Simon Natas



Craig Connal shortlisted for Solicitor Advocate of the Year    

Simon is a solicitor and higher courts advocate specialising in crime and human rights law.
He is recognised as a leader in his field and noted for his "intelligence, commitment" and ability "to see a legal point before most".
Chambers UK 2013
Simon appears regularly in the Crown Court, Court of Appeal and High Court. An accomplished jury advocate, he has acted for clients charged with serious drugs offences, armed robbery, possession of firearms, fraud, violence and public order offences. He has also acted as junior counsel in a number of multi-handed murder trials. Simon’s experience in the appellate courts includes both appeals from the Crown Court and appeals by way of case stated from the Magistrates Court. These include the widely reported cases D v DPP and Harvey v DPP.
Simon has a strong interest in human rights and civil liberties, both in domestic and international law.
He is noted as an expert on police powers and is regularly consulted by defendants accused of assaulting or obstructing police officers. Simon’s clients are often professional people of good character who have instructed him on a private basis. Many go on to bring successful civil actions after he has secured acquittals at trial.
Simon is also experienced in the law of protest. He has successfully defended numerous demonstrators charged with public order offences and gives advice to campaigners on legal issues arising from public protests, as well as bringing public law challenges on behalf of demonstrators who allege that their rights have been infringed by the police or other public bodies.
In addition, Simon advises a number of high profile campaigning organisations and NGOs on legal issues, both domestic and international. He is a regular public speaker and commentator on legal issues in the media. Simon's written submissions to the House of Common's Justice Committee inquiry into the law of Joint Enterprise in 2011 were referred to extensively in the final report.
Simon was shortlisted for the Law Society's Solicitor Advocate of the Year Award in 2012.
Recent notable cases:
As Solicitor Advocate:
Court of Appeal:
R v Saw and others [2 Cr.App.R S 54]: Court of Appeal guideline case for sentencing on domestic burglaries
R v W (2010): Successful appeal against sentence for defendant charged with drugs offences, principle of “totality”
R v P (2011): Successful appeal against sentence for defendant charged with affray. 
R v B (2012): Appeal on behalf of juvenile sentenced to consecutive sentences of detention.
High Court: 
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. The case was widely reported in the national media and drew comment from the Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police.
Crown Court:

As led junior
R v M (2009) Central Criminal Court, Murder, drugs related stabbing by gang. 
R v S (2010) Central Criminal Court, Murder, victim died in the course of street robbery.
R v H (2012) Central Criminal Court, Murder, defendant accused of fatally stabbing step-father.

As 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 
Magistrates Court:
Assault/Obstruct Police
R v KM (2012)  Brent Magisistrates Court; Off duty fire officer tasered and wrongfully arrested -  acquitted of Obstruct PC. Case was reported on the front page of the Guardian newspaper. 
R v A (2011) Halton Magistrates Court; Business woman arrested and assaulted in police vehicle, acquitted of being drunk and disorderly.
R v C (2011) West Somerset Magistrates Court; Off duty police officer acquitted of assault/obstruct PC after six day trial.
Protest/Public Order Work:
As advocate:


R v R and others (2013)  Westminster Magistrates Court,  Succesful 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.

R v K, M, T (2012)  Westminster Magistrates Court, Congolese demonstrators charged with obstructing the public highway, cases discontinued after representations made on the basis of new CPS guidelines


R v Q (2010) West London Magistrates Court, Defendant acquitted of assaulting TSG officers during demonstration against war in Gaza

R v F (2009) Highbury Corner Magistrates Court, Protestor acquitted of assaulting police after successful submission that officers misused powers under the public order act
R v P (2009) Highbury Corner Magistrates Court, Defendant acquitted of obstructing police officers during demonstration in central London

As litigator:


R v JJ (2011) Kingston Crown Court; violent disorder prosecution arising from 9 December 2010 anti-fees protest, client acquitted.

R v N, O, R, W (2011); DPP v N,O,R ,W (2012) Trial at Highbury Corner Magistrates of four defendants charged with aggravated trespass arising from successive blockades of central London shop trading in cosmetics produced on illegal settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Subsequent appeal by way of case stated, successful in respect of two appellants; leading authority on aggravated trespass in cases of peaceful direct action against corporate wrongdoing. Ruling subject to onging appeal to Supreme Court.

R v W (2012) Kingston Crown Court; possession of explosive material at demonstration - non custodial sentence

R v B (2012) Southwark Crown Court; possession of explosive materials at demonstration - non custodial sentence

Public Speaking and Media Appearances :


December 2011: Haldane Society Human Rights Lecture, “Guilt by Association; Criminalisation by the Joint Enterprise Law”.

November 2011: Law Society Gazette "Lawyer in the News" re case of DPP v Harvey
January 2012: Radio 4’s “The World Tonight” report, commenting on House of Commons Justice Committee report on the law of joint enterprise (in which Simon’s submissions were quoted).
April 2012: appeared on Radio 4’s legal discussion programme Unreliable Evidence, along with a panel of fellow experts including Professor Jeremy Horder, Francis Fitzgibbon QC and  Mark Heywood QC in order to discuss the law of joint enterprise.
April 2012: PSC Trade Union conference; “What makes a company complicit?”
May 2012: Speaker at Network for Police Monitoring Conference: “Kettling Police Powers”


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