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Simon Davies

Partner  |  Ogier
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Guernsey
England and Wales (non-practising)

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Dispute resolution, especially trusts and estates (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 all regulatory matters/investigations)
Commercial and fund litigation (including directors’ duties and shareholder disputes)
Contentious insolvency work of all kinds

Q&A

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

My career highlight in 2017-2018 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 6-month trial in a 525-page judgment. In part the decision is appealed and the appeal will be considered in October 2018 by the Court of Appeal of Guernsey.

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 simple 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!