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Weightmans LLP

Work 0345 073 9900
Fax 0345 073 9950

Simon Goacher

Work 0151 243 9582
Weightmans LLP

Work Department

Local government and police.


Head of the local government practice. Simon has worked in-house for local government for 16 years. He has extensive experience advising on social care and housing issues. He has led on significant projects including an innovative housing stock transfer at Wirral Council and on the promotion of a private Act of Parliament. He was awarded the title of Local Government Young Solicitor of the Year in 2006. As Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer at Wirral Council, Simon was the lead legal adviser for key projects including regeneration schemes in New Brighton and Birkenhead. In 2009, he was appointed Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer of the newly created Cheshire West and Chester Council. This involved the creation of a single authority from four councils. The council’s legal service was shortlisted for the Local Government Chronicle Awards in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and highly commended in the Municipal Journal Awards in 2011. The council was short listed for the Local Government Chronicle Award for Corporate Governance in 2013. Simon led on the innovative programme of corporate governance training which formed the basis of the submission. Simon has been a member of the projects boards for a number of major projects including the creation of Council owned companies, as well as significant outsourcing and regeneration projects.


Trained Wirral Borough Council, qualified 1996. Bath and North East Somerset Council (1996-2002); senior legal adviser Wirral Council (2002-09); solicitor, deputy monitoring officer, acting monitoring officer, head of legal and member services. Cheshire West and Chester Council (2009-13) head of legal and democratic services.


ACSeS (Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors).


Preston Comprehensive School, Yeovil, Somerset; University of the West of England (LLB Hons 1992); University of Chester (MBA 2011).


Football, cricket, rugby (all now watching rather than playing), reading, theatre, cinema, music.

London: Private client

Court of Protection

Within: Court of Protection

Weightmans LLP continues to advise on a wide range of welfare, health, property and affairs matters for a large number of local authorities, NHS trusts and private health and social care providers. The team advises a broad range of these public sector organisations in matters ranging from mental capacity issues and mental health matters through to best interests assessments, health, welfare and property matters. Simon Goacher, Richard Jolly and Tony Yeaman are the names to note.

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law

Within: Administrative and public law

Weightmans LLP has a robust public law defence offering, regularly acting for NHS bodies, clinical commissioning groups, coroners and councils in judicial review claims brought against them. Recent instructions involved claims of ultra vires policy making, allegations of breaches of duty of care, challenges to coroners' determinations, challenges to planning permission decisions and allegations of misconduct against council members. Simon Goacher and Martin Forshaw are also representing Rotherham Borough Council and Rochdale Borough Council, respectively, in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Further expertise includes experience with challenges to clients' information-sharing practices and legal advice to public inquiry commissioners.

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Local government

Within: Local government

Based in Liverpool, Simon Goacher heads the substantial Weightmans LLP national public law team. He is noted for being especially adept in the areas of governance and vires issues and the practice is known for its handling of investigations, many of which are high-profile. John Riddell in Leicester handles litigation, judicial reviews and advisory work for local authorities while Clive Bleasdale advises on a range of real estate matters. The team also provides employment-related expertise; Mark Leach acts for local authorities on equal pay disputes and the team is also home to expertise in commercial, procurement and finance matters.

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North West: Public sector

Local government

Within: Local government

Weightmans LLP's local government expertise spans major regeneration, projects, property, construction, planning, employment, civil litigation, commercial debt recovery, prosecutions, governance issues, commercial matters, public procurement, State aid, housing, child and adult social care mandates. Team head Simon Goacher advises on governance matters for many local authorities and often conducts sensitive investigations.

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