Henry enjoys a busy commercial Chancery practice, both contentious and advisory, focusing on pensions, private client and financial services. He has previously spent time on secondment at the Financial Conduct Authority and in the Financial Services Disputes and Investigations department in the London office of Eversheds Sutherland. He is recommended as a leading individual in Chambers UK Bar and The Legal 500 UK Bar, where he is described as “an excellent junior” who is “calm under pressure, practical and very bright”.
Henry is recognised for his pensions work by both Chambers UK Bar and The Legal 500 UK Bar, where he has been described variously as “a rising junior who is carving out a real pensions following”, “hard-working, measured and very bright”, and “intelligent, personable, user-friendly and easy to work with”. He is noted for his “in-depth knowledge of pensions litigation” and his “ability to work seamlessly with witnesses, instructing solicitors and co-counsel”.
His experience encompasses both occupational (DB and DC) and personal pension schemes. Particular areas of expertise include benefit indexation and revaluation, RPI vs CPI, equalisation, trustee powers and duties, construction and rectification of scheme documentation, related professional negligence, the pensions tax regime under the Finance Act 2004 and subsequent legislation, and the regulatory requirements of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and the FCA Handbook. He is equally happy acting as junior and as sole counsel.
Matters on which Henry is currently instructed include:
- a claim for rectification of errors in a defined benefit occupational scheme’s rules arising out of a historic consolidation exercise (acting for the claimant employer and trustees)
- a professional negligence claim against a defined benefit occupational 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 (acting for the claimant employer and trustee)
- a claim concerning the proper construction and effect of the forfeiture provisions in a defined benefit occupational scheme (acting for the defendant employer)
- a claim concerning the proper construction of an occupational scheme’s rules governing revaluation of deferred benefits (acting for the defendant trustee)
- a claim by a former investor against a SIPP administrator for recovery of monies under FSMA 2000 s.27 (acting on behalf of the defendant administrator)
Henry’s recent cases include:
- Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd v (1) Fielder, (2) British Airways plc  EWHC 3027 (Ch) and  EWHC 3032 (Ch) – Acting with Jonathan Hilliard QC in the trustee’s application for approval of settlement in respect of its appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision in British Airways plc v Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd  EWCA Civ 1533
- Re the W Pension Scheme (2019) – Acting with Keith Rowley QC for the claimant employer in a claim for rectification of the governing documentation of its defined benefit occupational scheme in respect of rules concerning revaluation and indexation of benefits
- Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd v (1) Fielder, (2) British Airways plc  EWHC 29 (Ch) – Acting with Jonathan Hilliard QC for the trustee in its unprecedented and successful claim for Beddoe relief to pursue an appeal to the Supreme Court
- British Airways plc v Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd  EWCA Civ 1533 – Acting with Keith Rowley QC and Jonathan Hilliard QC for the respondent 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  079 PBLR (Ch) – Acting with Keith Rowley QC for the claimant employer in a claim concerning whether normal retirement dates for male and female members of two defined benefit occupational schemes had been validly equalised
- Re the Brewer & Sons Ltd Retirement Benefits Scheme and the C.Brewer & Sons Ltd Executive Pension Scheme (2017) – Acting with Keith Rowley QC for the claimant employer in a claim for construction and/or rectification of the governing documentation of two defined benefit occupational 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 – Acting with Keith Rowley QC and Jonathan Hilliard QC for the respondent 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
- British Airways plc v Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd  EWHC 1191 (Ch) – Acting with Keith Rowley QC and Jonathan Hilliard QC 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
- Barnardo’s & Ors v Buckinghamshire & Ors  EWCA Civ 1064 – Acting with Keith Rowley QC for 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 the scheme’s representative members concerning the effect of s.67 of the Pensions Act 1995
- Re Sea Containers 1983 Pension Scheme (2016) – Acting with Keith Rowley QC for 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
Other recent work (as sole counsel) includes:
- Advising the trustees of a defined benefit occupational scheme as to the equalisation of normal retirement dates for male and female members and the validity of the scheme’s historic governing documentation
- Advising on a potential claim against a personal pension provider for a client’s loss of Enhanced Protection and potential consequent tax liabilities
- Representing a SIPP administrator in relation to a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service by a former investor, alleging failures of due diligence and consequent breaches of the FCA’s Principles for Businesses and associated guidance
- Advising as to the nature, scope and exercise of a SIPP trustee’s discretion to make death benefit payments
- Advising in relation to a refusal by HMRC to reinstate Fixed Protection 2014 after a client mistakenly made a one-off payment into his SIPP
- Advising in relation to the duties of the trustees of a SSAS and related issues of fraudulent misrepresentation and undue influence
- Advising on the potential liability of a SIPP provider in relation to the alleged misselling of investment products
- Acting on behalf of a respondent to a complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman
- Advising and representing the administrator and trustee of a SIPP on an application by a discretionary beneficiary for pre-action disclosure of scheme documentation
- Advising on the recoverability of funds transferred to a company in administration from the company pension scheme
Henry also has experience of advising on matters in relation to the Local Government Pension Scheme.
