Ben specialises in commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on cases with a financial or fraud angle, especially those in the Chancery or professional liability fields.
Ben is rated in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 for his Professional Liability work. Described by the 2016 editions as “extremely sound on the law, brilliant on his feet in court and fantastically commercial", "excellent - he provides a friendly service and is tenacious in court" and "a really good sounding board who provides very pragmatic advice"; “he thinks around a situation beautifully and comes up with well-crafted arguments and strategies”. In past years, he was noted as “brilliant in cross-examination” with “a real depth of knowledge in the area, which adds real value” and “very bright and user friendly, with an ability to get to grips with the key issues quickly”.
Recent instructions have sent Ben to the Court of Appeal (both led and on his own), Commercial Court, TCC, QB and Chancery Divisions. Ben has also been appointed as a Deputy District Judge.
Outside his professional liability practice, he has advised and appeared in cases as diverse as a commercial kitchen dispute, joint venture property developments, agency commission payments, the Consumer Credit Acts, insurance coverage claims, the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on mortgage agreements, probate mediation and restrictive covenants in employment contracts.
Ben has considerable experience in the High Court and County Court, regularly appearing in a wide range of trials, appeals and interim applications. In a recent case (Kandola v. Mirza  EWHC 460 (Ch), reported at  PNLR 19), which was a professional liability claim against a solicitor, the Judge commented upon Ben’s “very able cross examination”. Similarly, in Jumani v. Mortgage Express  EWHC 1571 (Ch), which raised questions of contractual construction, compromise and Law of Property Act receiverships, the fruits of Ben’s cross-examination featured extensively in the judgment. The same matter took Ben to the Court of Appeal:  EWCA Civ 1455.
Led by Nicholas Davidson QC, Ben appeared for the claimant in Newcastle International Airport Ltd v. Eversheds  1 WLR 3073, at first instance and in the Court of Appeal. The case raises questions of a solicitor’s duty where he takes instructions from an officer of their client (in this case, the airport) who is also on the other side of a transaction (in this case, the chief executive in relation to his own service contract).
Ben also appeared as sole advocate before Lewison J in Thompson v. Foy  1 P&CR 16, a seven day trial involving claims of undue influence, overriding interests and proprietary estoppel. He has been instructed in claims under Section 423 of the Insolvency Act, freezing injunctions, applications to commit for contempt, and complex multi-party solicitors’ negligence claims. In addition, Ben was instructed as a junior in the Commercial Court group litigation following the collapse of The Accident Group; and in high value solicitors’ negligence actions in the Chancery Division involving disputes over a 20 year old land swap agreement and defective tax advice.
Ben also has experience of foreign jurisdictions. He is currently instructed as sole UK counsel in an offshore dispute relating to the management and administration of an investment fund.
Before coming to the Bar, Ben worked at Procter & Gamble and then joined NM Rothschild & Sons, where he worked as a corporate finance adviser. Whilst at Rothschild in the European Mergers and Acquisitions team, Ben was involved in numerous transactions, notably the £2bn Marks & Spencer restructuring and European store disposals and the ECJ determination of the Competition Commissioner’s prohibition of the takeover of Sidel by Tetra Laval.
Outside Chambers, Ben enjoys diving, skiing and sailing – at least when his (self-inflicted) dodgy knee permits.
Scholarships and prizes
- Hardwicke Scholarship
- Lord Brougham Scholarship
- Sir Peter Millett Prize
- Eastham Scholarship
- Deputy District Judge (County Court and District Registry)
- Education & Training Committee, Bar Standards Board (Barrister member)
- Advocacy Tutor (Lincoln’s Inn)
- Chancery Bar Association
- Professional Negligence Bar Association
BA (Hons), Classics from St John’s College, Oxford; Graduate Diploma in Law, City University