Since coming to the Bar in 2003, Simon has built a general commercial trial-based practice. Simon is an accomplished advocate and regularly appears in all Victorian courts in his stated practice areas. He is particularly interested in matters involving trusts, equity, probate, wills and estates and the Corporations Act. In 2017, Simon was listed in the Doyles Guide of Victoria's leading estates litigation barristers.
Simon regularly writes and presents papers in his stated practice areas both to established CPD providers and law firms’ internal CPD programs.
Simon was an Honorary Secretary of the Victorian Bar Council for three years from 2007 – 2009. He was a member of the Victorian Bar Council in 2010. Simon was a member of the New Barristers' Committee for 7 years including its chairman for 2 years. Simon formed the Victorian Bar Student Engagement Committee in 2010 which is dedicated to increasing the awareness of secondary and tertiary students of the Bar as a career path following the study of law. He was chairman of that committee from 2010 to 2015. Simon is currently a member of the Victorian Bar Ethics Committee and is on the Green's List Committee.
Sample of cases in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court
Cargill Australia Ltd v Viterra Malt Pty Ltd & Ors (No 12)  VSC 454. This was an important interlocutory decision in the context of large, complex and ongoing litigation dealing with principles of effective case-management under the Civil Procedure Act and the order of giving of evidence by the third parties to the litigaiton.
Re Gardiner (No 3)  VSC 414 (with Chris Caleo QC). Simon successfully defended an applicaiton, by relatives of a deceased person, to demonstrate a prima facie case for the revocation of the grant of probate of his last will.
CBA v Iloska & Anor  VCC 144. Simon acted for the CBA in a successful claim involving the equitable doctrine of subrogation. Sub-subrogation was also considered in this case for the first time in Victoria.
Re McKenzie  VSC 792. Simon acted for the successful plaintiffs (a widow and an adult daughter) in their claims for provision under the Testators Family Maintenance Act.
Re Gardiner (No 2)  VSC 699. Simon acted for the executors of a large estate and successfully opposed an applicaiton to have the Trial Judge recuse herself on the ground of apprehended bias.
Cahill v Kiversun Pty Ltd  VSC 628. Recent win in the Supreme Court in a complex interlocutory application involving subpoenas and discovery, including whether documents were covered by legal professional privilege.
Maradval Pty Ltd v Admarval Pty Ltd  VSC 745. In this matter, Simon successfully made an applicaiton for an incoming trustee's costs of a proceeding and successfully argued against the outgoing trustee receiving its costs out of the trust fund.
Trembath v Trembath  VSC 369. Recent win in the Supreme Court on a question of eligibility of "stepchildren" to apply for provision under the Administration and Probate Act.
Gardiner v Hughes  VSCA 167 (with Neil Young QC). Simon appeared in an appeal from the Supreme Court on a question to do with standing to apply for revocation of a grant of probate.
Carter v Caason Investments Pty Ltd & Ors  VSCA 236. Simon successfully defended an appeal against a decision by Justice Elliott in the Supreme Court granting Simon's clients non-party costs orders against a director and shareholder of a litigaiton funder.
Re Gardiner  VSC 541. In this case, Simon acted for a substantial estate and successfully defended an application against the estate on the basis that the applicants lacked standing to seek to revoke a grant of probate.
YZW Pty Ltd v Sushi Sushi Franchising Pty Ltd & Anor  VSC 538. Simon acted for a nationwide franchisor in an interesting application involving questions of waiver of privilege under the Evidence Act 2008 (Vic). The case considered questions arising out of s131(2) of that Act for the first time in Victoria.
1165 Stud Road v Power & Ors (No 2)  VSC 735: Simon successfully defended a non-party costs application which was brought against a firm of solicitors. This case involved claims being made against Simon's client under the Civil Procedure Act, the Supreme Court Act, the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules and Flower & Hart principles.
Bakers Investment Group (Australia) Pty Ltd v Caason Investments Pty Ltd (No 3)  VSC 644: Simon successfully applied for a non-party costs order against a litigation funder and related parties.
Semmler v Todd  VSC 657: Simon successfully defended a testator's family maintenance claim brought by a person who was not related to the deceased but was in a relationship with the deceased.
Jarrold v Registrar of Titles & Anor  VSCA 45: Interesting decision by the Court of Appeal remitting the matter back to trial before a different judge.
Simon recently gave expert evidence on Victorian wills and estates law at the Philippine Consulate in Canberra, as part of a multi-jurisdictional dispute over the deceased estate of professional gambler Alan Woods worth almost $1 billion. Simon was instructed by Baker & McKenzie.
