Atkin Chambers Barristers
Simon Lofthouse is widely recognised as a leading domestic and international lawyer with particular expertise in construction, energy, natural resources and professional negligence. As in previous years, Simon is highly recommended in these fields by the leading legal directories, Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 both in their UK Editions and those published internationally. He is highlighted as "ferociously intelligent, an absolutely formidable advocate" and noted as being “excellent legally, technically and commercially” (Chambers and Partners).
His practice covers international and domestic litigation and arbitration acting for governments, corporations and professionals. The range of disputes frequently involves engineering or construction projects, transport, professional negligence, information technology, process or energy projects.
He is particularly experienced in the presentation and conduct of complex cases, especially those involving delay analysis, contractual interpretation, allegations of professional negligence issues including defective design, expert determinations and final accounts or disputed technical issues (including fraud).
The range of disputes covered is extensive, examples include large commercial developments both domestically and internationally (new-build and refurbishment) complex infrastructure works, including track installation, repair and upgrading, IT systems and installations, powers station disputes (both as to construction and operation including waste to energy plants), waste and water treatment technology, oil and gas platforms, piling operations onshore and offshore, construction of roads and ships, PFI’s, PPP’s, pipe laying, tunnels, pumping stations, coastal defences and effluent and airport terminals.
His experience spans the range of different forums including mediation, adjudication, expert determination, domestic and international arbitration and commercial Court litigation. Much of his work is international in nature and throughout his career he has advised on and appeared as advocate in disputes in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East (he is qualified to practice in the DIFC, Dubai), and across Asia. He has been appointed by the ICC and other domestic and international bodies both as Arbitrator and as Legal and Dispute Resolution Expert.
Simon also accepts appointments either as a sole Arbitrator or as part of a Panel and is, of course, familiar with the established domestic and international rules.
Simon has represented employers, governments, contractors, sub-contractors and consultants on many cases, both domestic and international, concerning numerous types of building and civil engineering projects.
On the pure construction side Simon has dealt with the full range of issues arising out of standard form construction contracts, defects claims and claims concerning professional negligence; procurement including PFI projects; claims for extensions of time, loss and expense. Recent and current cases include acting for the following:
• Led a team for the Defendant on a 3 week High Court Trial in Claims for variations, loss and expense on pipeline works in a large energy project in Shetland, Scotland. Case particularly noted for of all expert evidence by the Court [Van Oord UK Ltd and SCIM Roadbridge Ltd v Allseas UK Ltd  EWHC 3074 (TCC)];
• Led team in an ultra-high value ICC dispute in relation to the design and construction of a world leading medical establishment;
• A major construction company in litigation concerning a defects and defective design claim at a landmark development in the UK;
• A UAE development corporation in connection with a foreign arbitration concerning alleged delays to a large residential development;
• A foreign royal family in litigation in connection with a defects and professional negligence claim arising out of a summer palace;
• The employer in litigation concerning defects in the major refurbishment works to provide a 5-star hotel in London;
• A German contractor in an ICC arbitration concerning a delay and extra works claim involving the construction of a manufacturing plant in Bahrain;
• Advising on policy coverage in relation to design losses claimed for innovative plant installed worldwide;
• A major British charity in litigation involving with a bid dispute on a PFI refurbishment project in London;
• The contractor in litigation concerning a large hotel refurbishment in London;
• The MoD in connection with a major re-build project;
• The Developer in an arbitration concerning a large residential development in the Midlands;
• A Hospital Trust in connection with a complaint of overspend on the construction of a new pharmaceutical facility;
• A major international company in connection with a claim concerning defective abatement plant to reduce emissions;
• The contractor in the Court of Appeal in connection with the fit out of a bulk pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the UK and the scope of expert determination clauses;
• The designer in connection with a dispute concerning the design of a processing plant for waste arising from a paper processing plant.
