Simon’s main area of practice is professional indemnity litigation, acting mainly for but also against lawyers, accountants, and surveyors and valuers, with a particular emphasis on fraud and property-related claims. Simon is ranked by the two main legal directories Chambers & Partners UK, 2016 (Professional Discipline) and The Legal 500, 2016 (Professional Negligence and Professional Discipline & Regulatory) “He is sharp, professional, commercial and astute, and he really cares about his clients”, very practical and he delivers a speedy turnaround”, he knows his stuff, and is prompt, organised and very user-friendly”, praised for being  “well respected for his significant presence in solicitors’ disciplinary matters. He also has expertise on cases relating to accountancy and surveying.” “Careful and thorough”, “his performance is measured and well considered, and he commands respect.” Clients say his defining strength is his “tenacity when the odds seem stacked against him.” In addition, Simon acts in the developing field of information technology and computer-related litigation.

Simon also advises in a wide range of commercial litigation including, insurance and reinsurance (particularly but not exclusively in relation to professional liability and indemnity issues), partnership disputes and product liability. He regularly appears in arbitrations and mediations, and has experience of representing many professions at disciplinary tribunals. He recently represented the principal respondent in the longest ever hearing before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Simon is an accredited mediator (ADR Chambers 2009) and has mediated (as sole mediator and as a joint mediator) disputes concerning professional indemnity claims and commercial contract disputes.

He also accepts appointments as an arbitrator in commercial and professional liability and insurance cases.

Simon is an Independent Reviewer appointed by the Architects Registration Board (2010).

In 2010 Simon was appointed as a Recorder (Civil) and in 2013 he was authorised to sit as a Judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court.

Simon is an experienced advocacy and ethics trainer and is Course Director of the Advocacy Training Council’s Training and Accreditation Committee which accredits BPTC advocacy trainers.

Areas of Expertise

Professional Liability
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‘He knows his stuff, and is prompt, organised and very user-friendly’ –  Leading Silk, Professional Negligence (The Legal 500, 2015).

Claims involving professional liability disputes – particularly with a fraud element – comprise the majority of Simon’s work.

Simon advises insurers on coverage issues relating to solicitors’ and accountants’ fraud and dishonesty (also acting for solicitors in this field).  He was formerly member of the SIF Dishonesty Panel and continues to advise insurers on dishonesty and coverage issues.  He regularly lectures on insurance policy, fraud and coverage issues and on the UK insurance and reinsurance for solicitors’ in-house training.

Recent and current cases include:

  • Claim by former managers of recording artist in dispute with insurers for the artists UK tour
  • Claim by insurer to avoid policy covering software for solicitors
  • Acted for insurers in multi-million dollar claims made against large number of solicitors in relation to “prime bank guarantee” investment frauds
  • Acted for one of defendants in civil and ensuing criminal proceedings relating to a multi-million pound computer fraud on the NHS
  • Acting for insurers in several cases involving insurance fraud
  • Advising in relation to insurance coverage for pensions misselling cases
  • Acting for corporate claimants in substantial accountant’s negligence action involving share valuation and taxation advice
  • Acting in several multi-million pound solicitors mortgage fraud cases
  • Acting for claimant in a substantial claim against his legal team (solicitors and barristers) arising out of a matrimonial case

Lawyers

Simon’s particular areas of specialisation are property-related disputes, “lost litigation” claims, mishandled litigation and arbitration, allegations relating to commercial contracts, share sale agreements, company/insolvency matters, investment fraud, “wasted costs” applications.

Solicitors:

  • Acting for both claimants and defendant solicitors.
  • Acted for the solicitors in the recent multi-million pound action brought by Sir Elton John against his former accountants, who in turn claimed against Sir Elton’s former solicitors.
  • Acted for one of the successful appellants in the seminal case on service of documents.
  • Acts as arbitrator for insurance disputes – liability and apportionment disputes.
  • Appears at mediations.

Barristers:

  • Acts for BMIF – particular emphasis on strike out and “wasted costs” applications.
  • Acted for defendant barristers in two major claims arising out of alleged negligence at criminal trial.
  • Substantial claim against leading family law practitioners

Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries

Principally acting in business purchase claims, tax advice and also (on the instructions of indemnity insurers) on dishonesty and policy coverage issues.

Recent and current work includes:

  • 4 week trial involving the valuation of property companies which turned on expert accountancy evidence.
  • Acting for defendant accountants over their role as accountants and trustees to an estate.
  • Acted in claim and appeal brought by Sir Elton John – involving consideration of duties of auditors, financial advisers, accountants and solicitors in the music industry.
  • Acting for corporate claimants in substantial accountant’s negligence action involving share valuation and taxation advice.

Surveyors & Valuers

  • Acting principally for claimant lenders in negligent valuation claims, particularly where there is consideration of dishonesty
  • Currently acting for Building Society lender and in contribution proceedings between solicitors and a number of valuers arising out of substantial mortgage fraud claim.
  • Lectures lenders on claims avoidance, claims handling and dishonesty issues
  • Acting for Building Society lender in two substantial alleged over-valuation cases

Construction Professionals

Principally acting for defendants and their insurers.

