Atkin Chambers has been recognised as a Tier 1 set for construction by the new The Legal 500 EMEA 2023 (UK […]
12th Apr 2023
Simon Lofthouse KC 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 The Legal 500, both in their UK editions and those published internationally. He is highlighted as “ferociously intelligent, an absolutely formidable advocate” (Chambers and Partners) and noted as being “absolutely world class in hearings” and “a devasting cross examiner” (The Legal 500).
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 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/PPP, 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; and claims for extensions of time, loss and expense. Recent and current cases include acting for the following:
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:
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, offshore installations and waste water treatment plants. Examples include acting for:
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:
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:
Obrascon Huarte Lain SA (t/a OHL Internacional) & Anor v Qatar Foundation for Education, Science & Community Development  EWHC 1643 (Comm),  EWHC 2539 (Comm)
Van Oord UK Ltd and SCIM Roadbridge Ltd v Allseas UK Ltd  EWHC 3074 (TCC)
Liberty Mercian v Cuddy Civil Engineering  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 122 North 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 Judge in the Technology and Construction Court division of the High Court in England and Wales
2011: Public Access qualified
2011-2015: Chairman of Professional Conduct Committee of the Bar and a 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.
“Simon is very thorough and detailed in his preparation. You can be assured that he has read every document and considered every point. He is very good on even the most technical and specialist points. His cross-examination is always effective, no matter the witness.”
Construction, The Legal 500 2024
“Simon is absolutely world-class in hearings, and his cross-examination, which is the result of very hard work, is really effective.”
Energy, The Legal 500 2024
“Simon is a devastating cross-examiner and has a formidable work ethic. He outperforms the other side in hearings and has the ear of the tribunal.”
International Arbitration, The Legal 500 2024
“His preparation goes beyond meticulous – it’s surgical. I have never seen anyone as prepared as him, ever.”
“He is a very, very good opponent who masters the detail.”
International Arbitration: Construction/Engineering, Chambers UK Bar 2024
“Simon Lofthouse is always reliable. You can always trust him to give a very commercial analysis of the merits of the case.”
“He is the most well-prepared advocate I have ever worked with. He reads every document and gets into every detail.”
Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2024
“Simon Lofthouse is extraordinarily hard-working. His preparation goes beyond meticulous and he is a very effective cross-examiner.”
Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2024
“Simon is particularly strong in identifying the critical and key issues at the outset, anticipating the cases which are going to be run by other parties and working out the approaches and ways to respond to them. His great depth and breath of experience in arbitration practice on construction disputes are invaluable in the formulation and design of arbitration procedures which work in the client’s interest. He does not shy away from difficulty issues and has been very transparent with clients and those instructing, which are all impressive.”
Construction, Energy and Infrastructure, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023
“He’s very alive to the subtlety and nuances of cases, and he has a good approach with clients.”
“He’s very commercial in his approach and we benefit from his extensive expertise in international arbitration.”
Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2023
“His cross-examination abilities are a masterclass – he’s one of the best cross-examiners I’ve ever come across, leaving the witness suitably demolished.”
“Simon is tremendously hard-working and always immerses himself in the detail.”
International Arbitration, Chambers UK Bar 2023
“Simon was very responsive and reverted quickly. He was also very commercial in his approach and we benefited from his extensive expertise in international arbitration.”
Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2023
“Simon is one of the greatest silks of his generation. He is very focused, and his cross-examination is ruthless. He picks up on small details that others may miss, and he has a good feel for most senior arbitrators and opposing counsel, and no challenge is too great for him.”
Construction, The Legal 500 2023
“He is very focused, his cross-examination is ruthless, and he picks up on small details that others may miss.”
Energy, The Legal 500 2023
“Simon is very focused and his cross-examination is ruthless. He picks up on small details that others may miss and he has a good feel for most senior arbitrators and opposing counsel.”
International Arbitration: Counsel, the Legal 500 2023
“The best cross examiner in construction cases. A force to be reckoned with.”
Middle East; Construction, The Legal 500 2023
“Precise and sharp on his feet in his excellent advocacy and analytical skills.”
Construction, Energy and Infrastructure, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022
“Simon is second to none in his grasp of voluminous documentation and addressing core issues with speed and accuracy.” “He has a total mastery of all of the evidence and combines it with an ability to cross-examine that is at the premier league level.”
Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2022
“Simon is an exceptional advocate. He is a devastating cross-examiner, has a very keen eye for detail and is excellent to work with.” “He’s very sharp, very hard-working and an intelligent and ferocious cross-examiner.”
International Arbitration, Chambers UK Bar 2022
“Consistently outclasses opposing silks, because he works harder and has a passion for the case that means he doesn’t just walk the extra mile, he thoroughly maps it and is prepared for any eventuality.”
International Arbitration, The Legal 500 2022
“Bright, hardworking, prodigious memory, has mental agility in hearings, tactical nous, commercial, pleasant, and a team player. Simon consistently outclasses opposing silks, because he works harder and has a passion for the case that means he doesn’t just walk the extra mile, he thoroughly maps it.”
Construction, The Legal 500 2022
“Imperturbable, energetic and with a commanding presence, he is always 100% committed to the cause.”
Middle East, Construction, The Legal 500 2022
The above are a selection of recent client endorsements from the leading legal directories, both UK and internationally. For a complete list of endorsements, please contact the practice management team at Atkin Chambers.