Simon Gurney

Call To The Bar: 2006

“Simon Gurney is a barrister with strong expertise in representing police officers, healthcare professionals and teachers before their regulatory bodies. He is experienced in everything from fitness-to-practise hearings to High Court and Court of Appeal advocacy.” Professional Discipline – Chambers and Partners(2024)

“Extremely bright, calm and unflappable. Excellent client care skills and a pleasure to work with.” Professional Discipline – Chambers and Partners(2024)

“Simply a fantastic advocate.” Professional Discipline – Chambers and Partners(2024)

“Incredibly impressive in that he manages to get to grips with incredibly complex matters with ease and in little time. Professional Discipline – Chambers and Partners(2024)

Ranked in Tier 1 – Financial Crime – Regional Bar – Chambers & Partners(2024)

“Simon Gurney is an esteemed junior with a broad practice spanning regulatory and criminal defence work. His expertise encompasses cross-border investigations and cases concerning allegations of fraud and money laundering.”

“He works so hard and commands a courtroom well.”

“Simon Gurney is a talented junior who is noted for his expert handling of a range of serious criminal matters. He primarily acts for defendants, and is regularly instructed in homicides and cases involving historic sexual abuse. He is also well regarded for his expertise in drug conspiracies.” Crime – Chambers and Partners(2024)

“Simon Gurney is first-class and intellectually top-drawer.” Crime – Chambers and Partners(2024)

“His written work is brilliant. He’s a fantastic lawyer and one of the stars on the circuit.” Crime – Chambers and Partners(2024)

‘Simon is one of the best barristers around and a joy to work with. He is highly sought-after due to his immense intellect and amazing client care skills, he is a real stand-out performer, and he is extremely hard working with excellent written work.’  Tier 1 Business and Regulatory Crime (Inc H&S) – Legal 500 (2024)

Simon is an extremely impressive barrister who has a rapidly expanding reputation in regulatory work. He is the busiest junior on the circuit, he is a first-class barrister, a quick thinker, and a persuasive advocate.’ Crime (General and Fraud) – Legal 500(2024)

Professional Disciplinary Law – Legal 500(2024)

‘Simon is without doubt the most able Criminal junior on the Northern Circuit. A first-class choice for heavyweight fraud cases. A peerless lawyer who finds the defences everyone else has missed. Tenacious in fighting for his clients, he puts a huge amount of work into case preparation.’ – Legal 500 (2023)

‘Simon is an outstanding barrister, exceptionally bright and fantastic, both on paper and in front of a jury. He is a master tactician, a very calm and persuasive advocate and puts clients at ease without difficulty, and an extremely professional barrister.’ – Legal 500 (2023)

Simon instantly builds brilliant rapport with lay clients… His advice is absolutely instrumental in directing the strategy of the client’s approach. He advises confidently and makes himself available to answer follow-up queries. It is a pleasure to work with him.’ – Legal 500 (2023)

‘Simon is an exceptional barrister… possesses meticulous attention to detail and excellent advocacy skills… very good at forensic analysis.. written work is fantastic. He is empathetic with clients… He has such an encyclopaedic knowledge of his own case that in court he can focus on the finer details.’  – Chambers & Partners (2023)

‘Intellectually formidable and well-organised… a hugely impressive advocate, whether he is arguing a complex issue of law before the Court of Appeal or arguing a case before a jury.’ – Legal 500 (2021/22)


Simon has built a formidable reputation for his intellectual ability, diligence,  tactical acumen and meticulous preparation. He brings sound judgment and tenacity to every case and is focused on ensuring the best possible result for his clients.

Simon prides himself on offering a first-rate service, being accessible and maintaining a close working relationship with those who instruct him. His client care skills are widely praised. He provides clear and straight-forward advice on even the most complex matters.

Simon is consistently recognised as a leading Junior in both the leading legal directories, the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. He is acknowledged for his expertise in three categories: crime; professional discipline; and financial and regulatory crime (including health and safety law).

He specialises in serious criminal litigation, in particular homicide, organised crime, financial and regulatory crime and sexual offending. He is instructed in cases of the utmost gravity, sensitivity and complexity. He is renowned as a talented jury advocate.

Simon is often instructed pre-charge in substantial cases to advise upon challenges to search warrants by way of application for judicial review; applications to discharge restraint orders and resisting applications for forfeiture of assets.

He has substantial expertise in defending professionals accused of misconduct in professional disciplinary proceedings brought by their regulator, both at first instance and on appeal.

Those areas of expertise complement one another, enabling him to offer a comprehensive service to professional clients seeking advice and representation.

Simon’s expertise in defending allegations of fraud and other financial crime is sought by individuals and companies the subject of commercial fraud litigation pursued by HMRC / NCA in the tax tribunal or the civil courts.

Simon also has experience of conducting judicial review proceedings arising from across his practice areas.

