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School of Law

Professor of Commercial Law in the Commercial Court

30 June 2017

Gerard McMeel, the Professor of Commercial Law, and a barrister, advised and represented the claimants, Mr and Mrs Alan Shearer and the trustees of their pension schemes, in their multi-million pound claim against Suffolk Life Pensions Ltd and Suffolk Life Annuities Ltd (“Suffolk Life”), a self-invested personal pension (“SIPP”) provider and a life insurance company, and other parties.

Alan Shearer is a former professional and international footballer, having won the Premiership with Blackburn Rovers in 1995, and subsequently played for Newcastle United. He remains the all-time top goal scorer in the Premiership. He is now a sports pundit and regularly appears on Match of the Day.

The claims at common law, for breach of fiduciary duty and for breaches of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, related to permissible assets in their SIPP, unregulated collective investment schemes and traded life policy investments. Gerard was instructed by Charles Russell Speechlys’ London office (Graeme Kleiner). Suffolk Life were represented by Javan Herberg QC and David Lowe of Blackstone Chambers.

The trial commenced on 14 June 2017 before Mr Justice Leggatt in the Commercial Court in London, and on the second day Mr and Mrs Shearer settled their claims against Suffolk Life on commercial terms. No further comment will be made on the terms of the settlement.

Gerard has long-standing expertise and experience in banking and financial services law. He teaches contract, commercial and banking law at the University. He is a co-author of McMeel and Virgo on Financial Advice and Financial Products (3rd edn, 2014, Oxford University Press).

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