Survey reveals pensioners left out in the cold

City law firm Manches & Co reports that business opinion is split down the middle on whether employees who opted to take out personal pensions should be allowed back into company schemes.

The finding comes despite the personal pensions mis-selling scandal which saw many employees wrongly advised to opt out of corporate plans during the 1980s.

City watchdog the Securities and Investments Board has since said that it is rarely beneficial to switch out of schemes set up by companies.

A survey commissioned by Manches found that although 60 per cent of companies which responded run occupational pension plans, less than half of these are allowing employees back into the fold if they opted into personal pensions.

Manches partner Simon Walker commented: “Even those who are prepared to allow employees back into their scheme appear to be saying that it is the responsibility of the Government and employees' financial advisers, rather than employers, to compensate staff for loss of benefits.

“In view of the delays that have already occurred in sorting out this mess, these results offer little or no comfort to the luckless employees.”

Orange wins test case against rival over advertising 'knocking copy'

Baker & McKenzie acted for mobile phones operator Orange to beat off a High Court challenge by rival Vodafone in an important test case regarding advertising 'knocking copy'.

Vodafone, represented by Herbert Smith, claimed malicious falsehood and infringement of trademark during an advertising campaign by Orange last autumn. During the marketing blitz Orange claimed its users saved an average of £20 a month compared with the Vodafone tariff of the time.

In support of the claim for malicious falsehood, it was alleged certain of the defendant's witnesses had committed perjury. This allegation was dismissed by the trail judge as “preposterous”.

A Bakers spokesman commented: “Mr Justice Jacob said that to succeed in the trade mark infringement claim, the plaintiff needs to prove simply that the claim was false.”

Bakers added:”The decision will probably be welcomed by the advertising industry, containing as it does some useful judicial pronouncements on the comparative scepticism with which the public regard advertising campaigns.”

Bakers was represented by partner Harry Small while counsel for the defendant were John Baldwin and Richard Meade. Counsel for the plaintiff were Richard Hartley and James Mellor, who were instructed by Herbert Smith. Mark Shillito was the Herbert Smith partner, assisted by Hermione Hague.

At the time of Vodafone's allegations, Orange was engaged on a major public relations offensive gearing up to its flotation on the London Stock Exchange.