O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors were recently asked to assist in the defence of proceedings for a Public Authority in England, which were issued in the High Court of Northern Ireland on foot of an Appeal.
The Appellant had brought proceedings in respect of a Pensions Ombudsman Decision. The root of the dispute argued by the Appellant was that he was eligible for a higher band of medical retirement than that received. The Pensions Ombudsman disagreed with this submission and found that the correct medical band had been applied.
The Appellant wished to dispute the Ombudsman’s decision, however, to pursue the matter in English Courts leave to appeal was required. It was our clients position that there are two statutory schemes for the right of Appeal, The Pensions Act 1993 and the Pensions (NI) Act 1993. The first is applicable to Great Britain and the second is the Northern Ireland Act.
As such our offices, argued that the Appellant had brought an Appeal in the wrong jurisdiction and that the application should be struck out on the basis that it had no reasonable cause of action.
The matter was successfully defended, and the Appeal was dismissed.
This was a highly important matter to the client as this was a precedent case, if the Appeal had not been dismissed then multiple Pensions disputes would have had the ability to be heard in the Northern Ireland Courts, without the requirement for leave.
Should you have a pensions query please contact Christina Lishman within the Commercial Litigation Team, whom has successfully dealt with multiple pensions cases within the Jurisdiction.