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Simon Palmer


Simon Palmer has focused on contentious construction, engineering and infrastructure law for over 30 years.

His work consists entirely of fighting and resolving complex, multi-party, multi-jurisdictional disputes, utilising international arbitration, court litigation, mediation and all other forms of ADR.

Simon represents international businesses at funder, employer, developer, contractor, sub-contractor and consultant levels. His disputes have included power plants, tower blocks, stadia, process plant, hospitals, schools, laboratories, warehouses, roads, rolling stock, mines and quarries. Those projects have been carried out across the globe, and under all major forms of international contracts and procurement regimes.

He speaks and comments regularly on construction, engineering and infrastructure matters in the Middle East, Far East, Europe and North America.

Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales


  • Representing a Korean engineering contractor on a multi-million dollar dispute on a unique leisure structure in Dubai, against sub-contractors and the employer
  • Acting for a global engineering consultant in relation to a £250 million dispute regarding the new Wembley Stadium, the largest case heard in the Technology and Construction Court in London
  • Representing a Korean member of a construction joint venture on a $600 million dispute on desalination plant in Saudi Arabia
  • Representing a Canadian and Turkish joint venture in relation to claims of $450 million against the Jordanian employer, regarding a magnesium oxide plant on the banks of the Dead Sea in Jordan. ICC arbitration under Jordanian law, with the seat of the arbitration in Amman
  • Advising a Middle East contractor in relation to a series of disputes and arbitrations in relation to New York University Abu Dhabi
  • Advising a European turbo manufacturer regarding a multi-million dollar claim for alleged defects in relation to Iranian rolling stock
  • Acting for a Lebanese engineering contractor on a series of disputes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, totalling over $1 billion
  • Advising a UK mechanical and engineering contractor in relation to a £25 million PFI dispute over the National Physical Laboratory in the UK
  • Advising a Japanese contractor on an ICC arbitration regarding a power plant in Singapore. The dispute was with the US joint venture partner and involved $50 million
  • Chester College of Law
  • Durham University
  • Collingwood College, BA, honors in law


Chambers has commended Simon for his "grace under fire and ability to handle pressure", as well as his "solution-oriented approach and skills in team management". They report that clients' view is that Simon "is an excellent leader in maintaining a clear picture of the overall strategy required".

Pro Bono

Simon's lecturing includes The College of Law on Commercial Arbitration, the Leeds Metropolitan University MSc in Construction law and Arbitration, the Japan PFI Association on dispute procedures, and the International Contractors' Association of Korea and Japan Overseas Contractors’ Association on international dispute resolution.

Prior Experience

  • 2013 to date, Partner, DLA Piper
  • 1994 to 2012, Partner, national and international UK law firms
  • 2005 to 2009, Head of Contentious Construction and Engineering, UK based commercial law firm
  • 2003 to 2005, Global Head of Construction and Engineering, UK based international law firm
  • 2001 to 2003, Head of Construction Sector, UK based international law firm

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators