Simon Foote QC

Service: Arbitration, Commercial Lease Arbitration, Commercial Lease Mediation

Area of Expertise:

LLB (Hons) – DipICArb – FCIArb – FAMINZ

Simon was admitted to the bar in 1993 and has practiced as a barrister sole since 2002, taking silk in 2020. He has a wide range of experience including five years as a litigator at Russell McVeagh, two years with the International Arbitration Team at Clifford Chance in London, three years as a Crown Prosecutor and 18 years at the independent bar.

His current litigation practice encompasses general commercial litigation with particular interest and experience in international and domestic arbitration, investment treaty arbitration, construction, fair trading, insurance, insolvency and estate and trust matters.

Simon graduated LLB (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 1992. He also holds a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration (DipICArb, UK) and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) and the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (FAMINZ (Arb)). His PhD thesis in investment treaty law will be examined in 2020. Simon has been published in the New Zealand Law Journal and contributed a chapter to Evolution in Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration, Cambridge University Press, 2011 (Brown and Miles, ed).

Simon has considerable advocacy experience at all levels of the New Zealand justice system. Recent notable cases (High Court and above) include:

  • Lead counsel in Christiansen v Director General of Health judicial review proceedings concerning compassionate exemptions from mandatory isolation.
  • Lead counsel in Laboyrie v Mills an equity case concerning institutional constructive trusts in New Zealand.
  • Lead counsel in the Supreme Court for the New Zealand Bar Association in McGuire v Secretary of Justice concerning the eligibility of litigants in person for costs.
  • Counsel for Vero Insurance in several Christchurch insurance cases including Prattley v Vero (with David Goddard QC).
  • Counsel for Auckland Trotting Club in High Court and arbitral proceedings (Canam Construction v Auckland Trotting Club) concerning call of a contractor’s bond.
  • Counsel (with Tom Weston QC) in Toshiba International v MSPJV, a $100 million international arbitration concerning the construction of a geothermal power plant near Taupo.
  • Lead counsel in Aldrie Holdings v Prout concerning fair trading in the context of sale and purchase of a dairy farm.
  • Junior counsel (to Joe Smouha QC and Sir David Williams QC) for Philip Morris Tobacco in investment treaty arbitration against Australia concerning legislation mandating plain packaging of cigarettes.
  • Junior counsel (to Tom Weston QC) for Genesis Power in long running litigation against Carter Holt Harvey and Rolls-Royce concerning the construction and operation of a cogeneration plant in New Zealand. This matter culminated in a nine month trial in the High Court before Cooper J in 2009-2010.