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Chambers of James Goudie QC and John Cavanagh QC

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11KBW (Chambers of James Goudie QC and John Cavanagh QC), Simon Devonshire QC, London, ENGLAND

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Simon Devonshire QC

Work 020 7632 8500
11KBW (Chambers of James Goudie QC and John Cavanagh QC)


Simon’s practice continues to focus on contractual/commercial employment law, with a particular emphasis on inter-business competition issues (including confidential information, restrictive covenants and the poaching of employees in unlawful team moves), employee fraud and the attempted diversion of business opportunities by employee fiduciaries. He also specialises in whistle-blowing and TUPE disputes. In the High Court, Simon is acting for the victim of a £50m fraud in the purchase of a business and on a number of team move cases. He recently acted for the successful defendants in CEF v Mundey & Ors (securing the discharge of injunctions improperly obtained on short notice); for Tullett Prebon in resisting claims by BGC that it unlawfully recruited one of BGC’s serving employees; for three venture capital funds, resisting claims by multiple defendants to set aside freezing injunctions obtained on the basis of their alleged fraud/conspiracy in running a ‘Ponzi scheme’ bridging loan business; and in a substantial claim involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and intellectual property rights by an employee who set up a friends-reunite-style website in Russia, in competition with his former employer. On the statutory front, Simon has successfully resisted a number of applications for interim relief by putative whistle-blowers, and he acted for the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust in its high-profile whistle-blowing dispute with its former chief executive. In addition to advising regularly on the TUPE implications of commercial transactions, Simon has acted for a number of NHS bodies following the outsourcing of care to persons with learning disabilities and successfully defended a firm of solicitors against a claim that it had inherited TUPE liabilities for the employees of one of its competitors (which it had defeated in a competitive tender for legal services). Simon’s practice also encompasses music and sport’s cases. By way of example, he recently acted for Hull City in respect of claims made by Jimmy Bullard after his sacking at the beginning of the 2011/2012 season. Recent reported and/or important cases include CEF v Mundey [2012] EWHC 1524 (QB), BGC v Rees & Tullett Prebon [2011] EWHC 2009 (QB) (Tullett did not procure Rees to breach his contract of employment with BGC when recruiting him); Capital for Enetrprise Fund LP & Ors v Malik & Ors [2010] EWHC 343 (Ch) (alleged material non-disclosures asserted by multiple defendants did not justify setting aside freezing injunction); Allsop v Christiani & Nielsen Ltd (in Administration) [2012] EAT/0241/11/JOJ (limitation and jurisdiction in Wages Act claims); Watkinson v RCHT [2011] EAT/0378/10/DM (whistle-blowing in the NHS); Ward Hadaway v Love & Ors [2010] UKEAT/0471 /09/SM (the winning of a contract to provide legal services to the NMC did not constitute a service provision change within the meaning of TUPE 2006 and the successful tenderer did not assume liability for the dedicated team of lawyers retained by his predecessor); New ISG v Vernon & Ors [2008] ICR 319 (a purposive construction should be given to regulation 4(7) of TUPE 2006, so as to accord with the fundamental freedom of the employee to choose who he works for, and to permit and recognise the effectiveness of a post-transfer objection where the employee does not know of the identity of the transferee or of his right to object, pre-transfer. In consequence, the transferee could not enforce post termination restrictive covenants against ‘objecting’ employees); Croke v Hydro [2007] ICR 1303 (an individual providing services through his own limited company to an end user via an employment agency was a worker for the purposes of the whistle-blowing provisions); and Bezant v Rausing & Ors [2007] EWHC 1118 (QB) (it was an abuse of process for a claimant (after his claims under employment law had failed) to seek to invoke the law of tort against directors and other professionals associated with his employment dismissal, to seek to recover his alleged losses. Such conduct justified the making of an Extended CRO).


Called 1988, Gray’s Inn; tenant Chambers of Tony Bueno QC (5 Paper Buildings, Temple) 1989-2000; 11 King’s Bench Walk 2000; recent articles include ‘Garden Leave Injunctions in the Sporting Arena’ (ISLR January 2004).




King’s School, Canterbury; Magdalen College, Oxford (1986 BA (Oxon) Jurisprudence).


Sailing (Thames sailing barge), painting.

London Bar


Within: Employment – Leading silks

Simon Devonshire QC - 11KBWHe is a formidable presence.

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Legal Developments by:
11KBW (Chambers of James Goudie QC and John Cavanagh QC)

  • Possession Proceedings 28 August 2012

    The lower courts continue to clarify the position following the decisions of the Supreme Court in Manchester City Council v Pinnock [2010] UKSC 45; [2011] 2 AC 104 and Hounslow London Borough Council v Powell [2011] UKSC 8; [2011] 2 AC 18 on the application of Article 8 ECHR to defend possession proceedings.
    - 11KBW

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