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Ben Elkington QC

Call: 1996 QC: 2012


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 “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 “fantastically intellectually able”; 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 for clients, 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. 

Reviews in the Directories:

Commercial Litigation:

"He is fantastically intellectually able and enormously charismatic. He has judges eating out of the palm of his hand." "He is utterly and disarmingly charming, and an extremely bright guy." (Chambers & Partners 2016, Commercial Dispute Resolution).

Fantastic on his feet and with clients who value his concise, unstuffy approach” (Legal 500 2016, Commercial Litigation).

"An exceptionally able, persuasive and always reliable commercial silk." "He understands what commercial clients need, and can speak their language in a non-patronising way. His attention to detail is excellent and he comes up with curveball ideas that actually work." (Chambers & Partners 2015,

Commercial Dispute Resolution).

‘Commercial, approachable and very good with clients.' (Legal 500 2015, Commercial Litigation).

“Has firmly established a solid reputation in the commercial litigation arena.  He has strong insurance, professional negligence and property damage experience.  Responsive, intelligent and very user-friendly.”  (Chambers & Partners 2014, Commercial Dispute Resolution).


"He is an excellent advocate with a great eye for detail." (Chambers and Partners 2016, Insurance).

"He is very well regarded within the market and is viewed as a rising star within the Bar.  ‘He’s very good with clients and has great strategic insight’” (Chambers and Partners 2015, Insurance).

“The always impressive Ben Elkington is an excellent academic, and practical.” (Legal 500 2014, Insurance).

“Impresses barristers and instructing solicitors with his skill in insurance and reinsurance matters.  He is well versed in a wide variety of claims, including those related to brokers’ negligence and property damage.  He’s very good with clients, and has great strategic insight.” (Chambers & Partners 2014, Insurance).

Professional Liability:

"Precise, thorough and provides a strong analysis." "Very engaged, reliable and approachable. A pleasure to work with and a great asset to have on your side."(Chambers & Partners 2016, Professional Negligence).

Very engaged, reliable and approachable” (Legal 500 2016, Professional Negligence).

"Advises on the full remit of professional negligence disputes.  He demonstrates a particular expertise in insurance brokers’ negligence cases.  ‘He is professional, incredibly bright and offers commercial, practical and strategic advice." "Fantastic to work with; he's very reliable and down to earth.’" (Chambers & Partners 2015, Professional Negligence).

“Praised as a new-style silk, he’s particularly praised for his insurance-related work.  Very good with clients and a man of great strategic insight… Impresses solicitors with the way he gets buried into the fundamentals without getting distracted by the window dressing when handling multiparty claims.” (Chambers & Partners 2014, Professional Negligence).

Property Damage:

"He's very quick and very smooth. He has the complete confidence of the bench and of clients." (Chambers & Partners 2016, Property Damage).

“Ben is professional and incredibly bright, and offers commercial, practical and strategic advice. He is also very responsive and an excellent team player."(Chambers & Partners 2015, Property Damage).

Has a broad practice that encompasses professional negligence, insurance and professional liability cases.  His adroit handling of all three types of claims leads sources to highlight him as a great choice for property damage work.  ‘He’s very personable and gets on well with his clients.’ ‘In court he is particularly sensitive to the needs of judges, but he can also be quite tenacious with witnesses.’” (Chambers & Partners 2014, Property Damage).

Previous comments in the directories include: “outstanding”; “absolutely first-rate”; “a very good and dangerous opponent.”;  “responsive and easy to deal with”; “so thoroughly dedicated that he works like a Trojan to get the job done”; “Clients say he is ‘approachable and very knowledgeable’ and admire his “sound judgement and commercial approach, born of the way he ‘thinks through issues very comprehensively’”; “receives praise for his ‘deft handling of clients and enviable strategic insight.”

Professional Background:

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.


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)