Elizabeth Ovey

Barrister, Radcliffe Chambers
Elizabeth is a hugely experienced senior junior, having developed her pensions practice over the past 25 years, and acts for a diverse client base of trustees, employer companies and individual pensioners.



Elizabeth's initial involvement in professional negligence resulted largely from the collapse of the property market at the end of the 1980’s, as a result of which many financial institutions sought to recover their losses through negligence actions against their professional advisers (in particular, their solicitors) and she was instructed to act on behalf of building society and bank clients for that purpose. Her understanding of the conveyancing and mortgage background was particularly useful in this context.



Her professional negligence practice now covers a much wider field. In addition to alleged negligence in conveyancing matters, she has dealt with cases against solicitors involving advice on financial and property transactions, the drafting of documents and the conduct of litigation, itself relating to a wide variety of matters. She has also been involved in claims against other professionals, such as insurance brokers, surveyors, accountants and actuaries.



The banking and financial services aspect of Elizabeth’s practice has grown out of chambers’ long-established connection with building societies, which has always included a substantial drafting and property law element, as well as litigation. In recent years, the increasing extent of regulation of financial services documentation and the developing strategies of the Financial Services Authority, the Office of Fair Trading and the Financial Ombudsman Service have ensured a steady stream of work raising compliance issues.



Elizabeth is joint editor of Wurzburg and Mills on Building Society Law (Sweet and Maxwell) and co-author of Current Law Statutes Annotated Edition of the Building Societies Act 1986. Malcolm Waters QC and she were members of the working party which produced the Standard Conditions of Sale (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th editions) and the Standard Commercial Property Conditions (1st and 2nd editions). Elizabeth and Malcolm are also contributing editors of The Law of Investor Protection (2nd edition) (Sweet and Maxwell).



Elizabeth acted as co-Consultant with Charles Proctor for the Halsbury's Laws Fifth Edition Financial Services and Institutions title.
Contributed to

17

Age discrimination for pension lawyers
Practice Note

This Practice Note covers the statutory framework for age discrimination and explains the distinction between direct and indirect discrimination and the requirement for a comparator. This Practice Note also considers the extent to which the age discrimination framework applies to pensions, including what statutory exceptions are in place, the consequences of age discrimination and the impact of the abolition of the default retirement age.

Age discrimination—the pension exceptions and when they apply
Practice Note

There are three categories of pension exceptions that have been worked into the statutory framework for age discrimination: exceptions relating to length of service, exceptions that apply to occupational pension schemes and exceptions that apply to personal pension schemes. This Practice Note looks into these exceptions. In particular, it considers the legal status of those exceptions and explains what each exception is.

Equalisation and Barber—the pension implications
Practice Note

This Practice Note explains the basic sex equalisation principles imposed by European law and how these were brought into domestic pensions law via the Barber case. This Practice Note also looks into the practical implications of the Barber case and other later equalisation cases, including Ten Oever, Coloroll, Trustee Solutions v Dubery, Hodgson v Toray Textiles, Bestrustees v Stuart, Harland & Wolff Pension Trustees v Aon Consulting Financial Services, and Safeway v Newton.

Equalisation of guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs)
Practice Note

This Practice Note covers the equalisation issues surrounding guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs), including the intrinsic inequality of GMPs, the position taken by the government and the High Court in the case Lloyds Banking Group Pensions Trustees Limited v Lloyds Bank plc, the way in which arguments against GMP equalisation were addressed, the legislative problems surrounding GMP equalisation, pre-Lloyds case law, the possible GMP equalisation methods, the approach taken for public sector schemes and schemes in the Pension Protection Fund.

Equalisation problems in practice—the key cases for pension lawyers
Practice Note

This Practice Note considers the courts’ approach to certain sex equalisation / Barber issues involving mixed retirement ages, non-compliance with the terms of the power of amendment and contractual promises made outside a pension scheme. The cases considered include Trustee Solutions v Dubery (also known as Cripps v Trustee Solutions), Foster Wheeler v Hanley, BESTrustees v Stuart, Capital Cranfield Trustees v Beck, Premier Foods Group Services v RHM Pension Trust, HR Trustees v Wembley, Re Sea Containers (in liquidation), Smith v Avdel Systems, Harland & Wolff Pension Trustees v Aon Consulting Financial Services, Safeway v Newton, and Archer v Travis Perkins.