In 2015 Henry completed a secondment to the Financial Services Disputes and Investigations department in the London office of what is now Eversheds Sutherland, working for part of his time with the pensions litigation team and assisting with cases concerning (inter alia) rectification of pension scheme documentation, 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.
Henry is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers and sits on the Association’s Pensions Litigation Sub-Committee. He is also a regular contributor to LexisPSL Pensions.
Henry’s practice encompasses a broad variety of trusts-related litigation and advisory work, including matters arising out of wills and private trusts, pension trusts (see Pensions) and charitable trusts (see Charities).
In the private context, Henry accepts instructions on behalf of executors, trustees, beneficiaries and other potentially interested parties. He advises on the validity and construction of wills, the administration of estates, and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, and has represented clients in the course of both contentious and non-contentious probate proceedings in the Chancery and Family Divisions of the High Court.
In addition to wills and estates work, recent matters in which Henry has been involved have concerned the existence and operation of constructive and resulting trusts; variation of trusts; rectification of trust deeds and related professional negligence; the appointment and removal of trustees; the nature, scope and purpose of trustee powers and duties (in relation, inter alia, to the exercise of powers of amendment, disclosure of trust documents, loans of trust property, and advancement and appointment to beneficiaries); and the obtaining of Beddoe relief.
Henry also has experience of advising, where relevant, on capital gains and inheritance tax issues and of drafting trust deeds.
Henry advises and represents clients on a wide range of regulatory matters arising out of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), related statutory instruments and the FCA Handbook.
He has a particular interest in the regulatory regime as it applies to personal pensions. Matters in which he has recently been instructed in this regard include an Adams-type claim against a SIPP administrator for repayment of investment sums under FSMA s.27 and a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service by a former investor, alleging failures of due diligence and consequent breaches of the FCA’s Principles for Businesses and associated guidance.
Henry has previously been seconded to the FCA and he continues to be instructed by the regulator on an ad hoc basis.
Particular matters on which Henry has advised the FCA include:
- the development of the FCA’s pensions strategy, with particular regard to pension liberation, scheme charge capping and the introduction of independent governance committees for contract-based schemes
- the closure of an insurance company providing a pension scheme product in the absence of consent from gone-away clients, and on mechanisms by which redress could, if necessary, be obtained
- the validity and effect of a trust set up to fund the costs of an orderly wind-down of an authorised firm’s regulated activities
- the liabilities of mortgage lenders and third party administrators under FSMA, the Regulated Activities Order 2001, the Appointed Representatives Regulations 2001 and the FCA Handbook
- access to the Financial Ombudsman Scheme for clients of an offshore scheme and compliance of the offshore scheme with the provisions of the FCA Handbook
- the validity and effect under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and under the provisions of the FCA Handbook of proposed variations to a contract between group entities and gone-away clients
- the implementation of a card insurance misselling redress exercise
- the priority of distribution of assets in the event of the insolvency of an insurance company
Henry has also advised the FCA on a range of matters relating to individual regulated firms, including:
- whether a broker of structured investment plans was acting within the scope of its regulatory permissions and, in particular, in compliance with the agency rule in COBS 2.4.3R
- whether certain investment product comparison websites would give rise to a breach of FSMA s.21
- whether a benevolent scheme proposed by a credit union would fall within the FCA Handbook’s insurance perimeter
- voluntary variations of permission by authorised persons under FSMA Part IVA
- the interrelation between the FCA’s rules on firm trading names and appointed representatives, and the circumstances in which a person must be authorised by the FCA or claim exempt status, under FSMA Part III
- interpretation of the FCA Handbook’s rules governing approved persons
- commissioning of a skilled person report under FSMA s.166
- provision of financial services by members of the professions under FSMA Part XX
- disclosure of confidential information by the FCA to firms and other regulators and authorities under FSMA Part XXIII and the Disclosure of Confidential Information Regulations 2001
- statutory immunity of the FCA from liability under FSMA Sch. 1ZA
- phoenix companies
- unregulated collective investment schemes
While at the FCA Henry also assisted in the drafting of notices under FSMA s.165, notices of variation of permission under FSMA Part IVA, attestations and deed polls.
