Spotlight on our solicitors – meet Simon Smith

Spotlight on our solicitors – meet Simon Smith

Find out more about the people behind the advice in this series of interviews with our solicitors. In this piece Simon Smithdispute resolution solicitor, discusses his career where he has dealt with a wide range of commercial, civil and property cases. 

How long have you worked at Harper James? 

Since June 2018.

I chose law because I thought it would be interesting. Then, I drifted into a training contract and qualified at a High Street firm an after a couple of years moved to Irwin Mitchell covering Commercial and Property Litigation. 9 years later I moved to Levi Solicitors as a Partner. In 2008, I moved back to Sheffield to Ironmonger Curtis, a niche commercial practice in Sheffield to create and develop a litigation department. Around ten years later, I felt that I had ticked all the boxes in private practice and took the decision to move into freelance and consultancy work. It was the right decision. I would not go back - I enjoy the autonomy and flexibility.  

How does working with Harper James compare with other firms you have worked at?

It is not like anywhere else that I have worked, in the sense that we have such a flexible remote working model. The team are great, people are very relaxed, and you are left to get on with the work and provide a good service to clients. It is a far more pleasant working environment.  

Define Dispute Resolution in a sentence

Solving client’s problems and providing a solution.  

What’s the best piece of Dispute Resolution advice you could give a business?

Be prepared, make sure that your contracts are tightly drafted, and you have your paperwork in order and documents retained.  

What has been the proudest moment at Harper James/of your career so far?

I represented a small company that specialised in underwater explorations. They were being sued by a very well-known worldwide organisation for £200k and they needed to settle the case quickly to get further investment. In three weeks, we reached a settlement of £40,000 which is record speed in the litigation world! Some cases can go on for years. The client was delighted, and they sent me a case of wine!  

What do you do to unwind?

I play squash and enjoy a pub lunch and walk with the family.  

Tell us a prediction for your practice area in the future

There will certainly be more disputes arising out of the pandemic as there are plenty of commercial contracts that can’t/won’t be performed. This will impact the court system massively and cause significant delays if issues can’t be resolved through negotiation/mediation.  

Find out more

Simon Smith

Simon Smith

Senior Dispute Resolution Solicitor
Simon is a very experienced dispute resolution solicitor, he qualified in 1996 and has worked in dispute resolution for over 25 years. He is used to analysing large amounts of complex information quickly to make well reasoned, practical and commercial decisions. Simon is very hands on and prides himself on being approachable and easy to work with.

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