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Simon Joined Bankside Chambers in 2002 prior to that he spent 5 years at Russell McVeagh.


  • LLB (Hons) - University of Canterbury, 1992
  • Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration (DipICArb, UK), 2010
  • PhD Candidate, Victoria University of Wellington (his thesis, Corporate Nationality and Treaty Shopping in Investment Treaty Law, is to be examined October 2020)


Simon Foote is a commercial litigator focused on commercial and civil litigation and arbitration. He has particular expertise in complex construction and engineering disputes, shareholder disputes and international arbitration.

Simon has practiced as a barrister sole since 2002 and took silk in 2019. Prior to this, 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 construction experience includes three major cases about power stations. One of these culminated in a 10 month High Court trial involving multiple engineering disciplines. In another, Simon was briefed by Australian solicitors in international arbitration proceedings to act for a Japanese turbine manufacturer concerning the commissioning and performance of a geothermal power plant.

Simon is regularly briefed by insurance companies, including in respect of disputes arising out of the Christchurch earthquakes. He also acts for builders, architects, project managers and home owners in leaky building litigation.

Simon has broad experience in other commercial litigation. He has conducted trials and arbitral hearings about dairy, arable and deer farms. He has acted in numerous shareholder disputes; for a national shipping register; for boat builders, marina operators and a major online payment provider. He has acted for lessors and lessees in lease disputes and for private clients in defamation, family protection and family trust matters. He also has significant public law/public interest experience: Simon appeared as lead counsel for the New Zealand Bar Association in the Supreme Court in a case concerning the eligibility of self-represented lawyers and litigants in person for awards of costs, and was recently lead counsel in two COVID related judicial review proceedings against the Director-General of Health regarding compassionate exemptions to managed isolation.

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.

Simon also conducts criminal jury trials as a member of the Manukau Crown Solicitor’s Crown Panel.

Work Highlights

Christiansen v Director-General of Health

Lead counsel for applicant in judicial review proceedings concerning the exercise of the Director-General’s discretion to grant exemptions to managed isolation on compassionate grounds.

McGuire v Secretary for Justice

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

Counsel (with Tom Weston QC) in litigation and arbitration proceedings 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.

Laboyrie v Mills

Lead counsel in High Court trial regarding a family dispute over estate property in Hamilton.

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

Junior counsel to David Goddard QC in Christchurch earthquake case in the High Court concerning the Britten Motorcycle Museum. Responsible for technical structural engineering and earthquake modelling aspects of the case.

Aldrie Holdings v Prout

Lead counsel in a High Court trial concerning misrepresentation in the sale and purchase of a North Auckland dairy farm.

What Others Say

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. One interviewee comments: "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."

Doyles Guide: Recommended Queen’s Counsel in Construction Law in New Zealand


  • 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 [2010] NZLJ 213, Tom Weston QC and Simon Foote.

  • Limitation Clauses [2010] 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.


  • New Zealand Bar Association Council Member 2015- present
  • Member of Bankside’s Singapore Chambers
  • Member of the Crown Panel for Manukau City
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)
  • Fellow of the Arbitrators' and Mediators Institute of New Zealand (FAMINZ)
  • Deputy Chair of the Organising Committee for the World Bar Conference held at Queenstown in September, 2014
  • Chair of the organising committee for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 New Zealand Bar Association annual conferences.
  • Simon was a director of Bankside Chambers Limited, Auckland from 2012 – 2014 and Chairman in 2015.