Simon has a successful commercial practice. He has been described in the Legal 500 as “A real rising star” with “good attention to detail and a commercial approach.” The 2016-17 edition calls him “A super junior, who gets to grips with the detail and issues quickly.

Simon has a balanced workload acting both as sole counsel and as a junior to other members of chambers. He brings focused and strategic thinking to every matter, keeping the client’s broader commercial objectives for resolving its dispute firmly in view. Simon understands the value of a cool head, a responsive approach, and teamwork – especially in time-pressured situations.

He is a confident and persuasive advocate with 10 years of experience on his feet before the High Court, the Court of Appeal, and various other statutory and arbitral tribunals.

Areas of Expertise

Construction & Engineering
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Simon has an extensive practice in construction matters. He very much enjoys working with the technical issues that arise in this field, and takes particular care to establish a strong working relationship with the appointed experts in order to apply a forensic, early assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of any given matter (technical and legal).

He has experience of TCC litigation, adjudication and arbitration. In complex cases with multiple stakeholders, Simon works well in teams of all sizes and enjoys the team dynamic that develops between the lawyers, experts and key decision makers at the client (and if applicable, insurers).

Examples of experience:

  • Sir Robert McAlpine v (1) David Chipperfield Architects Limited (2) Hoare Lea Limited With Fiona Sinclair QC, defending a £35M delay and damages claim by the main contractor, following delayed completion of a development of 97 ultra luxury flats in Kensington.

 

  • Carillion Construction Limited v (1) Woods Bagot Europe Limited (2) AECOM Limited (3) EMCOR Engineering Services Limited (4) EMCOR (UK) Limited).  With Paul Cowan, Simon is defending EMCOR on a main contractor’s delay and defects claim, and pursuing EMCOR’s counterclaims for extension of time and £millions of loss and expense. This high profile litigation arises from the construction of the Rolls Building, now home to the Commercial Court, the TCC and much of the Chancery Division. At a preliminary issues hearing in April 2016, Paul and Simon were successful on the main preliminary issue concerning sub-contract EOT on a DOM/2 form, before Nerys Jefford QC (now Jefford J, whose decision can be viewed here). The Court of Appeal will hear an appeal against that decision in February 2017.

 

  • CIP Properties (AIPT) Limited v Galliford Try Infrastructure Limited v (1) EIC Limited (2) Kone PLC (3) DLG Architects LLP (4) Damond Lock Grabowski & Partners.  With Fiona Sinclair QC and Sian Mirchandani, acting for the architects DLG, resisting a main contractor’s £6M contribution and damages claim following the settlement of the developer claimant’s defects claim. The action related to the construction of the landmark “Broadway Plaza” development in Birmingham. The architect faced (and denied) allegations relating principally to the design, specification and inspection of the building’s drainage and water-proof membrane.

 

  • Led by Anneliese Day QC, acting on various adjudications and other disputes arising from a £2.7 billion PFI contract for the repair and maintenance of the Birmingham road network.

 

  • Acting for one of the world’s largest oil producers in a claim by 142 communities in the Niger Delta region, following an off-shore spill near the Southern coast of Nigeria. The case raised a number of highly complex issues: of jurisdiction and the correct operation of the Brussels Regulation; of Nigerian law; of the capacity in law of the claimant bodies to bring the action; of vicarious liability between group companies within the defendant’s operations; and factually as to the damage alleged to have been suffered by the claimants.

 

  • With Fiona Sinclair QC, defending a globally renowned main contractor in substantial adjudication proceedings concerning the visual appearance of rain-screen cladding on a flagship development for a very high-profile employer.

 

  • Assisting with the preparation of an injunction in support of UNCITRAL arbitration, to prevent an African nation government from expropriating an oil pipeline owned and operated by a consortium of major oil interests.

 

  • Doncasters Limited v (1) Aldridge Mechanical Services Limited (2) Exhausto Ventilation Services Limited.  Acting for a leading international engineering group that manufactures precision components and assemblies for the aerospace, industrial gas turbines, specialist automotive, petrochemical, construction, industrial, transportation and recreational markets. The claim related to the supply and installation of a defective air conditioning and relative humidity system in parts of the client’s premises.

