SIMON BELL

In February 2019, Simon joined Knights from the Government Legal Department where, since 2018, he had worked as a Senior Advisory Lawyer in one of the Department for Transport Legal Advisers' Rail teams, where he provided advice on public law, commercial and contract law, pensions law, European law and State aid and procurement matters to policy officials and ministers in the department relating to infrastructure and operation of commuter services into, and within, London (including the operation of, and services through, the Channel Tunnel). 


Prior to his role in the Department for Transport, Simon worked as a Senior Litigation Lawyer in the Government Legal Department's (formerly the Treasury Solicitor's Department) General Public Law and Planning Team, representing government departments and bodies in high-profile and complex litigation matters. Simon also provided advice and assistance outside of litigation in respect of legal risk during policy development particularly to DEFRA, the Department for Transport and the Department for Education as well as providing cross-government advice and assistance in respect of the Public Sector Equality Duty. Simon also acted as a registered pupil supervisor and training principal whilst working for the Government Legal Department. 


Before he joined the Government Legal Department, Simon worked as a Criminal Practitioner a the self-employed Bar, specialising in crime with an emphasis on prosecution. Simon was instructed in the cases to appear for the Crown (acting for the CPS, DWP and HMRC), RSPCA and the Probation Service. in 2007 Simon joined the CPS on secondment as a Senior Crown Prosecutor before moving to the Criminal Appeals Office in 2007 where he acted as a Lawyer to the Court of Appeal and the Registrar, providing legal advice and assistance to Judges in respect of appeals against conviction and/or sentence. 


Simon attended the University of Kent at Canterbury and then the Inns of Court School of Law. He was called to Bar in 2003. 


NOTABLE CASES


Notable cases in which Simon has been instructed include:

Acting for one of the principal objectors during the Inquiry into the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (Calverley Square) Compulsory Purchase Order 2018 (March 2019).


Acting for two landowners affected by the proposed compulsory acquisition powers contained within the DCO application made by Cory Riverside Energy for the Riverside Energy Plant (Summer 2019).


Tahir Alam v Secretary of State for Education (2017/2018). Successfully represented the Secretary of State in the First-tier and Upper Tribunal in relation to the first appeal against a barring decision of a school governor made by the Secretary of State under s.128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008.

R (oao Steinfeld and Keidan) v Secretary of State for Education [2016] EWHC 128 (Admin). Represented the Secretary of State in judicial review proceedings
by which the claimants challenged whether opposite sex couples should be allowed to enter into a civil partnership under s.1 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

Reynolds v Secretary of State for Transport [2016] UKUT 0159 (AAC). Acted for the Secretary of State in this appeal to the Upper Tribunal against a decision by the Traffic Commissioner for the West Midlands as to the loss of the professional competence of a Transport Manager. The Secretary of State was successful in part, in that the finding of a loss of professional competence was substituted for a finding of a loss of good repute. The Secretary of State agreed from the outset that the finding of a loss of professional competence should not be upheld by the Tribunal.

R (oao Stryak) v London Borough of Hounslow [2016] EWHC 1897 (Admin). Acted for the Education Funding Agency in this judicial review against a
decision by the local authority to grant planning permission for a free school on Metropolitan Open Land.

R(oao Evans and anor) v Attorney General [2015] UKSC 21 (the “Prince of Wales Correspondence” case). Acted for the Attorney General in the Supreme Court proceedings, by which the Attorney appealed against the Court of Appeal’s decision to quash the certificate he issued under s.53(2) of FOIA and s.18(6) of the EIR 2005 (the “ministerial veto”) to prevent the disclosure of correspondence passing between the Prince of Wales and Government Departments under FOIA and/or the EIR.

Also acted for the Secretary of State for Transport in respect of the exercise of the ministerial veto issued regarding the release of reports relating to HS2.

R(oao HS2 Action Alliance Limited et Ors) v Secretary of State for Transport et Ors [2014] UKSC 3. Successfully acted for the Secretary of State in judicial review proceedings and subsequent appellate proceedings relating to the decision to proceed with the development of HS2.

R (oao of Sanders and anor) v Airports Commission and Secretary of State for Transport[2013] EWHC 3752 (Admin). Successfully represented the Airports Commission in judicial review proceedings by which the claimants challenged the sift criteria adopted by the Commission for assessing proposals for increasing the capacity of UK Airports. Subsequently instructed to assist the Department for Transport during the process that led to the identification of Heathrow Airport as the preferred airport for expansion

Groupe Eurotunnel S.A v Competition Commission and Société Coopérative de Production Sea France S.A. v Competition Commission [2013] CAT 30 (“Eurotunnel 1”). Acted for the Competition Commission (now the Competition and Markets Authority) in judicial review proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal by which Eurotunnel challenged a decision, under s.35 of the Enterprise Act 2002, that a relevant merger situation had been created and resulted (or expected to result) in a substantial lessening of competition within the Dover-Calais market for the supply of passenger and freight transport

services.

R (oao Arogundade) v Secretary of State for Buisness, Innovation and Skills [2013] EWCA Civ 823. Successfully acted for Secretary of State against the appellant’s appeal against the High Court’s decision to uphold the Secretary of State’s decision that the appellant did not meet the criteria for financial assistance from the Student Loans Company due to her immigration status.

R (oao Feeney) v Secretary of State for Transport et Ors [2013] EWHC 1238. Successfully acted for the Secretary of State in a challenge to the Chiltern Railway (Bicester to Oxford) Improvements Order 2013, by which the claimant contended that the Secretary of State had not carried out an appropriate assessment under the Habitats Directive and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations.

OTHER NOTABLE WORK

DCO Litigation

R (oao Associated British Ports) v Secretary of State for Transport and Able Humber Ports. Instructed to act in a Judicial review challenge to the Able Marine Energy park Development Consent Order 2014 that was subsequently withdrawn by the Claimants.

Simon provided advice on potential challenges to the A556 (Knutsford to Bowdon Improvement) Development Consent Order 2014 - the first Highways Agency scheme to use the DCO process. No challenges subsequently arose.

Judge Over Your Shoulder (“JOYS”).

Simon contributed to, and assisted in the editing, of “Judge Over Your Shoulder – a guide to good decision making” in the first update to the guide for 10 years.

TRAINING

Simon is a registered pupil supervisor and was a training principal for the Government Legal Department providing supervision, guidance, and training to newly qualified barristers and solicitors working within the Department.

Simon has also been involved in the development and delivery of training to non-lawyers concerning the judicial review, requests and challenges brought under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations as we as the Duty of Candour disclosure regime.


PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS


Simon is a member of:


The Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA)

The Compulsory Purchase Association (CPA)

The Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)

The Agricultural Law Association (ALA)

The Kent Law Society