Simon Connolly

Simon Connolly
Year of call:

2019 (Solicitor 2003)

Education:

1999 - LLB (Hons) 2:1, University of Hull

2000 - College of Law (Chester)

Career:

2000-2003 - Forbes Solicitors (Lancashire)

2003-2007 - Henry Hyams Solicitors (Leeds)

2007-2011 - The Medical Protection Society (Leeds)

2011-2019 - BLM LLP (Manchester/ Leeds)

2018 - Higher Rights of Audience (Criminal)

Appointments:

2020 - Attorney General’s Panel of Regional Civil Advocates (C List)

2023 - Assistant Coroner – County Durham and Darlington

Ranked as Tier 1 in The Legal 500 (2024) for Inquests and Inquiries.

Ranked as Band 2 in Chambers & Partners (2024) for Inquests and Public Inquiries – 3 years ranked.

‘Simon is caring and good at putting clients at ease; he explains everything in minute detail.’ Chambers & Partners (2024)

Simon is a very measured and responsive junior. He is confident and has a great manner with clients.’ Legal 500 (2024)

Simon is very knowledgeable and he has a lot of experience as a barrister and solicitor.” Chambers & Partners (2023)

He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of inquest processes and procedures and he is also incredibly personable and good at putting people at ease. A thorough and tenacious advocate who is determined in court.’ The Legal 500 (2023)

‘He’s a very good operator and an effective advocate.’ ‘He is a very personable barrister and clients really like him.’ Chambers & Partners (2022)

Simon is a fantastic inquests lawyer. In addition to having an encyclopedic knowledge of coronial law, he has impressive medical knowledge. He is always well-prepared.’ Legal 500 (2022)

‘on a solid foundation of representing clients throughout his distinguished career as a solicitor Mr Connolly has moved seamlessly to the bar to deliver the same high quality of work. His knowledge in healthcare ensures a wealth of instructions. He has a confident yet amenable approach in court. A very capable advocate indeed.’ Legal 500 (2021)

Consistently ranked as a leading junior barrister by the leading legal directories since his transfer to the Bar in 2019, Simon’s practice and with that his professional experience continues to develop at a pace.

The healthcare sector remains a focus and Simon continues to represent a sector-leading prison healthcare provider in complex and lengthy Article 2 jury inquests in Coroner Area’s nationwide.

Recent highlights include a three-week inquest in Exeter involving the suicide of a prisoner in the aftermath of his conviction after trial and a two-week inquest before the Senior Coroner for Inner North London concerning the suicide of a foreign national.

Simon’s prison healthcare practice is complimented by his membership of the Attorney General’s Regional Panel which has seen Simon represent the Ministry of Justice in prison related jury inquest proceedings in “on” and “off” panel areas.

Simon has also solidified his professional relationship with a sector-leading, nationally operating provider of detained in-patient mental health services with Simon appearing before Coroners sitting with a jury in that connection.

Recent highlights include a seven-day jury inquest before the Senior Coroner for North Manchester in which Simon’s submissions against a neglect rider were successful and a seven-day jury inquest before the Senior Coroner for Gateshead and South Shields.

Simon continues to act for clinicians of all disciplines and specialities on the instruction of two of the three main Medical Defence Organisations and for healthcare corporates in traditional inquest proceedings heard by a Coroner sitting alone.

The cases in which Simon is instructed often generate public interest and garner significant media attention and Simon is adept at strategising to take account of such interests from a reputation management perspective.

Instructing solicitors, lay clients and Simon’s peers consistently commend his unstuffy, genial and collegiate approach to his cases and an uncomplicated approach to his advocacy continues to serve him well.

Notable Mental Health Cases:

Inquest touching the death of JLB (Rochdale): Simon represented a sector-leading provider of detained in-patient mental health services in a case involving metformin toxicity and in which Simon successfully argued against a neglect rider.

Inquest touching the death of SH (Chesterfield): Simon represented a provider of detained in-patient mental health services in a case involving the unexpected self-inflicted death of an established female patient.

Inquest touching the death of SL (South Shields): Simon represented an independent provider of detained in-patient mental health services in an inquest concerning a patient detained pursuant to a hospital and restriction order imposed by the Crown Court.

Notable Medical Cases:

Inquest touching the death of AT (Wakefield): Simon represented an NHS Trust in high-profile proceedings concerning the death of AT who died as a consequence of bacterial meningitis to which an unwitnessed fall in hospital was found to have contributed.

Inquest touching the death of DN (Wakefield): Simon represented an NHS Trust in very high-profile proceedings concerning the death of DN consequent to an undiagnosed cerebral abscess at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inquest touching the death of KT (Sheffield): Simon represented a telemedicine (radiology) provider in proceedings concerning the death of a young female patient several days consequent to her receipt of the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccination.

Notable Prison Cases:

Inquest touching the death of LH (Exeter): Simon represented a leading prison healthcare provider in a three-week jury inquest concerning a prisoner who took his own life in the aftermath of his conviction after trial.

Inquest touching the death of HHR (Inner North London): Simon represented a prison healthcare provider in a two-week jury inquest concerning the self-inflicted death of a foreign national in which cross-discipline communication issues were explored as causative.

Inquest touching the death of LO (Swansea): Simon represented the Ministry of Justice in a two-week jury inquest concerning the death of a prisoner with a significant mental health history in which failures in ACCT management featured.

Inquest touching the death of RM (Bradford): Simon represented a prison healthcare provider in a post-release inquest which involved novel pre-inquest submissions on Article 2/ jury consequent to the deceased’s status on home detention curfew.

Other Notable Cases:

Inquest touching the death of PJT (Derby): Simon represented an independent care home in proceedings concerning the death of an elderly resident following a fall in a case involving a complicated family dynamic.

Inquest touching the death of TEJ (Nottingham): Simon represented a counselling service in a case involving the suicide of a vulnerable male who sourced illicit toxic substances from abroad.

Inquest touching the death of RC (Doncaster): Simon represented a provider of on-site hospital security services in a case involving the death of a patient who had been removed from Trust premises.

Inquest touching the death of JS (Stockport): Simon represented the Probation Service in an inquest concerning the death of a vulnerable male who had recently been released from prison.

Contact Simon’s clerks

Madeleine Gray on 0113 202 8603

Patrick Urbina on 0113 213 5250

Imogen Brown on 0113 2135225

Jenny Dwan on 01132135213