AREAS OF PRACTICE
With over 30 years’ experience, Simon’s reputation precedes him on all cases concerning child welfare. He has extensive experience when dealing with complex medical evidence and cross-examination of medical experts, with particular expertise in those cases involving shaking of infants leading to death or permanent brain damage. Simon has particular expertise in serious children cases; both private and public law. He is highly regarded in cases concerning parental disputes over the leave to remove from the jurisdiction. He has extensive experience in acting for Local Authorities, Guardians and Parents. Simon sits as a Recorder and a High Court Judge in the Family Court.
The family law cases are listed here. They form linked information but not a new case.
Family Law Cases
- Represented surviving child following deaths of two siblings. Overturned historical Coroner’s verdict following further pathology investigation.
- Represented Local Authority in complex brain injury “baby shaking” case.
- Represented father in finding of fact care proceedings concerning baby disfigured by burns sustained in boiling water. Complex medical evidence from burns experts.
- Represented father in finding of fact care proceedings involving complex medical evidence of devastating head injury to 5 day old baby sustained whilst in hospital.
- Represented father in finding of fact care proceedings. Life threatening rectal injury to 12 year old boy with autism and learning difficulties.
- Represented father in rape and indecent assault on step-daughter aged 12 through to 15.
- Appeared for father of a child who Local Authority wished to place for adoption. He had a substantial criminal record. Successfully challenged the Local Authority.
- Represented father concerning the death by poisoning of a two year old boy and the physical and emotional abuse suffered by his surviving ten year old brother. Complex DNA and pathology evidence and psychiatric analysis. Represented interest of a baby found with a depressed skill fracture having been born with an unusually large head. Complex medical evidence. Numerous experts.
- Acted for intended adoptive parents of two children placed for adoption following care proceedings. The children whilst living with the potential adopters suffered serious injury and claimed abuse at their hands. Complex issues concerning the potential adopters’ legal rights to prevent removal from their care.
- Represented the mother of a six year old child who was on permanent dialysis having had her kidneys removed. Non-compliance with strict dietary regime was potentially life-threatening. The Local Authority sought removal of this child before a transplant was to take place. Successfully resisted.
- Represented a grandmother in care proceedings accused of seriously injuring her grandson.
- Represented mother of a two year old who had sustained serious burn injuries to her feet. Hearing to determine causation/mechanism of injury. Expert evidence from plastic surgeon and civil engineer.
- Represented grandfather accused of raping his daughter repeatedly over 20 year beginning when she was aged 4. Court concerned with his application to care for his grandchild as daughter incapacitated by mental illness. Successfully resisted all findings sought.
- Represented as Silk, a family member in a finding of fact accused of murder by poisoning of a young mother using paraquat. Unique pathology and toxicology in first ever allegation of fatality by multiple small doses over several months.
- Represented father in resisting mother’s application to return child from Pakistan. Complex legal arguments on Habitual Residence and Brussels Revised.
Simon has a high-level of excellence, expertise and experience in all areas of crime, with particular emphasis on complex fraud trials. He covers all areas of fraud including investment fraud, VAT and revenue fraud, advance fee fraud and internet fraud. Film tax credit fraud is a particular area of expertise for Simon. He is highly adept at managing document-heavy cases and managing the involvement of professional experts.
Fraud Law Cases:
R v Driscoll – Southwark Crown Court
Acquittal on Film Tax Credit Fraud. Lengthy cross examination of the Revenue’s head of the film tax unit about the Corporation Tax Act 2009 and the guidelines that were issued by the Revenue. Simon successfully found a loop-hole in the legislation and the jury acquitted the defendant of those charges. He was later convicted on the vat fraud. His sentence however, was very favourable. Simon has subsequently been instructed to advise on several film tax credit frauds having established himself as a leading expert in the interplay between legislation and revenue guidelines.
R v Alvey
International car theft from Japan on a massive scale in conspiracy with Stolen Vehicle Squad Police Officers.
R v Zakeri
Complex Inland Revenue and Customs Prosecution involving four businesses over a period of six years.
R v Tojagic
Conspiracy to Cheat the Inland Revenue by fraudulently claiming rollover relief of Corporation Tax. The first case in the country using new Court room technology.
R v Spence
Defended man accused of conspiracy to defraud creditors by complex web of offshore companies.