On the engineering side Simon has dealt with issues arising out of the standard forms of engineering contracts, variations thereon and bespoke forms; delay claims, ground conditions claims; civil works; bridge construction; mechanical and electrical disputes; building services and control systems and piling operations. Examples of his work include acting for/advising on:
• The contractor in an international arbitration concerning claims of defective piling in residential developments in the Far East;
• The construction and performance of infrastructure agreements concerning the upgrading of the UK rail system;
• Acting as a Legal and Dispute Resolution expert in connection with delay, disruption and additional works claims at a major new airport project in India;
• The Treasury Solicitor in connection with delay claims on numerous major transport infrastructure works;
• A dispute concerning the tenders for the new Wembley stadium;
• The UK Government in various road dispute arbitrations;
• The contractor in the Court of Appeal on a clause 12 ground conditions claim arising out of offshore work in the UK;
• Insurers in litigation concerning defective bridges in Ghana, Ethiopia and Peru;
• Transport for London in an arbitration concerning claims arising out infrastructure works;
• The contractor in an arbitration against the Hong Kong SAR concerning delays to underground sewer works;
• A major construction plc against the Ministry of Defence in relation to claims arising out of the design and construction of a submarine facility;
• The purchaser complaining of fraud in the sale of contaminated land.
Simon has wide experience acting for employers and contractors on domestic and international disputes arising out of the design and construction of, among others, power stations, off shore installations and waste water treatment plants. Examples include acting for:
• The oil company employer in litigation concerning the refitting of a North Sea oil platform;
• Contractor regarding a desalination plant in Muscat;
• Contractor on expansion of mineral mine in Mozambique;
• The employer in litigation concerning the design and construction of a gas fired power station in the UK;
• The employer on claims arising out of the construction of a combined cycle gas turbine power station in the UK;
• The contractor in an ICC arbitration concerning their claims arising out of the construction of a power plant in the Middle East;
• As adjudicator by agreement of the parties in separate disputes concerning the provision of facilities for gas transmission;
• A Swiss employer against the French contractor in an arbitration concerning the design and construction of a waste to energy facility in the UK;
• The Japanese party of a multi-national Joint Venture in a dispute concerning the construction of a powers station in Spain;
• A Czech corporation in an international joint venture concerning the construction of a power station in Bulgaria;
• A water utility company in litigation alleging defective design and construction of a water treatment plant in the UK.
Simon was recently appointed as a Legal Expert by the ICC in connection with a major software dispute in India. He has significant experience of other information technology related disputes including acting for:
• An employer in a dispute about IT requirements in a new development;
• A major UK food manufacturer in disputes concerning the design and development of computer control for the process plant for the production of premium brand products.
Simon has a great deal of experience in the professional negligence field, acting for claimants, defendants and their indemnity insurers in relation to claims brought against a wide range of professionals to include architects, engineers, solicitors and quantity surveyors. Recent or current cases include acting for:
• EPCM Contract in a professional negligence claim for engineering services on a development in Africa;
• The insurers of international architects in connection with negligence and fraud claims concerning a landmark development in the UK;
• The employer in litigation concerning allegations of the defective engineering design of a long-sea outfall pipe;
• The contractor in a claim alleging the defective engineering design of sea defences;
• The employer in a test-claim concerning an innovative roofing design;
• The employer in claims against the architect concerning delays and defective design on a prestigious new-build development in the UK;
• A property developer in connection with a professional negligence claim concerning planning problems arising out of a commercial development in London;
• The architect in litigation involving sound transference from a high-profile night-club;
• The architect in connection with a claim for undiscovered asbestos;
• A UK Government department in connection with a professional negligence claim against their legal advisers;
• A UK road and rail freight logistics provider min connection with a claim for defective design of an unloading facility;
Van Oord UK Ltd and SCIM Roadbridge Ltd v Allseas UK Ltd  EWHC 3074 (TCC)
Liberty Mercian v Cuddy Civil Engineering [ 2014] EWHC 3584 (TCC)  BLR 242
Lovell Partnership Ltd v Merton Priory Homes  EWHC 1615 (TCC)  BLR 541
John Grimes v Gubbins  EWCA Civ 37  BLR 126
Enterprise v McFadden  EWHC 3222  BLR 89
Buildability Ltd v ODD Ltd  EWHC 3198  BLR
122North Midland Construction v AE&E Lentjes  EWHC 1371
H S Works v Enterprise  EWHC 729
Liberty Mercian v Dean & Dyball  BLR 29
Birmingham CC v Paddison  BLR 622
Penwith v VP Developments  EWHC 2544
Perkins v Devoron  BLR 218
Carillion v DML  BLR 15 (CA)
Barnes and Elliot v Taylor Woodrow  BLR 111
Rhodia Clivex v Laker Vent  BLR 75 (CA)
Simon has contributed to professional publications both in the UK and Europe. He is the past editor of Current Law Digest.
