Internal and International Jurisdiction
Simon is committed to defending the rights of families who face issues of children relocating abroad, applications for leave to remove a child, or when clients are faced with an application from an ex-partner.
Simon is adept at handling cases involving Brussels II regulations. He is experienced in dealing with enforcement and registration of orders made in foreign countries and ‘Mirror orders’ in countries where no international treaty is in force.
Areas of expertise:
- Applications for permission to remove children to another jurisdiction.
- Abductions within England and Wales and other British territory.
- Emergency injunctions to prevent child removal.
- Brussels II Regulation No 2201/2003, also called Brussels IIA or II bis.
- Summary return under the Hague Convention 1980.
Simon has over 30 years’ experience as a specialist Children Act practitioner, the last 9 years in Silk. Simon often appears for parents of high net worth who have seemingly intractable disputes with their partners over the arrangements for the children. Simon is also instructed on allegations of parental alienation, domestic abuse, coercive control, and allegations of the utmost seriousness at the intersection with public law.
Matters concerning Private Law Children are particularly suited to Public Access clients. A number of Simon’s clients have instructed him on a privately-funded basis to advise and attend court. Instructing a Silk is not always possible under the Legal aid provisions but the Public Access scheme opens a direct link to a specialist Silk.
Instructing Simon not only provides the client with his years of advocacy experience as a barrister in the family and criminal courts, but it is also worth noting that Simon also sits as a part time High Court Judge in the family courts.
Simon has provided training seminars to local family firms of solicitors and has provided lectures to members of the Family Law Bar Association.
He is described by The The Legal 500 as:
“An extremely strong and persuasive advocate, exceptionally hard working and fearless in Court”
Simon frequently appears in high profile care proceedings. In the last 18 months he has acted successfully for parents in 4 cases involving a large scale paedophile ring, harming a child as a result of fictitious disorder, allegations of arranging a forced marriage abroad and causing the death of a baby with congenital brain abnormalities by shaking.
Simon works with a wide range of clients including local authorities, parents and guardians, adopters and foster parents, extended family members, other interested parties or interveners and the Official Solicitor.
Simon sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in family law. He is provided with top-class judicial training and resource that enables him to keep up to date within his specialist field as a Judge and as a practising Silk.
Described by the The Legal 500 as:
“Noted for his experience in child-cases involving non-accidental injury”
“Very good at cross-examining medical experts”
For 32 years I have practised law as a barrister, from 2011 as a QC.
My name and professional title is Simon Bickler QC Limited and I am registered under the Bar Standards Board under that name although I am employed by Simon Bickler QC Limited. I hold a current Bar Council practising certificate. I have professional indemnity Insurance with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund.
I am regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB). The BSB Handbook contains the rules about how barristers must behave and work. It also contains the Code of Conduct for barristers.
I am registered to undertake Public Access work on the Bar Council Directory
The Public Access Scheme allows for members of the public to engage my services on a direct basis. It is not a scheme that is suitable to all cases but in all cases, the clerks will consult with me and we will let you know if the scheme will suit your requirements.
I will undertake to confirm on receipt of your instructions that I have sufficient experience and competence to undertake the work necessary to carry out those instructions.
I am employed by a company, Simon Bickler QC Limited. Whilst I will provide the services you will contract with Simon Bickler QC Limited. The administrative support for the company is St Paul’s Chambers. A set of Chambers is a practice where a collection of independent self-employed barristers and barristers who have incorporated their practices share premises and administrative services. Those administrative services are provided by staff that are referred to as clerks. My work may mean that I am not always in Chambers or that you are not able to contact me directly. You may find the best way to contact me is to leave a message with my clerks with either by telephone 0113 2455866 or email [email protected] and I will respond as soon as I am able to do so.
A Barristers Chambers is not a firm. I am the only person you are instructing and I will be personally responsible for doing all the work needed under the Public Access arrangement.
Letter of Engagement and Terms of Engagement
On confirmation of instruction you will be provided with a letter of engagement and the terms of engagement. This will provide you with all the information you require before committing to the engagement.
My professional appointments
I have been appointed as a Recorder to the County Court which allows me to sit as a Judge in family proceedings. Most recently I have been appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge sitting in Family Law.
My background in Family Law
Most of my cases involve applications for residence and contact, adoption issues, working with clients facing child welfare investigations from the Local Authority, Court of Protection and its connected elements and International Child Jurisdiction Law. I have a wealth of experience in these areas of law and I often provide lectures and seminars in family law to my fellow legal professionals.
