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Simon Oakes

Simon Oakes

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Simon Oakes practises in commercial law, with a particular focus on banking & financial services matters. He has been involved in major financial services cases in recent years, including the LIBOR test case of Graiseley Properties Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc in the Court of Appeal, and Hockin v Royal Bank of Scotland in the High Court. He has particular experience of LIBOR, and various banks’ Global Restructuring Groups and Business Support Units.

Having been seconded to both the Financial Services Authority and the Pensions Regulator, Simon has acted for individuals in complex regulatory cases, including those brought by international banking regulators.

Financial Services

Simon’s financial services and banking work ranges from major interest rate hedging product litigation to regulatory investigations against individuals. He has particular expertise in the mis-selling of LIBOR-linked financial products, and various banks’ business support units.

His recent work includes:

  • Hockin v RBS: a High Court banking case concerning interest rate products and the bank’s Global Recovery Group (‘GRG’), and involving issues of misrepresentation, LIBOR manipulation, unlawful means conspiracy and implied duties of good faith (with David Reade QC and Farhaz Khan)
  • Desiman Ltd v BOS, HBOS and Lloyds Bank: a significant banking matter involving issues of mis-selling, LIBOR misrepresentation, appointment of administrative receivers and bad faith. The case also involved an examination of the Bank’s Business Support Unit (with Stephen Auld QC and Farhaz Khan)
  • Keydata: Acting for the former compliance officer of Keydata (Johnson) in a reference to the Upper Tribunal. See Ford, Owen & Johnson v Financial Conduct Authority [2016] UKUT 0041 (TCC)
  • The LIBOR test case of Graiseley Properties Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc [2013] EWCA Civ 1372 (CA), in the Court of Appeal and in the High Court (with Stephen Auld QC and Farhaz Khan)
  • FOREX investigation. Acting for individuals under investigation by global regulators in relation to Forex matters
  • Advising on high-value interest rate swap claims, including on matters arising out of the FCA Review into the mis-selling of Interest Rate Hedging Products (‘IRHPs’)
  • Acting for a major international law firm conducting a s.166 FSMA Skilled Person’s review into the mis-selling of IRHPs and consequential losses.

In 2012 Simon was seconded to the General Counsel’s Division of the Financial Services Authority, providing advice on a range of matters, and drafting sections of the FSA Handbook, in particular in relation to Collective Investment Schemes.

Pensions & Trusts

Simon was seconded to the Pensions Regulator for five months in 2015, working across the Regulator’s legal teams. He built up a good knowledge of the Regulator’s approach, in particular whilst working on pensions liberation / scams, avoidance and scheme funding matters, as well as advising in relation to statutory interpretation and the exercise of the Regulator’s powers.

Simon’s current pensions work includes:

  • Re: the Wandel & Goltermann Retirement Benefits Scheme [2016] EWHC 1530 (Ch), as to the validity of scheme deeds and the identity of the Principal Employer (led by Nicolas Stallworthy QC)
  • A professional negligence claim, arising out of an alleged failure to advise in relation to pension scheme amendments (led by David E. Grant)
  • A pensions professional negligence claim, arising out of a failure to validly amend a scheme deed (led by Nicolas Stallworthy QC)
  • Advising (led by Richard Hitchcock QC and Lydia Seymour) on the enforceability of non-pensionability agreements, and on proposed amalgamation of trustee boards of several different schemes
  • A professional negligence claim against the administrator of a personal pension scheme
  • Advising members of various schemes on potential complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman.

Commercial & Chancery

Simon is instructed in commercial work more generally, including:

  • As part of the counsel team representing the directors of an off-shore Investment Manager and off-shore Fund in a significant high-value shareholder dispute
  • Hermes Ors v Banco Espirito Santo. Acting for investors in a civil fraud claim against the failed Portuguese bank and its former directors
  • Insolvency disputes in the High Court
  • Advising on matters arising out of a film investment scheme
  • Simon also appears in the County Court in relation to general commercial / contractual disputes.

Employment & Discrimination

Simon also regularly accepts instructions in the Employment Tribunal.

Personal Injury

Simon has been instructed in several high-value, catastrophic personal injury / clinical negligence cases, and has been led by Christopher Wilson-Smith QC and Colin McCaul QC.

Simon also regularly acts in cases involving travel law and injuries sustained abroad.

Appointments & Memberships

  • COMBAR
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • Association of Pension Lawyers

Awards

  • Sir Louis Gluckstein Prize For Advocacy
  • Lord Denning Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Scholar, Christ Church, Oxford University
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