Experience and Expertise
Matters on which Henry is currently instructed include:
- the appeal to the Supreme Court by the trustee of the Airways Pension Scheme against the Court of Appeal’s decision in British Airways plc v Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd  EWCA Civ 1533.
- two claims by scheme employers and trustees for rectification of errors in scheme rules arising out of historic consolidation exercises.
- a professional negligence claim against a scheme’s former legal and actuarial advisers in relation to the failed equalisation of male and female members’ normal retirement dates and other historic errors in the drafting of the scheme’s governing documentation.
Notable recent cases include:
- Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd v (1) Fielder, (2) British Airways plc  EWHC 29 (Ch). Instructed with Jonathan Hilliard QC in the trustee’s successful claim for Beddoe relief in respect of its appeal to the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal’s decision in British Airways plc v Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd  EWCA Civ 1533. The circumstances of the claim were described by the judge as “unprecedented”.
- British Airways plc v Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd  EWCA Civ 1533. Acted with Keith Rowley QC and Jonathan Hilliard QC for the respondent pension scheme trustee in British Airways’ appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning whether the trustee’s exercise of the scheme’s unilateral power of amendment to introduce a power to award discretionary pension increases was within the scope and purpose of the amendment power and whether the trustee’s subsequent decision to exercise the discretionary increase power was valid.
- Sogefi Filtration Ltd v Havard & Ors  12 WLUK 459. Acted on behalf of the claimant sponsoring employer in a claim concerning whether normal retirement dates for male and female members of two defined benefit occupational pension schemes had been validly equalised; proceedings compromised with the Court’s approval under CPR r.19.7(6). Led by Keith Rowley QC.
- C.Brewer & Sons Ltd Retirement Benefits Scheme and C.Brewer & Sons Ltd Executive Pension Scheme (2017). Instructed with Keith Rowley QC on behalf of the claimant sponsoring employer in a claim for construction and/or rectification of the governing documentation of two defined benefit occupational pension schemes in respect of rules concerning (inter alia) pension indexation, revaluation and accrual.
- British Airways plc v Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd  5 WLUK 603. Acted for the respondent pension scheme trustee resisting British Airways’ application for an injunction restraining payment of the discretionary increase approved in British Airways plc v Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd  EWHC 1191 (Ch) pending determination of British Airways’ appeal; led by Keith Rowley QC and Jonathan Hilliard QC.
- British Airways plc v Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd  EWHC 1191 (Ch). Acted for the successful defendant trustee in the seven-week trial of a multi-million pound claim brought by British Airways, as the sponsoring employer of the Airways Pension Scheme, for alleged breach of trust in relation to the grant of a discretionary pension increase in excess of CPI; led by Keith Rowley QC and Jonathan Hilliard QC.
- Barnardo’s & Ors v Buckinghamshire & Ors  EWCA Civ 1064. Instructed with Keith Rowley QC on behalf of the charity Barnardo’s on its appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the construction of the term ‘Retail Prices Index’ in the governing documentation of the Barnardo’s Staff Pension Scheme and the cross-appeal brought by representative members of the scheme concerning the effect of s.67 of the Pensions Act 1995.
- Sea Containers 1983 Pension Scheme (2016). Instructed on behalf of the trustees of one of the Sea Containers pension schemes in a multi-million pound professional negligence claim against the scheme’s former actuarial advisers, administrators and pensions consultants arising out of alleged failed equalisation; led by Keith Rowley QC.
Other recent work (as sole counsel) includes acting on behalf of a respondent to a complaint before the Pensions Ombudsman, advising and representing the administrator and trustee of a SIPP in respect of an application by a discretionary beneficiary for pre-action disclosure of scheme documentation, and advising on the recoverability of funds transferred to a company in administration from the company pension scheme.
In 2015 Henry completed a secondment to Eversheds’ Financial Services Disputes and Investigations department in London, working primarily with the pensions litigation team and assisting with cases concerning (inter alia) rectification of pension scheme documents, pension liberation and statutory pension transfer rights.