R v Osborne
Complex international money laundering of £20 million of proceeds of Heroin supply.
R v Mitchell
Missing Trader Fraud – lead defendant in 3 month trial.
Simon is an astute business man. His experience in business has involved many different sectors and over the years he has managed many private clients who have faced prosecution for compliance breach. These generally include Health and Safety and Trading Standards breaches.
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:
•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:
The Legal 500
2019 “A silk at the height of his powers”
2018“A consummate silk, who builds good relationships with clients.’”
2017 “A very thorough yet approachable advocate, who gets on well with clients”
2016 “Provides impartial, professional and realistic advice“
2015 “Very good at cross-examining medical experts”
2014 “Noted for his expertise in child cases involving non-accidental injury”
The Legal 500
2020 “Down to earth and communicates well with clients”
2019 “A brilliant orator”
2018“A formidable and very astute advocate.”
2017“Highly regarded for his expertise in complex fraud cases“
2015“Never fails to get the ear of the court“
2014“A highly persuasive advocate”
2012 “An extremely strong and persuasive advocate, exceptionally hard working and fearless in Court“
“Following our first meeting with Simon Bickler QC it truly felt like a breath of fresh air walking out of chambers we felt very confident that our QC wasn’t fazed by the complexity of our case given the legal challenges ahead. The meeting was very informative and we knew our case was time critical yet he remained very professional, determined and confident that our case would be presented to the court in a very thorough and persuasive manner.
Our skeletal argument was prepared flawlessly upon reading it for the first time we felt confident with our choice in representation. Simon’s knowledge, experience of the law and case studies he drew knowledge from was certainly very impressive. Once our case commenced it was clear that Simon had very strong presence in Court, we felt proud and had no doubt we had hired the right representative.
Throughout our five day trial we watched seven witnesses cross-examined by Simon and felt there was no stone left unturned. The information that needed extracting ‘was’. Our final outcome was for our family to be reunited following seven long months of separation. Our two pre-adopted daughters were returned to our care…. Our family were all overjoyed and we will be forever eternally grateful for all the time, effort and understanding given to our case”
– Mrs Flintham-McLean
“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“
– Dr Patel
“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.”
– Mr Singh
“I would have no hesitation in recommending Simon BicklerQC. Simon is extremely meticulous in his pre-trial preparation and what one could only describe has an absolute expert in his field. The way he commands a court room is impeccable and he had the whole jury’s attention from start to finish leading to my acquittal.”
– Mr Andrew Platts
Simon Bickler QC – Speaker at the Family Law Bar Association
“Having practised predominantly in Criminal Law it always struck me that the Family Courts adopted a completely different approach when embarking upon a forensic investigation into allegations of harm caused to a child. In the Crown Court the child’s evidence would almost always be tested. The overriding objective is to strike a balance between the complainant, the accused, witnesses etc. Rules of evidence strictly govern the forensic enquiry. In the family court the ‘Paramountsy Principle’ applies. Thus the interest of one party, the child, is promoted above an overriding objective of achieving justice. This seismic jurisprudential shift has led to a number of potentially unintended consequences. Children are rarely challenged. Decisions affecting the future of a complainant child and siblings are usually made without the accused parent being able to test the allegations. A loose approach to admissibility of evidence has further diluted the rigour of the forensic enquiry. This lecture looks at how case law has recently started to recognise that making decisions, ostensibly in the child’s best interests, may not produce the desired result. Further that the Human Rights Act has forced the family courts to reconsider its approach. This lecture sets out Recent Case Law in both Public and Private Law and seeks to draw a common theme examining how to challenge the accepted norm from a different perspective.”
The Latest News and Cases From Simon Bickler QC
Follow our blog for further information on the latest news and cases from Simon Bickler QC, Head of St Pauls Chambers, and all other members of our team.
The Latest News and Cases From Simon Bickler QC
Follow our blog for further information on the latest news and cases from Simon Bickler QC and all other members of our team.
Simon Bickler QC has been approved by the President of the Family Division to sit as a Deputy High Court …by Simon Bickler QC
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Head of Chambers
Simon Bickler QC
Jonathan Sandiford QC
Nigel Sangster QC
Richard Barraclough QC
Simon Myerson QC
Bryan Cox QC
Jane Bewsey QC
Sam Green QC
John Harrison QC