Simon is praised by clients for his strategic advocacy in international commercial disputes. He specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration (Chambers & Partners, Leading Juniors, 2020), particularly the fields of energy (Legal 500, Tier 1 ranking 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016), commodities (Legal 500, Leading Juniors, 2020), shipping / shipbuilding and rig-building (Legal 500, Leading Juniors, 2019, 2017, 2016 and listed as a “Top Ten” maritime lawyer by Lloyd’s List in 2015), infrastructure / engineering / projects and insurance / reinsurance, and public international law including international investment law and arbitration.
“He is very enthusiastic, with Mandarin skills that are helpful when dealing with Chinese parties,” (Legal 500, 2018), and is regularly instructed by Asian clients, in particular from China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and the wider ASEAN region. He acts as a sole or lead counsel in arbitrations under the SIAC, ICC, HKIAC and LCIA rules. He is experienced in dealing with Asian law (Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, Philippines, Kazakhstan) in commercial disputes.
Simon’s work comes highly recommended by market sources, who say: ‘He is absolutely spectacular and his drafting is unimpeachably good.’ Another source enthuses: ‘He is just a genius – his analysis is so thorough.’” (Chambers & Partners, 2020). In the commodities field he is known as “a very bright and commercially astute barrister who gets to the point quickly.” (Legal 500, 2020). With a wealth of experience in unled advocacy work across a range of different arbitration systems rules, he “is good on his feet, thinks off-the-cuff very well, speaks confidently without notes and is dogged and determined in pursuit of the case” (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2015).
Simon’s recent cases include arbitration and court litigation arising from: cancellation of the contract for the world’s largest drillship (US$120 million); an oil rig contract termination dispute; an arbitration over alleged contracts for the sale of heavy fuel oil (over US$12 million); a dispute over shares in valuable ASEAN-based renewable energy companies (over US$100 million); breach of a contract for observation satellite services (US$32 million); a co-investment agreement concerning an Eastern European bank (over €25 million); a long-term electricity off-take agreement and associated commission payments (€50 million); ‘hull swapping” at Korean shipyards (US$ 40 million); a share option dispute in the offshore services sector; a joint venture dispute over construction of a mine and associated power plant; a complex dispute over a pharmaceutical licence and distributorship agreement in Asia (subject to Indonesian law); cases at the intersection of commercial with public international law, including investment treaty disputes (where he “has notable experience in investment treaty arbitrations”, Chambers & Partners, 2020), law of the sea issues and climate change risks and liability; several reinsurance treaty arbitrations triggered by natural disasters; anti-suit injunctions; freezing injunctions; enforcement and challenge of arbitral awards and foreign judgments; numerous arbitrations relating to international sales of oil, coal, iron ore, steel, cement, chemicals, metals, and soft commodities.
Simon also regularly sits as arbitrator in London, Singapore and Hong Kong; and is a member of the SIAC reserve panel of arbitrators and the HKIAC and MARC (Mauritius) arbitrator panels.