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Simon Davies

Partner  |  Ogier
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Guernsey
England and Wales (non-practising)

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Dispute resolution, especially contentious trusts and estates claims (including Public Trustee v Cooper and Beddoes types of applications of all kinds, breach of trust claims, investment disputes, Hastings Bass and mistake claims, disclosure applications (including by beneficiaries against trustees and persons connected with a Guernsey trust).
All regulatory matters/investigations and enforcement action taken by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and other regulators against licensees/regulated entities.
Commercial and fund litigation (including directors’ duties, investor and shareholder disputes)
Contentious insolvency work of all kinds

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

I became the Batonnier of Guernsey in October 2020 which means I will act as head of the Guernsey Bar for the next two-years.
My career highlight (so far) was successfully defending The Carlyle Group and Carlyle Investment Management (“Carlyle Entities“) against more than 187-claims that they were in breach of duties owed to an insolvent fund called Carlyle Capital Corporation (“CCC”). CCC and its liquidators sought “not less than US$1 billion” against the executive and independent directors as well as the Carlyle Entities who were the promoter and investment manager of CCC. The claims alleged numerous breaches of directors’ fiduciary duties and duties of skill and care – including against the Carlyle Entities who were alleged to have become de facto or shadow directors of CCC. There were also claims for breach of the investment management agreement, wrongful trading and unjust enrichment. All of the claims were rejected against all of the Defendants after a six-month trial in a 525-page judgment. There was an appeal by the unsuccessful Plaintiffs to the Guernsey Court of Appeal which was rejected in its entirety and a further appeal to the Privy Council that was ultimately settled on non-confidential terms by which the Plaintiffs got absolutely nothing.

How did you get into private client?

Practicing offshore – it is inevitable! I moved to Guernsey in 2001 – I’ve been doing a tremendous amount of contentious work since then. Before moving out, I was doing purely commercial, product liability and insolvency work.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Keep things clear and simple. Treat everyone you come across with courtesy and respect. Listen and learn. Later teach, nurture, listen and learn.

What is your favourite quote?

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” This is often wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein but is a misquotation. For lawyers I think it means that we should communicate everything that a client or judge needs to know to make a decision in as clear and as simple a way as possible. What Einstein actually said is reported as: “It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.” I can see that the simplified misquote is more user-friendly!

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I participated in the swim crew for the Oceans 7. The Cook Strait was the last of the Ocean's 7 for our swimmer who is only the 21st person ever to complete all seven crazy swims.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Red, Le Nautique or the Le Petit Bistro, in Guernsey. Red should return in 2021 but the others are open already…