UK - Linklaters has denied raising an 11th-hour objection to the proposed Equitable Life compromise that could threaten the whole deal, despite reports to the contrary.
A spokesman for the law firm said: “We have not advised any of our clients to take any steps which might prevent the implementation of the Equitable Life deal.”
Linklaters had been approached by one client to consider the effects of the deal on its group pension scheme and came to the conclusion that the group members could still be entitled to valuable guaranteed annuity rate (GAR) policies, even though the mutual withdrew GAR rights from group schemes between 1988 and 1993.
Linklaters said it felt obliged to bring the issue to the attention of other clients but had not issued a official advice to vote against the compromise deal. It said its advice would depend on individual circumstances.
Last year, the House of Lords found that the world's oldest mutual society had reneged on promises made when GAR policies were first sold. The 239-year-old insurer did not have orphan assets to absorb the cost of honouring the pledges.
The results of the vote on the compromise scheme will be revealed at the end of this month. To be successful, more than 50% of each class of policyholders by number and 75% by value must vote in favour of the scheme.
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