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Simon McKay - Solicitor Advocate

Simon is a Solicitor-Advocate (all proceedings) in England and Wales and a member of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. He frequently exercises his rights of audience in all of the higher Courts and has the privilege of working with and against some of the countryís leading QCs. He is a criminal and human rights lawyer and recognised nationally and internationally for his expertise in covert policing and surveillance law.

His work encompasses:

  • defence and appellate work in criminal proceedings (including murder, serious sex offences and Official Secrets Act matters)
  • sports and professional disciplinary proceedings
  • judicial review
  • civil actions, including human rights claims, against the police and other public authorities (particular interest in article 2 cases and witness protection issues)
  • media work where it involves a criminal or human rights issue
  • whistle blowing claims arising in either the criminal or civil jurisdictions

Simon has defended and continues to defend some of the countries most high profile cases. He acted for Private Lee Clegg who was acquitted of murder in 1999 and continues to represent soldiers accused of serious offences including Corporal C, Soldier A and SAS Sergeant Danny Nightingale. He handles pro bono a number of miscarriage of justice cases including Jeremy Bamber, Stephen Young and Miles Evans.

He was the only the solicitor advocate on the Attorney Generalís panel of special advocates in terrorist cases before resigning in 2012.

He has successfully defended a number of professionals charged with serious disciplinary offences and is retained by several national sports regulatory bodies as standing counsel for serious disciplinary offences. He is considered a leading expert in the prosecution of child protection related offences in disciplinary tribunals.

Simon represents a number of individuals and advises, government departments and public authorities and national and international companies on surveillance and investigative matters. He has extensive judicial review experience. In the past he has acted for the Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police (in connection with the enquiry into the death of Ronald Maddison at Porton Down in 1953), MPís expenses (where he acted for the Sunday Telegraph) and in challenging the refusal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission to refer Jeremy Bamberís case back to the Court of Appeal. He acts for four of the families of the murdered redcaps and was instructed in connection with new evidence relating to the death of the Princess of Wales and Emad Al Fayed. He acted for the father of Gary and Philip Neville who was acquitted of sexual assault.

Apart from being an accomplished advocate, Simon is author of Covert Policing: Law and Practice published by Oxford University Press, Undercover Cop: Principles, Pitfalls and Good Practice (2013) and the General Editor of the Covert Policing, Terrorism and Intelligence Law Review journal published by McKay Law. He is contributing to a number of textbooks on terrorism and intelligence law. He is frequently asked to write for newspapers and comment on national/international legal issues. He regularly appears on television and radio.

Simon is an Honorary Fellow of the School of Law at the University of Leeds and legal advisor to the universityís innocence project. He is in high demand as a lecturer on covert policing, criminal investigation and human rights law. He has trained in excess of 10,000 police officers on the law relating to the handling of threats to life.


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