A recent High Court judgment that has touched upon this area of developing case law is The Major and Burgesses of the London Borough of Croydon v Oasis Community Learning  EWHC 2 (Ch). This long running dispute concerns the funding basis imposed by an LGPS administering authority and in these proceedings the defendant sought to amend its defence and counterclaim on the basis that a different method had been applied for two of the four academies in question (which were previously under local authority control as maintained schools). The judge dismissed the application for amendment, on the basis that it would raise a new cause of action.
However, it is thought that the final judgment in this case could provide useful guidance in relation to not only how administering authorities should exercise funding powers, but also in relation to duties owed to LGPS members and employers.
Although the Supreme Court in the case of R (Palestine Solidarity Campaign Ltd) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government  1 WLR 1774 (read our previous article about this case here) accepted that administering authorities owe “quasi-trustee” duties to LGPS members (at least in the area of investment), the facts of the case did not require it to consider what this entailed. Therefore, some clear guidance concerning the decision making processes and scope of administering authorities’ duties – including the interaction between fiduciary or quasi-fiduciary duties and other statutory, common and public law duties – would certainly be welcomed.
Written by Hannah Taylor
“The interaction between the public law and fiduciary duties of an administering authority for the purposes of the LGPS is a matter of some uncertainty and I have not received submissions as to the precise boundaries between the two. That this boundary is not clearly established in authority would seem to be evident…”