Deans Court Chambers

Expert legal advice and advocacy, delivered by an outstanding team of Queen’s Counsel and barristers.

The Barristers at Deans Court are regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

Simon McCann

View All
Simon McCann - Deans Court Chambers



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


  • 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


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.


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

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

In anti-doping, Simon has represented Premier League football players, professional Rugby League players and numerous Olympic athletes who have facing doping charges brought by the UKAD, the Football Association and World Athletics. He represented a world-title holding boxer when he was faced with doping charges, and presently represents Dr Richard Freeman, formerly of British Cycling and Team Sky.

Simon's experience of Doping and Integrity prosecutions is international and national.

Recent safeguarding work includes investigations held by 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.

Simon's other main interest is representing football clubs and players across a wide range of work - disciplinary, regulatory, safeguarding, advisory and insurance. Simon Has recently been appointed to 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 being a FA qualified coach).

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:

He is able to deal with all aspects of football club governance. He has, for example, recently dealt with the impact of the failure of a professional club to meet fire regulations.

Simon is also 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 experienced in issues involved with scuba diving, and is PADI trained. He is an avid follower of professional cycling, and is fully conversant with the anti-doping issues in that sport.

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


Simon’s fraud practice is insurance-based. He is a specialist in this area, with almost 25 years' of experience of fraud trials and the investigation of fraud, in which time has taken hundreds of fraud cases to trial. He has advised motor insurers, employers’ insurers and local authorities on all aspects of fraudulent claims, and has assisted in the development of a number of specialist fraud units. Simon has developed a significant reputation defending fraudulent claims in both the motor and casualty fields.

His 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. Issues over 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


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.


Covid-19 & FD Trials

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

What the directories say

"A brilliant and fierce advocate." "He is willing to fight your corner very hard and he is excellent for cases involving elements of fraud."

Chambers and Partners, 2022

‘ An excellent strategist who is accessible and approachable. Always brings a detailed analysis of the evidence allowing a credible strategy on CAT fraud cases from the outset. ’

Legal 500, 2022

"He is very pragmatic, realistic and keen to find solutions." "He provides very sound advice and is reassuring with clients."

Chambers and Partners, 2021

"He has an excellent manner and will assess the prospects of a case and give it to you straight with sound, fair advice. He brings utmost technical excellence as well." "He's been on the circuit for a long time and is a good insurance fraud barrister."

Chambers and Partners, 2021

He is excellent at cross examination in Casualty Fraud Trials. Picking out and focusing on the inconsistencies to support Fundamental Dishonesty findings. He is always willing to go the extra mile.’

Legal 500, 2021

"Excellent." "His performance at trial is as detailed as it is masterly." "He's very thorough and presents information very well to clients."

Chambers and Partners, 2020

‘ Builds an excellent rapport with clients. ’

Legal 500, 2020

"A true professional who excels in the courtroom." "Very affable and pleasant."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

"He provides prompt advice, has a good approach and is very knowledgeable. He is helpful and strong in both discussions and negotiations." "He is very user-friendly and down-to-earth."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

"Very well established and very much favoured by the insurance industry. His pleadings are good and very accurate. He's good on his feet in court." "Very well prepared and good fun to deal with."

Chambers and Partners, 2018

"One of the best when it comes to cross-examination, he always cuts straight to the important issues in the case."

Chambers and Partners, 2018

‘He gets to the heart of issues quickly.’

Legal 500, 2017

"He's very good and has a reassuring, natural manner before the judge."

Chambers UK, 2017

"He has a very good manner in court, he is a very reassuring and natural presence in front of the judge."

Chambers UK, 2017

"He is a very tenacious street fighter who will get stuck in and scrap it out."

Chambers UK, 2016

'Knowledgeable and approachable, and deals with papers speedily'

Legal 500, 2015

"He's the kind of person you'd want on your side in a courtroom fight: he's quick on his feet and not afraid to ask the difficult questions." "He is a details man who will pick out things that pass me by."

Chambers UK, 2015

"He's the kind of person you would want on your side in a courtroom fight - quick on his feet and not afraid to ask the difficult questions." "He is straightforward and candid in his views. That is appreciated by clients, who want to be told how it is."

Chambers UK, 2015

‘A specialist in personal injury and insurance fraud.’ (Personal injury and clinical negligence)

Legal 500, 2014

‘a natural trial advocate’

Legal 500, 2014

Commentators note his particular expertise in cases of industrial disease.

Chambers UK, 2013

'Offers expertise in industrial disease cases'

Chambers UK, 2012

'Punchy but measured' approach to personal injury litigation

Chambers and Partners 2011


Legal 500, 2010


Legal 500, 2009

‘Strong, effective Counsel, kept very busy’

Legal 500, 2006


More Articles

© 2022 Deans Court Chambers | All rights reserved