Mediation
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Called to the Bar (Middle Temple): 1982
Queen’s Counsel: 2003
Master of the Bench, Middle Temple: 2004
Recorder (Civil): 2010
Deputy High Court Judge (Chancery Division): 2013

Simon is an accredited mediator (ADR Chambers 2009) and has mediated (as sole mediator and as a joint mediator) disputes concerning professional indemnity and insurance claims and commercial contract disputes, many of which are multi-party cases, often of very substantial value.

Simon is a clear, effective and hard-working mediator.  He is committed to parties reaching their own voluntary decisions with a view to settling all issues in dispute, to allowing parties to participate fully in the process, and to suggesting creative and productive options to encourage settlement.  Simon’s approach is always to have a solid and detailed grasp of the issues in the dispute, and to understand the parties’ positions, with a view to narrowing issues (in advance where possible) and reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.

“Absolutely convinced that we would not have got anywhere close to a deal had it not been for all your hard work.”

“Thanks for your sterling assistance and support throughout last Friday culminating in a settlement which enables our clients to move on without the uncertainty of litigation hanging over the heads.  Your calm and considered approach to the realities of the litigation created the right environment for settlement.”

“Thank you for all your help and, in particular, ensuring that we and our clients were able to deal with matters in such a calm environment having you acting as a buffer against the other side.”

“The settlement would not have been achieved without your hard work and persistence with the other parties.”

“Just a few lines to thank you very much for your help and professionalism during our mediation.”

“Thanks once again for having worked so hard both during, and before, the day.  All of this meant that the mediation hit the ground running.”

“My clients were very impressed with your approach.”

Recent mediations include:

  • Multi-million pound multi-party commercial contract claim and counterclaim
  • Multi-million pound multi-party share sale claim
  • Claims against valuers – multi-million pound disputes in both residential and commercial property transactions
  • Insurance coverage dispute – fraud issues
  • Claim against solicitor – conveyancing issues
  • Claim against barristers – family law issues
  • Claim against solicitor – dishonesty allegations
  •  Costs dispute
  •  Claim against solicitor – personal injury and insurance dispute
  •  Dispute over provenance and sale of rally car

Simon’s main area of practice is professional indemnity litigation, acting mainly for but also against lawyers, accountants, and surveyors and valuers, with a particular emphasis on fraud and property-related claims.  Simon has for a number of years been mentioned in the “Professional Negligence” section of Chambers & Partners’ UK Guide to the Legal Profession, where he has been described as “careful and thorough” and “experienced in handling solicitor claims, as well as claims involving barristers and accountants”, and that he “draws admiration for his commitment and leadership in defending solicitors against negligence claims.  Clients say his defining strength is his ‘tenacity when the odds seem stacked against him’.”

Simon also advises in a wide range of commercial litigation including insurance and reinsurance (particularly but not exclusively in relation to professional liability and indemnity issues), partnership disputes and product liability.  He regularly appears in arbitrations and mediations, and has experience of representing many professions (particularly lawyers) at disciplinary tribunals.

Simon was a member of the Bar Standards Board from its inception in 2006 until 2011, and chaired the Qualifications Committee.  Simon chaired the Bar Council’s Pupillage Board in 2005 and was a member of the Bar Council’s Education & Training Committee, 2004-5.  He is a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple (2004) and sits on Middle Temple’s Scholarships & Prizes, Students’ and Barristers’ Affairs and Education Committees.

Since 2010, Simon has sat regularly as a Recorder (Civil), principally in Central London and Bristol.  In 2013 Simon was authorised to sit as a Judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court.

Simon is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association, the Chancery Bar Association, the London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association, COMBAR, and the Western Circuit.

Please click here for a PDF copy of Simon’s mediation CV.

Please click here for a copy of Simon’s draft mediation agreement.

International Arbitration
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Simon has experience of in arbitrations including:

  • Construction contracts – waiver of written notification; number of claims issues
  • Solicitors/Barrister – apportionment of liability between the two
  • Insurance/Reinsurance

Simon also accepts appointments as arbitrator in insurance related issues.  Recent arbitrations include apportionment of liability between various professionals, apportionment of liability between successive firms of solicitors, a dispute concerning late/fraudulent disclosure under a professional indemnity insurance policy, and deciding whether or not a solicitor owed a duty of care to a client with whom it had several separate retainers.

Qualifications & Memberships

Simon was a member of the Bar Standards Board from its inception in January 2006 until December 2011, and was Chair of the BSB’s Qualifications Committee.  He currently chairs the BSB’s Pupillage Review Implementation Group.  Simon chaired the Bar Council’s Pupillage Board in 2005 and was a member of the Bar Council’s Education & Training Committee, 2004-5.

He is a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple (2004) and sits on Middle Temple’s Scholarships & Prizes, Education and Students’ and Barristers’ Affairs Committees.

Simon is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association, the Chancery Bar Association, the London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association, COMBAR, and the Western Circuit.

Education

Alleyn’s School, Dulwich, University of Manchester (1978-1981) LLB Hons

VAT registration number: 393896190