‘I feel that it was in no small part your great expertise, experience and commitment to the case that steered things in the direction we wanted, so I really would like to say one last very big thank you for what you have done for us. It has also been a great pleasure working with you.’
Having been a solicitor for ten years before coming to the bar in 1996, Simon brings to his practice rich experience of both halves of the legal profession and an understanding of what solicitors seek from counsel. He both prosecutes and defends, representing and advising clients in the whole range of cases in the criminal calendar and a wide range of regulatory cases.
His collaborative approach, rapport and sympathy, coupled with cogent advice and effective advocacy, are appreciated by solicitors and clients alike.
He is often turned to for his technical knowledge and insights.
‘Offering a good response; he’s very approachable and good on his feet’ (The Legal 500)
Simon’s experience in criminal cases extends to those at the highest level: he has been led in murder cases and has conducted drugs conspiracy and firearms cases, both as led counsel and as junior counsel alone.
He has a particular interest and acclaimed expertise in cases where those accused of crime have mental health difficulties. He represented the successful appellant in the reported case of R v C (2013), in which the Court of Appeal considered the law of insanity, automatism, voluntary intoxication and the mens rea of aggravated arson.
In a related area, Simon is one of the few counsel with experience in representing those facing criminal proceedings arising from their ownership or management of care homes, as well as those accused of ill-treating people in their care.
He is turned to in sensitive cases, such as that of a troubled thirteen-year-old boy accused of sexual offences against an even younger girl. Indeed, he has considerable experience in cases of alleged sexual assault at all levels of seriousness, as well as those involving indecent images.
Simon has very considerable experience in road traffic cases at all levels of seriousness, cases that frequently involve highly technical evidence and the cross examination of experts as well as eye-witnesses. Recent such instructions include acting for a lorry driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving after he drove into a queue of stationary traffic on a motorway (whose consequent disqualification Simon successfully challenged in the Court of Appeal) and the successful defence of a driver charged with four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving after the surfboards he was carrying on the roof of his car became detached.
Simon is always pleased to accept instructions on behalf of clients in danger of losing their livelihood through the loss of their driving licences or otherwise facing prosecution for motoring offences. He is regularly instructed in such cases on behalf of those who carry legal expenses insurance.
Additionally, his practice extends to the regulatory enforcement side of road traffic law, including overloading and drivers’ hours cases, breaches of taxi and private hire regulations, and public inquiries before the Traffic Commissioners, including breaches of operators’ licences.
As well as in-depth knowledge of the operation in practice of the Proceeds of Crime Act, Simon has wide experience in cases involving fraud and business crime, including offences under the insolvency and bankruptcy legislation, and of representing companies and directors facing prosecution under the Companies Acts and the Company Directors Disqualification Act.
He is instructed both to defend and to prosecute on behalf of local authorities, in planning, listed buildings, trading standards and environmental health matters, including waste disposal and fly-tipping. He has successfully prosecuted and defended a number of high profile cases involving breaches of enforcement notices that attracted considerable publicity, including ‘airport parking’ cases.
Simon has significant experience in animal welfare and associated cases. Recent such cases include the successful defence of a farmer accused of mistreating his pigs, and Simon’s reported cases include the successful appeal to the Court of Appeal in Dorset CC v House (2010), in which he successfully argued that a farmer (who he had not represented at trial) had been convicted of offences (ostensibly under the cattle regulations) not known to law. Simon’s instructions in environmental matters include advising (both pre- and post-charge) and representing clients accused of the destruction of or interference with wildlife habitats.
He both prosecutes and defends those accused of offences under the Protection from Eviction Act, and is regularly instructed to advise local authorities in Housing Act cases, with their quasi-judicial review procedures.
Simon has long experience in judicial review proper; his first reported case was R. v Bristol Magistrates’ Court ex parte E (1998), and others include Sak v. C.P.S. (2007). His judicial review successes include challenges of Magistrates’ Courts’ decisions, on the one hand not to commit for sentence in drugs cases, and on the other to commit to prison for non-payment of monetary penalties.
He also has considerable experience in the representation of prisoners before the Parole Board, in particular in Lifer Panels, and is qualified and pleased to undertake Direct Access work in appropriate cases.
Simon has just finished a case where he represented a company director accused or fraudulent trading arising from “asset swaps” involving fine wines and coloured diamonds.
He is presently instructed to defend in two separate substantial cases where directors of building companies or sole traders are being prosecuted by Trading Standards departments for fraudulent trading, fraud or under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.
BA (Hons); ARCO; LTCL.
Grays Inn; Western Circuit; Criminal Bar Association.‘A lawyer's lawyer who is highly approachable’ The Lawyer Magazine Contact Us