Simon is a property and estates barrister and mediator with a niche practice in the law of town and village greens.
Simon’s practice in both property and inheritance matters means he is particularly well placed to help clients at risk of losing their home, farm or other business after a death. Simon is particularly sensitive to the legal issues that crop up in claims that arise on death and prides himself on being able to deal with the often delicate relationships between family members.
Simon is based in London with a national practice concentrated across London, the South and West of England.
Simon is also an accredited mediator.
INHERITANCE, WILLS AND PROBATE
Simon deals with claims arising on death, contentious private client and traditional chancery cases including:
- Trusts of Land, Co-ownership and Proprietary estoppel
- Wills, Trusts and Contentious Probate
- Inheritance Act Claims
- Administration Actions under CPR Part 64
- The retirement, appointment and removal of trustees and personal representatives
Much of this work is dealt with in the Chancery Division including the Registries as well as in Chancery List in the County Court at Central London.
Simon is en-route to qualifying as an Associate Member of ACTAPS (the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists) with the University of Law in London.
Acted for the disabled adult child claimant in Christofides v Seddon  W.T.L.R. 215 (under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975).
REAL PROPERTY WORK
Simon has always enjoyed a broad property litigation practice. Simon regularly appears in the High Court and County Court as well as in the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for Land Registration matters and residential property cases. Examples include:
- Boundary disputes
- Adverse possession
- Disputes over rights of way and other easements
- Property torts such as nuisance
- Issues arising with conveyancing
- Co-ownership issues
- Party Wall Etc Act matters and Access to Neighbouring Land
- Option agreements and overage
- Vesting Orders and Bona Vacantia
- Rectification and Land Registration
TOWN AND VILLAGE GREENS AND HIGHWAYS
Simon has an established practice in the law of Town and Village Greens and highways. Simon’s extensive property background assists where there is conflict between public and private law property rights. Simon frequently appears at planning meetings and inquiries and he has appeared in the High Court on appeal by way of judicial review.
Simon recently appeared for the successful Claimant in the Administrative Court in the reported decision of R (oao Goodman) v Secretary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs  EWHC 2576 (Admin) where he was led by Douglas Edwards QC. The matter was remitted for redetermination and the Planning Inspectorate has now approved the application to register Eastern Fields in Exeter as a new Town Green.
LANDLORD AND TENANT
Landlord and tenant work forms a substantial part of Simon’s practice. He regularly appears in the High Court, County Court and First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for residential property cases. Simon has significant experience in the following areas:
- Residential landlord and tenant, including possession, forfeiture, enfranchisement and service
- Appeals against Housing Improvement Notices under the Housing Act 2004
- Commercial landlord and tenant, including 1954 Act renewals, forfeiture and dilapidations
- Breaches of covenant and consent to change of use etc
- Quiet Enjoyment and protection from eviction
Simon acted for the successful Respondent in the recent case of Toms v Ruberry  EWHC 2970 QB, where the High Court determined for the first time in a reported authority that the right to forfeit must exist before a valid s146 Notice can be served.
Simon is often asked to deal with Professional Negligence claims relating to his principal areas of practice, in particular, that of solicitors, surveyors, accountants and valuers. Recent examples include claims relating to:
- Negligent drafting of wills
- Negligent conduct of contested probate claims
- Negligent conduct of conveyancing transactions over boundaries and party walls
- Negligent advice relating to mundic block
- Negligence in relation to the failure to assign surveyors’ reports
OTHER CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL WORK
Whilst Simon’s practice is now predominantly in the fields of property and inheritance, wills and probate, he has significant experience in other areas where these fields cross over.
For example, Simon appeared in the Court of Appeal in the reported decision of Perks v Perry  EWCA Civ 445 which concerned undue influence and guarantee agreements in a commercial lease.
Simon has extensive experience in costs work and is often asked to deal with Cost and Case Management Conferences. Due to the increasing importance of these hearings, Simon’s early advice and input can provide real tactical advantage for clients.
Simon still maintains some general civil work for regular instructing solicitors including, in particular, procedural issues and costs together with some building and construction disputes.