Simon Horsington, one of the original founders of the Franco-British Lawyers’ Society, has been appointed as ‘Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur’ by the President of the French Republic. He was invested with the insignia of the order by Admiral Patrick Chevallereau, Defence Attaché with the French Embassy in London, at a ceremony at the Ambassador’s official Residence on 16 June 2017.
Simon, who is a barrister of Gray’s Inn, London, is now Vice-Président d’Honneur-Fondateur of the Franco-British Lawyer’s Society. He initiated 30 years ago what, after a meeting in Gray’s Inn in 1988, was a process of setting up an organisation to promote cooperation between lawyers in France and the UK. The Society then took shape and was formally founded at a meeting in 1989 as l’Association des Juristes Franco-Britanniques / Franco-British Lawyers’ Society. The Society was launched at a colloquium at the Cour de Cassation in Paris in 1990.
Since then, Simon has been a prime mover in settling the strategy and objectives of the Society based on the three pillars of: the ambassadors and judiciary; lawyers; academics and students. Also its structure in the form of sections, now in Paris, London, Edinburgh and Belfast. He took the lead in the organisation of the Society’s initial colloquiums in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff, launched in respectively: Gray’s Inn, Edinburgh Castle, The Inn of Court and The National Museum of Wales.
In 2006 – with Admiral Lepeu — he founded the Society’s series of Biennial Colloquiums on Maritime Law with the Marine Française, the Royal Navy Legal Service and maritime lawyers and academics on topical issues of marine law, such as piracy, handling of refugees and asylum seekers etc.
In 2004 Simon made his own important contribution to the Society’s academic legal prize scheme by setting up and providing funding for the Prix Universitaire Robertson-Horsington in memory of his father and his father’s friend, both in 46 Commando RM D-Day and the Liberation of France.
Simon was awarded by the French Republic the Ordre du Mérite Maritime in 2009 and the Ordre National du Mérite in 2012.
Text by Hamish Adamson OBE