Simon is a senior commercial and chancery silk who specialises in commercial disputes, civil fraud, insolvency and professional negligence cases both domestically and internationally (and in particular Russian/ClS clients). He has been described as “a first-rate silk” and a “fearless advocate”.
A trusted QC and widely acclaimed as a leading silk the Legal 500 in Civil Fraud, Insolvency and Commercial Litigation. Client testimonials cite him as "a leader of choice", "a strong, fearless and brilliant advocate" who "is loved by his clients for his commitment to their cause".
Simon was appointed joint Head of Chambers with Jeffrey Golden in April 2018.
Recent and Current Practice:
• An enforcement action arising from a Ukrainian judgment for the amount of US$ 3.7 billion.
• Acting for families of deceased and injured United States armed forces personnel killed or injured in acts of terrorism by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The value of the claim is US$ 5.5 billion.
• Leading a team from 3 Hare Court in a high profile case acting for a group of businesses in a group action against RBS. The case involves claimants from thousands of SMEs that were put into administration, with a value of up to £7 billion.
• Head of a team who acted for Aeroflot’s claims against Boris Berezovsky (now his estate) and others.
Simon has extensive experience in both international and domestic civil fraud. He has acted for major liquidators on fraud cases and he has encountered a wide breadth of tax fraud for HMRC and liquidators. These cases have included high value MTIC/carousel frauds, failed tax scheme frauds, Ponzi schemes, excise duty frauds, corporation tax frauds and negligible tax value schemes.
His experience also extends to terrorist, gangland and extortion cases involving fraud by organised crime.
Simon has a particular knowledge of claims, including claims potentially running to in excess of £300 million, arising from Libor-rigging events and from related interest rate hedging product sales. He also has a particular interest in similar claims arising from Forex-rigging, and has developed substantial market knowledge in this context.
Simon represents many of the leading insolvency practitioners in all forms of insolvency actions as well as appearing for directors and individuals. He has far-reaching experience of both trials and interlocutory work with frequent applications relating to freezing and search orders and all forms of interlocutory relief.
He provides regular talks on all aspects of insolvency and chaired a webinar on the topic of 'Insolvency in relation to commercial transactions'.
Simon's practice incorporates commercial work in both the Chancery Division and the Commercial Court, and he advises on various international aspects of Commercial and Insolvency Law, examples include: advising on the position relating to British litigation against the Icelandic banks, the Icelandic Moratoria and the Treasury Freezing Orders and Licenses; representing US companies with UK assets resisting pursuit by English liquidators; the investigation of Panamanian and Bahamian Trust assets as part of a masking operation within a complex fraud; a trust claim within the Lehman Brothers Administrations and litigation including considering a negligence claim against administrators arising out of a huge value Ponzi scheme.
He is representing shareholders in an oil refinery case worth $600 million to $2 billion.
He is representing interests relating to patent violations in Russia and CIS relating to minerals and aggregates.
He is able to advise on all aspects regarding the Bribery Act and, in particular, compliance
In commercial actions he has considerable experience of acting in Russian/CIS and Anglo-Indian trade contracts.
He conducts arbitrations as both advocate and arbitrator. He was recently appointed an LCIA arbitrator in an international money exchange claim and has been nominated in a Russian v Russian LCIA commercial reference. He conducted a shipping arbitration (export of steel) as an advocate, Foreign Exchange (Forex) contracts (Open and Closed Forwards) and issues relating to the terms of Letters of Credit.
He has been this year conducting a Stockholm arbitration for a shareholder relating to significant Russian oil assets.
Simon regularly acts in professional negligence actions including solicitors, valuers, insurance and other brokers, and accountants and insolvency practitioners. Recent cases include:
• KMR v Forsters, a £75-200 million professional negligence action in relation to a missed oil opportunity/share transfer (Commercial Court and Court of Appeal) which involved a petition to the Supreme Court on the effect of an earlier settlement clause.
• AM Holdings v Batten and Page: a case against administrators for professional negligence in (i) a failure to keep a company as a going concern on a Lehman loan on collapsing values and (ii) a sale at an under value. Claims circa £100 million.
• Moya v Begbies Traynor: a claim arising out of the mishandling of a payroll company's remaining funds being used fraudulently.
• John North v Forsters, a claim of solicitors' professional negligence for mishandling a defence to a commercial action.
• Devon Commercial v Barnett: an ongoing defence of two insolvency practitioners (receivers) in a collusion to take a sale at an undervalue of a factory. Two week trial commencing in July in the Chancery Division.
• Re One Blackfriars Bridge: a claim against administrators relating to the building of a 52 storey mix-use development for refusing to take a re-finance deal and selling at an undervalue.
• Hutchinsons v St Paul Insurance: successor practice disputes; the successor test in the indemnity insurance rules; dispute around whether San Diego Federal Credit Union v Cumis Insurance was expressly rejected by Brown v Guardian Royal Exchange.
He frequently acts for Russian/CIS clients and was instructed in two appeals in the Court of Appeal on Terluk v Berezovsky eg  EWCA Civ 1534. He has advised on Mutual Assistance applications, an ECHR claim against the UK for a CIS client, Freezing Orders under s.25 CJJA to assist foreign proceedings, and undertakes appellate work in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
In the Baha Mar Resort Development case, he was granted rights of audience to appear as Co-Counsel to dismiss bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware, USA.
Chambers and Partners 2018
'He's a very proactive, quick thinker, who gets straight to the point with clients.' 'He's a devastating cross-examiner and very much one of our go-to silks'.
'Very knowledgeable and an exceptional advocate. Extremely bright and very commercial'.
Chambers and Partners 2017
"Very user-friendly and energetic". "He is superb on his feet and has judges eating out of his hand".
"He is very knowledgeable and an exceptional advocate". "He is extremely bright and very commercial".
Chambers and Partners 2016
"A team player and leader who can make the complex simple for both judges and clients."He's very user-friendly and highly energetic."
“A robust advocate who's not shy about giving clients frank advice." "He works very hard, and is phenomenally user-friendly. He's not pompous and he's able to roll his sleeves up."
Legal 500 2017
"A strong, fearless and brilliant advocate, who exudes a calm reassurance."
"A definite leader of choice, fast to respond and very decisive in his opinions."
"He is loved by his clients for his commitment to their cause and the ease with which he is able to relate to them."
Legal 500 2016
“A first-rate silk for complicated, "do-your-head-in" problems”.
“A fearless advocate- there is no better civil fraud silk to have on your side”.
“He provides exemplary client-handling skills and straight-talking advice”.
“Simon Davenport QC gives 110% to achieve the right result for clients. A team player and leader who can make the complex simple for both judges and clients. Brilliant cross-examiner; definitely the one to call in when the case relies heavily on how the facts come out. ”
He has lectured widely and written articles on Insolvency Law: he was a keynote speaker at the R3 Annual Conference in Wales and a speaker at two sessions (mediations and international fraud) in St Petersburg at the International Legal Forum.
He chaired a Question Time style panel discussion on Constitutions, the Common Law and Recent Events at the Trinidad and Tobago Legal Network Conference in 2015 on the topic of “Recent Contribution of the Caribbean to the Common and Constitutional Law".
He has advised HMRC internally as to ways in which to improve recoveries and provided talks on the 'Fraud Landscape'.
Simon has 2 degrees, the first in Law (LLB) and the second in History of Art (BA).
Sport (sailing, cricket, rugby)
History of Art: Simon is a trustee of the Contemporary Art Society.