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Simon Antrobus QC

Call 1995 • QC 2018

"He is an excellent advocate who is clear and concise with clients."
(Chambers & Partners 2016)

Simon Antrobus is regarded as one of the leading barristers in the country, in the field of criminal regulatory and environmental law, specialising particularly in the defence of corporate and individual manslaughter prosecutions, health and safety, food safety, product liability, financial regulation, and consumer trading law.

Criminal Regulatory & Environmental

Simon regularly defends companies facing the highest profile corporate manslaughter and health and safety prosecutions, such as the accident involving the Smiler rollercoaster ride at Alton Towers, the Pembroke oil refinery explosion, the Baldwins Crane Hire corporate manslaughter and the multiple fatality on the M5 attributed to smoke from an adjacent fireworks event. He has a formidable record of successfully defending the full range of corporate and individual defendants, having successfully secured acquittals for global construction companies (Lend Lease, ISG, Geoffrey Osborne to name but a few) through to individual directors facing manslaughter prosecutions and self-employed consultants and sole traders (for example, the fireworks organiser charged with the M5 disaster and the organiser of the Chatsworth International Horse Trials charged in relation to the death of a off road motorcyclist at the event). He is also currently retained by a company involved in the Didcott power station collapse.

Over the years, Simon has defended in some of the largest and highest profile cases such as the HTM case that confirmed the applicability of the reasonable practicability defence towards careless acts of employees, the largest prosecution ever brought by the HSE concerning the Buncefield oil terminal explosion, the Lion Steel and Baldwins Crane Hire corporate manslaughter trials, and the recent Alton Towers prosecution.

He has also written an article on the issue of directors’ liability in the Criminal Law Review, following the successful outcome of the Lion Steel corporate / director manslaughter trial. His list of corporate clients include: BP, Tesco, Chevron, Balfour Beatty, Warner Bros, Network Rail, BUPA, American Airlines, McDonalds, Imperial Tobacco, Homebase, IKEA, Lend Lease, Royal Sun Alliance, Doosan Babcock, Skanska, ISG, Westfield Plc and Whitbread.

Environmental Law

Simon is recommended as a Leading Junior in the field of Environmental Law by the Legal 500. He has represented and advised in relations to environmental prosecutions relating to environmental pollution and waste management and recycling. He has particular expertise in the petro-chemical and manufacturing sectors. He has recently advised a managing director of a company that is at the centre of the largest environmental criminal investigation undertaken in this country. He has also previously acted on behalf of Chevron PLC in relation to a pollution incident at Poole and has been retained in an advisory capacity in relation to the environmental aspects of the Buncefield prosecution for a company involved in the design work on some of the bunds that eventually leaked at the site.

Selected Cases

  • R v Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd (Ongoing) – Simon is defending the company in relation to the prosecution it faces in relation to the rollercoaster accident at Alton Towers on its “Smiler” ride.
  • R v Chatsworth House Trust & Felicity Reason (2016) – Simon secured an acquittal following a legal submission of no case to answer on behalf of the organiser of the Chatsworth International Horse Trials, following a fatal accident involving a motorcyclist at the 2013 event.
  • R v Ernest Doe & Sons Ltd (2016) – Simon represented a company with a £122 million turnover in a successful appeal against sentence before the Court of Appeal. The original sentence of £750,000 was reduced to £100,000 on appeal.
  • R v Geoffrey Osborne Ltd (2016) – Simon secured an acquittal of the construction company, acting as principal contractor in relation to a fall from height at its project at Kingsley Green, Radlett.
  • R v ISG Ltd (2016) – Simon secured an acquittal of the construction company, acting as principal contractor in relation to an incident involving an excavator reversing into a sub-contractor’s employee during the course of the building project.
  • R v TIP Europe Ltd (2015) – Junior counsel (led by Richard Matthews QC) on behalf of a company with at £50 million turnover in a successful appeal against sentence before the Court of Appeal. The original sentence of £500,000 was reduced to £300,000.
  • R v Baldwins Crane Hire Ltd (2015) – Simon represented the company in its defence of a corporate manslaughter charge relating to the death of an employee driver of a crane with defective brakes.
  • Amenas Inquest (Royal Courts of Justice) (2014) – Junior counsel (led by Prashant Popat QC) on behalf of BP in the inquest relating to the death of 8 UK citizens at their gas plant in In Amenas, Algeria following the terrorist attack and siege carried out by a group affiliated with Al-Quaeda.
  • R v Geoffrey Counsell (2013) – Junior counsel (led by Adrian Darbishire QC) in the acquittal of the fireworks operator charged with carrying out a fireworks display at Taunton rugby club that was alleged to have caused a collision on the M5 motorway that left 7 motorists dead in one of the worst ever traffic accidents in this country.
  • R v Lion Steel Equipment Ltd; Palliser, Williams, Coupe (2012) – Junior counsel (led by Jonathan Laidlaw QC) in the acquittal of a director (Williams) at the end of the Prosecution case, following the Court’s acceptance of the Defence submission of no case to answer on the basis that the director did not owe a duty of care towards employees in the company (such as the deceased) who were not under his day-to-day control.
  • R v Paul Williamson & Malden Plumbing & Heating Ltd (2012) – Junior counsel (led by Richard Camden Pratt QC) in the acquittal at the Old Bailey after a 15-week trial of a gas heating engineer charged with manslaughter, GBH and breach of safety regulations after carbon monoxide poisoning killed one occupant at the Barratt Homes Bedfont Estate and left one man in a lifelong coma.
  • R v Kenneth Thelwall (2012) – Acquittal at Chester Crown Court of a director and businessman of a manslaughter charge.

Consumer / Food Safety

Simon is experienced in all aspects of trading law, including the judicial review of regulatory decision-making. He was Junior Counsel on behalf of Nutricia (led by Thomas De La Mare QC) in a multi-million pound judicial review relating to the interpretation of European law as to the definition of Foods for Special Medical Purposes and the extent to which they are to be distinguished from food supplements and fortified foods. He has also advised global food manufacturers and FTSE listed national retailers as to the legality of their products in relation to product launches in this country and also in relation to product recalls following the discovery of safety concerns. Additionally, he has represented and advised financial and loan companies in relation to cases brought against them in relation to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008.

He has also represented the Fat Duck restaurant in Bray in relation to the outbreak of norovirus at the restaurant and the owners of the Godstone Farm petting zoo (led by Jonathan Waite QC) in relation to the e-coli outbreak on their premises.


“Simon Antrobus is unquestionably a star individual.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

“He is really knowledgeable, careful, clever and a safe pair of hands.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

“Extremely talented.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

“He is very approachable for clients, is dogged in his cross-examination and has a very good knowledge of the paperwork.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

“He is hardworking and has good judgement.”

Legal 500 2017

“He operates like a silk.”

Legal 500 2017

“A class act with a razor-sharp mind.”

Legal 500 2017

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