Simon Natas



Craig Connal shortlisted for Solicitor Advocate of the Year    

Simon is an award winning solicitor and higher courts advocate specialising in crime and human rights related work. He is consistently rated as a leading lawyer in Chambers and Partners, which has noted his “intelligence and commitment” and “ability to see a legal point before most”.

Simon was named 2106 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year in the field of criminal defence and was shortlisted for the 2012 Law Society Excellence Award for solicitor-advocate of the year. 

His work encompasses serious crime, regulatory work, judicial review, professional misconduct, public inquiries and criminal appeals. He has a proven track record in conducting the most challenging and complex cases. These have often included important human rights issues or legal questions of public importance. Many have made national news headlines.

Simon acted for the campaign group JENGbA in the historic Supreme Court appeal of R v Jogee, which resulted in far reaching reform to the controversial law of joint enterprise. He is noted as an expert on joint enterprise and is regularly asked to comment on this, and other legal issues, in the media.

Simon’s other notable recent cases include R v Gohil, the acquittal of former solicitor accused of fabricating allegations of police corruption in the course of which Simon brought a judicial review of the revocation his client’s bail and secured him substantial damages; R v BG, the successful defence of an academic specialising in urban exploration against charges of conspiracy to commit criminal damage and R v TM, a well-publicised murder acquittal.

Simon’s high profile public order cases include R v Richardson and Wilkinson, an appeal to the Supreme Court arising from arrests for aggravated trespass and a number of “mass arrest cases”, such as the defence of over forty people detained during the Critical Mass cycle ride on the opening night of the 2012 London Olympics. He has secured the acquittals of many activists charged with aggravated trespass, highway obstruction and breaches of the Public Order Act as well as numerous people wrongly accused of assaulting or obstructing police officers.  Many of Simon’s clients have gone on to bring substantial civil claims for wrongful arrest.

Simon has contributed to the Guardian, Westlaw Insight and Legal Voice and his many media appearances include Newsnight, Sky News and Radio 4’s legal discussion programme, Unreliable Evidence.


Notable cases:

Reported cases /appellate work

As advocate:

R v Saw and others [2 Cr.App.R S 54]: Court of Appeal guideline case for sentencing on domestic burglaries

D v DPP [2011] WLR 882: Widely reported appeal by way of case stated, dealing with powers of officers to detain and definition of “execution of duty”.


Harvey v DPP [2012] 176 JP 265: Successful appeal against conviction on behalf of defendant charged with offence under s.5 Public order Act after swearing at police officers.


As litigator:


R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8: Acted for grassroots campaign group, JENGbA as intervener in historic Supreme Court case which reversed over thirty years of case law on joint enterprise.


R v Richardson and Wilkinson [2014] UKSC 8: Supreme Court appeal determining the meaning of “lawful activity” for the purposes of the offence of aggravated trespass.


R v Garwood and others [2017] All ER (D) 177: Power to certify a point of law of general importance for consideration of Supreme Court where leave to appeal was refused.


R v Johnson and others [2016] All ER (D) 13: Acted for JENGbA as intervener in Court of Appeal cases following Jogee , definition of “substantial injustice” in change of law cases.


R v Mateta [2013] All ER (D) 19: Asylum seeker’s conviction for possession of false passport quashed.


Nero and others v DPP [2012] EWHC 1238 (Admin):  Convictions for aggravated trespass overturned in Divisional Court.


Other notable recent cases:


R v AO (2017): Defence of client accused of participation in sophisticated money laundering operation.


R v TM (2016): Acquittal of mother accused of infanticide


R v Gohil (2016): Acquittal of former solicitors accused of fabricating allegations of police corruption


R v BG (2015): Defence of academic specialising in urban exploration charged with conspiracy to cause criminal damage


Advocacy highlights:


Homicide (led junior):


R v NS (2105) Successful defence of insanity in widely publicised murder case


R v H (2012) Central Criminal Court, Murder, defendant accused of fatally stabbing step-father


R v S (2010) Central Criminal Court, Murder, victim died in the course of street robbery.


R v M (2009) Central Criminal Court, Murder, drugs related stabbing by gang. 


Junior alone:

R v P (2013)  Snaresbrook Crown Court; Possession of Firearms; juvenile defendant, succesful "exceptional  circumstances" argument.

R v C (2013) Southwark Crown Court; Conspiracy to Burgle; High profile case involving "ram raiding" of high end retail outlets in the West End; defendant seriously injured in course of arrest - non-custodial penalty imposed.

R v M (2012) Snaresbrook Crown Court, Possession of Firearm with Intent -  acquitted

R v B (2011) Snaresbrook Crown Court, Juvenile defendant accused of multi-handed robbery on tube.

R v C (2011) Inner London Crown Court, Armed robbery, car jacking - acquitted

R v W (2011) St Albans Crown Court, Conspiracy to supply cannabis, possession of firearms

R v J (2011) Central Criminal Court, Multi-handed conspiracy to kidnap and blackmail - acquitted

R v S (2011) Kingston Crown Court, Conspiracy to defraud; use of cloned credit card details

R v R (2010) Snaresbrook Crown Court, Juvenile charged with possession of firearm

R v S (2010) Inner London Crown Court, S.18 GBH, affray; assault with hammer - acquitted of GBH

R v M (2009) Snaresbrook Crown Court, Nine handed violent disorder - acquitted 


Notable protest cases/freedom of expression:


Million Woman Rise (2015): Acted for organisers of MWR march in “pay for protest” case


Sussex students (2014): Defended Sussex University students in disciplinary proceedings following protests on campus and in subsequent successful OIA complaint


R v R and others (2013) Westminster Magistrates Court,  successful defence of defendant accused of breaching s.12 conditions imposed on Critical Mass cycle ride on night of the opening ceremony of the London Olympics after 6 day trial.

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