Simon’s work includes judicial review, immigration, European Union and international law, social welfare and discrimination. He has appeared before United Kingdom and European courts and tribunals at all levels, including the UK Supreme Court, Court of Justice of the European Union and European Court of Human Rights, as well as the Court of Appeal and statutory tribunals.
"A veteran of the refugee law world. He leads by example." - Chambers and Partners 2023
"A brilliant advocate for his clients. He's incredibly generous with his time and knowledge. Very thorough and meticulous." - Chambers and Partners 2023
"A real force to be reckoned with. His knowledge is exceptional on asylum support, and his tactical thinking is very impressive." - Chambers and Partners 2022
"A fantastic barrister. He is very sharp, strategic and ahead of the game all the time. He is a real asset for Doughty Street." - Chambers and Partners 2022
Over the last 25 years, Simon has acted in many leading cases for individuals, groups of victims and for NGOs. His cases as lead counsel include CEZ v Nikolova (Grand Chamber CEU judgment on collective race discrimination), Chowdury v Greece (European Court of Human Rights judgment on forced labour of irregular migrant farmworkers), McCarthy (scope of EU law for dual nationals) and Patmalniece (UK Supreme Court: social security discrimination).
Simon has extensive experience of public and administrative law in England and Wales, with many appearances before the UK Supreme Court/House of Lords, Court of Appeal, High Court, Upper and First-tier Tribunals and the Special Immigration Appeal Commission. His specialist practice includes all aspects of immigration, nationality, and social security law, as well as ‘cross-over’ issues, such as migrants’ eligibility to housing & community care; export & co-ordination of social security benefits and “hostile environment” practices.
He advises and represents businesses, and national and local government agencies. He accepts instructions from solicitors and other qualified professionals: he does not currently accept direct access instructions.
Simon acted in leading cases on international sanctions before the UK Supreme Court and EU Court of Justice, including Ayadi, Othman and M, A & MM and has advised on EU sanctions regulations on supply of military materiel to Libya and Syria. He has acted and advised on EU and international legal issues, including in Ireland, Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain and Romania, as well as Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar.
He has often advised and represented NGOs in UK and abroad, acting as counsel in judicial reviews and interventions for Amnesty International, the AIRE Centre, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Refugee Legal Centre, Child Poverty Action Group and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. His recent work includes using EU law against legal restrictions on NGOs in different EU countries, and violations of worker’s rights and criminal laws in international recruitment.
From 2011 to 2019, Simon was the Migration Lawyer of the Open Society Justice Initiative. He worked with lawyers and activists across the world, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, and Europe, to develop litigation strategies to protect and advance the rights of international migrants and human rights defenders.
Before he began self-employed practice in 1995, Simon was employed for two years at the Free Representation Unit in London, supervising trainee lawyers and law students acting pro bono in social welfare and immigration tribunal cases. From 2008 to 2014, he was a member of the UK’s Tribunal Procedure Committee, which makes the procedure rules for the First-tier and Upper Tribunals. He is a member of the UK’s Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association and a director of the UK-based Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare.