UK public funds could be missing out on millions in compensation through non-participation in US-based class action lawsuits, according to industry insiders.
Everard claimed a third of county council pension funds - a total of 35 schemes - were not participating in the 140 cases brought by shareholders in the US as a result of the sub-prime crisis.
He said: "Larger funds with assets under management of between £2.5bn and £3.5bn have in the range of 8% to 11% in US equities. Most of these would be index stocks and therefore affected by the sub-prime crisis.
"By not participating, there is a clear failure of duty on the part of trustees," he said.
Speaking more generally on class action lawsuits, Thomas Dubbs, partner at New York-based law firm Labaton Sucharow, stated: "I would estimate only 10% to 20% of local authority pension plans have got to the point where they are addressing the filing of claims in class actions."
However, Dubbs did say over the past 18 to 24 months there had been a significant increase in funds seeking to take part in lawsuits.
Labaton Sucharow is representing the Scottish Lothian Pension Fund as co-lead plaintiff in its ongoing case against petroleum giant BP.
Dubbs said Lothian had taken co-lead for two reasons: "First, it wants to obtain compensation for members of its pension scheme. Second, it also wants to deliver its green agenda."
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