Simon Browne KC

Year of call:
1982
Silk:
2011
Email:
sbrowne@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“Always brilliant, he’s polished and prepared and is someone who has a great manner with clients.” “His advice is spot on.”

“An iron fist in a velvet glove. He is very impressive.”
Chambers and Partners 2021 

Simon has been consistently recognised by The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as a Leading Silk. He is an experienced counsel, be it in the fields of commercial costs and litigation funding, catastrophic brain and spinal injury, and related areas of sports law, clinical negligence, insurance, and professional negligence and professional regulation.

Simon is listed as a Band 1 Silk in costs and litigation funding. In addition to dealing with costs in commercial litigation and advising on litigation funding, Simon has a formidable reputation regarding costs in Group Litigation, be it for the claimant group or defendants. He has advised and conducted advocacy in the Civil Phone Hacking litigation concerning News of the World and the Mirror Group, the Construction Industry Vetting Litigation, The Truck Cartel Claims in the Competition Tribunal, the Sub-Postmaster claims against the Post Office, the Iraqi Civilian Claims against the MoD, the Grenfell Inquiry, and the Hillsborough Misfeasance Claims.

Simon also has extensive experience of catastrophic injury and clinical negligence claims. In 2020 he was shortlisted for personal injury / clinical negligence barrister of the year. He is much sought after by both Claimants and Defendants which is due to his expertise in brain and spinal injury claims. He has been instructed in a number of high-profile cases for both claimants and insurance clients regarding both domestic and international incidents, each often valued in excess of £10 million. He is listed by the directories as a Band 1 Silk for Personal Injury.

Simon is at the very forefront of the development of law and civil procedure in the Court of Appeal such as:

  • Part 36 regime in F & C Alternative Investments (2012) CA, Walker Construction v Quayside Homes (2014) CA, Yentob v MGN (2015) CA, Seabrook v Adam (2021)) CA, and FKJ v RVT (2022) HC
  • Relief from sanctions in Mitchell v NGN (2014) CA and Cable v LV Insurance (2020) CA
  • Costs budgets and enforcement in QOCS in Henry v NGN (2013) CA and Bowman v Norfram and Ors. (2018) HC

Simon is a qualified Mediator and Arbitrator.

Clinical Negligence


Simon has successfully represented Claimants in claims for clinical negligence against medical practitioners both in hospitals, private practice and general practice. He has advised extensively over disclosure and expert evidence thereon.

Cases of note:

Costello v North-West Anglia NHS Foundation [2021] – Failure to diagnose the intracranial lesion within the left mid brain and pons on the CT scan of the brain leading to paralysis where breach of duty was admitted but causation unsuccessfully denied

DEF v Southend University NHS Hospital [2019] – The Claimant (aged 10 years) was injured because of negligent procedures during his birth in the Defendant’s hospital. The Claimant was severely disabled by quadriplegic dyskinetic cerebral palsy level 4/5, having suffered damage in the deep grey matter of his brain. He always required assistance from multiple carers for the rest of his life. Settlement on liability was previously reached whereby the Defendant was liable to the extent of 70% and substantial damages claim was settled.

Hannah Bhadri v Dr. Hariram and Dr. Freed [2018] – Clinical negligence case against two GPs. The Claimant was born with subluxation (partial dislocation) of her hips bilaterally. The Claimant’s condition was not identified until she was aged 4 ½ – 5 years old when she complained of pain and limping. Following referral to Great Ormond Street she underwent major hip surgery which will have to be repeated later in life.

Costs


Simon has been a specialist in Cost and Litigation Funding for over twenty years since the development of this Practice Area as a specialism. He is ranked as Band 1 in Costs in the legal directories. He has advised extensively upon the enforceability of conditional fee agreements, litigation funding, and legal expenses insurance. He was an author of the Sweet & Maxwell Practitioner text on Costs between 2008 to 2018 and was appointed to sit as a Barrister Costs Assessor in the High Court and on the Cost Committee of the Civil Justice Council.

In recent years Simon has specialised in Group Litigation. Please see the introduction above for the extensive list of Group Litigation Actions in which he has been involved for both claimant groups and defendant insurers.

Other areas of his current costs practice involve Litigation Funding by way drafting and advising on retainer and funding documents, and commercial costs disputes involving multinational companies and high net worth individuals, both inter parties and solicitor-client.

Cases of note:

Khashoggi v Khashoggi [2021] – multimillion-pound solicitor client dispute over level of fees and identification of work streams

Butler v Bankside Commercial – Court of Appeal [2020] EWCA Civ 203 – Solicitor firm successfully resisting a challenge to the termination of her Conditional Fee Agreement by the solicitor for rejecting an opinion about making a settlement with her opponent.

Richard Slade & Co. v Boodia – Court of Appeal [2018] EWCA Civ 2667 – Solicitor firm succeeded in persuading the Court of Appeal that Slade J of the High Court was wrong to hold that to qualify as an interim statute bill, a bill must include both profit costs and disbursements in respect of the period to which it covers.

BNM v MGN Judgment – Court of Appeal [2017] EWCA Civ 1767 – This was the first appeal case to review the test of proportionality. The Court of Appeal unanimously held that the saving and transitional provisions in CPR 48, combined with the more limited definition of “costs” applicable since 1 April 2013 (that now omits any reference to “additional liabilities”), together operated to preserve the former Costs Rules, with their attendant Practice Directions, to the assessment of costs that include additional liabilities.

