Simon Gurney > Kate Blackwell KC > Manchester, England > Barrister Profile

Kate Blackwell KC
Lincoln House Chambers
M3 3BZ


Simon is consistently recognised as a leading Junior in both the leading legal directories, the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. He is acknowledged for his expertise in three categories: crime; professional discipline; and financial and regulatory crime (including health and safety law).

Simon has an extensive practice specialising in serious criminal litigation and regulatory proceedings, with a particular focus on professional discipline.

He has substantial expertise in defending professionals accused of offences before the criminal courts and of misconduct in proceedings brought by professional regulators. His areas of expertise complement one another, enabling him to offer a comprehensive service to professional clients seeking advice and representation.

He has built a strong reputation with a wide range of clients who value his intellectual ability, tactical acumen and outstanding attention to detail. His client care skills are much praised. He brings diligence, sound judgment and tenacity to every case to ensure the best possible result for his clients.

Simon prides himself on offering a first-rate service and maintaining a close working relationship with those who instruct him.

He is licensed to provide advice and representation under the ‘Public Access’ scheme directly to members of the public.

In the criminal jurisdiction, Simon is instructed across the spectrum of serious criminal offending. He is involved in cases of the utmost gravity, sensitivity and complexity. He has particular expertise in defending allegations of fraud and financial crime and conducting cases arising from alleged organised crime, involving murder, firearms, controlled drugs and violence. He has an exceptional track record defending allegations of historic sexual abuse. He is particularly sought after in cases involving voluminous material and cases with a technological aspect.

Simon is often instructed pre-charge in substantial cases to advise upon challenges to search warrants by way of application for judicial review; applications to discharge restraint orders and resisting applications for forfeiture of assets.

He also specialises in regulatory law, with a particular focus on professional discipline.

In the field of professional discipline, he has extensive experience representing medical practitioners, police officers, dentists, nurses and midwives, pharmacists, healthcare and social workers, solicitors, chartered surveyors and other professionals facing allegations of professional misconduct or other investigations into their fitness to practise.

Simon is retained to advise practitioners at the early stages of such investigations and, if unable to bring the investigation to a swift end, he provides representation throughout the proceedings, not only before the tribunal but also in appellate proceedings.

He advises practitioners on regulatory matters relating to licensing and registration and regulatory requirements imposed by the regulator, the NHS and the Care Quality Commission.

In the wider regulatory sphere, Simon represents clients accused of breaches of regulations relating to health and safety at work, fire safety, environmental law and trading standards legislation. He is instructed to advise companies and individuals under investigation and to provide representation to those charged with regulatory offences in both the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court.

Simon is a Category 4 Prosecutor and appointed to the specialist Serious Crime and Proceeds of Crime Panels. Simon is also appointed to List B of the Specialist List of Regulatory Advocates. He is regularly instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service and the Health & Safety Executive to prosecute serious criminal and regulatory offences.

He has also appeared in a number of significant cases before the First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber), Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal arising from allegations of fraud made by HMRC in relation to VAT and excise duty. His extensive experience of fraud in the criminal jurisdiction provides a firm foundation on which to advise individuals and companies challenging decisions of HMRC.


Qualified 2006 (called by the Inner Temple).


Member of the Inner Temple Circuits Bar Liaison Committee. CPS Level 3 Prosecutor and member of the specialist Proceeds of Crime Panel. Member of Liberty; Amnesty; Criminal Bar Association; Administrative Law Bar Association; and Northern Circuit.


Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe; University of Manchester (BA Hons law and politics (first class)); Manchester Metropolitan University (BVC; 2006 Richard Isaacson QC Inaugural Scholar); College of Law Pro Bono Prize 2006; Manchester Law Society Prize 2006.


Music, literature, watching and playing sport, particularly football, cricket and squash and following Arsenal FC.

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Business and regulatory crime (including health and safety)

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Simon Gurney – Lincoln House Chambers ‘Simon is one of the best barristers around and a joy to work with. He is highly sought-after due to his immense intellect and amazing client care skills, he is a real stand-out performer, and he is extremely hard working with excellent written work.’

Lincoln House Chambers is praised as ‘a stellar set‘ and the regulatory team offers a wide range of expertise across both prosecution and defence work in Environment Agency, Trading Standards, and DEFRA cases. Lee Hughes also has strong expertise in health and safety matters, and he acted for the prosecution in HSE v Gateshead Cheder School, in which an Orthodox Jewish school was fined £30,000 following a dangerous mountain hike that endangered the lives of 13 boys. Simon Gurney is instructed to prosecute two paramedics accused of gross negligence manslaughter following the death of a vulnerable patient in their care, who was run over by the third defendant taxi driver whilst she was lying on a public highway. Richard Dawson is notable for his transport expertise. David Pojur joined the set in September 2023.

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Professional disciplinary law

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Simon Gurney – Lincoln House ChambersSimon is an extremely impressive barrister who has a rapidly expanding reputation in regulatory work. He is a first-class barrister, quick thinker, and a persuasive advocate.’

Lincoln House Chambers ‘has many superstars, both at the junior and senior ends’. Its members are highly adept at handling cases in tribunals, as well as the Administrative and High Courts, and they act in medical professional disciplinary proceedings before various regulators. Simon Gurney has an established reputation representing members of the healthcare professions, including doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists, police officers, solicitors, teachers, and chartered surveyors. Anna Chestnutt predominately represents nursing professionals before the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Crime (general and fraud)

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Simon Gurney – Lincoln House ChambersSimon is an extremely impressive barrister who has a rapidly expanding reputation in regulatory work. He is the busiest junior on the circuit, he is a first-class barrister, a quick thinker, and a persuasive advocate.’