Call: 1996 QC: 2012
“Intellectually brilliant, approachable, charismatic and always commercial”
(Legal 500 2017, Commercial Litigation).
“He is one of those people who’s got a brain the size of a planet. He is assured, user-friendly and makes a real difference to the outcome of cases.”
(Chambers and Partners 2017, Insurance).
Since taking silk in 2012, Ben has been kept busy with high quality instructions. The focus of his practice is on commercial litigation, including insurance and professional liability disputes, frequently with an international dimension. He is consistently ranked in the directories as a leading silk in the fields of commercial dispute resolution, insurance, professional negligence, and property damage.
A modern approach: Ben is rightly described as a “new-style silk” who has an “unstuffy approach” and is “personable” and “down to earth.” He is reported to be “very user-friendly” and “fantastic to work with.” He aims to understand his clients and their needs, and to provide them with clear and comprehensible advice. The directories state that he is “very good with clients” and that he “understands what commercial clients need, and can speak their language in a non-patronising way.”
In depth analysis: Ben has an outstanding academic background: he took a Double First in Law at Cambridge and, after completing a Masters in Law in the USA, was the top ranked student in his year at Bar School. He brings intellectual vigour to his cases. Comments in the directories include “intellectually brilliant”; “fantastically intellectually able”; “brain the size of a planet”; an “excellent academic” and “incredibly bright.”
First rate advocacy: Ben is not afraid to back his judgment and run matters to trial if necessary. The list of his reported cases (over 45) is testament to his advocacy experience. This is acknowledged in the directories, which report that he is “fantastic on his feet”, “has the complete confidence of the bench” and “has judges eating out of the palm of his hand.” He has been described as “a very good and dangerous opponent.”
What he adds: Ben brings enthusiasm, insight, determination and sound judgment to his work. In each case he strives to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients. He acts for claimants and defendants in equal measure, which gives him a real advantage. The directories report that he is “a man of great strategic insight” who “offers commercial, practical and strategic advice” and is “a great asset to have on your side.”
As well as acting as an advocate and adviser, Ben acts as an arbitrator and he has also accepted instructions to act as an expert on English law. He has been called to the New York Bar and (ad hoc) to the Bar of the Cayman Islands.
Ben was previously admitted to the New York Bar and worked for Sullivan & Cromwell in Manhattan. He was a judicial assistant to the Court of Appeal. He has been an editor of Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability since 2002. He is a committee member of COMBAR, and a member of the PNBA, LCLCBA and BILA. He is an adviser to the Insurance Brokers’ Standards Council.
Ben was top of his year in Bar Finals in 1996. Before that he took a First in Law from Cambridge University, followed by a Masters in Law from the University of Virginia. He is a scholar of each of (i) Cambridge University; (ii) Trinity College, Cambridge; (iii) Gray’s Inn; and (iv) the Inns of Court School of Law. He was one of the first of his year of call to take silk. He has a diploma in International Arbitration (CIArb).
Ben lives in London with wife and 4 young children. When not at work he can usually be found with his family on the Isle of Mull making camp fires in the rain, walking, and trying (and generally failing) to catch fish.
M.A. (Cantab.) LL.M. (Virginia)