 

  • Acting on a claim for unpaid hire and/or alleging the conversion of a Coflexip Choke Rilsan/10K hose to be used in off-shore drilling operations.

 

  • Advising on limitation in a claim against an intermediate supplier, in the context of the supply of defective furnace ash that was then used to manufacture house-bricks, which were in turn subsequently used on numerous new-build developments with random latent defects emerging over time.

 

  • Acting for a consultant structural engineer on a substantial claim for the total overnight collapse of a complex scaffold structure on a TV production set, with consequent damage to filming, audio and production equipment. Dispute between experts as to forces acting upon the structure and therefore mode of failure; and legally, dispute as to whether D assumed any responsibility to C whilst in sub-contract with separate employer.

 

  • Acting for a M&E contractor where the claimant alleged negligent planning, drawings and advice regarding lift shaft details for prestige residential development in SW1.

 

  • Defending an electrical engineer in a fire claim by freeholder of commercial premises, where it was alleged that a failure to detect water ingress into an electrical installation led to arcing and short circuits.
Commercial Dispute Resolution
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Simon has experience of contractual and commercial disputes of many kinds, advising and representing a very wide range of commercial clients in court, arbitration and mediation.  Many of his clients are domiciled or have their primary operations overseas.

Examples of experience:

  • Red Bull Racing Limited v Major Sponsor –  Simon is currently defending a claim brought the Red Bull Racing F1 team, arising out of a sponsorship and supply agreement. Simon’s client is a major Japanese food and drinks retailer, producer and distiller.

 

  • Acted for one of the world’s largest oil producers in a claim by 142 communities in the Niger Delta region, following an off-shore spill near the Southern coast of Nigeria. The cases raised a number of highly complex issues: of jurisdiction and the correct operation of the Brussels Regulation; of Nigerian law; of the capacity in law of the claimant bodies to bring the action; of vicarious liability between group companies within the defendant’s operations; and factually as to the damage alleged to have been suffered by the claimants.

 

  • Led by Roger Stewart QC, acted for the defendant bank in a claim by a legal expenses insurance intermediary, seeking £13M for alleged breaches of a funding agreement which backed a major claims management scheme.

 

  • Assisted with the preparation of an injunction in support of UNCITRAL arbitration, to prevent an African nation government from expropriating an oil pipeline owned and operated by a consortium of major oil interests.

 

  • Various Claimants v Ford Motor Company Limited  – Simon is currently advising a large group of claimants in relation to misstatement claims against Ford Motor Company Limited. The case concerns statements about the pension entitlements from which the claimants would benefit when transferred their employment transferred to Visteon, Ford’s former automotive parts division.

 

  • Currently acting for a major bank in a claim by its customer to reconstitute a pledge deposit account set up to support an intended debt finance raising exercise. The funds were fraudulently misappropriated but the bank argues the customer is liable for the loss due to disregard or negligence concerning security protocols.

 

  • Assisted a large team with the preparation of a Part 8 application by corporate trustees seeking the Court’s approval of a settlement of one of the largest pieces of insolvency litigation in Australian history, arising from the collapse a major national  newspaper group in 1980s.

 

  • QuikClot International Limited v Darwish Bin Ahmed & Co – Acted for defendant UAE military contractor in Commercial Court trial before HHJ Mackie QC, as to its obligations under a sale and distribution contract with the UK based manufacturers of a clotting agent for treating severe battlefield wounds.

 

  •  Securing a freezing injunction against the former finance director of a manufacturing plc after evidence of systematic but carefully disguised fraud was uncovered.

 

  • Advised a Swiss domiciled, US administered fund about a master supply agreement for the purchase and distribution of anti-malarial drugs to 10 of the poorest countries in the world. Client to provide majority funding for the purchase of the products, with port of destination companies and/or procurement agencies acting as buyers from major pharmaceutical sellers. Advised as to implications of carriage and sale contracts on risk, title and property in the goods.

 

  • Drafted witness evidence in the defence of a claim for breach of confidence against a senior corporate financier, brought by one the largest mining concerns in Kazakhstan.