2015 Approved to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge of the TCC
2011 Public Access qualified
2011 Appointed Chairman of Professional Conduct Committee and Board Member of Bar Standards Board
2010 Bencher of Gray’s Inn
2009 Qualified to practice in the DIFC, Dubai
2005-2007 Prosecutor for Bar Standards Board (Disciplinary)
2003 Appointed Recorder
2001-2004 Member of the Bar Professional Conduct Committee
1989-1993 Current Law Editor (Articles)
Simon is a member of COMBAR and TECBAR. He is a registered Adjudicator and has been an Advocacy Trainer for Gray’s Inn since 2004.
Simon has presented at seminars and conferences both domestically and abroad on FIDIC, international arbitration, IT, construction and energy disputes.
"He is a very good cross-examiner who is forensically prepared." "Responsive, calm and very commercial in his approach. " "He is excellent legally, technically and commercially."
Construction, Chambers and Partners 2017
"Very pleasant to work with. He engaged very efficiently right from the outset. He got directly involved, went into considerable detail in order to understand the dynamics of the case, and gave very commercial advice." "He is hands-on, very experienced and unflappable."
International Arbitration, Chambers and Partners 2017
"He is ferociously intelligent, an absolutely formidable advocate and immensely well prepared on his paperwork. By the time you instruct him, he's already three steps ahead of you."
Professional Negligence, Chambers and Partners 2017
"Exceptional all-round and particularly top-drawer on matters of expert evidence.”
Construction, Legal 500 2016
“User-friendly and hardworking, he never lets you down.”
International Arbitration, Legal 500 2016
“Excellent commercial acumen.”
Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2016
"He is a very good cross-examiner who is forensically prepared."
Construction, Chambers and Partners 2016
"One of the most hard-working and diligent barristers I have ever seen. He has a tremendous grasp of the details and his cross-examinations are very impressive." "He got to grips with the matter in a short amount of time. His processing of complex and factual matrices is commendable."
International Arbitration, Chambers and Partners 2016
"He has the ability to think outside the box and is good at solving very difficult technical problems. A very good advocate." "He gets to grips with matters quickly and is user-friendly when engaging with the team."
Professional Negligence, Chambers and Partners 2016
“Exceptionally strong both in advising and on his feet”
Construction, Legal 500 2015
“He is extremely impressive and provides heavyweight opinions”
International Arbitration, Legal 500 2015
“He gets on with clients at all levels, and distils a vast amount of documentation into simplistic terms”
Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2015
"Very down to earth, frank and open, he gets to the point very quickly. Excellent in front of clients, he's wonderful on his feet and a brilliant draftsman." "He has an immense capacity for hard work."
Construction, Chambers and Partners 2015
"He is diligent, robust and a very effective advocate." "He is one of the best at managing clients, and has a very loyal following."
International Arbitration, Chambers and Partners 2015
"He is exceptionally knowledgeable and easy to work with." "He's very good technically, very good on the law and excellent at dealing with clients. He's also industrious and really puts in the hours."
Professional Negligence, Chambers and Partners 2015
"Comes up with impressive ideas in heavyweight matters."
Construction, Legal 500 2014
International Arbitration, Legal 500 2014
“Outstanding ability and quick on his feet.”
Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2014
"He has a phenomenal appetite for work and is good on the forensic preparation." "Commercial and pragmatic."
Construction, Chambers and Partners 2014
"Handles cases with huge numbers of facts, and seems to have everything at the click of a finger." "He's very down to earth, and has a magnificently analytical brain."
International Arbitration, Chambers and Partners 2014
"He has a phenomenal appetite for work and is forensic in his preparation." "It is his analytical brain where he really scores; he is able to sum things up in plain ordinary English, which clients appreciate."
Professional Negligence, Chambers and Partners 2014