>>1949 – 2008<<
Miss Simmons, who had been a Recorder since 1994, was appointed a Chairman of the Competition Appeal Tribunal in 2003 and played a significant part as its work expanded under the Enterprise Act 2002 and the Communications Act 2003. Having worked closely with Sir Christopher Bellamy QC, the first President, she provided vital leadership and encouragement to colleagues during the interregnum of nearly a year that preceded the arrival of Sir Gerald Barling as the new President in November 2007. Cases she chaired at the Tribunal included Celesio, Cityhook, Floe and most recently the Emerson claims. She had continued to practise from 3-4 South Square where she was much valued as an advocate, adviser and arbitrator.
She played parallel roles in a number of other bodies, including being Vice Chairman Appeals Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales 2000-2005, a member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal Restricted Patients Panel 2000, an Assistant Boundary Commissioner 2000, and sitting on or chairing other Disciplinary and Appeal Tribunals. In October 2007, she was appointed to chair the Persons Appointed Panel of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and was working with determination on material for that Panel and for the Tribunal up to a few days before her death.
A graduate, LLB & LLM, of Queen Mary College, University of London, she had continued her involvement and had been encouraging Dr Maher Dabbah and his colleagues in the work of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Competition Law and Policy. She complemented a heavy case load
with both writing and speaking on professional topics. She took an active part in the life of Gray’s Inn of which she was elected a bencher in 1993.
She was heavily involved in the life of the Bar as a profession serving as Chairman of the Waivers and Designations Committee of the Bar Council, Chairman of the Continuing Education Sub-Committee of the Joint Regulation Committee of the Bar Council as well as being on the Joint Regulations Committee itself, the Professional Conduct Committee and on various disciplinary tribunals. An achievement of which she was particularly proud was her instrumental role in the establishment of structured advocacy training schemes by the Inns of Court. She also played a lively role in the Association of European Competition Law Judges making valuable personal links with colleagues across the European Union. She delighted in the professional development of her former pupils and in working with colleagues and référendaires at the Tribunal.
During her illness, Marion Simmons had been supported by her sister, Jenny, her brother-in-law Harvey, by her nephews, Nicolas and Mark as well as by her niece Sara, and by a tremendously loyal network of professional colleagues and friends – their visits, e-mails and appreciation of who Marion has been as a colleague and as a friend having enlightened this part of her full life. Through her treatment, Marion had continued to live and work, offering hospitality at her Sussex home, appreciating theatre and concerts, and performing her professional duties.
The funeral service took place at Bushy Jewish Cemetery in Hertfordshire on Sunday 4 May 2008. That service was followed by the evening prayers at her sister’s home with the customary period of mourning.