 

  • Acted for UAE based claimants in respect of defendant’s breaches of sale and services contracts, under which defendant was to care for and rear offspring of valuable hunting birds for onward sale and use in sport across the Middle East.

 

  • CJ v (1) White Water Recoveries Investments Limited (2) Neil Isherwood Acted for claimant investor in breach of contract and misrepresentation claim following his investment into a purported search and recover operation for a World War II aircraft and its valuable cargo.

 

  • Advised Saudi domiciled account holder on his proposed role in a funding agreement for mining project in the Middle East. Advised client as to risks and liabilities associated with his movement of a £400,000.00 investment from a U.K. fund through three Saudi bank accounts, and money laundering implications

 

  • Acted for defendant highways contractor in a series of claims alleging damage to underground plant belonging to the claimant telecoms provider, during the course of major highway renovation/restructuring work (allegations denied)

 

  • Shand Air Cargo Limited v Richard Hywel Evans Design Limited Represented defendant shipper in claim by agent for freight and other charges, arising from unsuccessful multi-modal carriage of luxury furniture ex New York-London-Maldives. Set aside judgment on application which considered transfer of, and marks upon, bill of lading and other shipping documents.

 

Professional Liability
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Simon has extensive experience of claims involving a wide range of professionals. He has a mixed claimant and defence practice, acting for both institutional/corporate and individual claimants, and on behalf of many high profile insureds and leading PI insurers.

Simon is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA).

 

Construction Professionals

Simon has experience of acting for professionals in various disciplines within the construction project and very much enjoys working with the technical issues that arise in this field. He takes particular care to establish a strong working relationship with the appointed experts in order to apply a forensic, early assessment of the strengths and weaknesses (technical and legal) of any given matter.

Examples of experience:

  • Sir Robert McAlpine v (1) David Chipperfield Architects Limited (2) Hoare Lea Limited With Fiona Sinclair QC, defending a £35M delay and damages claim by the main contractor, following delayed completion of a development of 97 ultra luxury flats in Kensington.

 

  • Carillion Construction Limited v (1) Woods Bagot Europe Limited (2) AECOM Limited (3) EMCOR Engineering Services Limited (4) EMCOR (UK) Limited).  With Paul Cowan, Simon is defending EMCOR on a main contractor’s delay and defects claim, and pursuing EMCOR’s counterclaims for extension of time and £millions of loss and expense. This high profile litigation arises from the construction of the Rolls Building, now home to the Commercial Court, the TCC and much of the Chancery Division.

 

  • CIP Properties (AIPT) Limited v Galliford Try Infrastructure Limited v (1) EIC Limited (2) Kone PLC (3) DLG Architects LLP (4) Damond Lock Grabowski & Partners.  With Fiona Sinclair QC and Sian Mirchandani, Simon acts for the architects DLG, resisting a main contractor’s £6M contribution and damages claim following the settlement of the developer claimant’s defects claim. The action relates to the construction of the landmark “Broadway Plaza” development in Birmingham. The architect faces (and denies) allegations relating principally to the design, specification and inspection of the building’s drainage and water-proof membrane.

 

  • Doncasters Limited v (1) Aldridge Mechanical Services Limited (2) Exhausto Ventilation Services Limited.  Acting for the claimant engineering group on its claim regarding the supply and installation of a defective air conditioning and relative humidity system, at a plant that manufactures precision components and assemblies for the aerospace, industrial gas turbines, specialist automotive, petrochemical, construction, industrial, transportation and recreational markets.

 

  • Acting on a £4m claim against an architect in respect of alleged defects at a large distribution centre/warehouse in Warwickshire. Slab floor said to have suffered spalling at movement joints and cracking due to excessive loads from site traffic.

 

  • Acted for a consultant structural engineer on a substantial claim for the total overnight collapse of a complex scaffold structure on a TV production set, with consequent damage to filming, audio and production equipment. Dispute between experts as to forces acting upon the structure and therefore mode of failure; and legally, dispute as to whether D assumed any responsibility to C whilst in sub-contract with separate employer.

