Simon Mears Associate Solicitor
Simon is an Associate Solicitor at ZMS and has been at the firm since 2008. He represents clients at the police station and Magistrates’ Court in all aspects of criminal defence work.
Having worked for a number of years in publicly funded defence work he is passionate about representing people accused of criminal offences and for this reason continues to work in this area. An experienced advocate, Simon will ensure that the court knows all about his client and their circumstances, as he feels strongly that the court system need to be aware how issues such as poverty, homelessness and mental health issues affect people’s behaviour. He feels that courts sometimes wish to distance themselves from these realities, and somehow deal with individuals in a void and that it must not be allowed to do so.
Simon will fight your corner in court and ensure that he does his best for you. He will explain how the system works and what happens at each stage. He is also famed for his letters which will be sent to you after every hearing, fully outlining what has happened and what will happen next.
Simon has an unusual route to qualification, leaving school at 16 and trying various jobs knowing that they just were not for him. He decided to take an A level in law and achieved an A grade. At this point his passion for law began and he decided to attend university to study further. He won a prize for a piece of work that he submitted about the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia which led to an internship there, an experience that Simon describes as the most amazing part of his life.
He is hugely proud of having been able to be considered good enough to work with those people, even as an unpaid intern. It was that experience which led to his first clerkship with a criminal firm, in Leicester in 1999, a city where he has practiced ever since.
Simon has represented a huge number of vulnerable defendants over the years and has had a number of his cases reported in the local press. One particular case involved a 15 year old mute and deaf defendant. The case was serious lengthy and complex and involved, amongst other things, allegations that the defendant was in
fact faking his disabilities.
Simon’s hard work and determination was recognised by the Legal Aid Agency as follows;-
“ the solicitor in this case was faced with a client who had such severe communication difficulties that the question of whether he could have a fair trial was an issue from the beginning of the case until its eventual and rather protracted conclusion. There was highly persuasive evidence in the file of papers and in the solicitors representations, that not only was this case exceptionally complex, but to the solicitors credit, it was dealt with by way of truly exceptional skill and competence when faced with a determined prosecution case and a major hurdle that was created by a lack of funding for an appropriate expert. It is patently obvious that the burden upon the solicitor was substantially increased by the circumstances of this case”