Notable cases in which Simon is currently instructed include:

PM & Sintra Global Inc v HMRC – instructed with Alistair Webster KC (by Freeths Solicitors) to represent individual and corporate appellants for whom they successfully challenged HMRC’s claim to over £30m of VAT and excise duty, alleged to be owed because of a vast alcohol inward diversion fraud. Appeal proceedings ongoing.

Operation Barbados – instructed by Forbes Solicitors to represent one of 25 defendants accused of conspiring to cheat the public revenue of VAT in the sum of £20million. Listed for trial at Southwark in January 2025, the case focuses on the creation of fictitious input tax reclaims used fraudulently to off-set the output tax received on genuine transactions.

Operation Venetic cases – instructed in a series of cases in courts across the country arising from the recent high profile hacking of the Encrochat server by the French authorities, most notably instructed by Middleweeks in Operation Embossed – the lead case to determine the admissibility of the evidence, likely to be listed for trial in Autumn 2023.

Local Government corruption allegations – instructed to advise and represent two senior local government politicians, either under investigation or awaiting trial in relation to allegations of corruption and misconduct in a public office, with Peter Wright KC and Simon Csoka KC.

Op Somnus – instructed with John Harrison KC by the CPS Special Crime Division to prosecute two paramedics accused of gross negligence manslaughter arising from the death of a patient whilst under their care. Listed for trial at Worcester Crown Court in June 2023.

Operation Bryson – instructed by Stephensons Solicitors to represent a solicitor accused by Trading Standards of fraudulent trading in relation to the sale of estate planning instruments (generating in excess of £5m) which were falsely claimed to evade liability for care home fees. Listed for trial in Leeds in September 2023.

Operation Auckland – instructed with Tim Storrie KC by CPS Manchester to prosecute the alleged murder of a three week old baby, involving complex expert evidence concerning non-accidental head injuries.

For further details about:

Simon’s expertise and experience in criminal litigation please click the on the link to his Criminal Law CV

Simon’s experience in financial & regulatory crime, please click on the link to his Financial & Regulatory CV

Simon’s professional discipline practice, please click on the link to his Professional Disciplinary CV

Simon’s commercial litigation experience, please click on the link to his Commercial and Civil Fraud CV

In the Legal Directories, Simon is described as follows:

Chambers & Partners 2023

‘…an esteemed junior with a broad practice spanning regulatory and criminal defence work. His expertise encompasses cross-border investigations and cases concerning allegations of fraud and money laundering.’

‘…a talented junior who is noted for his expert handling of a range of serious criminal matters. He primarily acts for defendants, and is regularly instructed in homicides and cases involving historic sexual abuse. He is also well regarded for his expertise in drug conspiracies.’

‘…a barrister with strong expertise in representing police officers and healthcare professionals before their regulatory bodies. He is experienced in everything from fitness to practise hearings to High Court and Court of Appeal advocacy.’

Chambers & Partners 2022:

‘Super bright and puts clients at ease. He is excellent both on his feet and on paper… He is a very intelligent advocate who invariably prepares his cases comprehensively.’ 

Chambers & Partners 2021

‘He is exceptionally bright and very measured in his approach. He is a quality barrister who is really hard-working and very responsive… His attention to detail is brilliant…’

“Has a sharp mind and is a tactical performer… His legal arguments are brilliant.”

“He is very straightforward and direct, produces excellent written work and impresses clients.”

Previous editions have included the following descriptions:

“Simon is a quality barrister with a huge intellect. Very good on his feet, great knowledge of the law.” (Legal 500, 2021)

‘A rising star of the Northern Circuit. He just has that magical something. He’s very switched-on, very clever, very proactive and hard-working’ (Chambers & Partners, 2020)

“A quick thinker and a persuasive advocate. He is sought out due to his encyclopaedic legal knowledge and his ability to apply that to defences and legal arguments. In complicated cases he has an unrivalled mastery of detail.” (Chambers & Partners, 2020)

“Gives clear advice and makes clients aware of the weaknesses in their cases and how to improve them. A top-notch barrister.” (Chambers & Partners, 2020)

“An outstanding lawyer and formidable advocate.” (Legal 500, 2020)

“a legend when it comes to professional disciplinary work” who “has a fantastic success rate” … “calm, considered and methodical in his approach” (Chambers & Partners, 2019)

“that he is an exceptionally good advocate” whose “legal knowledge is amazing” …”very professional and very knowledgeable, with a very clear analytic mind to deal with the matters in hand” (Chambers & Partners 2018)

“extremely bright and a master of strategy… a sagacious tactician” (Legal 500, 2019)

“intelligent, persuasive and diligent” (Legal 500, 2018)

he shows excellent analysis of the evidence, and delivers relevant, well-presented closing speeches(Legal 500, 2017)

 “he is confident on his feet and a strong cross-examiner” (Legal 500, 2016)

 “his grasp of the detail is outstanding” (Legal 500, 2015).