Atkin Chambers has been recognised by the new The Legal 500 EMEA guide to the UK Bar in the Middle […]
15th Apr 2021
Simon Lofthouse QC 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” 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 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.
“He is my go-to barrister in construction when I want a heavyweight QC’s opinion and when I want to know what the judges are thinking.”
Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2021
“He leaves no stone unturned and is an extremely effective cross-examiner.” “He’s great at simplifying the law and getting to the main issues quickly.”
Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2021
“He is devastating in cross-examination, particularly of expert witnesses. His drafting and advocacy are also excellent and very effective in a large construction dispute.” “He is extremely hard-working and will leave no stone unturned.”
International Arbitration, Chambers UK Bar 2021
“Among the absolute elite in the construction arena.”
Construction, The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) 2021
“Very bright, responsive, practical and user-friendly.”
Construction, Energy and Infrastructure, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021
“He is completely hands-on and a really smooth operator.”
Professional Negligence, The Legal 500 2021
“Powerful and devastating cross-examination; in an international arbitration setting Simon is the equivalent of bringing in the heavy artillery.”
International Arbitration, The Legal 500 2021
“Everything good counsel should be – clever, responsive, tactical, hardworking, ethical and passionate.”
Energy, The Legal 500 2021
“He is an imposing advocate and ferocious cross-examiner. He will skewer the ill-prepared or over-partial expert witness.”
Construction, The Legal 500 2021
“Simon is pragmatic and very responsive. He is also well regarded by judges and arbitrators and very effective at cross-examination.” “A very convincing advocate, with strong knowledge and attention to detail in construction disputes.”
Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2020
“He is a delight to work with and it always amazes me how he manages to find the needle in the haystack.” “He is very knowledgeable and has a very nice, sensible and straightforward manner.”
Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2020
“Absolutely top of his game.” “Formidable cross-examiner.”
International Arbitration, Chambers UK Bar 2020
“His mastery of detail and work ethic is second to none.”
Construction, The Legal 500 2020
“Extremely hardworking, and can be entrusted with complex and substantial cases.”
International Arbitration, The Legal 500 2020
“He works astonishingly hard, has total ownership of the evidence and detail, and knows exactly what issues will concern a judge or arbitrator and goes straight there.”
Professional Negligence, The Legal 500 2020
“His practice includes challenging infrastructure project dispute.”
Construction, The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) 2020
“A very urbane lawyer who is highly experienced and always very assured in his knowledge.”
Construction, Chambers UK Bar 2019
“He has an outstanding ability to analyse issues and to present a case in a way which engages the sympathy of the tribunal.”
Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2019
“Highly experienced.” “Very bright, responsive and user-friendly.”
International Arbitration, Chambers UK Bar 2019
“Very bright, responsive, practical and a delight to work with.”
Construction, The Legal 500 2019
“Excellent on his feet and a man for big occasions.”
International Arbitration, The Legal 500 2019
“A delight to work with and always amazes in how he can find the needle in the haystack.”
Professional Negligence, The Legal 500 2019
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.