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Trustees of the Rex Procter & Partners Retirement Benefits Scheme v Scottish Widows

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Trustees of the Rex Procter & Partners Retirement Benefits Scheme v Scottish Widows


13 July 2015

On 24 June 2015 Lord Doherty issued his Opinion in a £2.5 million professional negligence case involving advice given to the trustees of a pension scheme by an actuary.  The trustees claimed that, on the basis of negligent advice, they had transferred their pension scheme's assets out of investment vehicle that had valuable guarantees into a riskier type of investment.

The defenders argued that, although there was no choice of law clause, the applicable law was English law and that the pursuers' cause of action was time-barred under the Limitation Act 1980. Lord Doherty found that English law applied and, having heard evidence on the application of English law from two barristers, decided that the case was in fact time-barred.  Lord Doherty also considered the position under the Scots law of prescription and came to the same conclusion, having considered the implications of the Supreme Court's decision in David T. Morrison & Co. Ltd v ICL Plastics Ltd in the context of a claim for pure economic loss.

Martin Richardson of Axiom was junior counsel for the pursuers;  Heriot Currie Q.C. and Jonathan Barne of Axiom were counsel for the defenders.