Pensions litigation in Scotland
Produced in partnership with Frances Ennis of Bellwether Green
Pensions litigation in Scotland

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Frances Ennis of Bellwether Green provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pensions litigation in Scotland
  • Prescription
  • How the Scottish courts deal with pension schemes
  • Definition of ‘deed’
  • Rectification
  • Constructive interpretation
  • Amendment formalities
  • ‘Bigger picture’ approach to pension schemes

Prescription

The starting point for any legal advisor in considering raising an action is ascertaining the timeframe within which any claim(s) must be brought. In Scotland, this is covered by the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 (the Prescription Act), which deals with the ‘prescription of obligations’ (as opposed to the ‘limitation of actions’ in England and Wales).

General principles

Before considering any timeframe within which a claim in respect of an obligation ought to be brought, it is necessary first to consider the type of obligation in question and consequently, the section of the 1973 Act to which such an obligation relates. In general terms, claims relating to the administration of pension schemes may well fall within the Prescription Act, s 6 although of course, potential issues can range from professional negligence claims against scheme administrators to liability for contingent debt.

The types of obligations covered by s 6 are found in Schedule 1 of the Prescription Act. For present purposes, they include ‘any obligation arising from, or by reason of any breach of contract’.

Section 6 provides that an obligation will be extinguished if, after a continuous period of five years:

  1. no claim has been brought in respect of it, or

  2. no relevant acknowledgement of the subsistence of the obligation has been made

The clock will start ticking on a claim

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