Simon has represented clients in major cases before all the New Zealand Courts over three decades. This has included a large number of appearances before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Simon’s approach to litigation is focussed on effective solutions which advance and protect the interests of his clients. He is committed to clear communication with his clients at every stage of their case.
Simon initially practised as a general practitioner gaining extensive experience in residential and commercial property transactions and business sales and purchases, in addition to litigation. This extensive and broad-based background has played a large part in his litigation successes. It adds a layer of depth to his ability to assist in the resolution of disputes arising in the context of commercial and residential transactions and relationship property disputes.
Simon has links with a large number of experts in fields such as accounting, engineering, building, taxation, private investigation and forensic science. Consequently, he is able to engage these experts to assist his client in any case he is involved with.
Simon continues to represent both plaintiffs and defendants in commercial, insolvency and civil litigation. Examples of his experience in commercial/civil litigation are:
Simon has successfully defended the accused in a large number of serious trials, including those involving charges of murder, serious violence, sexual, fraud and drug related offending.
He also represents those who plead guilty to offending and ensures that they receive an appropriate sentence. Simon represented the defendant who received one of the lowest sentences for murder in this country, 4 years imprisonment – R v Knox (HC Blenheim CRI 2016-006-000512).
He also appears for those prosecuted by the Inland Revenue Department, the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Economic Development.
In addition, Simon appears regularly before the Appellate Courts in the criminal jurisdiction. Examples of his appearances at Supreme Court level are R v Stewart  NZSC 53 and R v Hart  NZSC 91.
Family and Relationship Property Law
Simon has undertaken a wide range of work in the area of family law generally and specifically in negotiation and litigation of significant relationship property matters. This has been at all Court levels, including the Supreme Court, for example a leading relationship property case, B v B  NZSC 71.
These cases often involve resolution of issues involving family trusts, prenuptial agreements and family companies.
For example M v M (HC Christchurch CIV-2014-409-000701, 2016-2017) – successful relationship property appeal to High Court.
He also advocates and advises in relation to relocation of children, an example is C v A (HC Christchurch, CIV2004-409-001998, 28 April 2005).
Other Legal Experience
Locally, Simon has tutored law at the University of Canterbury and served on the litigation committee and costs revision committee of the (then) Canterbury District Law Society. He continues to assist the Canterbury Westland Branch of the New Zealand Law Society as a costs advisor and Editor of the Local New Zealand Law Society publication.
Simon appeared in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Building Failures Caused by the Canterbury Earthquakes as counsel for affected parties.
He assists the New Zealand Law Society and New Zealand Bar Association in drafting submissions on their behalf to Parliamentary Select Committees and the Law Commission in relation to proposed changes to the Law. He co drafted submissions for both bodies in relation the recent Sexual Violence Bill.
Simon has represented the New Zealand Law Society at meetings of the Criminal Practise Committee which involve the Heads of the High Court and District Court Benches for discussions on criminal law issues.
Nationally, Simon is a frequent member of the teaching faculty of the New Zealand Law Society litigation skills course which teaches less experienced lawyers Court skills.
Internationally, Simon is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers, which is based in the United Kingdom.