36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082
5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
DX: 713113 LEEDS PARK SQ
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123
Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
DX: 13023 BIRMINGHAM
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570
Clerked by:William Brown
Simon acts mainly for public authorities (NHS Trusts and Local Authorities) but also for families and victims in inquests. These cases are usually lengthy and involve the consideration of the way institutions have (or have not) caused the death of the person concerned. Often they involve a technical understanding of the Mental Health Act. Much of his work involves addressing how systems can be improved to avoid future deaths- this involves working closely with public authorities in understanding not only what systems were in place at the time of the death, but what has happened since, and should happen, to avoid the repetition of similar incidents.
Significant Recent Cases:
Re A (A Child) (Medical Treatment: Removal of Artificial Ventilation)  EWHC 443 (Fam)(Mr Justice Hayden)- concerning the role of the coroner & the inherent jurisdiction and parens patriae where a brain dead child was ventilated by a Hospital. Meaning of “death” in English Law, where parents are Muslim and death has a different meaning under Islamic Law.
Re: Edwards-Gill (2018- ongoing) (Inquest acting for local authority and its children and young persons mental health scheme- SHARE). Concerning the death of a 16 year old, on a railway line, and the adequacy of the support he received from a number of services, including CAMHS and SHARE.
Re James (2018): (Inquest acting for the local authority) where a patient discharged from Mental Health Act detention was placed in a care home, and later assaulted Mrs. J, causing her death. Issues concerning assessment of P’s risk to others.
Re Jaundoo (2016-17) (Inquest- acting for the local authority)- a young and vulnerable man was released from prison to a supported living placement, which he shared with other ex-convicts. He was brutally murdered by three other residents, who were all jailed for his murder. The inquest over three weeks looked into the statutory framework present at the time; the relevant duties of the probation authorities, the provider of the placement and the local authority.
Re Tindle (2016)(Inquest with a jury- for NHS Trust) The death of a woman subject to s. 3 of the Mental Health Act following ECT. The Coroner focused on inadequacies within the Second Opinion Approved Doctor system operated by the CQC.
Re Bennett (2016)(Inquest for the local authority)- the death of an elderly lady in need of social care, where that care was accidently discontinued due to her supposed admission to hospital (when, in fact, she had not been). Coroner focused on communications between the various agencies concerned with her care.
Re Bell (2015)(Inquest)- death of woman with emotionally unstable personality disorder while in psychiatric hospital (for Hospital Trust)
Re Gadsby (2015) (Inquest) - death of woman killed by her son who had been conditionally discharged from hospital following his detention under s. 37/41 Mental Health Act 1983 having killed his father and seriously injured his mother 4 years earlier. (For Local Authority)
Re TR (Inquest- on-going)- death of a young man with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour placed in a care home by the Court of Protection under an order (for placing Local Authority)
"Simon is a Northern powerhouse of Court of Protection Counsel. He is a joy to work with, his advocacy skills are unrivalled, and he has the ability to get to the real issues in the case, which means they are dealt with quickly and efficiently"
Simon is a leading practitioner in mental health and capacity law and associated fields.
- Many landmark cases in these fields- & continuing to advise and represent parties at the “cutting edge”.
- Regularly instructed by public authorities in serious safeguarding cases, including those concerning the capacity to consent to sexual relations and marriage, particularly where there is a risk of travel abroad.
- Many leading cases concerning the interface between the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act.
- Acts for public authorities (NHS bodies and Local Authorities) in inquests, usually involving an investigation of systemic failings.
- Cases involving the mental health of children and young people where care or medical treatment is involved.
- Financial issues arising out of welfare cases and advising Deputies on issues arising out of the interface between welfare and property and affairs, including statutory wills.
- Mental health tribunals (including the Upper Tribunal). Has been concerned with many of the cases that have developed the interface between the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act.
- Increasingly involved in damages claims involving breaches of Human Rights and unlawful detention
- Common law claims for damages for negligence and unlawful detention arising out of psychiatry and social care.
- Judicial review cases concerning mental health and social care as well as habeas corpus.
- Serious Medical treatment cases
- Inherent jurisdiction of the Court.
- Trains Court of Protection judges and Tribunal members on mental health and capacity law for the Judicial College.
Year of Call: 1990
Areas of Expertise:
- Court of Protection
- Community Care and Social Services
- Human Rights
- Judicial Review
- Local Government Law
- Mental Health
- Public Law
Court of Protection Practitioners Association (Vice Chair- National Committee)
Tribunal Judge (part time), First-tier Tribunal, Mental Health (since 2003)
Chair of the board of Trustees of Advocacy Focus.
Trustee of AFC Fylde Community Foundation
Author: Atkins Court Forms- Mental Health Act Proceedings (Vol 26(1)) Butterworths/Lexis Nexis 2017
Contributor- Chapters on “Tribunals” and “Mental Health” in Judicial Review: Law & Practice (Patterson & Karim) (Second Edition) Jordans 2014
Contributor: Chapter on “Health Care and Social Care” in Community Care Law & Local Authority Handbook (Butler) (Third Edition) Jordans 2015
Presently editing section on Mental Health and Capacity in Civil Court Practice (The Green Book) Lexis Nexis to be published in 2018.
A practitioner editor of International Journal of Mental Health & Capacity Law.
B.A. (Dunelm) Dip Law LLM
Ranked as a Leading Junior in Court of Protection and Administrative and Public Law in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.
Chambers UK 2018:
"Simon is a Northern powerhouse of Court of Protection counsel. He is a joy to work with, his advocacy skills are unrivalled, and he has an ability to get to the real issues in a case, which means they are dealt with quickly and efficiently."
"He is quite an intellect. He knows the law very well. Also, he is a brave advocate who doesn't shy away from taking difficult points." "A nice client-handling manner. He is always well prepared and has a nice sense of humour. Also, his submissions are always interesting and effective."
Legal 500 2018:
‘He uncovers the key issues of a case.’
‘Very quick-witted and fantastic with clients.’
Chambers UK 2017:
"He's excellent and brilliant with litigants in person." "He takes a pragmatic approach and provides thorough, robust advice."
"He is very good at putting parties at ease. He has a nice manner, he's approachable and his drafting is faultless."
Legal 500 2017:
‘Extremely knowledgeable and approachable.’
Chambers UK 2016:
"Very knowledgeable, logical and to the point."
"Incisive, responsive and a commanding figure during difficult negotiations. He inspires confidence from the client and the court."
"He is a measured and intelligent advocate who never shies away from an uphill struggle."
"He's very careful to pitch his defence of a public authority at their strongest points which makes him an effective advocate."
Chambers UK 2015:
“Admired junior who has significant experience of handling Court of Protection cases relating to best interests, deprivation of liberty and the Mental Health Act. He is a Mental Health Tribunal judge.
Expertise: "He's excellent as an advocate, and is also helpful, approachable and available."
Legal 500 2014:
‘Delivers pragmatic and user-friendly advice.’
Chambers UK 2014:
"Has a great understanding of the law, is able to explain things well to clients and has a great knowledge of the Court of Protection area". "He is very charismatic, has a good sense of humour and is very persuasive." "He is an excellent and intelligent opponent." "Revered for his work on deprivation of liberty and safeguarding issues".