Simon McCann

Year of Call: 1996, Gray's Inn

Simon mccann
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Simon McCann specialises in sports law, and personal injury cases with an emphasis on complex issues of fraud and liability. In fraud work, he has many years of trial experience.


Sports Law

Simon has a strong Sports practice across a range of sectors and disciplines. 

His main specialisations are in regulatory, anti-doping and safeguarding cases.


Crisis management

Simon regularly deals with “crisis” and “reputational” management situations, when an event or incident causes a governing body, club or athlete to face a range of sanctions, and/or adverse press coverage.  The key in such cases is an immediate, robust and proportionate response, together with an ability to plan the route ahead. Simon is happy to deal informally first in such cases, and acknowledges that access to advise quickly is vital.


In anti-doping, Simon has represented Premier League football players, professional Rugby League players and numerous Olympic athletes who have faced doping charges brought by the Football Association, UKAD, World Athletics and other regulatory bodies. He has previously represented Dr Richard Freeman (formerly of British Cycling and Team Sky) and Dillian Whyte (heavyweight boxer).  Simon's experience of Doping and Integrity prosecutions is international and national.


Recent safeguarding work includes investigations held by the Lawn Tennis Association, the British Horse Racing Authority and the England and Wales Cricket Board. He has also recently advised on appeals against the withdrawal of National Lottery funding from an elite athlete.

Sports injuries

In combination with his work in the Personal Injury sector, Simon has represented many players and clubs in "player-on-player" incidents, such as this:


Simon has for many years represented football clubs and players across a wide range of work - disciplinary, regulatory, safeguarding, advisory and insurance. Simon is a member of the Football Association's General Panel. He was formerly an Independent

Disciplinary Commissioner for the Birmingham County Football Association, and has a thorough understanding of the game (also beinga FA qualified coach).

He is able to deal with all aspectsof football club governance. He has, for example, represented a football club Chair who was made the subject of sanction for social media posts.

Other work

Simon is a Chair of British Canoeing's Disciplinary, Dispute and Appeals Panel, and has dealt with a number of Olympic Selection Appeals.

Simon is a member of the Sports Resolutions Pro-bono Panel, and is able to provide and representation in all areas relating to anti-doping, discipline and safeguarding.

He is a member of the British Association for Sport and Law.


Personal Injury

Simon has represented many insurers in catastrophic and serious personal injurycases both with Leading Counseland alone. Simon is experienced in joint settlement meetings and negotiations.

He is well-known and highly-regarded for dealing with high-value cases in which allegations of fundamental dishonesty are to be made. This often involves the interplay of complex medical evidence, surveillance and other investigative techniques (such as social media).


Catastrophic Personal Injury

Simon has represented many insurers in catastrophic personal injury cases both with Leading Counsel and alone. Experienced in joint settlement meetings and negotiations. Simon has an interest in complex issues of damages.



Simon’s fraudpractice is insurance-based in high-value, multi-track cases.

He is a specialist in this area,with over 25 years' of experience of fraud trialsand the investigation of fraud, in which time has many hundreds of fraud cases to trial. He has advised motor insurers, employers’ insurers and local authorities on all aspectsof fraudulent claims,and has assistedin the development of a number of specialist fraudunits. Simon has developed a significant reputation defending fraudulent claims in both the motor and casualty fields.

Simon’s recent emphasis has been on cases in which insurers seek findings of contempt of Court, or in which they seek to bring private prosecutions. he has been involved in a number of high-profile cases:

Simon has spoken regularly at national events and at a local level on the subject of fraudulent claims.

Simon has a particular interest in cases in which surveillance or social media evidence are deployed. He is also able to advise on the use of developing technologies such as analytics and telematics. Issuesover data protection in insurance and fraud work are also within his expertise.

Areas of special interest:

  • Fraud rings
  • Staged accidents
  • Fraudulent claims in the workplace
  • Fraudulent claims against local authorities
  • Contempt proceedings



Covid-19 & FD Trials


“He is a strong defender and very competent at dealing with higher value cases.”

Chambers & Partners, 2024

Notable Cases

  • UKAD v Dr Richard Freeman; Dr Richard Freeman v GMC (on appeal)

    Presently representing Dr Richard Freeman, former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor, in his anti-doping case before the National Anti-Doping Panel. Simon is also being led by Mary O'Rourke QC in Dr Freeman's appeal of his erasure from the medical register

  • UK Sport v E (2021)

    Appeal against withdrawal of Elite Athlete's Lottery funding

  • England and Wales Cricket Board v B (2021)

    Appeal against safeguarding band for a cricket coach

  • British Horse Racing Authority v G (2021)

    Safeguarding appeal against BHRA permanent ban

  • Lawn Tennis Association v M (2021)

    Safeguarding/bullying hearing for a long-standing professional tennis coach

  • Zurich Insurance Plc v Barnicoat & Craze [2020] EWHC 3127 (QB)

    Represented Zurich Insurance in a contempt of Court case which received national publicity

  • The Football Association v X (2020)

    Represented a Premier League player in an anti-doping, "social" drugs case

  • KB v Bury Football Club (2020)

    Representing the (EFL) football club in a personal injury claim brought by an ex-player

  • UKAD (RFL) v AC (2020)

    Represented a professional RFL player faced with an anti-doping charge

  • World Athletics v DN (2020)

    Represented a Belorussian Olympic-standard Athlete faced with an anti-doping charge

  • International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) v VG (2019)

    Represented a Panamanian Olympic-standard track athlete faced with a charge of manipulation of his race results

  • International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) v IK (2019)

    Represented a Greek Olympic-standard athlete faced with an anti-doping charge

  • International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) v AK (2019)

    Represented a world-record holding Kenyan long-distance runner in a blood-doping case

  • AXA Insurance v Masud [2019] EWHC Civ 479 (QB)

    Represented AXA Insurance in contempt of Court proceedings brought against the Defendant. The Defendant has pursued a large loss personal injury claim, which had been procedurally struck out once surveillance evidence disclosed the Defendant working and driving the family car - neither of which he had been claimed to be able to do.

    AXA brought contempt proceedings. The Deputy High Court Judge sentenced Masud to 16 months' immediate imprisonment in Pentonville Prison. This is one of the largest sentences for contempt that has been seen.

    An attempt to set aside the sentence and purge Masud's contempt failed before the High Court.

  • Ian Hume v Chris Morgan & Sheffield UTD (2011)

    Acted for the Defendants in this well-publicised case. The Claimant suffered a fractured skull whilst playing for Barnsley against Sheffield United, and alleged that the use of the elbow was either deliberate or reckless



  • Football Association General Panel Member
  • Former Panel Disciplinary Commissioner Birmingham County Football Association
  • British Canoeing Disciplinary, Disputes and Appeal Panel member
  • Sports Resolutions Pro-bono Panel

Professional Associations

  • Personal Injuries Bar Association
  • British Association for Sport and Law


  • The University of Leeds - International History and Politics BA Hons (1st Class)

Articles by Simon