The Appeal Court in Scotland has struck down a challenge to pension fund rules which could have made administrating complex schemes more difficult.
In the case Trustees of the Scottish Solicitors Staff Pension Fund v Pattison and Sim & Ors, partners from a law firm argued they did not have to pay out money to trustees from the scheme in question.They argued there was no paper trail to back up the claims of the trustees and therefore the money could not be paid.
In his judgment Lord Drummond Young said it was important to assume the scheme had been run well and not fault trustees on technicalities.
"There is a general presumption that all the necessary procedures have been properly followed, the result being that the burden of proving otherwise rests on any party who challenges the transaction," he said.
The judge said it would be very hard to run pension schemes if every transaction was challenged based on technicalities.
According to Pinsent Masons partner Craig Connal, the decision should be taken on board by judges in other parts of the UK.
"The judgment avoids creating a major practical problem and its supportive approach will give comfort to those administering pension schemes and long term trusts and contractual arrangements in Scotland," he said.
"There is a feeling that some decisions in England and Wales have taken an approach which is too technical. I think there is a question as to whether everybody would take the same approach."
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