“Always brilliant, he’s polished and prepared and is someone who has a great manner with clients. His advice is spot on.”
Simon is consistently recognised by The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as a leading silk 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.
In addition, Simon is at the forefront of the development of law and civil procedure in the Court of Appeal and High Court in cases 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/abuse of process in Mitchell v NGN (2014) CA and Cable v LV Insurance (2020) CA
- Costs budgets, the drafting of e-bills of costs, and QOCS in Henry v NGN (2013) CA, Bowman v Norfram and Ors. (2018) HC, and AKC v Barking and Havering Health Authority (2022) CA
Simon is a qualified mediator and arbitrator. He is registered with the Bar Council to accept direct access instructions and at the higher level of conducting litigation.
Areas of expertise
Costs and Litigation Funding
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 drafts and advises extensively upon the enforceability of conditional fee agreements, damages-based 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.
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:
- Santiago v MIB  CA - Court of Appeal test case as to the recovery of interpreter fees in the fixed costs regime
- AKC v Barking and Havering Health Authority  Court of Appeal - Test case in the Court of Appeal concerning the Civil Procedure Rules governing the drafting of paper bills of costs and electronic bill of costs.
- Khashoggi v Khashoggi  - Multimillion-pound solicitor client dispute over level of fees and identification of work streams.
- Butler v Bankside Commercial  Court of Appeal EWCA Civ 203 - Simon successfully represented a solicitor firm resisting a challenge to the termination of a conditional fee agreement by the solicitor for rejecting an opinion about making a settlement with the client’s opponent.
- Richard Slade & Co. v Boodia  Court of Appeal EWCA Civ 2667 - Simon successfully represented a solicitor firm in persuading the Court of Appeal that Mr Justice Slade in 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  Court of Appeal EWCA Civ 1767 - This was the first appeal case to review the test of proportionality in costs. The Court of Appeal unanimously held Simon’s submissions that the saving and transitional provisions in Civil Procedure Rule 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  - Supreme Court – three national newspapers (The Times, Daily Mail, and The Mirror) were attempting to avoid paying any additional liabilities (success fees and after the event insurance 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  Court of Appeal and High Court  Appeal to Court of Appeal concerning legal professional privilege between the parties on a solicitor client assessment. Application in 2021 for £20m security for costs.
In clinical negligence cases, Simon successfully represents claimants in claims against medical practitioners both in hospitals, private practice, and general practice. He advises extensively over disclosure and expert evidence thereon.
Cases of note:
- Costello v North-West Anglia NHS Foundation  - 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  - 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  - 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.
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 2021, among his extensive practice, he settled four cases each pleaded at well worth over £10m.
Cases of note:
- Taylor v Raspin  CA – Court of Appeal case concerning the use of expert evidence in the High Court for road traffic accidents. In re-affirming its decision in Liddell v Middleton  PIQR P35 CA the Court of Appeal repeated that the primary evidence is such cases was that of lay evidence and that expert evidence should be limited to matters only where the Court required expert assistance.
- HW v JL (2022) – Representing a tetraplegic teenage claimant whose case was settled for an eventually agreed capital sum of £21.5 million.
- R v C (2022) - Fully contested liability trial of a claimant motor cyclist, rendered paraplegic, travelling at speed in collision with the defendant car driver emerging onto the carriageway.
- 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 polytrauma including visible white-matter damage on CT to her frontal and temporal lobes. While 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 were 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) - Damages award of £12m for a mother 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 a road traffic accident in 2014. The claimant was already paraplegic as the result of a previous road traffic accident 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.
Simon’s work has included several sports and sports-related cases over his career as set out below. He has sat on various sporting committees and disciplinary tribunals. Further, Simon is knowledgeable on head injuries and dementia arising from contact sport having links with research projects. In 2022, he chaired a conference and produced a reference paper on head injuries in sport.
Cases of note:
- XH and ITIA – Representing a professional tennis player who provided positive “A” and “B” samples for banned substances.
- 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 SW 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 following denial of funding, with the funding being restored on review.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Simon is a qualified arbitrator and mediator. He is available to act in either role. He is on the panel of available mediators upon costs disputes at CADR (Costs Alternative Dispute Resolution).
- “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