Negligence claims in respect of Pensions on Divorce

We are able to provide assistance in cases where claims of negligence in pensions matters are brought against legal advisors following a divorce. This can arise, for example, where the solicitor failed to consider the pensions issues raised which led to the client receiving a less generous settlement than should have been the case.

In our experience, this arises most commonly with respect to offsetting. For example, it has been agreed during the settlement that the ex-wife shall keep the former matrimonial home and the ex-husband shall keep all of his accrued pension provision, in the understanding that these two assets are of broadly equal value. Only later does it transpire that the ex-husband’s pension is much more valuable, leaving the ex-wife short-changed by the settlement. It is the failure of her solicitor to investigate this point that can give rise to the claim of negligence.

We can provide actuarial advice in this matter that may form the basis of any settlement, whether via court proceedings or through some other arrangement. It should be noted that at present, we can only take instruction from the respondent in such negligence cases (i.e. the representatives of the solicitors against whom proceedings have been taken). We do not take instructions from claimants (whether represented or otherwise) in such cases.

The services that we can provide in this area are shown below.

  • Detailed (but non-legal) review of documentation pertaining to the negligence claim, the settlement that was made and the pension benefits forgone
  • Provision of actuarial report into the potential losses that have been incurred
  • Review of any reports / analysis produced by other advisers for “the other side” in the case
  • Preparation of schedule of agreements and disagreements in cooperation with other such advisers
  • Conference calls / in-person meetings with the parties and representatives

At the final hearing District Judge D….. praised the report as being comprehensive and easy to understand.

Katherine Rayden from Rayden Solicitors wrote in respect of a Single Joint Expert report

My team has regularly instructed George as a joint pension expert in Ancillary Relief cases. His detailed and expert knowledge of this complex area is invaluable and he demonstrates a real passion for his work, which is reflected in the quality of his advice. I have no hesitation in recommending George to anyone.

Phillip Barnsley, Partner and Head of Family Law, Higgs & Sons

George is without doubt a leading pensions expert in the West Midlands area. He is practical, pro-active and extremely personable with clients and is a regular first choice for the Mills & Reeve Family team.

Marc Saunderson, Partner Mills & Reeve LLP and Head of Birmingham Family Team

Grateful thanks to the report writer. Even though information was received by Mathiesons at the last minute, we have still received your report in time for the FDR, as promised. Excellent service as always.

Marion Stokes, FCILEx, Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer & Commissioner for Oaths, Family Department, Standley & Co Solicitors.

Once again, many thanks indeed for your impressive report and most particularly for the swift delivery.

Stephanie Calthrop-Owen, Partner Morrisons Solicitors LLP and Head of Family Department

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Another area where we can provide actuarial support is with respect to the valuation of life interests in Will Trusts. This is where a Will Trust has been written to provide benefits for an individual for the remainder of his/her life.

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We are able to provide assistance in cases where claims of negligence in pensions matters are brought against legal advisors following a divorce.

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Negligence Claims
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