 

  • Acting for a mechanical and engineering contractor where the claimant alleged negligent planning, drawings and advice regarding lift shaft details for prestige residential development in SW1.

 

  • Defending an electrical engineer in a fire claim by freeholder of commercial premises, where it was alleged that a failure to detect water ingress into an electrical installation led to arcing and short circuits.
Financial Services Professionals

Simon enjoys working with the challenging issues generated by financial services work and is experienced in navigating complex products/investment structures, and the FSMA/COBS regimes. Simon also has experience of claims against mortgage and insurance brokers, and is familiar with expert issues on underwriting practice and coverage.

Examples of experience:

  • Major Pension Trustee v Investment Consultant With Sonia Tolaney QC, Simon acted for one of the largest occupational pension trusts in the country in a claim against its former investment consultants. The trust made a £250M investment into an emerging market currencies portfolio, and alleged that the use of USD/GBP currency forward contracts within the fund (FX ‘hedging’) diminished the returns on its investment by £10s of millions.

 

  • Assisted in representation of one of 11 defendants to a £6M breach of trust and negligence action, whereby insured financial adviser was accused of negligent failure to alert various investors – whose claims were settled by and assigned to claimant – about a series of fraudulent off-shore transfers of investors’ securities, leading to substantial losses.

 

  • Defended a co-administrator in respect of alleged £2M trading losses sustained during an administration of a company providing heating installation services in the construction sector.

 

  • Acting for the defendant accountants where claimant Newco alleges that a tax-efficient scheme to allocate shares to the managing director negligently failed to take into account Oldco’s £1.2M claim against a third party supplier, following which Oldco was liquidated, leading (allegedly) to an under-settlement of the claim against the third party

 

  • Defended an insurance broker said to have advised client to accept a policy which did not have provide for the liability of the company or its directors to self-employed only sub-contractors, where a sub-contractor then suffered serious injury on site.

 

  • Represented defendant tax advisers on a claim for negligent failure to warn client of risks associated with an SDLT mitigation scheme using unlimited companies to acquire claimant’s properties before in specie transfers back on completion.

 

  • Acted for defendant broker against allegations of negligently failing to ascertain (and then disclose) material facts from the client regarding prior claims history, leading to avoidance by PL insurer.

 

  • Defending an IFA against alleged negligence in the recommendation of a residential mortgage product.
Lawyers

Simon has a busy practice in lawyer claims arising from transactional and litigious work. He regularly pleads and advises (on both sides) in claims brought by lender claimants against solicitors, arising from both residential and high value commercial lending. The span of his caseload arising from litigious matters is broad, taking in a civil, commercial, construction, insurance, matrimonial, employment and other litigation.

  • (1) Empirical Property Group Limited & (2) FSL Properties Limited v (1) Gateley Manchester LLP (2) Gateley LLP  (Commercial Court) With Graham Chapman QC, Simon acted for the claimant property developers in a claim against this well-known law firm. As reported in The Lawyer, the dispute concerns the redevelopment of the ‘Trafford Press’ building in Manchester. The claimants say that Gateley’s errors caused the failure of the Trafford Press development and consequentially, the failure of a number of the group’s wider projects.
  • Mathiesen v Clintons (A Firm) [2013] EWHC 3056 (Ch). Led by Roger Stewart QC, acting for the claimant in her multi-million pound claim in negligence against her former solicitors, who acted for her in connection with a shareholders’ agreement governing the ownership of, and control of withdrawals by her ex-husband from, a family owned plc.

 

  • Led by Ben Hubble QC, currently acting for UNITE in defence of a group of claims brought by union members alleging a failure to pursue equal pay claims against Coventry City Council with sufficient speed, allegedly leading to losses by operation of statutory damage limitation provisions. Listed for 20 day trial in late 2014.

 

  • Power v Meloy Whittle Robinson: Simon successfully acted for the defendant firm at first instance, defeating claimant’s application for extension of time to serve Particulars of Claim after initial Court error in service. Due to be heard in the Court of Appeal in May 2014.

