Simon Ray


Year of Call



“Simon is very experienced and always on top of the law and facts of any given case. He immediately wins the trust and confidence of lay clients and any tribunal.”

He has an understated yet extremely effective advocacy style and is superb with clients.

He’s incredibly calm but authoritative, and inspires confidence in clients through his very measured and reasoned approach.

He just gets it right every time. He has great, sound judgement…

Chambers & Partners

Has a lovely manner with judges and clients.

A very good black-letter lawyer who is highly responsive to those that instruct him.

Market sources praise him for his ‘ability to mop up a huge amount of material and get to grips with it’, as well as the ‘experience and skill’ he brings to private cases.

Chambers & Partners

Simon is a sought after and highly regarded criminal advocate with extensive expertise in serious and complex litigation. He has appeared in several of the most high profile cases in recent years, with a practice primarily focused on work for private clients whose prominence and professional status gives rise to particular sensitivities. In 2016, he was nominated for Crime Junior of the year by Chambers & Partners’ guide to the legal profession following a notable run of instructions, including as defence junior counsel to entertainer Rolf Harris and former New Zealand international cricketer, Chris Cairns. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Simon was ranked as a Band 1 leading junior counsel in Chambers and Partners.

He just gets it right every time. He has great, sound judgement…

Chambers and Partners

Simon’s practice incorporates the full criminal spectrum and he is a specialist at advising on matters that have a serious fiscal element to them. He regularly receives instructions for both City clients and as standing A Panel counsel to the Serious Fraud Office.

Simon is praised for the clarity of his written and oral advocacy, and his ability to provide strong, strategic advice on complex legal issues.

Notable recent cases include:

SFO LIBOR investigation – Simon is instructed by the SFO to advise on the investigation into Lloyds HBOS following the LIBOR scandal.

R v Cairns – Chris Cairns, a former New Zealand international cricketer, was accused of lying under oath during a 2012 libel action over allegations of match-fixing. Cairns was found not guilty on all counts of perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice following a two-month trial. Simon appeared as junior defence counsel.

R v LC – Simon appeared on behalf of LC, a senior barrister and former Recorder of the Crown Court.

R v Frere – Simon was instructed as junior defence counsel for Bartle Frere, a former British Airways Captain charged with sexual offences.

R v Rolf Harris – instructed as junior defence counsel.


Simon is instructed by magic circle law firms to advise on corporate criminal liability. His work includes acting for a major international corporation to conduct a review of potential criminal conduct within its UK subsidiary, and the potential liability of a Swiss company under the Bribery Act. Simon has advised a City firm on the preparation of a manual for their international corporate clients and overseas lawyers on UK anti-money laundering requirements.

He was instructed for a period of two years on behalf of News Corp in connection with the phone hacking and misconduct in a public office investigations. The role included providing advice on complex questions of legal professional privilege and data protection issues.

Simon is currently instructed to advise a company director on pre-charge issues of individual criminal liability that overlap with his responsibilities to the administrators of his company.

Simon has developed a particular specialism in cases involving serious fraud and corruption. Notably, he is one of a small number of barristers with experience of negotiating on behalf of a defendant with the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority under the Attorney General’s Guidelines on Plea Discussions in Cases of Serious or Complex Fraud. Simon has received recognition for his work on market abuse cases. Cases include representing an equities trader charged with insider dealing. Simon acted in the defence of the former CEO of a City re- insurance broker, prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office for offences of overseas corruption. Simon also prosecutes for the Serious Fraud Office and was instructed in a case arising from the collapse of a litigation funding company and involving allegations of fraudulent trading with a loss to international investors of £80 million. In 2015, he was instructed in the SFO prosecution of a £20m conspiracy to mis-sell green energy pension investments and fraudulent trading. This case included the first Bribery Act charges brought by the SFO.

Simon is instructed in, and has experience of, all types of serious criminal litigation including cases of murder, attempted murder, organised crime, rape and serious sexual offences. His experience includes addressing issues arising under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He has experience of defending in allegations of sexual misconduct with an emphasis on sensitive and privately-funded cases.

Throughout his career, Simon has been instructed by specialist divisions of the Crown Prosecution Service to conduct cases involving computer piracy, conspiracy to defraud, corruption, misconduct in public office, international drug trafficking, money-laundering and election offences.

In 2017, Simon was instructed to prosecute an individual for the offence of encouraging and assisting suicide. This is the first case to be prosecuted in the UK where the defendant met the deceased through online suicide forums.

Simon has considerable experience in confiscation, including proceedings arising from multi-million pound money laundering and drug trafficking cases. He has experience of cases involving asset tracing in multiple jurisdictions. He appeared in the Court of Appeal in R v Del Basso and Goodwin [2010] EWCA Crim 1119, a case concerning the relationship between legitimate business expenses and “benefit” for the purposes of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Simon frequently appears in the appellate courts for both the Prosecution and the Defence. He is instructed regularly by the Appeals Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service. Simon provides specialist advice to the Association of Chief Police Officers and police forces on police powers and statutory interpretation including on questions of technical road traffic law.

Several of Simon’s cases for both the defence and prosecution have involved complex international investigations giving rise to multi-jurisdictional questions of evidence and disclosure. As a result, Simon has experience for both the prosecution and defence of dealing with issues arising from evidence obtained via Letters of Request in several jurisdictions and of negotiating with the US Department of Justice over complicated disclosure arguments. In addition, Simon has advised on the comparisons between United States procedure on plea-bargaining and the regime in this jurisdiction for the acceptance of bases of plea and judicial indications as to sentence. Simon has provided advice to the Supreme Court of the Canton of Bern on a question of jurisdiction and equivalence in English/Swiss law. Simon recently provided advice to the Swiss government concerning potential fraud offences by a British citizen against Swiss interests.

Simon has appeared for both defendants and requesting states in extradition proceedings at first instance and in the High Court.

Simon has appeared in several cases in the appellate courts involving important principles of human rights and public law. Simon was instructed as Junior to David Perry QC to prepare submissions on behalf of the Advocate to the Court in the appeal to the Supreme Court from the High Court decision on police powers of detention in Hookway. Simon also appeared in R v Davis [2008] UKHL 36, the decision of the House of Lords on anonymous witnesses that led to the passing of the Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Act 2008. Simon has expertise in the area of the retention of DNA samples, fingerprints and Police National Computer records.

Simon also appears in Inquests. His experience includes the representation of a CCTV camera operator arrested and interviewed under caution for gross negligence manslaughter at a subsequent Coroner’s inquest.

Simon has extensive experience of professional disciplinary tribunals and regulatory cases. He defended a corporate defendant charged under the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008. The case involved questions of interpretation of UK and European Community legislation. Simon appeared in the Court of Appeal in R v Clarke [2008] EWCA 893 – a case involving the reverse burden of proof in regulatory offences. He has lectured to City solicitors on regulatory crime.

  • Serious Fraud Office Panel of Counsel (List A)
  • Crown Prosecution Service Advocate Panel Specialist Lists: Serious Crime Group; Fraud; Proceeds of Crime.

Member of the Fraud Lawyers Association.

University of Durham, BA (Hons) History.

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Notable cases