In 2018 Henry was instructed as a legal expert on the appeal process (overseen by Sir William Blackburne) arising out of the complaints procedure set up by the Royal Bank of Scotland for SME customers allegedly mistreated by the bank’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG) between 2008 and 2013.
In 2015 Henry undertook a secondment to the Financial Services Disputes and Investigations department in the London office of what is now Eversheds Sutherland. Much of his time there was spent working on the defence, which ultimately proved successful, of an Enforcement Investigation by the FCA, including advising on the scope of FSMA s.66, the FCA’s Principles for Businesses and questions of privilege.
Complementing his financial services practice, Henry co-edits Wurtzburg & Mills on Building Society Law, together with fellow members of chambers Elizabeth Ovey and Mark Fell, and a team from Allen & Overy.
Henry has experience of advising and representing clients in negligence claims against a wide range of professionals, including solicitors, art dealers, auction houses and surveyors.
Alongside his wider pensions practice, he maintains a particular interest in claims against pension scheme advisers. By way of example, he is currently instructed in a multi-million pound claim against an occupational pension scheme’s former solicitors 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.
Henry’s experience in this area also includes Capita ATL Pension Trustees Ltd & Ors v Sedgwick Financial Services Ltd and Mercer Ltd (2016), in which he was instructed (with Keith Rowley QC) on behalf of the trustees of one of the Sea Containers pension schemes in a claim against the scheme’s former actuarial advisers, administrators and pensions consultants, again arising out of alleged failed equalisation.
Henry advises charities on a range of matters. Recent work has included:
- Advising a national charity on its obligations in relation to third party fundraisers under the Charities Act 1992
- Advising a national charity on its fundraising practices (by reference to legislation, the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Practice, the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association’s Rule Book and decisions of the FundRaising Standards Board)
- Advising a religious charity on the status of its trusteeship and on an application to the Charity Commission to remove and appoint trustees, alternatively for authorisation to bring proceedings
- Advising on the duties of the trustees of a charitable company limited by guarantee
Henry also has experience of the intersection of charities and pensions law, having been instructed as junior counsel by the appealing charity in Barnardo’s & Ors v Buckinghamshire & Ors  EWCA Civ 1064, an appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the use of the retail prices index for uprating benefits under the charity’s staff pension scheme.
Henry is happy to accept instructions with an international dimension, whether in a private or corporate context. His experience includes:
- Advising a Belgian company on a claim against its supplier, a UK-based multinational, for breach of contract
- Advising Canadian-domiciled private clients on the enforceability of a settlement agreement in relation to property situated in Uganda
- Advising a UK-domiciled private client in relation to a loan agreement with a Spanish-domiciled counterparty
- Successfully acting for the claimant in a c.£1.5 million cross-border contractual dispute between companies incorporated in England and California
- Advising as part of the legal team acting for a beneficiary of a Bahamas-based trust in a large multi-jurisdictional asset recovery action
- Abouraya v Sigmund & Ors  EWHC 277 (Ch) – Successfully resisting an application for permission to bring a double derivative claim involving individuals domiciled in Egypt and Germany and companies incorporated in Hong Kong, the UK and Switzerland
- “[A] distinguished junior” who “brings clear analysis to complex problems and [is] consistently very responsive. Very approachable and friendly, with a good sense of humour, which was of great assistance during a complex and sometimes tense matter.” (Pensions, Legal 500 UK Bar 2021)
- “He is very switched-on, very knowledgeable and easy to work with.” (Pensions, Chambers UK Bar 2021)
- “An excellent junior; he is calm under pressure, practical and very bright.” (Pensions, Legal 500 UK Bar 2020)
- “Henry is very bright indeed. He has a very good manner on the telephone and in conference, with a considerable grasp of detail.” (Pensions, Chambers UK Bar 2020)
- “A rising junior who is carving out a real pensions following.” (Pensions, Legal 500 UK Bar 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 Bar 2019)
- “Hard-working, measured and very bright.” (Pensions, Chambers UK Bar 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 Bar 2018)
- “An up-and-coming junior, he is bright and user-friendly.” (Pensions, Chambers UK Bar 2018)
He also writes frequently on case law developments in the fields of pensions, private client and financial services:
