Simon Clarke FCILT
Position: Partner, Barrister
Area of Practice: Road Transport, Criminal Defence and Advocacy
Specialist Area(s): Road Transport, Crime
Phone: +44 (0)7377359795
About Simon Clarke FCILT
Master of the Bench of Lincoln’s Inn
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (FCILT)
Member of the Bar of England & Wales
Member of the Bar of Northern Ireland
Simon is a barrister of over 20-years’ experience, practising at the Bars of England and Wales and of Northern Ireland. His practice covers European and UK Road Transport law, Civil claims with transport-related issues; Judicial Review; and criminal defence work involving transport-related allegations.
Before jointly founding SBC he was a director of a national firm of Criminal & Regulatory solicitors and before that he was a senior member of the Chambers of John Coffey QC at 3 Temple Gardens, London.
Simon is a recognised expert in European and Domestic Road Transport Regulatory Law and has been listed in ‘The Legal 500’ and in ‘Chambers Directory UK’ every year since 2013. He advises and represents some of the largest European hauliers and their drivers, many UK Operators and drivers and some of the largest users of transport vehicles in the UK.
Areas of Practice:
UK Road Transport Law
All aspects of Road Transport Law including Operator Licenses, European and Domestic regulations, criminal charges, vehicle seizure and restoration and UK Border Agency-imposed Civil Penalties for the carriage of Clandestine Entrants (illegal immigrants). Simon is authorised to represent clients in all courts and tribunals in England & Wales and in Northern Ireland. Many of Simon’s High Court and Court of Appeal cases have become landmark cases; some of those cases have directly led to a change in the law, including in the areas of the interpretation of European Regulations, expert evidence, driver disqualification and drivers’ hours and rest-breaks.
Recent cases include appearing for clients in law-making appeals relating to DVSA vehicle seizure and return; the exercise of judicial discretion in Civil Penalties appeals; guidance as to how Civil Penalties for Clandestine Immigrants should be dealt with by the appeal court; MOT Authorisations and cessations and the right to be heard; and the removal of disqualification for European-based drivers.
Simon regularly acts of many of the major European hauliers, including industry-leading clients from Holland, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Lithuania. His work involves the restoration of Border Force and HMRC seized vehicles and cargos, Civil Penalty appeals; CMR and customs disputes, DVSA seized vehicles for cabotage breaches and UK-Operator Licence applications for overseas hauliers. Simon represented the Appellants in several of the leading cases on vehicle restoration and DVSA seizure and recovery appeals.
Simon has built up an extensive knowledge in the specialist area of Road Transport-related civil claims. Recent cases include success in the High Court and Court of Appeal on the legal test to be applied to allegations of police negligence in LGV vehicle attack and theft cases; the location and effect of the UK Border on Civil Penalty cases; and the Judicial Review of DVSA decisions. Again Simon has represented claimants and defendants in some of the leading appeals on the topic.
One of Simon’s favourite areas of law, he is often instructed to represent clients in challenges to Dept. of DVSA, Transport and Home Office decisions. His most recent success was the overturning of an MOT Removal of Authorisation decision in which the DVSA had failed to conduct a proper investigation and had acted unfairly. Other important Judicial Reviews in the Road Transport arena include leading decisions on vehicle seizure and sale, the proper interpretation of EU Regulations on Drivers Hours and Rest Breaks; retrospective disqualifications of drivers, and the weight to be give to expert evidence.
Simon advises represents those charged with criminal offences arising out of the operation and use of goods vehicles both England & Wales and in Northern Ireland. Recent cases include the acquittal of a driver alleged to have been involved in the smuggling of 35 immigrants into the UK by container through Tilbury port; the acquittal of an Operator on charges of tachograph fraud alleged to have netted several £million; and the acquittal of a Northern Ireland Operator of allegations of Europe-wide multi-million pounds tachograph and drivers’ hours fraud, this being the first such DVA trial in Northern Ireland.
Earlier in his career Simon was appointed as a Senior prosecutor for the London Crown Prosecution Service whilst also maintaining a high-level criminal defence and Road Transport practice. As such he both prosecuted and defended a full spectrum of criminal cases up to and including murder. Thus Simon has a very wide experience in defending UK and European truck drivers and Hauliers in cases of drugs, tobacco and alcohol importation, tachograph fraud, causing death by dangerous driving and transporting Illegal Immigrants into the UK.
Before qualifying as a Barrister Simon drove Heavy Goods Vehicles.
Simon has a strong track-record in advising and representing European-based hauliers and drivers and has represented many European haulage companies in the courts and tribunals of England and Wales and of Northern Ireland.