Simon joined Bankside Chambers in 2002 prior to that he spent 5 years at Russell McVeagh.
Simon has practiced as a barrister sole since 2002 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in December 2019. Prior to joining the independent bar, he spent five years as a litigator at Russell McVeagh, two years with the International Arbitration Team at Clifford Chance at London and three years as a Crown Prosecutor.
Simon's practice is focused on commercial and civil litigation and arbitration, but also encompasses public law and the prosecution of criminal jury trials. Simon graduated with a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington in 2020. His thesis addresses the concept of corporate nationality in investment treaty law.
Simon has particular experience in complex construction and engineering disputes, notably in respect of power station construction, performance and operation, construction of large multi-level buildings, and earthquake litigation for insurers. He has conducted trials and arbitral hearings about dairy, arable and deer farms. He has acted in numerous shareholder and joint venture disputes; for a national shipping register, for boat builders, marine operators and a major offshore fishing company. He has acted for purchasers, vendors, lessors and lessees in land disputes and for private clients in estate, defamation, family protection and family trust matters.
Simon's public law experience includes appearing for the New Zealand Bar Association as an intervener in the Supreme Court regarding the eligibility of self represented lawyers and litigants in person for awards of costs. In 2020, Simon was counsel in several judicial review cases challenging Government decisions under Covid-19 legislation.
Simon has a particular interest in investment treaty arbitration and has been claimant's counsel in an investment treaty claim against Australia as well as advising corporates on investment treaty issues. His PhD thesis (2020) concerned corporate nationality and treaty shopping in investment treaty law.
Simon is a member of the Crown Prosecutor Panel for Manukau. From 2017 - 2021, he was the lead Crown Prosecutor in respect of indecent assault and obstruction of justice charges brought against a prominent New Zealand businessman and two associates which culminated in a month long jury trial in the High Court at Auckland in 2021.
Simon is currently Vice-President (Auckland) of the New Zealand Bar Association.
Laboyrie v Mills (2019 - 2021)
Lead Counsel for plaintiffs in High Court trial (2019) and Court of Appeal hearing (2021) regarding a family dispute over estate property in Hamilton, which concerned common intention constructive trusts and the Pallant v Morgan equity in New Zealand.
R v W, X and Y (2021)
Crown Prosecutor in one month High Court jury trial in respect of indecent assault and obstruction of justice charges brought against a prominent New Zealand businessman and two associates.
Christiansen v Director-General of Health (2020)
Judicial review proceedings concerning the exercise of the Director-General’s discretion to grant exemptions to managed isolation on compassionate grounds.
Argos Froyanes v Chief Executive of Immigration NZ (2020)
Judicial review proceedings concerning the refusal of Immigration NZ to permit foreign fisherman to enter NZ during COVID restrictions to man Argos' Ross Sea Patagonian toothfish fishing fleet.
Sky Scrapers v Zoono (2020 and on)
Counsel for Sky Scrapers regarding specific performance of contract for exclusive distribution of Zoono sanitiser products in the Middle East.
McGuire v Secretary for Justice (2019)
Lead Counsel for the New Zealand Bar Association in the Supreme Court hearing concerning costs awards for self represented litigants.
Canam Construction v Auckland Trotting Club (2019 - 2020)
Counsel (with Tom Weston QC) in litigation and arbitration proceedings for Auckland Trotting Club concerning a commercial and residential development at Alexandra Park, Auckland.
McCloy v Gapes
Lead Counsel for liquidator regarding ownership of equitable interests in a large commercial development in Queenstown.
McConnell Dowell and Others v Toshiba International
International commercial arbitration concerning Te Mihi Geothermal Power Plant near Taupo, New Zealand. Simon acted for Toshiba with Tom Weston QC.
92 Lichfield v AAI Insurance
Lead Counsel for AAI in Court of Appeal hearing concerning “interested parties” to insurance policies, binding settlement agreements and statutory demands.
Prattley Enterprises v Vero Insurance
Christchurch earthquake case in the High Court concerning the Britten Motorcycle Museum. Simon acted for Vero Insurance with David Goddard QC. Simon was responsible for technical structural engineering and earthquake modelling aspects of the case.
Aldrie Holdings v Prout
Lead Counsel for plaintiff in a High Court trial concerning misrepresentation in the sale and purchase of a North Auckland dairy farm.
Philip Morris Asia v Australia
Simon was one of Philip Morris' counsel in an investment treaty arbitration against Australia concerning the plain packaging of tobacco products.
Carter Holt Harvey v Genesis Power and Rolls-Royce
Simon acted for Genesis Power (with Tom Weston QC) in a 10 month long High Court trial concerning the co-generation power plant at Carter Holt's Kinleith Pulp and Paper Mill.
Chambers and Partners Global and Asia-Pacific say:
Simon Foote QC of Bankside Chambers is well regarded for his expertise in engineering and construction disputes and is widely considered to be a respected figure in the area of commercial arbitration. Comments include:
"Simon is a skilled advocate. He is an excellent all-round barrister, is great on his feet, has a very quick mind and is a pleasure to deal with."
"An excellent barrister - pragmatic, thoughtful and fast on his feet"
"Simon is getting some very good instructions"
Doyles Guide: Recommended Queen’s Counsel in Construction Law in New Zealand
PhD Thesis, University of Wellington, 2020: The Bona Fide Investor: Corporate Nationality and Treaty Shopping in Investment Treaty Law
Co-author of the New Zealand Bar Association Report on Access to Justice, 2018 (with Maria Dew QC and Gretta Schumacher).
David AR Williams QC and Simon Foote, Recent Developments in the Approach to Identifying an ‘Investment’ Pursuant to Article 25(1) of the ICSID Convention, Evolution in Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration, Cambridge University Press, 2011
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the TPPA; What you need to know about investment protections and investor state dispute resolution, Simon Foote and Sam Jeffs, At the Bar, September 2016.
The Obligation of Arbitrators to Address all Issues Which Fall for Determination But No More, Asian International Arbitration Journal, 2014 (10), p.47, Simon Foote and James Herbert.
New Zealand: Appeal Court Affirms Pro-enforcement Approach, Global Arbitration Review, 27 February 2013, David AR Williams QC and Simon Foote.
Agreements to Arbitrate: the Severability of Illegal Contractual Promises, NZ Lawyer, Issue 203, 12, Simon Foote and Anja Borchardt
Reflections on a Marathon Trial  NZLJ 213, Tom Weston QC and Simon Foote.
Limitation Clauses  NZLJ 317, Tom Weston QC and Simon Foote.
Caveat Mediator: Exceptions to Privilege for Settlement Negotiations, NZ Lawyer, Issue 170, 17, Simon Foote and Anja Borchardt.
The Bona Fide Investor: Corporate Nationality and Treaty Shopping in Investment Treaty Law is the first detailed exploration of a substantive legal basis by which to assess the bona fides of a corporate investor’s nationality.