My background in Criminal Law
It is also the case that clients will seek my assistance for matters concerning assault, traffic offences, drugs offences and robberies. There are huge benefits to instructing a QC not simply because of the level of experience but also the level of time and effort we commit to our cases.
I am extremely hard-working with my focus always being on the client’s needs. I am tenacious in my approach to get the right result for my clients but equally, I recognise when compromise and negotiation achieve more satisfactory outcomes. I am an effective communicator with a proven track record for negotiation. My instructing solicitors have commented on how quickly I grasp a case and on my general court presence. This, I believe, is partly to do with my role as a part-time family judge. Sitting as a Recorder has provided me with a sense of balance on how I approach family law cases. Winning can mean very different things but making a difference for my client is often what I aim to achieve.
I don’t take myself too seriously in my professional or my personal life because I recognise the need to take advice from others as well as providing it. I am very proud to be a part of a successful barrister’s Chambers where we share information and support one another in our careers. I am always accessible to those who need my help. I‘ve been described by others in the legal sector as “a highly persuasive advocate” and “never failing to get the ear of the court”.
My fee structure is straight forward and without hidden costs. If I am instructed on a piece of advice it is usual I will charge an hourly rate. You will be informed of how much it will cost before I engage in the work. Equally, if I am to attend court on your behalf, I will scope the case and provide you with a global cost with a breakdown of the cost per day and the preparation costs. The clerking team will guide you through the process and assist you with the options you have available to you.
Chambers can provide a fact sheet on request in relation to fees. It covers the pricing policy required by the Bar Standards Board for specific areas of law deemed to be those that attract a range of average fees. Of these areas, I only provide advice and representation for motoring offences and licensing applications in relation to business premises. My daily fee for interim applications ranges from £3000 -£5000 plus vat. For substantive hearings my clerks will provide a quote following the information we require to assess the preparation time involved.
What my clients say
I wanted to thank you so much as I didn’t have the time to properly say it. I was very happy dealing with you. It was a pleasure to have you representing me. I think you are very professional and it reflects what is said in your profile that you can work with all kind of clients. You had the patience when dealing with me. It didn’t matter what I said or wanted, you were just very kind, very ethical, professional and calm you made it very easy for me to approach you and talk to you about anything. You knew the level of stress and worry I had. I really appreciate your effort, time, assistance whilst working on my case.
You were very reassuring from the beginning. It was a tricky case with no shortage of emotional involvement and I felt your knowledge of the law was evident throughout. Your court room presence was very impressive and to your credit, you obtained me the outcome I needed
Under pressure, you did not buckle. You are well deserved of your Silk status. You have a cool head and a great manner with clients.
If you wish to make a complaint
If you would like to make a complaint, please make reference to our chambers complaints procedure. We will try to resolve it by following this procedure. Information on how to do this should have been provided to you in your client care letter. If you would like us to send you a hard copy by post please get in contact.
The Legal Ombudsman
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, then you can contact the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman is an independent organisation. It deals with complaints about the service provided by all types of lawyers in England and Wales. The Legal Ombudsman can decide whether or not the service you received from your barrister was satisfactory, and can:
•Award compensation for poor service;
•Consider whether the fees charged/paid should be reduced; and
•Decide whether you should receive an apology.
Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman should be made within 6 months of receiving the final response to your complaint from your barrister or their chambers(as long as the response tells you about your right to complain to the Ombudsman and the six month time limit). A complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must also not be made more than 6 years after the problem arising,and not more than 3 years after you become aware of the problem.The Legal Ombudsman will review your complaint and decide whether there are any concerns about professional misconduct (professional misconduct is when a barrister has not kept to the BSB Handbook, and so disciplinary action might need to be taken). If your complaint raises concerns about professional misconduct, the Legal Ombudsman will refer those concerns to the BSB for consideration. If the Legal Ombudsman needs to make a referral,you do not need to do anything. The Legal Ombudsman will let you know if they have made a referral and the BSB will also contact you to confirm this.
Legal Ombudsman Decision Data
It is important that when you are making the decision to instruct a barrister, you have consideration to the decision data of the Legal Ombudsman. This will show what providers received an ombudsman decision in the previous 12 months and whether the LeO required the provider to give the consumer a remedy.
See this link for details of the Decision Data
The Legal Ombudsman can give you more detailed information on how to make a complaint. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman:
By phone: 0300555 0333
Through their website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
By post:PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