Benjamin Archer is developing a broad practice covering all aspects of commercial litigation, professional liability and public law.

Commercial Law and Professional Liability

Ben has a busy court practice, regularly appearing in the County Court and High Court in claims of a wide range of subject matter within Chambers’ core areas. He has experience of assisting in high value commercial disputes and international arbitrations as well as in the areas of professional liability, insolvency, civil fraud and sports law.

He has a particular interest in the liability of directors of insolvent companies, as well as insolvency (including cross-border work) and company law more broadly. Ben has experience of advising in relation to:

  • Directors’ disqualification and section 17 (leave to act) applications;
  • Wrongful and fraudulent trading claims by officeholders and the assignment of claims;
  • Liquidator and administrator liability.

Ben holds a Ph.D in the field of insolvency law, for which he was awarded Geoff Pillar and Peel Trust scholarships. His thesis, completed under the supervision of leading insolvency academic Professor David Milman, considers the effectiveness of the legal mechanisms by which directors of insolvent companies can be held personally accountable for their misconduct, with a particular focus on directors’ disqualification and wrongful trading proceedings.

More broadly, Ben’s recent work includes:

  • Advising, settling pleadings and appearing in Court in connection with a wide array of professional negligence claims against construction professionals, architects, surveyors and legal professionals;
  • Assisting on a complex arbitration in a claim against construction professionals arising out of an international “mega project”;
  • Assisting on a dispute within the jurisdiction of the Groceries Code Adjudicator.

Ben also has an extensive background in computer programming and UNIX systems administration and is accordingly well placed to take instructions in disputes with an IT or any technical element.

Public Law and Human Rights

Ben previously worked as an employed barrister at the Government Legal Department and maintains a strong level of interest in taking on matters with a public law or human rights related focus.

In his time at GLD, Ben moved across a number of government departments, dealing with a wide range of contentious and advisory matters. During pupillage he regularly appeared in judicial review proceedings for the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in both the Upper Tribunal and the High Court. He later joined the commercial law group within the Department for Work and Pensions, before moving to the insolvency team at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

He is a member of the Attorney General’s “junior junior” scheme and is accordingly able to take instructions from Government clients.

In particular, Ben has experience of and can advise in relation to:

  • Immigration and nationality law;
  • Public procurement matters generally, and disputes arising out of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015;
  • The law surrounding local authority and government grants;
  • School exclusions;
  • Disputes arising out of the Freedom of Information Act 2000;
  • Any insolvency related matters and, in particular, where directors’ disqualification undertakings are sought by the Secretary of State.

Background

Before coming to the Bar, Ben graduated with a first class degree in law from Lancaster University. Throughout his doctoral studies, he regularly led tutorials in a range of undergraduate modules including torts, contracts, trusts, and public law. Ben was Called by Lincoln’s Inn, from whom he has received Lord Denning, Megarry and Hardwicke Entrance scholarships. Ben was also the recipient of a BPTC Excellence Award.

Publications