Simon joins from leading City commercial law firm Nabarro LLP, which he joined in 1986, and where he was the firm's Senior Partner from 2001 until 2012.
During his time at Nabarro LLP, he spent two years in New York as the firm's US representative partner. He is also on the board of London First, the not-for-profit business organisation.
As Senior Partner, Simon chaired the firm's Partnership Board, with executive responsibility for the strategic direction of the firm and its major client relationships.
During his time at Nabarro, Simon also provided a wide range of general corporate and commercial advice to major corporates and institutions, in particular for inward investment to the UK and Continental Europe.
Simon has had a long relationship with McArthurGlen. He was the company's key legal advisor when McArthurGlen was first set up in Europe during 1993/1994, prior to opening Europe's first designer outlet, Cheshire Oaks, near Chester, in 1995. He also advised McArthurGlen on the company's initial retail development joint venture with BAA plc, now Heathrow Airport Holdings. McArthurGlen went on to buy out BAA plc in 2002 following the decision by the BAA board to sell all non-core assets.
J W Kaempfer, Jr. Chairman, McArthurGlen Group, said: "We are delighted to welcome Simon to McArthurGlen at a time when the company is undergoing a period of unprecedented expansion. Simon's professional experience and wisdom, and his long relationship with our company, will be pivotal in leading McArthurGlen into a new period of growth; this is in terms of not only the amount of retail space that we operate, and the number of centres, but also the McArthurGlen brand itself and the quality of the shopping experience that we offer our nearly 100 million customers annually."
Simon Johnston says: "This is a very exciting time for me to be joining McArthurGlen. It is a dynamic business, with a great track record and exceptional group of people. The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet concept has proven hugely successful since the Group pioneered designer outlets in Europe in the mid-1990s, when I first started working with them. I am delighted to be part of this next phase of its development as it builds on its market-leading position in Europe and looks to explore new opportunities beyond its traditional market."
The Group currently has 21 McArthurGlen Designer Outlets in eight countries across Europe - more outlet space than any other operator - and offers the most sought-after luxury, designer and high-street brands with year-round savings of 30-70% in a unique shopping environment.
The 22nd McArthurGlen Designer Outlet is due to open in late 2014 in Vancouver, Canada as the first McArthurGlen Designer Outlet outside Europe. Further new centres are also planned in the south of France (Provence) and in Belgium (Ghent), as well as expansions to many of the Group's existing Designer Outlets. In all, the Group is currently in development or in planning with nearly 150,000 square metres of new retail space.
Mr. Johnston will be based at the Group's head office in London.