Simon has an extensive and busy family law practice specialising right across the spectrum of divorce, financial claims, civil partnership disputes, co-habitee disputes and disputes relating to children. In addition, he advises on and drafts cohabitation, separation and pre-nuptial agreements, of which there are a growing number. Much of his work includes an international element and he frequently advises on choice of jurisdiction as well as on the removal of children out of the jurisdiction. Simon's clients have included nationals of the USA, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland, and from the sports of horse racing, tennis and golf.
Simon is in a unique position of having had two family law cases heard in the House of Lords/Supreme Court, which have been reported both nationally and internationally.
Simon acted for Pamela White in the ground-breaking decision on the distribution of property and assets on divorce, White v White (2000), which provides for equality as the starting point in the division of assets to ensure the absence of discrimination between the breadwinner on the one hand and the homemaker on the other. This is still the current law.
Simon acted for Tini Owens in Tini Owens v Hugh John Owens (2018) in which the Supreme Court refused her a divorce notwithstanding the fact that the marriage had broken down irretrievably and the parties had separated. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the lower courts that in spite of Mrs Owens having provided 27 examples of Mr Owens's behaviour towards her, he had not behaved in such a way that she could not reasonably be expected to live with him.
In the light of the Judgment in Tini Owens v Hugh John Owens, widespread sympathy for Mrs Owens for the way in which she had been treated by the Courts and the overwhelming support from the public, the media, judges, lawyers and politicians for a change in the law, the Government has passed the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 to bring in "no fault" divorce. It is anticipated that this Act will come into effect in the Autumn of 2021 once new divorce forms and guidance have been published.
Simon's other reported cases include Court of Appeal decisions:
- In the Matter of R (Children) (2016) a Court of Appeal Judgment of Lords Justices McFarlane and Lindblom dismissing a father’s appeal against losing direct contact with his children.
- Hayat Youssef Alireza v Hossam Youssef Ibrahim Radwan and Others (2017) a widely reported Court of Appeal Judgement of Lady Justice Gloster, Law Justice Lewison and Lady Justice King relating to extent to which a prospective inheritance was capable of being a financial resource which could be taken into account in an application for financial relief in divorce proceedings. The case has been remitted back to the High Court to determine extent of the lump sum Ms Alireza should receive from Mr Radwan.
- Tini Owens v Hugh John Owens (2017) a widely reported Court of Appeal Judgment of the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, Lady Justice Hallett and Lady Justice Macur refusing the wife a divorce.
and High Court decisions:
- RH v RH (2008) a High Court Judgment of Mr Justice Singer relating to financial remedy claims on divorce and costs.
- Seagrove v Sullivan (2014) a High Court Judgment of Mr Justice Holman in a cohabitee dispute involving claims under The Trusts of Law and Appointment of Trustees Act and under Schedule 1 of The Children Act.
- NR v AB (Financial Remedies) (2016) a High Court Judgment of Mrs Justice Roberts relating to financial remedy claims on divorce, the principle of the clean break and extent to which a prospective inheritance was capable of being a financial resource which could be taken into account in an application for financial relief in divorce proceedings.
- K, L and M (Children) (Child Arrangements Order) (2016) a High Court Judgment of Ms Justice Russell relating to child arrangements re a father losing direct contact with his children due to his conduct towards them.
- ABX and SBX and DX (2018) a High Court Judgment of Mr Justice Francis relating to financial remedy claims on divorce and issues concerning add backs, section 37 (set aside) applications and offer letters.
- MY v FY (2020) a High Court Judgment of Ms Justice Russell relating to child arrangements concerning an 8 year old boy and the Father’s wish to see him in circumstances where, whilst he undoubtedly loved his son, he had behaviour issues which made supervised contact necessary.
Simon is recommended by the law directories as a leading family lawyer, including Chambers, The Legal 500 UK and Legal Experts. Quotes include: “Simon Beccle was exceptionally responsive and conscientious and was measured and helpful” and “Simon Beccle is empathetic and wise – client care is second to none.” He is listed in the Honours List for Leading Family & Matrimonial Lawyers in the Citywealth Leaders List 2019 and Spear’s 500 2020 as a Recommended Family Lawyer ranked “outstanding in field” with a specialist focus on international divorce.
Simon is regularly quoted in the national and legal press.
From 2012 to 2018 Simon was Clerk to the Council and a Governor of Bradfield College, where he was also educated.
Simon took a degree in History before qualifying as a lawyer in 1990. Qualified 1990, joined Payne Hicks Beach 1998, partner 2001.
“Simon Beccle has an extraordinarily impressive case load. He is one of the very few family finance solicitors to have appeared in both the House of Lords and the Supreme Court”The Legal 500 UK
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