Times Newspapers Ltd (Appellant) v Flood (Respondent); Miller (Respondent) v Associated Newspapers Ltd (Appellant); Frost and Other (Respondents) v MGN Ltd (Appellant) UKSC 33 [2017] – Supreme Court – Three national newspapers (The Times, Daily Mail, and The Mirror) were attempting to avoid paying any additional liabilities (success fees and ATE premiums) to privacy and defamation claimants funded by conditional fee agreements. The challenge, which failed, was based upon the newspapers’ freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Plc v Dechert LLP [2016] Court of Appeal and High Court [2021] 2016 – Appeal to Court of Appeal concerning legal professional privilege between the parties on a solicitor client assessment. 2021 application for £20 million security for costs.

Briggs and 598 Others v First Choice Holidays & Flights Limited [2016] – High Court – Represented 599 holidaymakers who fell ill at a resort, successfully appealed against a decision certain claimants should have engaged in ADR prior to progressing their claims through the courts. Mr Justice Singh in delivering his judgement enunciated two important points of principle concerning the use of ADR.

Personal Injury


Simon represents both claimants and defendants in catastrophic injury cases, mainly involving brain damage and spinal injuries. He is ranked in Band 1 for personal injuries in the legal directories. In 2020/2021, amongst his extensive practice, he settled four cases each pleaded at well worth over £10 million.

Cases of note:

DEF v S&M (2021) – Approval of a £12m settlement for a 24-year-old who sustained a severe brain injury in a road accident aged 9. She sustained poly trauma including visible white-matter damage on CT to her frontal and temporal lobes. Whilst she made a relatively good recovery in terms of her cognitive function, she required significant lifetime care

ABC v Young (2021) – High Court’s approval of £1.85m settlement for girl sustaining severe head injuries when struck by wing mirror of a speeding minibus as she stepped off the kerb when the pedestrian light was red against the claimant

D v C (2021) – Motorcyclist rendered paraplegic because of an accident on the motorway when defendant driver slowed his car and caused a rear end collision. Liability and assessment of damages in dispute

W v L (2021) – Unrestrained claimant passenger in rear of car driven by a drunk driver rendered tetraplegic. Issues on contributory negligence for failure to wear a seat belt and knowledge of driver under influence in addition to valuation of significant claim.

B v E (2020) – £12 million damages award for a mother being rendered tetraplegic in a road traffic accident. The Claimant requires lifelong round-the-clock care because of the injuries. The case involved complex issues on care, accommodation and life expectancy and required consideration of loss of earnings arising from the Claimant’s business.

R v F (2020) – Claimant’s claim for substantial disability following an RTA in 2014. The Claimant was already paraplegic as the result of a previous RTA in 2008. The case raised interesting questions of acceleration in paraplegia cases, and how to approach quantitative rather than qualitative differences in care needs because of a Defendant’s negligence.

VWX v Connells Residential (2019) – the Claimant was left with enduring neuro-psychiatric and vestibular symptoms after a modest blow to the head. He was 39 at the time of the accident and the principal breadwinner for his family. He had a pre-accident history of psychological vulnerability. Causation was very much an issue prior to settlement of the claim.

Sport


Simon’s work has included several sports and sports related cases over his career. Recent example are as follows:

P v D – A multi-million claim by a Premier League professional footballer settled after he suffered a serious leg injury in a road traffic accident. Liability and quantum were in issue. Both parties relied upon expert evidence including statisticians, industry experts and detailed forensic accountancy evidence, as to career prospects with the issues of career progression and loss of chance being central to the claim.

Jones v WRU and WRRS – Advice upon liability for head and neck injuries sustained due to alleged lack of application of laws of game by referee

DEF v Shepway Harness Club and Kent CC – Trial as to liability and assessment of damages for severe injury sustained at horse trials sporting event with consideration of safety procedures, voluntary undertaking of risk, duty of care, and the governing rules of the sport etc.

MH v RFU – Advice upon liability for Leicester and England prop in scrummage training when scrum collapsed, and neck broken rendering tetraplegic. Consideration of disclosure, duty of care and practices in scrummaging.

H – Club – advice regarding rules concerning members sporting events in relation to health and safety and internal procedures.

W v F – Advising on serious injury arising from Polo event where foul play was alleged by victim against a fellow player

S v British Athletics – advising. on appeal of Olympic athlete on appeal following denial of funding

Recommendations


“A standout individual who has considerable expertise in costs cases associated with heavy commercial and group litigation. He’s always very practical; he thinks through the consequences and is five steps ahead of everyone else.” “He knows all the rules and regulations and knows exactly which buttons to press.”
Chambers and Partners

“Noted for expertise in catastrophic brain and spine injuries, which he regularly handles on behalf of major insurers and leading claimant solicitors. Over the course of his celebrated career, he has also developed a strong reputation for aviation accidents, clinical negligence cases and cross-border litigation.  A pleasure to instruct.”
Chambers and Partners

“He is polished: there is absolutely no padding in his advice; it is what you need to hear without any flannel. He is also very good at handling difficult clients. He is an excellent QC”
Chambers and Partners

“He’s got a really good aura in court and can put even the most complicated points across clearly and in a succinct fashion. An excellent QC who has a very smooth manner with clients.”
Chambers and Partners

Simon Browne QC is “an excellent leading counsel, and is always fully prepared be it for advising in consultation or presenting in court”
The Legal 500

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