Fixed-term workers—discrimination issues relating to pensions
Practice Note

This Practice Note considers pension discrimination issues relating to fixed-term employees under the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002, including the persons to whom the Regulations apply, how the Regulations operate and how employees can enforce their rights.

Objective justification for pension lawyers
Practice Note

This Practice Note explains the circumstances in which a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) that is indirectly discriminatory can be objectively justified. In particular, this Practice Note looks at the legislative framework for objective justification, statutory guidance produced by the Commission for Equality and Human Rights and the approach adopted by courts in cases such as MacCulloch v Imperial Chemical Industries, Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes, R (Age UK) v Secretary of State for BIS, Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Oxer-Patey v Metropolitan Police Commissioner, McCloud v Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, and Sargeant v London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

Objective justification—the key cases for pension lawyers
Practice Note

This Practice Note considers some of the key cases on the principle of objective justification for direct and indirect discrimination. The relevant cases include Bilka-Kaufhaus GmbH v Weber von Hartz, Trustees of Uppingham School v Shillcock, Cross v British Airways, Woodcock v Cumbria Primary Care Trust, MacCulloch v Imperial Chemical Industries, the Heydey case, Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes, Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police and Ministry of Justice v O’Brien.

Part-time workers, fixed-term workers and discrimination—the key cases for pension lawyers
Practice Note

This Practice Note discusses the key cases in which the courts have been concerned with claims based on the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 or the underlying European Directive, ie with issues as between part-time and full-time workers, whatever the gender of the workers concerned. This Practice Note also discusses the key cases in which the courts have been concerned with claims based on the Fixed-term Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 or the underlying European Directive, ie with issues as between fixed-term and permanent workers.

Part-time workers—discrimination issues relating to pensions
Practice Note

This Practice Note considers pension discrimination issues relating to part-time workers, including in terms of establishing indirect discrimination, retrospective membership issues and applicable time limits. This Practice Note also looks at the impact of the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, SI 2000/1551.

Sex discrimination for pension lawyers
Practice Note

This Practice Note looks at the legal framework for protection against sex discrimination in the context of pension schemes as developed by the EU, the UK and caselaw (eg Barber v Guardian Royal Exchange, Ten Oever, Bilka-Kaufhaus v Weber, Preston v Wolverhampton, Safeway v Newton). This Practice Note also looks at the pension areas affected by equal treatment requirements and the distinction between direct and indirect discrimination.

Sex discrimination—the key cases for pension lawyers
Practice Note

This Practice Note considers the key sex discrimination cases in the context of pension schemes, including Bilka-Kaufhaus v Weber von Hartz, Barber v Guardian Royal Exchange, Birds Eye Walls v Roberts, Ten Oever, Coloroll Pension Trustees v Russell, Vroege v NCIV Instituut voor Vollshuisvesting BV, Preston v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust, Harland & Wolff Pension Trustees v Aon Consulting Financial Services, and Safeway v Newton.

The Judicial Pension Scheme 1993 (JUPRA)
Practice Note

This Practice Note covers the judicial pension scheme established by the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993 (known as the Judicial Pension Scheme 1993 (JPS 1993) or JUPRA), including the statutory framework, governance, eligibility, contributions, retirement benefits, lump sum death benefits, survivor’s benefits, and other matters such as pension increases and transfers. Although this Practice Note is concerned principally with the JPS 1993, some reference is also made to the Judicial Pension Scheme 1981.

The Judicial Pension Scheme 2015
Practice Note

This Practice Note covers the statutory framework governing the Judicial Pension Scheme 2015 (JPS 2015) as well as its governance, eligibility requirements, contribution levels and benefit features, and other matters such as pension increases and transfers.

The Test-Achats case—the pension implications
Practice Note

This Practice Note considers the implications of the Association belge des Consommateurs Test-Achats v Conseil des Ministres case (the Test-Achats case) and EU law on the use of sex-based actuarial factors in insurance products and occupational pension schemes.

Other work

Practice areas

Membership

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Association of Pension Lawyers
  • Charity Law Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Association of Women Barristers

Panel

  • Consulting Editorial Board
  • Contributing Author
  • Other Publications

Education

  • St Anne's College, Oxford: first-class degree in jurisprudence

If you expected to see yourself on this page, click here.