 

  • Stanton v Mayo Wynne Baxter – acting for the defendant solicitors where the claimant alleges under settlement of a clinical negligence claim. Simon successfully secured the strike out of the claim in February 2014; an appeal in 2014 will consider the inter-relationship between CPR r7.6 and the revised CPR r3.9.

 

  • Currently defending a claim against matrimonial solicitors for allegedly negligent strategic advice, as to whether a Russian client should concede his beneficial ownership of substantial property holdings that were legally owned by his son.

 

  • Currently acting for defendant specialist solicitors in negligence claims by separate former clients, who retained defendant via UNISON to pursue equal pay claims against Birmingham City Council during the unsettled 2009-2012 period culminating in the Supreme Court’s decision in Birmingham City Council v Abdulla.

 

  • Currently defending licensed conveyancer where former client alleges failure to advise in connection with available insurance options and/or building contract terms when acquiring a new build property, which has allegedly developed defects in its roof and drains.

 

  • Currently acting for claimant in his claim against a Portuguese law firm with former London presence, in respect of a property purchase in Rio de Janeiro, alleging negligent advice and obtaining inadequate security or protection against Brazilian developer’s insolvency.

 

  • Successfully resisted claimant’s application for relief from sanctions (September 2013) where his solicitors failed to serve bill of costs in accordance with Court  order, thereby limiting claimant’s costs recovery to just £5,000.00.

 

  • Advising a defendant in respect of claims brought against it for breach of warranty of authority in relation to a buy to let acquisition, raising Excel Securities Plc v Masood / Stevenson v Singhquestions as to the scope of the warranty in an identity fraud case. Other issues included restitutionary remedies against the true owner and questions of causation where the disappointed purchaser is alleged to have given inaccurate information to his lender.
Property/Mis-selling/Valuers

Simon has extensive experience of claims against both residential and commercial surveyors and valuers, and against other professionals engaged in property sales and lettings.

Examples of experience:

  • Currently acting for defendant surveyors in respect of allegedly negligent failure to identify and advise upon structural defects during a pre-purchase inspection of property.

 

  • Currently acting for claimant bank in claim against commercial valuer, alleging over-valuation of commercial premises upon remortgage application. Allegations of methodology failures include misunderstanding the permitted planning use classes for the property and a failure to take account of an onerous geared ground rent obligation upon the lessee.

 

  • Acted for valuers upon a joint claim by mortgagee against them and relevant solicitors. The case raised disputed Nykredit limitation issues to be resolved by evidence of questionable value of borrower’s covenant.

 

  • Currently defending a property search agent for non-detection of proposed road widening works in London.

 

Sports Law
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Simon’s sports law practice has focused to date on commercial contracts and claims arising from player on player tackles. He has substantial experience of employment law issues and uses this knowledge (and his extensive Tribunal experience) in disputes over wages, termination, or any other contractual issues between players, staff and clubs. In addition, he is comfortable in handling claims involving serious injury and/or clinical negligence by club staff.

Though he chiefly acts for clubs and their insurers, he is happy to accept claimant work. He is also developing his practice in line with the other areas of Chambers’ expertise in this field, and has a keen interest in regulation in sport. As a spectator, Simon’s passions are rugby union, domestic football and F1.

Examples of experience:

  • Premier League u21 Player v Premier League Club: Simon acts for the Club in a claim by a former U 21 squad player, who suffered a serious leg break in a pre-season friendly. The claim was brought in the High Court, but Simon appeared with Graeme Macpherson QC and successfully obtained a stay to arbitration under the FA Rules, on the grounds that a player-on-player tackle was caught by the arbitration clause in Rule K. Simon continues to act in the arbitration.

 

  • Ashton v The FA, Chelsea FC and Anor: Defended Chelsea FC and its PL insurers in an extremely high value claim, whereby Ashton alleged that his playing career was ended by player’s negligent tackle, and that the FA and Chelsea were vicariously liable for the player’s actions (which occurred during training for international duty). Simon appeared as sole Counsel for Chelsea at the mediation.

 

  • Thorpe v London Irish RFC: Simon acts for the Club. This claim involves allegations of negligence diagnosis and management of a forearm fracture by Club medical staff, which the player claims affected his performance throughout the season and his subsequent career arc.

