Simon Hilton


Education and Career:       

Oxford University, MA (English)

Called to the Bar 1987 (Gray's Inn)

Appointed by Attorney General as Junior Counsel to the Crown (Provincial Panel) 2000 to date

Appointed Recorder 2003


Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence

Simon's principal area of specialisation is in personal injury and clinical negligence.   His practice is split equally between claimant and defendant work, often involving cases of high value or technical complexity.  In his capacity as AG Panel Counsel he is widely experienced in litigation involving Government departments (eg military accidents, prison assaults, historic sexual abuse) as well as inquests (death in custody, military fatality).

His personal injury practice embraces industrial and occupational disease, road traffic, rail and general EL work.   He has a particular interest in related insurance disputes, including claims arising out of permanent health policies and contested indemnity cases.   He also specialises in health and safety work and cases involving product liability.

In clinical negligence, the breadth and diversity of his caseload in the last two years has included litigation arising from:   fatal pulmonary embolus following routine hip replacement surgery;  death following obstetric complications and refusal to accept blood transfusion;  vascular complications during critical limb ischemia surgery;  mismanagement of medication for ulcerative colitis;  failure to diagnose Mueller-Weiss Syndrome;  contraction of Clostridium Difficile Infection on hospital ward;  gynaecological mismanagement (sterilisation surgery);  failure to diagnose cholasteatoma in the middle ear;  negligent treatment during psychotherapy.

Recent cases include:

McDonnell and McGeown v. Walker [2009] EWCA 1257      
Limitation appeal  -  commencement of second action post Horton v. Sadler.

Silcock v. HMRC [2009] EWHC 3025   
Mesothelioma  -  appeal under CPR Show Cause procedure.

Ibbotson v. Highways Authority and various [2009] QBD (Unrep)     
Instructed by HA in £1.5M claim following trunk road accident.

Storm v. Secretary of State for Justice [2009] EWHC 2168            
Judicial review  -  re-categorisation decision on life prisoner.

Bennett v. MOD [2009] QBD (Unrep)   
Military helicopter crash;  double fatality;  £1M claim with complex aeronautical evidence.

Marritt v. Heaney [2008] QBD (Unrep)  
Motorcycle accident;  amputation of both legs.

McAvoy v. Railtrack [2008] QBD (Unrep)       
Railway accident;  electrocution;  brain damage.

Nicholls v. MOD [2008] QBD (Unrep)   
Overturned combat vehicle in Bosnia;  severe arm injury.

Essomba v. Secretary of State for Home Department [2009] EWHC 2300
Judicial review;  fresh claim in asylum proceedings; Article 8 ECHR.

H v. Norwich Union [2010] Co Ct (Unrep)            
Action to enforce payment under PHI policy;  fibromyalgia.

Bullen Stomacare v. Liverpool & N Yorks PCTs [2009] NHS Appeal Tribunal
Pharmaceutical regulations (drug tariffs); overpayments exceeding £1M to drug contractor;  instructed by NHS.

Inquest into the death of Andrew Borketas [2008]
Instructed by MOD;  infantry recruit drowned during training exercise at Catterick.


Regulatory and Enforcement

Simon has extensive experience in health and safety, trading and consumer law enforcement.    He has acted in numerous HSE, local authority and Environmental Agency prosecutions, generally for the defence, especially in cases arising from construction fatalities, agriculture and fire accidents.   He has advised and represented commercial clients across the range of consumer protection legislation, including cases under the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, Trademarks Act 1994, Consumer Credit Acts and the recently enacted Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

Representative cases in the last five years include:

R v Sue Ryder Care
Prosecution under Section 3 HSWA following death in nursing home (positional asphyxia)

HSE v. British Nuclear Fuels Ltd
Prosecution under Section 2 HSWA following accident involving trapped oil rig diver.

HSE v. George Wimpey (NE) Ltd          
Prosecution under Section 2 HSWA following fatal accident caused by reversing lorry.

Greater Manchester Fire & Civil Defence Authority v. ESB Hotels Ltd [2005] EWCA Crim 132
Prosecution under Section 7 Fire Precautions Act following fatal fire at Moat House Hotel in Bolton

R v. T H Clements Ltd      
Section 3 prosecution - carbon monoxide poisoning of farm workers.

HSE v. Realty Estates Ltd                       
Section 3 prosecution - discovery of sprayed limpet asbestos insulation in a slaughter house.

GM Fire & Civil Defence Authority v. Salford MBC    
Fire in primary school;  prosecution under Fire Precautions Act

HSE v. PTE plc                                        
Criminal prosecution following collapse of steel beam during construction of gymnasium.

HSE v. GMI Construction plc                 
Prosecution under Section 2;  overturned dumper truck;  catastrophic injury.

HSE v. Grinne (UK) Ltd                         
Prosecution under Section 3 HSWA and PUWER 1998;  severe injury to farm worker - arm drawn into unguarded rotavator.

HSE v. Foster Farms                                
Prosecution under Section 2;  catastrophic injury to farm worker falling through skylight.

HSE v. Grays Construction                     
Prosecution under Section 3;  fall from scaffolding resulting in brain injury.

HSE v. Longslow Food Group Ltd         
Prosecution under Section 3 following accident caused by failure to implement traffic management measures.

Environment Agency v. Realty Estates   
Section 33 EPA prosecution; dumping controlled waste.

Environment Agency v. Haven plc          
Section 33 EPA prosecution;  contamination of river.

Macclesfield MBC v. S                            
Control of Asbestos Regulations;  dutyholder offences (successfully defended on an abuse of process argument).

Gloucester BC v. Log Book Loans          
Misleading advertising; prosecution under 2004 Advertisement Regulations.

North Lincolnshire BC v. HPAS Ltd      
Unfair commercial practices;  door-stepping by sales canvassers;  prosecution under 2008 Regulations.

HSE v. Haven plc                                    
Food Safety Act prosecutions (sell by dates).

Crorie v. Secretary of State for Home Department     
Police Regulations 2003;  construction of pay provisions for temporary Police Officers.



Simon's work in this area is complemented by his expertise in the fields of personal injury and clinical negligence.   Much of his disciplinary practice is medical based.   He has both prosecuted and defended doctors in the General Medical Council in cases involving professional misconduct and registration.   He has represented clients in disciplinary proceedings before the British Psychological Council, and has acted as Legal Assessor to the British Hearing Aid Council.   In 2009 he represented the Liverpool and North Yorkshire Primary Care Trusts in a disciplinary appeal under the NHS Drug Tariffs Regulations concerning alleged overpayments to a contractor in a sum in excess of £1M


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