In 2013 Henry was seconded to the Financial Conduct Authority for nine months, during which time he advised on a range of pensions matters, including pension liberation, scheme charge capping and the introduction of independent governance committees for contract-based schemes. Henry continues to advise the FCA on an ad hoc basis.
As a pupil Henry attended the hearing of Danks v QinetiQ Holdings Limited  EWHC 570 (Ch), in which Keith Rowley QC and Elizabeth Ovey acted successfully for the defendant employer and it was held that substitution by a pension scheme’s trustees of CPI for RPI as the basis for increasing pensions in payment and revaluing deferred pensions did not adversely affect scheme members’ subsisting rights and so was not potentially voidable under the Pensions Act 1995 s.67-67I.
Henry is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers.
- “A rising junior who is carving out a real pensions following.” (Pensions, The Legal 500, 2019)
- “Intelligent, personable, user-friendly and easy to work with. He knows how to work seamlessly side by side with solicitors, which is a great asset.” (Pensions, Chambers UK, 2019)
- “Hard-working, measured and very bright.” (Pensions, Chambers UK, 2019)
- “His in-depth knowledge of pensions litigation far exceeds many of his peers and he demonstrates the ability to work seamlessly with witnesses, instructing solicitors and co-counsel.” (Pensions, Chambers UK, 2018)
- “An up-and-coming junior, he is bright and user-friendly.” (Pensions, Chambers UK, 2018)
‘Pension trustees and the exercise of discretionary powers’: article for LexisPSL Pensions (June 2017) on the High Court’s decision in British Airways plc v Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd  EWHC 1191 (Ch), considering: the correct approach to trustee decision-making; the requirements for successfully challenging a trustee decision; the construction of pension scheme documentation; the purpose of a pension scheme; and the purpose and scope of scheme powers of amendment.
‘What constitutes a “material change” to RPI?’: article for LexisPSL Pensions (May 2017) on the High Court’s decision in Thales UK Ltd v Thales Pension Trustees Ltd  EWHC 666 (Ch), considering the correct approach to the construction of a pension scheme’s indexation and revaluation provisions and the development of and differences between RPI and CPI.
‘Liability arising from unauthorised payments under FA 2004’: article for LexisPSL Pensions (March 2017) on the Upper Tribunal’s decision in Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs v Sippchoice Ltd  UKUT 87 (TCC), considering when a pension scheme administrator is liable to a scheme sanction charge under section 239 of the Finance Act 2004.
‘The great RPI v CPI debate – clarity at last?‘: article for LexisPSL Pensions (November 2016) on the Court of Appeal’s decision in Barnardo’s & Ors v Buckinghamshire & Ors  EWCA Civ 1064 as to the meaning of the defined term “Retail Prices Index” in the Rules of the Barnardo’s Staff Pension Scheme and the effect of section 67 of the Pensions Act 1995.
‘Auto-enrolment – guidance on when travelling workers are considered based in Great Britain’: article for LexisPSL Pensions (January 2016) on the decision in R (on the application of Fleet Maritime Services (Bermuda) Ltd) v Pensions Regulator  EWHC 3744 (Admin) and the territorial scope of the Pensions Act 2008.
‘Setting things straight on rectification proceedings’: article for LexisPSL Pensions (December 2015) on the decision in Re BCA Pension Plan  EWHC 3492 (Ch) and use of the section 48 procedure under the Administration of Justice Act 1985 as a potential alternative to construction or rectification proceedings.
‘BA v APSTL – the Court of Appeal decision’, Radcliffe Junior Programme (September 2018)
Case Law Update, Association of Pension Lawyers 2018 Summer Conference (June 2018)
‘BA v APSTL: challenges to the exercise of discretionary powers’, Association of Pension Lawyers (July 2017), Lane Clark & Peacock LLP (November 2017)
‘Barnardo’s v Buckinghamshire: indexation, revaluation and RPI v CPI’, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (February 2017)
‘Re BCA Pension Plan and s.48 Administration of Justice Act 1985′, Radcliffe Junior Programme (March 2016)
‘Expert Evidence in Pensions Disputes’, Radcliffe Junior Programme (November 2015)