Qualified as a barrister at a leading insurance/shipping/commercial chambers, with over 20 years’ subsequent experience as an insurance, professional indemnity, financial services and pensions solicitor, acting for many insurers and professional firms.

Very substantial experience of financial services and pension claims against financial and mortgage advisers (including networks, national and City-based firms and regional advisers), investment advisers and managers, wealth managers, pension professionals (including occupational pension scheme trustees, actuaries, administrators and investment advisers), stockbrokers, private and overseas banks, building societies and investment and pension product providers. Extensive experience of claims against Lloyd’s and retail insurance brokers.

Vast experience of: conventional litigation (including concerning occupational pension schemes); complaints referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service (including a number resulting in successful judicial review applications) and the Pensions Ombudsman; FCA investigations and enforcement proceedings, skilled person appointments and past business reviews; defending recovery claims pursued against firms “in default” and their insurers by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Very considerable experience of advising insurers on coverage issues – and defending claims pursued against them - arising concerning professional indemnity, financial institution and reinsurance policies. 

Co-author of Financial Advisers chapter in 'Professional Negligence and Liability' (LLP – Lloyd’s loose leaf professional negligence textbook), edited by Mark Simpson QC.


Experience (prior to working at Womble Bond Dickinson):

  • Knapp v Ecclesiastical Insurance [1998] 1 Lloyd’s Rep IR 3690 (Court of Appeal)
    Leading case on limitation in the context of claims against insurance brokers concerning void/voidable insurance contracts.
  • Moore v Zerfahs [l999] Lloyd’s Rep PN 144 (Court of Appeal)
    Causation in the context of claims against mortgage brokers and other professionals; whether obtaining a mortgage loan/granting security in respect of it is a loss causing damage for the purposes of a professional negligence action seeking damages for the loss of the mortgage loan through an unsuccessful business venture.
  • Emmanuel v DBS [1999] Lloyd’s Rep PN 593
    The extent/limits on the common law and statutory liability of a financial adviser network for the acts and omissions of an appointed representative.
  • Financial Services Compensation Scheme v Larnell (Insurances) Ltd [2005] EWCA Civ 1408 (Court of Appeal)
    Limitation period in recovery claims by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme against insolvent companies.
  • Fisk v Thornhill [2007] EWCA Civ 152 (Court of Appeal)
    Apportionment of liability between producing and placing insurance brokers in relation to the arranging of voidable insurance contracts.
  • Eurokey v Giles Insurance Brokers Limited [2014] EWHC 2989 (Comm)
    Successful defence at trial of a £17m Commercial Court claim concerning the duties of an insurance broker arranging and advising on commercial all risks and business interruption cover and the respective duties of the broker and insured in relation to the information provided to the insurer. 
  • Capita (Banstead 2011) Ltd v RFIB Group Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 1310 (Court of Appeal)
    Successful appeal which found that an occupational pension scheme administrator providing services under a continuing retainer did not owe an ongoing duty to the pension scheme client to correct an earlier error such that fresh causes of action did not continue to accrue against it for failing to correct that error.
  • Denning v Greenhalgh Financial Services Limited [2017] EWHC 143 (QB)
    Significant decision on the responsibilities of IFAs advising/failing to advise a client on the deficiencies in the advice of a previous adviser firm. Successful summary judgment/strike out application. Permission to appeal refused by Court of Appeal.
  • Crowden v QBE Insurance [2017] EWHC 2597 (Comm)
    Decision concerning the construction of insolvency exclusions in the professional indemnity policy of an investment adviser and the general approach to the construction of exclusions in insurance contract. Successful summary judgment application. 

"A brilliant negotiator with a first class intellect."

"Very thorough and absolutely superb in mediation." 

"Fast to comprehend very complex issues, absolutely lucid in his explanations and written opinions."

Chambers and Partners

"He has a very good instinct for the points that will come across as attractive or unattractive in court, and he pulls no punches."

Chambers and Partners 2020

"He is extremely robust in the defence of our claims."

"He is a very solid lawyer."

Chambers and Partners 2021

"Simon Beckwith is probably the best financial services insurance lawyer in the UK and has an unrivalled experience in acting on behalf of defendant insurers."

Legal 500 2021

"Excellent tactical judgement."

"We look to him for being knowledgeable, affordable and commercial." 

"Excellent in claims against financial advisers and intermediaries."

Chambers and Partners