Simon Watson

LLB. LLM.

PM Lee

Litigation Experience

Simon Watson LLB. LLM. has practiced law for over 10 years and is admitted in both South Africa (2010) and Australia (2017).  

“My focus is always on providing timely and commercially sensible advice in order to help clients make decisions and achieve their objectives” – Simon Watson

  • Worked on several matters involving claims made through the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) against financial advisers. The complaints related to advice regarding the use of superannuation savings, the setting up of self-managed super funds and investments into real estate (2019).
  • Assisted on a matter defending an insured engineer in a claim for breach of contract and negligence regarding the design and certification of a residential home. This matter was litigated out of the District Court of Queensland. His involvement included a detailed analysis of expert reports regarding the structural integrity of the building in question and related soil conditions, monitoring separate but related proceedings in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), liaising with insured’s expert and preparing draft reports and advice (2020)
  • Represented a road works company in a claim for property damage to a residential property, litigated through the Magistrates’ Court of Queensland. Negotiated a settlement to the satisfaction of insurer and insured (2020)
  • Assisted with work on a breach of contract and damage to property claim litigated out of the District Court of Queensland. The claim involved two incidents causing water leakage and damage to a commercial building in Brisbane. His involvement in this claim was primarily in reviewing disclosed documentation and managing insured’s disclosure obligations in terms of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules (2020)
  • Handled a difficult contractual dispute around the supply of allegedly defective product litigated through the Federal Circuit Court. The dispute was referred to mediation. Prepared for the mediation on short notice and settled the dispute without the involvement of counsel. (2020).

Transactional Experience

  • Simon Watson LLB. LLM. acted as lead attorney for a listed company in the disposal of its South African chemical manufacturing business for approximately US$25 million. This transaction required various regulatory approvals (2016).
  • Acted as lead attorney for a financier in a subscription of shares transaction. Transaction value approximately US$4 million (2018).
  • Acted for a major shareholder of a South African shipping business in the disposal of equity as part of a disinvestment. Deal value over US$60 million (2017).
  • Lead attorney for a private equity company, assisted with the negotiations and acquisition of a significant shareholding in a South African sales and marketing business. Attended on related restructurings to comply with regulatory requirements. (2018 and 2019).

Litigation Experience – South Africa

  • Simon Watson LLB. LLM. successfully defended a litigated claim by a commercial beef farmer against an animal feed manufacturer owned by a listed company (alleging feed killed a herd of cattle). Claim dismissed with the plaintiff ordered to pay for the feed plus costs (2019).
  • Acted for a listed company in successfully defending multiple contractual claims, including claims for loss of profits, by a transportation company. Total claims above US$1 million (2017). 
  • Represented a minority shareholder of a large private retail business in a pre-litigious dispute regarding the interpretation of shareholder agreements and pre-emptive rights relevant to a possible takeover (2019).Obtained and executed an Anton Pillar order on behalf of a mining company allowing it to search and seize documents located at various premises of a supplier (2016).
  • Acted for a large engineering firm in liquidating a debtor, in subsequent interrogation proceedings and in related predisposition without value and undue preference actions against third parties to recover approximately US$1 million (2018). This matter also involved claims against directors of companies for breaching their common law and statutory fiduciary duties.
  • Represented a housing development company in various High Court litigation and private arbitrations relating to water supply agreements, electricity agreements, telecommunication contracts and rights relating to the transfer of land consequent on development approvals (2012 – 2016).

Publication Experience

Commentary and Precedents on Partnerships and Joint Ventures (Butterworths Forms and Precedents: Companies, Volume 3), November 2013.

Simon Watson LLB. LLM. was responsible for overhauling, updating and providing new material for an existing product which provides detailed precedents and commentary on the law relating to partnerships and joint ventures.

 

Practical Guidance: Corporate Governance, November 2014.

Simon Watson co-authored an online product for LexisNexis on corporate governance. This publication focuses on legal issues of relevance to directors, senior management, shareholders, legal advisors, accountants and company secretaries.

 

Practical Guidance: Mergers and Acquisitions, November 2016.

Lead author of an online product for LexisNexis focusing on mergers and acquisitions in South Africa. This product offers detailed assistance from start to completion of commercial transactions including due diligence, drafting of agreements, regulatory compliance and closing.

 

Practical Guidance: Trusts, Wills and Estates, November 2017.

Lead author of an online product for LexisNexis. He was responsible for a section providing guidance on the Law of Trusts with a specific focus on the practicalities of forming and managing trusts.