- “Court of Appeal holds section 62 of the Pensions Act 1995 effective to close Barber window”: article for LexisPSL Pensions (July 2020) on Safeway Ltd v Newton  EWCA Civ 869 and its implications for pension schemes with historic benefit equalisation issues
- “Financial Ombudsman Service at odds with High Court in second Carey SIPP case”: article for LexisPSL Pensions (June 2020) on the determination of the FOS in T v Carey Pensions UK LLP, considering the difference in approach between the FOS and the courts on the issue of SIPP providers’ client obligations
- “Landmark investment loss claim against SIPP provider dismissed”: article for LexisPSL Pensions (May 2020) examining the impact of the High Court’s decision in Adams v Options SIPP UK LLP (formerly Carey Pensions UK LLP)  EWHC 1229 (Ch) on the nature and extent of SIPP providers’ legal liability to their clients
- “Lifetime Allowance protection and late notification – what amounts to ‘reasonable excuse’?”: article for LexisPSL Pensions (March 2020) on the decision in Hayes v HMRC  UKFTT 0092 (TC) and the Lifetime Allowance regime under the Finance Act 2004
- “Simple rationality test should be applied in determining pension trustee application for approval of decision to settle”: article for LexisPSL Pensions (November 2019) on the decisions in Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd v Fielder  EWHC 3027 (Ch) and  3032 (Ch), examining whether the test to be applied by the court in considering a trustee’s application for approval of a settlement is affected by a previous grant of Beddoe relief
- “Court grants Beddoe relief in respect of pension scheme trustee’s appeal”: article for LexisPSL Pensions (January 2019) on the decision in Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Ltd v Fielder  EWHC 29 (Ch) and the availability of Beddoe relief to trustees on appeal
- “Construction and rectification in the context of a family deed of trust”: article for LexisPSL Private Client (September 2018) on the decision in Millar and Pearson v Millar  EWHC 1926 (Ch) and the proper approach to the construction and rectification of a unilateral instrument
- “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
Henry regularly speaks at conferences, at solicitors’ firms and at Radcliffe Chambers’ in-house seminars. Recent talks include:
- “Are Trustees in a Privileged Position?”, Radcliffe Chambers Private Client Conference (London, May 2019) and ConTrA Trusts in Litigation Conference (Athens, February 2019)
- “BA v APSTL – the Court of Appeal decision”, Radcliffe Chambers Junior Programme (London, September 2018)
- Case Law Update, Association of Pension Lawyers Summer Conference (London, June 2018)
- “The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975: some recent cases”, Howard Kennedy LLP (London, March 2018)
- “BA v APSTL: challenges to the exercise of discretionary powers”, Lane Clark & Peacock LLP (London, November 2017) and Association of Pension Lawyers (London and Leeds, July 2017)
- “Barnardo’s v Buckinghamshire: indexation, revaluation and RPI v CPI”, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (London, February 2017)
- “Re BCA Pension Plan and s.48 Administration of Justice Act 1985”, Radcliffe Chambers Junior Programme (London, March 2016)
- “Expert Evidence in Pensions Disputes”, Radcliffe Chambers Junior Programme (London, November 2015)
Henry assists with Radcliffe Chambers’ Student Barrister Experience Programme, an initiative organised in collaboration with Big Voice London that aims to inspire and support young people from backgrounds that are currently under-represented at the Bar. The programme was named Diversity and Inclusion Initiative of the Year at the UK Diversity Legal Awards 2018.
Henry read Classics at Merton College, Oxford, where he was made a college scholar and won numerous college prizes before graduating in 2003 with a Double First. He stayed on at Merton to study for an MSt in Classical Languages and Literature, in which he received a Distinction.
Henry subsequently completed a PhD on the classical Roman poet Lucan at Trinity College, Cambridge, funded by a full doctoral scholarship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. In the course of his PhD, Henry won several faculty studentships and was also awarded a scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, allowing him to conduct additional research at the Freie Universität Berlin. Henry’s doctoral thesis was published by Cambridge University Press as a monograph entitled Lucan and the Sublime (2013, 2020).
After converting to law in 2010, Henry undertook his Bar Professional Training Course at City Law School, on which he was graded Outstanding, winning the school’s Everard Ver Heyden Foundation Prize. He was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in October 2011 and is a recipient of the Inn’s major CPE and BPTC awards, the Lord Bowen and Lord Mansfield scholarships, as well as a Hardwicke Entrance Award and a Buchanan Prize for his performance in Bar Finals.
Association of Pension Lawyers, ConTrA – The Contentious Trusts Association, Financial Services Lawyers Association, Chancery Bar Association, Lincoln’s Inn.