intervention in respect of large corporate transactions or where tPR has brought proceedings. We have been involved in many of the landmark cases in this area including the hotly contested Desmonds litigation, Box Clever, Storm Funding, Nortel & Lehman, Sea Containers and Telent.

Trusts Cases

Re Savile, National Westminster Bank Plc v Lucas

Proceedings related to the administration of the estate of the late Jimmy Savile.

Marley v Rawlings

A leading Supreme Court case on the validity, construction and rectification of wills.

Futter v HMRC

The leading Supreme Court case on the existence and limits of the principle known as the rule in Re Hastings-Bass and the law of equitable mistake.

Hancock & Anor v Rinehart & Ors (2013) [NSWSC] 1352

Part of a long-running series of disputes (extensively covered in the Australian and other media) which, at its heart, concerned decisions taken by the trustees to postpone the vesting of a trust with assets in excess A $2 billion, and thereafter to vest it, for tax related reasons. Other key issues involved the validity of the changes to the articles of association of a company, which was the principal trust asset.

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