Clerking team

Mark Robinson

Senior Clerk Chester

Greg Brooker

Joint Lead Criminal Clerk

Avril Vaughan

Joint Lead Criminal Clerk

Rhian Jennings

Junior Criminal Clerk

Simon graduated from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1996 with an LL.B (Hons.) degree and was the winner of the Bevan Ashford Prize. Following the Bar Vocational Course in London, Simon was Called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 1997. He joined White Friars Chambers in 1997 and has practised from Chester ever since.

Simon has an exclusively criminal practice.

Simon also has a particular interest in covert policing. Between 2010-2017 he delivered the legal training nationally for the College of Policing to police forces, National Crime Agency and other law enforcement agency officers qualifying to work on Dedicated Surveillance Units. From time to time he also assisted in training with the College on courses for CHIS controllers and Authorising Officers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

In 2015 Simon was appointed by the Football Association to sit as an independent member of disciplinary commissions for Shropshire FA dealing with cases specifically alleging discrimination. He was subsequently co-opted by Shropshire FA to sit on standard disciplinary commissions and in 2017 qualified to sit as an independent chairman for disciplinary cases dealt with at county level.

In 2018 Simon was appointed by the Football Association as an Independent Legal Member of the FA Judicial Panel. This new appointment involves him sitting on regulatory commissions and appeal board hearings, and will now see his involvement extending to the professional game.

Crown Court & appeals

Simon has a broad criminal practice, both defending and prosecuting. His work ranges from everyday crime to serious offences, including homicide and serious sexual offences.

Since 2008 Simon has been a Category 4 prosecutor for the CPS (Northern Circuit & Wales Circuit) and was re-appointed to that grade together with the rape panel in 2012.

Simon has particular expertise in multi-handed drug conspiracy cases, both for the prosecution and the defence. In recent years he has prosecuted the majority of covert drugs operations conducted by Cheshire Police (see below). With Simon’s previous experience within the College of Policing he has developed a detailed expert knowledge of the tactical and legal issues in covert policing cases.

He has developed an expertise and interest, both for the defence and the prosecution, in cases involving mental health issues and in particular autistic spectrum disorders. Simon also is extremely experienced in representing young defendants where again he provides supportive and sensitive representation for clients and their families.


R v Alan Madden (2023)

Prosecution of an extreme right-wing “conspiracy theorist” charged with disseminating a terrorist publication, stirring up racial hatred, and possession of a prohibited firearm following a raid at his house in Port Sunlight last year. Alan Madden was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison. This case was reported in the BBC News, Telegraph and Liverpool Echo.

Operation Bullfight (Liverpool Crown Court 2017)

Leading Prosecution Counsel over two trials in Cheshire Police’s largest ever covert operation involving the distribution of multi kilos of Class A and B drugs by an Organised Crime Group based in Liverpool. Drugs were supplied to various Cheshire towns and also into Scotland. The ringleader of the organisation ran his team from within Altcourse Prison whilst serving a 13-year prison sentence for a previous drugs conspiracy. The case involved substantial telecoms evidence, including from a variety of phones smuggled into prison. Total sentences of 102 years imposed.

R v Dobson (2017)

Defending a man prosecuted for importing an obscene article in an operation targeting child-sized sex dolls. This was the first case of its type nationally. Successfully appealed the length of sentence imposed, reduced to 18 months from 32 months, in the Court of Appeal.

Operation Swads (Liverpool Crown Court 2016/7)

Prosecution Counsel in operation involving street dealing of Class A drugs in Warrington. The operation involved 34 defendants.

Operation Maitland (Chester Crown Court 2015)

Prosecution of two defendants involved in trafficking Polish women to the UK for prostitution.  The undercover operation led to the discovery of a network of brothels in Crewe, Nantwich, Stoke, London, Bristol and Preston that the defendants ran. The UK’s first Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 was imposed. This case was reported in the BBC News.

Operation Alzira (Chester Crown Court 2015/6)

Prosecution Counsel in operation involving street dealing of Class A drugs distributed from Liverpool into Macclesfield and Congleton. The operation involved 33 defendants and sentences in excess of 120 years were imposed.

Operation Blaze (Chester Crown Court 2015)

Prosecution Counsel in operation involving street dealing of Class A drugs distributed from Liverpool into Chester, Deeside, Wigan and Portsmouth. The operation, which was Cheshire Police’s largest ever Class A test purchase operation, involved 40 defendants and resulted in total sentences in excess of 150 years.

Operation Ambassador (Burnley Crown Court)

Prosecuting a team of offenders responsible for well in excess of 100 burglaries in Lancashire and Cheshire.

Operation Edendale (Chester Crown Court 2014)

Prosecution of a gang from Manchester responsible for in excess of 100 dwelling burglaries in Cheshire.

R v Stratton (Chester Crown Court 2014)

Defending a prominent local farmer prosecuted for serious animal cruelty offences and regulatory breaches.

R v Lowe (Chester Crown Court 2014)

Prosecution of a “one-punch” manslaughter.

R v DG (Caernarfon Crown Court 2014)

Successful defence of a 14-year-old defendant charged with raping two young brothers.

Operation Gram (Chester Crown Court 2013)

Successful prosecution of an Organised Crime Group of 16 defendants for conspiracy to supply cannabis in the Runcorn area. Including the arrest of a further layer of street dealers, this was Cheshire Police’s largest ever operation combatting the distribution of cannabis.

R v Simpson (Chester Crown Court 2012)

Successful prosecution of a lorry driver for a double causing death by dangerous driving of two men changing a tyre on the hard shoulder of the M6 motorway. The case involved expert neurology and cardiology issues. This case was reported in the BBC News.

R v WH (Preston Crown Court 2011)

Defence junior for a solicitor acquitted of perverting the course of justice in a murder investigation.

R v Ying Duong (Chester Crown Court 2011)

Attempted murder prosecution involving insanity issue.

R v JM (Chester Crown Court 2011)

Successful defence of a 15-year-old autistic boy charged with serious sexual offences against two young boys. Successfully argued unfitness to plead and secured an acquittal in the subsequent trial of the act.


  • Northern Circuit


  • Appointed by the Ministry of Justice to the Independent Monitoring Board for HMYOI Stoke Heath 2007-10.