UK - The Pensions Regulator's determinations panel will decide in September whether or not to issue a rare financial support direction for Lehman Brothers Holdings forcing it to fund the legacy UK pension scheme.
Barristers chambers Outer Temple told GP sister title Professional Pensions the regulator's determinations panel is expected to decide whether it will go ahead on September 8 and 9.
This comes just a week after the regulator issued its second ever FSD against companies in the Nortel group, requiring them to provide support for the UK scheme's £2.1bn deficit (Global Pensions; July 8, 2010).
And, according to barrister Richard Hitchcock, if the regulator goes ahead with an FSD, the deadline for issuance is September 14 - after the timetable for responding to the warning notice was extended by about five weeks.
The extension came after Outer Temple put in place proceedings for a judicial review of the regulator on behalf of Lehman Brothers Holdings Incorporated - one of the targets of the regulator's warning notice.
Hitchcock explained the warning notice came 20 months after Lehman Brothers' insolvency giving companies from the Lehman Brothers Group a "ludicrously short deadline" of four months to respond within the two-year statutory time limit.
He added: "We could not understand why the regulator was setting the time limit for responses. It seems odd that you can bring the case if you are a party and then dictate how long your opponents have to answer these things."
However, Outer Temple said the day before the hearing the regulator acknowledged it was the role of the determinations panel to set a new timetable, not the regulator.
A TPR spokeswoman said: "In all regulatory investigations the regulator's case teams seek to engage with all parties to reach a pragmatic resolution that is fair to all parties involved.
"The length of any investigation and the consequent deadlines set will of course be determined by the complexity of the case."
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer senior associate Charles Magoffin said: "Responding to some of the regulator's points in an FSD can involve a huge amount of factual analysis and hence the need for a more reasonable timetable is probably quite important."
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