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Bradley v Secretary of State for Pensions

DATE: 01 Jan 2007

I appeared for the Parliamentary Ombudsman, instructed by Beachcroft LLP, in the Court of Appeal on appeal from the decision of Mr Justice Bean ([2007] EWHC 242 (Admin); [2007] Pens. L.R. 87)

In this case it is alleged that the government was wrong to reject the Ombudsman's report into collapsed occupational pension schemes.

The Ombudsman's report, Trusting in the Pensions Promise, published in March 2006, found that leaflets published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between 1996 and 2004 encouraging the public to stay in company pension schemes were misleading and incomplete by failing to warn readers that their pensions were at risk if their company pension scheme wound up.

The appeal raises important legal and constitutional issues as to the discharge of the statutory functions vested in the Ombudsman and the consequent relationship between the Ombudsman, the Government and citizens who consider that they have suffered injustice caused by maladministration.

The case has received a lot of media attention:
see e.g. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6383233.stm
and http://business.scotsman.com/ViewArticle.aspx?articleid=3311073

judgment is awaited.