Ben has 20 years’ experience of dealing with professional liability disputes. The quality of his work is acknowledged in the directories as follows:
“Ben is always on top of the finer details while keeping in mind the bigger picture. He’s very engaged, reliable and personable, a fantastic asset on your side.” – Chambers and Partners 2017, Professional Negligence.
“Very hands on, hardworking and responsive” – Legal 500 2017, Professional Negligence.
“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
“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’, he ‘understands the issues that come hand in hand when you work for insurers.’ 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.
“Outstanding” – Legal 500, 2013 Professional Negligence
“Handles negligence claims against all professions, and is noted for his ‘measured and realistic’ advice which looks at both the commercial and legal implications of a case. Sources were keen to keen to point out his particular expertise in claims against insurance brokers, and attest to the value they place upon his ‘great strategic insight’” – Chambers & Partners 2013, Professional Negligence
In one case (in which Ben gave evidence) the trial judge stated: “it is beyond dispute that Mr Elkington [was] highly experienced and competent in the field [of professional liability]”  EWHC 3008 (Ch).
Ben’s experience spans the entire range of professions, but he has particular expertise in claims against insurance brokers, financial services professionals, lawyers, accountants and valuers.
View Ben’s notable cases below.
Financial Services Professionals
For many years Ben has had an interest in and been involved in claims against financial services professionals, particular IFAs. He was the author of the chapter on claims against IFAs in Jackson & Powell: Professional Liability Precedents.
Ben acts for both investors, advisers and product providers. He is often asked to assist with complaints to the Ombudsman, as well as litigation in the courts. He has experience of a wide range of claims – from mis-selling of pensions, endowments, etc; poor investment advice; inadequate exercise of discretionary powers; penny shares; spread betting; Alpha funds; tax-saving schemes (including film finance, charity shell and SDLT avoidance schemes); collective investment schemes, etc.
Ben has been involved in some of the leading decisions relating to claims against financial advisers. See the cases below.
Insurance Brokers & Agents
Ben is rightly regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of claims against insurance brokers. For many years he has been the editor of the chapter on claims against insurance brokers in Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability, and he has been invited to speak to the PNBA, COMBAR, conferences, law firms and groups of insurance brokers on the topic. He is an adviser to the Insurance Brokers’ Standards Council.
Ben acts for both claimants and defendants. His cases cover the whole spectrum of claims: failures to effect insurance; misrepresentations and non-disclosures by brokers; inadequate sums insured; inadequate scope of cover; inadequate advice on policy terms; failures to renew; failures to notify insurers; etc.
As well as having a heavy paper practice, Ben often goes to court. He has been involved in several of the important cases involving insurance brokers, including the following.
Since the first day of his pupillage Ben has enjoyed a steady diet of claims against lawyers, both solicitors and barristers. He acts for both claimants and defendants across the whole spectrum of claims: disputes arising out of inadequately drafted commercial agreements; inadequate conveyancing; mishandled litigation; mortgage fraud, etc.
Ben’s reported decisions relating to claims involving solicitors or barristers include the following cases.
Surveyors & Valuers
Ben is regularly instructed to advise and act on behalf of banks, special purpose lenders, borrowers, valuers and surveyors in claims relating to dishonest or negligent advice given in relation to commercial or residential properties and property portfolios. He has successfully surfed the waves of claims arising out of the property crash in the late 1980s and the more recent credit crunch. His depth of experience means that he is fully familiar with the key issues of scope of duty, breach, reliance, contributory fault, assignments, securitisation and limitation that such claims typically give rise to. He acts for both claimants and defendants, and in relation to claims arising out of advice given regarding both commercial and residential properties and property portfolios. The claims often involve allegations of fraud against the valuer.
Examples of Ben’s recent instructions include:
- Acting on behalf of a specialist mortgage lender against a valuer in proceedings arising out of allegedly negligent valuations of over 100 properties.
- Acting on behalf of a well known valuer in £70m proceedings arising out of an allegedly negligent valuation of one of the largest distribution warehouses in Europe.
- Acting on behalf of a leading valuation expert in proceedings in which it is alleged he acted negligently when acting as an expert in underlying £500m proceedings.
- Acting on behalf of a valuer defending proceedings brought by a trustee alleging negligence in respect of the valuation of a portfolio of commercial properties.
- Acting on behalf of a high street lender in proceedings against a top tier valuer arising out of an allegedly negligent valuation of substantial commercial premises.
- Acting on behalf of a lender in an appeal to determine whether or not a lender’s claim was barred as a result of the appropriation of proceeds of sale.
Ben is not afraid to back his own judgment, and successfully took the following cases to trial.
Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries
Ben is regularly instructed to act in relation to claims against accountants, auditors and actuaries. His clients include individuals, partnerships and companies, and he defends companies large and small. The claims he handles cover a wide range: inadequate preparation of management and company accounts; negligent tax advice relating to IHT, CGT, income tax, corporation tax or tax planning; inadequate preparation of reports for lenders; allegations relating to audits, etc.
Ben is one of a small band of barristers who regularly handles claims against patent agents, acting for both claimants and defendants. He appeared in one of the few reported cases relating to such a claim: Finecard International Ltd v Urguhart Dyke & Lord (A Firm) & Michael Ajello  PNLR 16;  FSR 27;  EWHC 2481 (Ch).