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Simon Maxwell – Senior Associate


(02) 9747 5244

0416 000 343

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A highly valued Senior Associate with our firm, Simon Maxwell has worked with us since 2011. He specialises in Personal Injury Compensation, Media and Defamation Law, Commercial Disputes, and Crime. He was admitted as a lawyer in 1992 and has more than 25 years’ experience.

Simon is a NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.

As at March 2017, there were roughly 31,600 solicitors practicing in NSW.  Of these, only 5% are Accredited Specialists, and there are only 500 personal injury specialists.

Having run his own legal practice for 11 years, Simon has a comprehensive legal background. He was also a member of the Australian Army Reserves (Infantry Corps) for 12 years, obtaining his Officer’s Commission in 1990.

Simon has worked on many high profile cases that have progressed through the Courts including matters that have been heard in the High Court of Australia. He has run cases against insurers where settlements or verdicts that total several hundreds of thousands of dollars have been achieved.

Simon has experience in all types of compensation claims, working on Motor vehicle claims, slip and fall cases, Medical negligence claims, Intentional tort (such as assault) cases, Workers compensation and Work-injury damages claims, False arrest and Malicious prosecution cases, and Product liability actions.

Outside of Injury Compensation, Simon has a specific interest in Defamation Law and has acted in hundreds of cases against most of the major media companies in Australia. He briefs some of the most experienced defamation barristers in Sydney to work on complex claims.

He acts against media and internet companies, government institutions, private companies, unincorporated clubs and societies, churches and religious organisations, and individual people who have said or done things to reduce his client’s reputation.

Simon has also worked on numerous commercial litigation disputes, ranging from Local Court debt recovery matters, to District Court contract disputes, through to Supreme Court Equity proceedings.

He has a wide experience in criminal matters and has appeared in matters that range from Local Court drink-driving pleas up to Supreme Court murder and drug trials.

What is Specialist Accreditation?

The New South Wales Law Society established the specialist accreditation scheme in 1992 to provide guidance to members of the public as to those lawyers in the legal profession who had particular expertise in their area of law.

The Law Society of NSW operates the Specialist Accreditation Scheme to help the public identify solicitors who have demonstrated proficiency in an area of law.

Solicitors who fulfil the requirements of the Scheme are entitled to use, after their name, the words ‘Accredited Specialist’ in the nominated area of practice.

What is an Accredited Specialist?

An Accredited Specialist is a lawyer who is an expert in their area of law.

In the legal profession an Accredited Specialist is a practising solicitor who has demonstrated specialised competence in a particular area of law and has been conferred Specialist Accreditation by the Law Society under its Specialist Accreditation Scheme.

Why should you use an Accredited Specialist?

To become an Accredited Specialist a solicitor must have practised law full-time for at least five years and worked in their area of legal specialty for at least three years.

To gain status as an Accredited Specialist a solicitor must pass the Law Society’s rigorous assessments in communication, problem solving, client relations and, of course, their specialist area of law.

To maintain their status as an Accredited Specialist, a solicitor must annually renew a certificate to practise the law and membership of the Law Society, plus update his skills and knowledge at the specialist level.

Areas of Practice

  • Compensation Claims
    • Motor Vehicle Compensation
    • Workplace Compensation
    • Public Liability
    • Superannuation Claims
    • Medical Negligence
    • Will Disputes
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Defamation
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law


Vale Clive Evatt: The King of Plaintiffs’ Defamation

Clive Andreas Evatt, barrister, died on Friday, August 3, 2018, aged 87.

Simon Maxwell, Senior Associate of Sanford Legal worked with Mr Evatt for more than 27 years, instructing him on dozens of defamation matters.

Their first hearing together (in 1990) was the case of Gypsy Fire V The Truth Newspaper, a case involving allegations made by the newspaper that Ms Fire had been “Bob Dylan’s sex-slave”.

Mr Evatt’s cases were never dull, and his ability to cut through to the nub of a matter was never bettered.

Sanford Legal instructed Mr Evatt on many cases, including for some high profile clients such as Otis Carey, one of Australia’s top ranked professional surfers.

Mr Evatt was a good friend and mentor to our Mr Maxwell, and he will be long missed.

Here is his Sydney Morning Herald obituary (written by Michael McHugh AC QC)

Sydney Morning Herald – Clive Evatt: King of the Plaintiffs’ Defamation Bar

Here is an article written in the online newspaper Justinian.

Justinian – Life of Clive

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