Benjamin Archer has a broad practice covering all aspects of commercial litigation, professional liability and public law.
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, company and insolvency, civil fraud and sports law.
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.
Recent highlights from Ben’s insolvency and companies work include:
- Financial Conduct Authority v Carillion plc (in liquidation)  EWHC 2146 (Ch): representing former construction giant Carillion plc. Carillion was successful in establishing that regulatory action by the Financial Conduct Authority fell within the statutory moratorium on actions and proceedings against companies in liquidation under section 130(2) of the Insolvency Act 1986. Led by Catherine Addy QC (Maitland);
- Advising on directors’ disqualification matters, and section 17 (leave to act) applications;
- Acting in an unfair prejudice petition
- Advising on restorations to the register of companies;
- Assisting on a fraudulent trading claim by an officeholder;
- Advising as to officeholder liability
More broadly, Ben’s recent and ongoing 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. He is currently acting as sole counsel in a professional negligence claim pleaded at over £1.5m;
- Acting in and advising on proceedings brought against High Court Enforcement Officers and Enforcement Agents, including as to interim relief;
- Acting in a number of disciplinary matters brought against legal professionals
- Advising on Norwich Pharmacal applications against Internet Service Providers;
- Assisting on a complex arbitration in a claim against construction professionals arising out of an international “mega project”;
- Advising as to the admissibility of criminal convictions within civil proceedings;
- Assisting on a dispute within the jurisdiction of the Groceries Code Adjudicator;
- Advising and acting to obtain interim/final charging orders
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. During that time Ben 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 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:
- Any insolvency related matters and, in particular, where directors’ disqualification undertakings or orders are sought by the Secretary of State;
- 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 and Data Protection Act 2018.
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.