Mercier Rouse Street v Burness & Ors  VSCA 8: Simon acted for successful respondents in the Court of Appeal in a matter involving questions of sale of land, contracts and the imposition of trusts over assets of a company in liquidation.
Bakers Investment Group Australia v Caason Investments Pty Ltd  VSC 598: Recent win in the Supreme Court in a trial involving questions of contract, equity and consumer law.
Baxter v Baxter  VSC 377: Simon acted for the plaintiff in this matter who successfully applied for further provision out of the estate of his deceased father, pursuant to Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act.
Levy v Watt & Anor  VSCA 60: Fascinating matter in the Court of Appeal involving a stolen painting and the Limitation of Actions Act 1958.
Glezer v Deals.com.au & Ors  VSC 202: Simon successfully defended an appeal from a decision of an Associate Judge of the Supreme Court, who granted Simon's client pre-action discovery.
Bakers Investment Group v Caason Investments  VSC 154: Successful application in the Supreme Court for a company seeking security for costs.
IMO Zinc Port Melbourne Pty Ltd  VSC 599: Simon acted on behalf of a mortgagee seeking declaratory relief and consequential orders in respect of a deed of charge. Simon successfully defended allegations that certain properties covered by the deed of charge were subject to various trusts.
Smoel v Morris  VSC 594: This was an interesting case involving a binding death benefit nomination under a self-managed superannuation fund which raised issues of a trustee's right of indemnity to claim costs out of a trust fund.
Harpur v Levy & Ors  VSCA 209: Successful matter in the Court of Appeal dealing with discretionary trusts / beneficiaries, equitable principles of contribution and recoupment, deceased estates and more.
Jarrold v Isajul & Ors  VSC 461. Successful matter in the Supreme Court where Simon defended a claim by his client's ex-wife who had alleged the forgery of a signature on a power of attorney in order to sell a jointly owned property.
Fast & Ors v Rockman & Ors  VSC 18. Simon successfully applied on behalf of Mrs Rockman to have scandalous and offensive words omitted from the copy of her late husband's will which was admitted to Probate.
Levy v Watt & Anor  VSC 539 (with D.A. Klempfner). Simon acted in a case involving extinguishment of legal title to a valuable painting by Rupert Bunny under s.6 of the Limitation of Actions Act 1958. The case involved the fraud exception under s.27 of that Act.
Alabakis v Alabakis & Anor  VSC 437 (with Kate McMillan SC, as Her Honour then was). Simon acted for the daughter of the deceased in a successful claim under Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act 1958. The case involved alleged disentitling conduct and a family farm.
Pridham v Archer  NSWSC 752. Successful application on behalf of defendant in proceedings involving an alleged fake Brett Whiteley painting titled "Blue Lavender Bay".
McCann v Ward & Burgess  VSC 63 (with Kate McMillan SC, as Her Honour then was). Acted for the executors and trustees of a $14m estate, defending a claim brought by the deceased's stepdaughter under Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act 1958.
Harpur v Levy & Ors  VSC 653 (with D.A. Klempfner). Successfully defended proceedings by a trustee plainitff for equitable relief (recoupment) against the executors of a deceased estate. The proceeding involved questions of equity, trusts, foreign law, expert evidence and sections 76 and 79 of the Evidence Act 2008.
Environinvest Ltd (in liq) v Pescott & Ors; Environinvest Ltd (in liq) v Blackburne Pty Ltd (in liq) & Ors  VSC 325 (with F.G.A. Beaumont QC). Successful application to strike out large parts of a liquidator’s statement of claim. Part of an ongoing matter involving directors’ duties under the Corporations Act 2001 arising out of the liquidation of a series of managed investment schemes within Environinvest Ltd (in liq).
Story v Semmens & Anor  VSC 305. Summary judgment application brought pursuant to Part 4.4 of the Civil Procedure Act 2010 in a proceeding brought under Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act.
Port of Portland Pty Ltd v State of Victoria (2010) 242 CLR 348 (with J.D. Merralls QC). Successful appeal to the full court of the High Court (7:0) in proceedings involving the enforceability of a government contract. The proceedings involved questions of constitutional law, contract law and land tax.
Ansett v Moss & Ors  VSCA 161 (with Kate McMillan SC as Her Honour then was). Successful appeal to the Court of Appeal seeking an extension of time within which to bring proceedings pursuant to Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act. Successfully established error on the part of the trial judge and had the proceeding remitted to Trial Division.
Simon also conducts trials in the County Court of Victoria in his stated practice areas. Published judgments of cases in which Simon appeared are available on Austlii.
Simon has recently written and presented papers on several topics including trusts, wills and estates, non-party costs orders, directors' duties and several aspects of practice and procedure. Further details and copies of papers can be obtained via the Green's List website.