Simon specialises in all civil aspects of consumer and regulatory law, including consumer credit, financial services, consumer contract law and disputes, trading law and telecommunications. He is regarded as a Band 1 expert in consumer law by Chambers and Partners and is ranked by Legal 500 in the areas of Consumer (Band 1), Banking and Finance (including Consumer Credit) (Band 2) and Financial Services (Band 2).
In the area of consumer credit Simon regularly advises on issues such as the compliance of consumer credit documentation and procedures with the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and its subordinate legislation, the drafting of documentation, customer disputes, and the securitisation or sale of loan portfolios. He advises and acts for lenders and other businesses in court proceedings concerning consumer credit, such as challenges to the enforceability of regulated agreements, claims under s.75 of the Act and challenges to unfair relationships under s.140A of the Act. Simon provides training in the area of consumer credit to solicitors’ firms and lectures on consumer credit at Manchester University.
Simon advises consumer credit businesses in respect of regulatory challenges and he has appeared for consumer credit licensees and authorised persons in hearings before the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC), the Office of Fair Trading, the Secretary of State, the Consumer Credit Appeals Tribunal, the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal.
Simon advises on compliance with the provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, the rules applicable to providers of financial services (such as the FCA Handbook), and the provisions of the Financial Services (Distance Marketing) Regulations 2004. He has advised businesses and the Finance and Leasing Association on the transfer of consumer credit regulation from the Office of Fair Trading to the Financial Conduct Authority. He appears for businesses in court in respect of claims made under the FSMA (such as payment protection mis-selling cases), and he drafts and reviews financial documentation. He also advises on Money Laundering issues.
Simon advises and appears in court for both businesses and regulators in respect of compliance with consumer protection legislation and regulatory disputes. He has acted in respect of claims made under Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002, cases concerning the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, distance selling issues, inertia selling issues, pyramid selling and trading schemes and doorstep selling issues. He also advises in respect of compliance with the General Conditions of Entitlement for telecommunications providers made by OFCOM.
Simon advises on and drafts contractual terms for businesses, and appears in court in contractual disputes concerning consumer contracts. Simon acts for both large national clients (for example BT and Sky) and smaller businesses. His expertise includes unfair contract terms (for example compliance with the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 1999), sale of goods disputes (for example claims involving the Sale of Goods Act 1979) and claims involving the incorporation of contractual terms.
Simon also acts in commercial disputes, general common law claims and employment claims.
Simon is advising a number of businesses in respect of their liabilities to their customers in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Fortwell Finance Limited v Halstead  EWCA Civ 676: decision of the Court of Appeal rejecting the borrower’s attempt to set aside a consent order on the grounds that the entry into the consent order constituted the regulated activity of administering a regulated mortgage contract within the meaning of Article 61(2) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001.
- Nationwide Debt Consultants Ltd v Financial Conduct Authority  UKUT 0142 TCC: decision of the Upper Tribunal refusing to suspend the effect of termination of a debt management company’s interim permission under the Consumer Credit transitional provisions regime in FSMA 2000.
- The Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills v PLT Anti-Marketing Ltd  EWCA Civ 76: decision of the Court of Appeal giving guidance on the meaning of ‘material information’ for the purpose of Regulation 6 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008;
- In the matter of London Scottish Finance Ltd (in Administration) v Craig and others  EWHC 4047 (Ch): an application for directions in the administration of London Scottish Finance Ltd which considered the extent to which money paid under an unenforceable consumer credit agreement is recoverable by a debtor;
- The Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills v PLT Anti-Marketing Limited  EWHC 3626 (Ch): An application in a winding up petition that considered the scope of Regulation 6 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008;
- European Environmental Controls Limited v Office of Fair Trading UKFTT (GRC) CCA/2009/0002: Appeal from a decision of the Office of Fair Trading to take away the consumer credit licence of a credit broker with a turnover in excess of £10m per annum;
- Garside v Black Horse Ltd  EWHC 190 (QB): A case about a breach of an implied term in a contract for the purchase of a sports car. Considered the time to assess damages as between a motor dealer and a finance company where there has been a breach of the implied term as to satisfactory quality in the sale contract between the motor dealer and the finance company;
- Sodha v Office of Fair Trading CCA/2008/0005: Appeal from a decision to revoke a credit broker’s consumer credit licence. Gave guidance on the appropriate approach to costs in the Consumer Credit Appeals Tribunal.
“He is responsive, clear and very commercially minded.” “He’s talented, strategic and pragmatic as well as extremely good at client management.” Chambers and Partners 2020
“He is an imposing figure in court and knows just how to get the answers he wants from a witness.” “He is very pragmatic; his opinions are commercially focused and he will proactively offer solutions” Chambers and Partners 2018
“An excellent advocate and extremely knowledgeable on consumer credit legislation” “Extremely knowledgeable on consumer credit legislation and very easy to work with” “He turns papers around very promptly and his strategy and judgment are excellent” Legal 500 2017
“He sorts the wheat from the chaff, deals with matters in a succinct manner and has good judgment. His technical ability shines through” “He’s very pragmatic in his advice, has a commercial outlook, and has fantastic knowledge of the Consumer Credit Act.” Chambers and Partners 2017
“Extremely knowledgeable – you wouldn’t want to be on the other side of him” “A very formidable advocate” Legal 500 2016
“Recognised for his excellent command of consumer credit issues” “He is technically very accomplished and makes himself readily available” “A very good consumer credit barrister, particularly in respect of the drafting of standard documentation” Chambers and Partners 2016
“One of the very best consumer credit counsel at the Bar, who is excellent at everything” Legal 500 2015 (banking)
“Excellent at everything consumer-related” Legal 500 2015 (consumer)
“Very thorough and highly approachable” “He’s very responsible and clearly a bright chap” Chambers and Partners 2015
“He has a tremendous legal brain, and is capable of dissecting the most complex legal situations Legal 500 2015
“He’s absolutely lethal in court. He’s very good, can really rip the witnesses to shreds and knows when to lay the killer blow.” “He is ‘absolutely forensic in his attention to detail and also extremely pragmatic in his legal advice’.” “A consumer law specialist who enjoys rising market esteem due to his impressively detailed written product and his strong advocacy”. Chambers and Partners 2014
“Simon Popplewell is ‘an excellent strategist’ and a ‘rising star of consumer credit litigation’ “Simon Popplewell is ‘lethal in cross-examination’ and ‘possesses a strong and confident knowledge of consumer credit’.” Legal 500 2014
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