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Mr Simon Ford

Professional Description:

Expert in waste facility construction, commissioning and testing


BEng (1st class Hons), Chartered Waste Manager, Chartered Environmentalist, MCIWM

Ricardo Energy & Environment
Gemini Building
Fermi Avenue
OX11 0QR
Area of work:



Simon is an environmental engineer, chartered waste manager and chartered environmentalist with twenty-two years' varied waste management and environmental consultancy experience.

A key focus of Simon’s work involves provision of technical expert opinion in relation to issues at waste facilities, typically during construction and commissioning. Simon provides expert opinion in relation to contractor PI insurance claims and to contractors, or purchasers, involved in disputes.

In providing expert services to clients, Simon draws upon his diverse background in environmental and waste management consultancy. He provides informed opinion on all stages of facility development, from permitting and planning matters through to construction, commissioning, contractual testing (typically construction completion, take over and acceptance) and ongoing operation.

For the past nine years Simon has worked extensively in providing expert advice to PI insurers in relation to EPC contractor's claims and recovery actions for some of the UKs largest waste projects, involving some of the sector’s largest insurance claims. Throughout that period, Simon has worked, via one legal firm, for insurers of separate Contractors on three separate and sizeable UK waste infrastructure projects (one MBT technology and two advanced thermal treatment technologies). Simon has also advised insurers on smaller-scale projects involving AD technology.

Some of the insurance claim related projects have been of such significant scale and complexity that Simon's involvement has lasted several years. Simon is typically tasked with identifying what went wrong, whether it was the result of design, construction or operational defects, whose fault it was and whether proposed remedial works are reasonable and proportionate. This can be in circumstances where issues evolve and worsen as commissioning progresses and facility throughput increases, requiring an ability to investigate and form opinions when onsite events and information available are constantly changing. It can also involve a need to form opinions in time pressured situations, for example where the contractor, and potentially insurers, are paying large sums in liquidated damages, or where losses will increase if contractual deadlines are not met.

Simon has also provided expert services in relation to a range of disputes associated with waste facility construction and commissioning, typically where contractual tests have not been passed and often where waste composition and quality played a part in what took place.

Simon is familiar with a range of contract structures used in the construction, commissioning and operation of waste facilities, and common issues with such contracts whether simple standard form or complex bespoke PFI contracts. Waste composition and quality, whether it complies with contract requirements and its implication in terms of issues with facility operation and the ability to achieve required facility performance is a matter that Simon has had to address in many of the projects he has been involved with. He has also been involved in projects that have suffered serious mechanical failures as well as projects utilising novel technologies, notably in the AD field.

Early in his career, Simon worked in geo-environmental consultancy and gained considerable experience undertaking environmental due diligence assessment of land and industrial facilities and worked extensively in the area of landfill operations, monitoring, risk assessment and permitting.

Since 2008 he has applied his engineering, waste management and environmental consultancy skills to work with modern waste management facilities including materials recovery facilities (MRF), anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, composting plants, mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plants (mechanical separation/ recovery along with composting and/or AD of the organic fraction) and thermal treatment plants.

Simon has worked on projects comprising technical due diligence, procurement, independent certification (IC), provision of technical advice during construction, commissioning and testing and expert witness services. He is confident and capable at liaising with all levels of site staff, management and advisors within all relevant parties including contractors, sub-contractors, clients, lenders and lawyers. Simon has extensive hands-on experience of facility operations, having spent much of his time from January 2009 to January 2012 working on site throughout the construction, commissioning and testing of the Lancashire waste PFI facilities.

• Provision of expert opinion in relation to contractor PI insurance claims
• Provision of expert opinion in relation to disputes associated with waste facility construction, commissioning and testing
• Assessment of the impacts of waste composition and quality on waste facility performance and the ability to achieve contractual performance requirements
• Assessment of waste treatment technologies (MRF, MBT, AD and composting)
• Acquisition technical and environmental due diligence
• Provision of technical advice and evaluation of tenderer submissions during waste facility procurement processes
• Environmental permitting and environmental risk assessment

Simon is rigorous and methodical in his approach to evaluating issues at waste facilities and issues with the feedstocks supplied to them. His enquiring and friendly demeanour maximises the uncovering of information when reviewing facility operations and when questioning parties involved, e.g. site operators. He always seeks factual evidence to support his opinions and writes plain English reports that convey complicated technical matters in a form readily understood by a non-technical audience. Simon is frequently commended by clients, solicitors and barristers for the quality of his written reports.

Pinsent Masons (2020-ongoing) Expert opinion to inform court proceedings for a dispute relating to termination of a contract for the treatment of bulky waste

A&L Goodbody (2020-ongoing) Expert opinion in the early stages of a dispute related to the design and performance of an AD facility

Eusko Jaurlaritza - Gobierno Vasco - the Basque Government of Spain (2020) Expert opinion on regulation of the conditions of the integrated environmental permit (“IEP”) issued to Verter Recycling 2002 S L for the operation of the Zaldibar non-hazardous Landfill and whether it met the requirements of relevant EU Directives

Mayer Brown (2019-2020) Expert opinion to inform insurers in relation to a large PI insurance claim associated with the advanced thermal treatment (gasification) process at a waste facility treating MSW

Caytons Law (2018-2019) Insurance claim and dispute expert opinion relating to two agricultural feedstock anaerobic digestion facilities with up-grading of biogas to biomethane and carbon dioxide bottling

Womble Bond Dickinson LLP & Francis Wilks & Jones (2017 & 2019) Expert opinion in relation to performance issues at an AD facility, including participation in a formal, one-week, expert determination process

Mayer Brown (2018) Expert opinion to inform insurers in relation to a large PI insurance claim associated with the advanced thermal treatment (gasification) process at a waste facility treating MSW (different contractor and facility to the 2019-2020 project)

Mayer Brown (2012-2018) Expert opinion to inform insurers in relation to a large PI insurance claim, and recovery action, associated with one of the UK’s largest waste PFI projects (MBT technology)

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier (2017-2019) Expert opinion (landfill matters connected with a wider energy from waste project) associated with a dispute between a technology provider and a Middle East government



Member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management

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