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Simon Atkinson

Call: 2011   

+44 (0)20 7306

Practice Overview

Simon is an experienced and in demand practitioner. He has a broad Chancery practice; the core of his work comprises property, trusts and estates, pensions and commercial litigation.

Simon believes that the giving of practical and clear advice, combined with persuasive and fearless Courtroom advocacy and an eye for detail, are qualities which clients rightly demand and which he brings to the cases on which he is instructed.

He has appeared in his own right in the Court of Appeal and regularly appears as sole counsel and as a junior in the High Court, County Court and various tribunals. He also acts in alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediations, arbitrations and expert determinations (in which he has acted variously as both advocate and as expert).

He is instructed in domestic and international matters. He has particular experience of disputes concerning assets and/or parties based in the Middle East. He is a co-author of Wilberforce’s publication of the Rules of the DIFC Courts.

Notable cases in which Simon has been instructed include:

  • Asturion Foundation v Alibrahim [2019] EWHC 275 (Ch); [2020] EWCA Civ 32
    In these ongoing proceedings, Simon is instructed as junior Counsel by Simmons & Simmons and Lalive for Ms Alibrahim, a wife of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, in proceedings brought by a Liechtenstein foundation seeking to set aside a conveyance of property in “Billionaire’s Row”. The litigation raises questions of Liechtenstein and Saudi law. The Court of Appeal judgment is an authoritative restatement on the law relating to abuse of process for “warehousing” litigation.
  • Long v Rodman [2019] EWHC 753 (Ch)
    Simon was instructed (along with Andrew Mold) on behalf of two of four daughters who successfully sought the removal of a Court-appointed professional administrator of their father’s estate in a heavily contested application under s. 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985.
  • PS Independent Trustees Ltd v China Shipping (UK) Agency Co Ltd [2019] ICR 1375
    Simon appeared for the defendants in a claim for payment of substantial debts under s. 75 of the Pensions Act 1995.  This case concerned the proper interpretation of regulations governing multi-employer defined benefit pension schemes and the circumstances in which there may be a deemed segregation of such a scheme upon the insolvency of one or more employers.
  • Catalyst Housing Limited v Martin [2018] EWCA Civ 1206
    Simon appeared as sole counsel for the appellants in both the renewed oral application for permission to appeal and the substantive appeal in proceedings concerning contractual succession to an assured tenancy under the Housing Act 1988.
  • Interactive Technology Corp Ltd v Ferster [2017] EWHC 1510 (Ch); [2017] EWHC 1799 (Ch)
    Litigation concerning the beneficial ownership of an offshore, web-based business, the admissibility of Part 36 offers in split trial proceedings, and the availability of summary judgment in response to a purported defence of causation where equitable compensation for loss is claimed.
  • Dutton v FDR Ltd [2015] EWHC 2946 (Ch); [2017] EWCA Civ 200
    Proceedings concerning how an underpin operated in relation to the increases
    applicable to pensions in payment. The underpin arose as a result of a defective trust
    deed executed in 1991 which purported to change the rate at which pensions in
    payment were increased from 3% to 5%LPI.
  • Pollock v Reed [2016] Pens LR 129
    Proceedings brought by the trustees of an occupational pension scheme seeking
    court approval of a proposed bulk transfer of the scheme’s assets and liabilities without
    individual member consent to a new scheme.
  • Labrouche v Frey; Re Olga Martin-Montis Will Trusts [2016] EWHC 268 (Ch)
    Substantial High Court litigation in which the beneficiary of English will trusts brought
    claims against former professional and lay trustees for alleged breaches of trust
    between 1984 and 2010. The claim also raised issues of Swiss and Liechtenstein
  • Wood v Waddington [2014] EWHC 1358 (Ch); [2015] EWCA Civ 538
    A dispute between neighbouring landowners concerning the grant of easements,
    the scope of section 62 of the Law of Property Act 1925 and the rule in
    Wheeldon v Burrows.
  • Spencer v Fielder [2015] 1 WLR 2786
    Beddoe proceedings relating to litigation between British Airways and the trustees
    of the Airways Pension Scheme arising out of the decision of the trustees to grant
    discretionary benefit increases to members.
  • Cosmetic Warriors Ltd v Ltd [2014] FSR 31; [2014] EWHC 1316 (Ch)
    Trademark dispute between the owner of the ‘Lush’ cosmetics brand and the well known
    online retailer.
  • Ansa Logistics Ltd v Towerbeg Ltd [2012] EWHC 3651 (Ch)
    A landlord and tenant dispute concerning whether the tenant had breached a
    covenant against parting with possession and whether the landlord had unreasonably
    withheld consent to underlet the premises to a third party, Ford Motor Company Ltd.