Call 1988 (Gray’s Inn)
Qualifications Formerly a Solicitor, admitted 1977
Professional Memberships Health & Safety Lawyers Association, Criminal Bar Association; Western Circuit.
Judicial Office Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) 1998
Simon prosecutes and defends in the most serious criminal cases e.g. the prosecution of Vanessa George (the Plymouth nursery school employee), the conspiracy to murder Joss Stone and the defence of Peter Morgan, a multi-millionaire charged with murdering his ‘escort’ girlfriend. He is currently dealing with several cases involving road traffic deaths. He has defended and prosecuted many cases relating to:
- Multi-million pound duty evasion (£3m). Legal aid fraud (£7m)
- Copyright conspiracies relating to the production of counterfeit Items
- Fraudulent trading.
- trading standards and consumer protection.
- breaches of EU regulations involving hygiene
- breaches of EU regulations involving cattle movements
- false compensation and other claims in farm subsidy matters
- R v VG and others. Prosecution for rape and serious sexual assaults of 5 defendants, including 4 women. Serious sexual offences by a paedophile ring set up through Internet social websites. Offences included against children at a nursery school.
- R v L. Prosecution of a teacher for systematically abusing children under 8 over a period of years. Included attempted rape and serious sexual assault.
- R v L. Prosecution of a fireman indicted for manslaughter after inappropriate use of emergency lighting and horns. Stampeding cattle caused the death of the farmer.
- R v H. Prosecution of a Car passenger indicted for manslaughter when he interfered with the driving of a car thereby causing the death of another passenger
- R v S. Prosecution of a woman indicted for attempting to pervert the course of public justice by making approximately 40 false rape and stalking allegations.
- R v R. Prosecution of a man indicted for rape of his daughter
- R v SA. Defence of man charged with murder arising following false imprisonment and torture of the victim over several months
- R v SC. Defence of a woman indicted for murder arising out of a contract killing
- R v I. Matricide. Defence of a man indicted for the murder of his mother. Diminished responsibility.
- R v P. Defence of a man indicted for attempted murder, rape, aggravated arson (x2) and aggravated burglary. He broke into her house at night to commit burglary. He raped her, tied her to her bed to which he set fire, attacked her again with a knife and then set fire to the house.
- R v W. Defence of a farmer charged with manslaughter after colliding with a group of motorcyclists trespassing on his land.
- R v L & B. prosecution of 2 men for conspiracy to murder Joss Stone.
- “He is a consummate and commanding professional who always puts my clients at ease.” Chambers UK, Crime (2018)
- “Simon remains a prominent presence in proceedings involving regulatory offences, inquests and wider criminal matters. He also draws on his background as a criminal solicitor to provide in-depth experience in murder, manslaughter and rape allegations. ‘A very experienced criminal practitioner who is well regarded in the courts.’ “ Chambers UK, Crime (2017)
- “Simon is known for his specialist knowledge of regulatory offences and road traffic crimes. He is a Grade 4 qualified prosecutor.” Chambers UK, Crime (2016)
- “Simon is a highly experienced advocate who both prosecutes and defends in serious crime cases. His previous instructions cover a wide range of cases, including child abuse allegations, homicides and serious sexual offences.” Chambers UK, Crime (2015)
- “Simon is a vastly experienced criminal practitioner, who is instructed in a wide range of criminal cases, although he is most frequently instructed in regulatory criminal matters. ‘He has a wealth of experience in crime, and he has a very light, but effective, courtroom style.’ ” Chambers UK, Crime (2014)
Recognised as having a particular expertise in health and safety cases, Simon has prosecuted and defended such cases for many years. The majority of his regulatory cases involve catastrophic events (many of which attract considerable publicity) and are cases upon which the outcomes of civil actions also depend. These include deaths in schools, care homes, hospitals, construction sites, ports, outdoor and indoor activity centres, power stations and those involving heavy plant, agricultural machinery, farming and explosive substances. He also deals with breaches of planning law and environmental offences including, recently, the defence of allegations arising from a significant pollution of waters by toxic chemicals.
He represents Local Authorities, the HSE and Health Trusts. He is currently dealing with several cases involving fatalities and catastrophic injuries, many involving work in the farming industry.
Frequently Simon is instructed to advise at very early stages. As personal defendants can now face imprisonment for these offences, early intervention has become even more important, most particularly when efforts are being made to avoid prosecution or minimise the impact if it follows.
Interesting cases (Regulatory Matters)
- HSE v E. s2 HSWA. Prosecution Death at a power station.
- R v M. s3 HSWA. Prosecution. A beauty therapist for causing very serious burns to a client by the application of a chemical peel to the abdomen during a treatment. Complicated expert evidence as to causation and methodology.
- R v FM Ltd and others. ss2/3/37 HSWA (and Regulation breaches). Prosecution of company and directors arising out of fireworks factory explosion near Bristol. Damage ran into in excess of £1.
- HSE v F Ltd. S2/3 HSWA (and Regulation breaches). Defence of company arising out of fireworks factory explosions at Uffculme, Devon. Extensive damage caused.
- R v JB Ltd. Defence. Serious injury caused to a spectator from fireworks at Wolves Premiership Football ground display prior to a match. Whole incident recorded on live TV
- HSE v B Ltd. Successful defence of an alleged breach of PUWER on the basis of a fraudulent conspiracy by employees working on a building site.
- HSE v E. Defence of an architect in breach of Asbestos Regulations during renovation work at a very prestigious school in Dorset.
- HSE v NS. Defence of a local authority in breach of Asbestos Regulations during renovation work at a school
- HSE v RM. s3 HSWA. Defence of the owner of a nursery arising from death of a child in a cot who became entangled in a cord from a drawstring bag.
- R v W. s3 HSWA. Representation of a farmer arising out of the death of a motorist on a muddy road.
- HSE v B. s3 HSWA. Representation of a primary care trust arising out of the death in hospital of a patient from Legionnaire’s disease.
- HSE v E. s3 HSWA. Representation of a building project manager arising out of a catastrophic injury accident at a boatyard. Issues of abuse of process arising from the decision of the HSE to drop charges against others and use them as witnesses against the defendant
- HSE v KHS. s4 HSWA. Defence of Charity running an agricultural show arising from the death of an exhibitor from 60,000 vote overhead electricity cables. Charity risked closure (after circa 150 years) if the penalty was too great.
- R v H. s7 HSWA. Successful defence of manager of tile warehouse after an employee lost his leg in a FLT accident.
- EA v BP. Defence against the EA arising out of a large chemical spill (Triflex) during renovation work at a car park on the basis the basis of “extraordinary event”. Matter eventually dropped at the Crown Court
- LA v B-M. Successful defence at trial of a planning consultant for alleged breach of a TPO on the basis that the incident was an “extraordinary event”.
- Pembrokeshire CC v MHLP. Prosecution of a Wildlife Park as a consequence of injury
Simon is regularly called upon to advise in cases that are still under investigation. Such cases have included: three deaths and a number of illnesses from Legionnaire’s Disease and a child’s death at an infants’ school (Chair of Governors arrested for manslaughter).
He advises both the prosecution and defence (particularly in regulatory cases) on matters prior to interview/charge, most particularly on the procedures and tactics to be adopted at interviews with the police and regulatory bodies. He has advised companies, individuals, the police, CPS, HSE and DWP prior to charge in cases of murder, manslaughter, rape, fraud, health and safety, environmental matters and serious road traffic incidents.
Interesting cases for pre-charge advice
- Re A. Advice to a chair of governors arrested for manslaughter after the death of a child who had escaped from the nursery grounds and drowned in a nearby pond.
- Re B. Advice following multiple deaths and serious illnesses arising from an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease.
- Re C. Advice to the owners of a care home regarding the threat of a prosecution for manslaughter arising out of the death of a client who suffered from an eating disorder.
- “Simon has an excellent track record and is extremely good with clients. He is practical and knows how to work with regulators.” Chambers UK, Health and Safety (2018)
- “He has a forthright courtroom manner.” Legal 500, Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing (2017)
- “Simon is a respected practitioner with a notable crime practice who also enjoys a fine reputation for his health and safety work. He receives instructions from defendants in addition to the HSE and the Environment Agency. ‘He has got very good tactical insight and a very good grasp of the technicalities of health and safety law.’ ‘He’s very capable, practical and user-friendly.’ ” Chambers UK, Health and Safety (2017)
- “An excellent advocate, who understands juries and achieves excellent results as a consequence.” Legal 500, Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing (2016)
- “Simon represents all parties during enforcement actions and inquests relating to safety breaches in such sectors as agriculture, construction and manufacturing. ‘He is a highly respected and immensely intelligent barrister in the field of criminal law generally and health and safety law in particular.’ ‘He is a master of the courtroom and he comes across well with juries.’ ” Chambers UK, Health and Safety (2016)
- “Simon is a heavyweight criminal practitioner who has forged a strong reputation in health and safety and other regulatory work. He advises both the prosecution and defence, and is recognised for his expertise in farm-related cases. ‘He has the advantage of experience on both sides of the Bench.’ ‘He’s a robust advocate, with good attention to detail.’ ” Chambers UK, Health & Safety (2015)
- “Simon is a very effective court advocate who achieves excellent results.” Legal 500, Regulatory, Health and Safety, and Licensing (2015)
- “Simon has an effective manner with juries.” Legal 500, Regulatory, Health and Safety and Licensing (2014)
- “Simon is a regulatory specialist who has extensive experience of both prosecuting and defending health and safety cases. ‘He is an excellent advocate and a safe pair of hands.’ ” Chambers UK, Health & Safety (2014)
Simon is one of the senior members of Chambers. He specialises in regulatory offences, inquests, road traffic offences and crime. Having spent eleven years practising in crime as a Solicitor, he has an in-depth knowledge of that role, its responsibilities and pressures. He has attended thousands of interviews of suspects. He has given a series of lectures (over many years) at police training colleges on the role of the defence advocate, and has lectured medical practitioners, social workers and the Society of Expert Witnesses.
He is renowned for his even-tempered and professional approach to his work. He is held in the highest regard by his peers and is seen as an adversary to be respected. He is a Senior Prosecutor (Grade 4) for the Crown Prosecution Service and Category ‘A’ Prosecutor on the Attorney General’s List for the HSE and Environment Agency. He has been a “Leader in his field” for many years in both the Chambers Directory and the Legal 500.