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HALL OF FAME INTERVIEW

HALL OF FAME > INTERVIEWS > SIMON TOLSON

INTERVIEW: SIMON TOLSON, SENIOR PARTNER, FENWICK ELLIOTT

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence.

H A L L   O F   F A M E   I N T E R V I E W


What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability?

In the law injunctions are always hugely exciting, the equivalent of saving patients in A&E and I have secured a few emergency injunctions over the years. I remember my last, literally running down the Strand after hours to the TCC and security keeping the doors open for me and making my application to Mr Justice Ramsey and securing my injunction to prevent 5,000 tonnes of rebar going walkies from a dock.

Then my Court of Appeal wins in:

Team Services v Kier Management;
West Faulkner Associates v London Borough of Newham;
Birse Construction Ltd v Haiste Ltd;
Connex South Eastern Ltd v MJ Building
National Infrastructure Development v Banco Santander

All have memories of sweet victory after very serious hard work.


What do you do differently from your peers in the industry?

I really love what I do, the diversity of work I relish and care immensely about winning.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Have faith in your early impressions, you are usually right!


Can you give me a practical example of how you helped a client add value to the business?

When I was newly qualified a client had his business paralysed by a Mareva / freezing injunction, the added problem was that he was facing a separate assault charge. He had been duly convicted and sent to prison but somehow managed to keep his business going and I took instructions with my client using phone cards traded in prison to call me - all unbeknown to the other side. I had the Mareva lifted and after a year my client came out and just in time. That was a sweet victory.


Within your sector, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for clients over the next 12 months?

I think the transformative technologies and not Brexit! Construction is an industry in need of technological disruption. The influential Farmer Review report in 2016 advocated a ‘modernise or die’ approach for construction. We are at the beginning of a fourth industrial revolution and digital sensors, intelligent machines, mobile devices, and new IT applications—increasingly integrated with a central platform of which building information modelling is merely a facet. The challenge now is to achieve widespread adoption and proper traction.

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