 

  • Red Bull Racing Limited v Major Sponsor: Defending a claim brought the Red Bull Racing F1 team, arising out of a sponsorship and supply agreement. The client was a major Japanese food and drinks retailer, producer and distiller and counterclaimed for breaches of promotion obligations.

 

  • Footballer v Championship Club: Defending the Club in another case involving against allegations of clinical negligence, this time by club’s head physiotherapist in the diagnosis and management of ankle injury, which is said to have caused the Club to renege on offer of premiership player contract for 2012-2013 season.

 

  • Rule K Arbitration: Instructed in a dispute between a former manager and assistant manager of a football league side, to defend the Club against claims for unpaid wages and wrongful termination of their contracts following a disappointing season.

 

  • Advising on coverage for an injury to an assistant referee during a training match convened by the FA’s subsidiary, Professional Game Match Officials Limited

 

  • Advised defendant sports association’s insurers in relation to coverage for claimant’s employment tribunal claim and on conduct issues within the litigation solicitor’s performance of its retainer.
Insurance & Reinsurance
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Simon has significant experience of coverage work and has advised as to claim/circumstance notification clauses, excess and limit of indemnity aggregation, exclusion clauses, and as to material non-disclosure/misrepresentation and avoidance.

He has also handled claims made under all risks, fire, public liability, ATE and employer’s liability policies.

Examples of experience:

  • Led by Nigel Jones QC, advising insurers in their attempt to recover £1M excess paid on behalf of insolvent former insured pursuant to minimum terms, and arising from the “Son of Tag” litigation.

 

  • Currently acting for solicitors’ insurer on various issues arising where the client, as operative year insurer, now accepts cover but the claim had been erroneously notified to and accepted by the prior year insurer, with defence costs incurred on prior insurer’s authority in respect of underlying solicitors’ negligence claim

 

  • Advising on coverage under a D & O policy following allegations of fraud against senior directors of a major JV vehicle in the private healthcare sector.

 

  • Advising insurers as to  PL and products cover for fire damage and consequential losses, following the failure of a turbocharger within a combined heat and processing unit converting waste energy into electricity for the National Grid.

 

  • Currently acting for the trustees of a religious organization which is seeking indemnity in respect of a personal injury claim by a casual handyman. Policy questions engaged include EL/PL categorization and exceptions, and the question of control by the trust.

 

  • Acted for claimant prestige fit out/refurbishment contract  in its claim for indemnity under a combined liability policy, following a party wall collapse during multi-million pound building works to property in Hampstead, NW3.

 

  • Recently advised specialist personal injury firm in respect of after-the-event policy construction and coverage, following multiple purported avoidances by ATE insurer on unsuccessful underlying injury claims, and attended round table meeting with insurer to resolve policy handling difficulties.

 

  • Advised a leading law firm as to indemnity under its D & O policy for costs incurred in defending allegations of trademark infringement and passing off.

 

  • Instructed by the insurer on an accountant’s PII policy to advise whether a notification made in 2010 arose out of an earlier purported notification in 2006; whether the insurer was deemed to have knowledge of foreign language claim documentation appended to the original notification; and whether the claims aggregated if not constituting a single notification.

 

  • Advised on whether a claim/circumstance was notified within 2010 or 2013 MT policies for a solicitor’s firm, and whether later negligence claim by lender arose out insured’s initial notification.

 

  • Defended employer’s liability claim where claimant alleged effective loss of use of his left leg and sought substantial loss of future earnings; but was an illegal entrant with no right to remain or work in the UK. Defence predicated on illegality as a bar to recovery of special damages for loss of income.

 

Qualifications & Memberships

Professional Memberships

  • PNBA (Former Executive Committee member)
  • COMBAR
  • TECBAR
  • SCL
  • LCIA
  • BILA

Education – MA (Hons) Jurisprudence – Oxford University; Steen Award – Gray’s Inn; Bar Vocational Course (Very competent; top 5% in year) – Inns of Court School of Law, London

Languages – French

VAT registration number: 945103050