A criminal law specialist since 1996, Simon Philips undertook pupillage at Hollis Whiteman Chambers before moving to Birmingham in 1998. A former Royal Marine Officer, Simon has experience of acting for the defence at Courts Martial, but the vast majority of his time is spent prosecuting and defending serious allegations in the Crown Court.
Since 1996 Simon has built up a formidable reputation as a successful barrister who inspires confidence in both his lay and professional clients. Whether it be allegations of complicated financial fraud, armed robbery or rape, Simon has the breadth of experience from the “real world”, knowledge from a Cambridge degree, and ability gained from pure hard work, to provide first-rate representation.
With particular experience in defending serious sexual allegations, Simon can relate to lay clients both young or old. In the past 10 years he has successfully represented defendants accused of conspiracy to defraud, rape, murder, grievous bodily harm with intent and conspiracy to supply class A drugs. In partnership with leading counsel, Simon has successfully defended allegations of murder and manslaughter.
In 2019 Simon has been particularly involved in defending serious fraud allegations. In March 2019, leading James Bruce, he represented a defendant for 4 weeks in a private prosecution brought by the Premier league involving a sophisticated £10 million fraud. In the summer of 2019 he successfully represented a defendant facing allegations of fraud involving £750,000 defrauded from a primary school. The trial lasted 3 months.
Also in 2019, Simon has successfully prosecuted allegations of manslaughter, attempted murder and most interestingly, the “Herefordshire Hoard” case involving theft and possession of criminal property. This case gained significant national press coverage and involved 2 metal detectorists not declaring treasure worth millions of pounds. Simon gave the pre-charge advice in this case in 2017 and prepared the case for a trial that ultimately lasted 7 weeks in the Autumn.
Simon did pupillage with Junior Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court, and so gained significant experience of terrorism, murder and manslaughter trials. He appeared in the House of Lords in what was then the leading case on joint enterprise murder. He also gained experience preparing Attorney General’s References to The Court of Appeal Criminal Division. Simon has been a Grade 4 prosecutor since 2008 and a rape specialist prosecutor since the inception of the panel. As such he has been assessed both on paper and in court by the CPS regularly, and as a result constantly receives instructions to prosecute allegations of rape and other serious matters.
Simon has successfully prosecuted allegations of attempted murder, conspiracy to defraud, armed bank robbery and conspiracy to import class A drugs. In partnership with leading counsel, Simon has successfully prosecuted allegations of murder on many occasions. Simon also has significant experience of advising the CPS and police on prosecution strategy and charging decisions.
In 2017 he was approached by the BBC to advise on a story-line in “The Archers” involving controlling and coercive behaviour in the context of a relationship that resulted in an allegation of attempted murder against the female character. Simon gave legal advice and reviewed the relevant scripts that led to a story-line that garnered significant national press coverage at the time. He continues to advise the BBC on an ad hoc basis.
Simon has dealt with issues of fitness to plead; fitness for trial and duress in a military setting. With his background in the military, Simon can relate to those he represents more easily than most. He is willing to travel to wherever the hearings are held, including Germany or Cyprus.
Simon has defended many defendants accused of benefitting from the proceeds of their crimes. Most recently, when representing a defendant said to have made £1.5 million from drug dealing with assets of supposedly £500,000, Simon successfully argued that the defendant’s benefit was no more than £150,000 and that his assets totalled £24000. These submissions were generated by many hours work on detailed documents disclosed by the prosecution at short notice. Simon also has significant experience of dealing with “hidden assets” allegations.
He us currently engaged in prosecuting a “hidden assets” case where the potential values amount in the millions of pounds.