UK - The pensions ombudsman has taken the unprecedented step of outsourcing casework to junior barristers, IPN's sister publication, Professional Pensions can reveal.
Trainee barristers at Wilberforce Chambers have been hired by the ombudsman, David Laverick, to bolster his team of case workers and alleviate the backlog of cases at his office.
It is hoped that once the backlog has been dealt with, the ombudsman should be able to process every complaint within six months.
Linklaters pensions litigation lawyer Mark Blyth branded the move a “crisis management exercise” and stressed that it would “suck up” the ombudsman’s legal expenses budget for the year.
Eversheds head of pensions Giles Orton added: “The odd thing is that the ombudsman is trying not to be legalistic.
“If you go to people who are technically very good lawyers but not experts in pensions you are getting a legalistic decision but not a practical one.”
PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte must break up their consultancy and audit businesses into distinct firms to provide greater focus on the "most challenging and objective audits", the competition watchdog has said.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released its first batch of guidance setting out how the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion legislation may be used to resolve unequal payments.
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