Benjamin Fowler’s practice encompasses a broad range of commercial litigation and arbitration, with a particular focus on construction and engineering, professional liability and costs.

Benjamin is an experienced junior advocate with significant experience in litigation, arbitration and adjudication.  He has appeared in the Court of Appeal and High Court (led and as sole counsel) as well as the SCCO and County Court on a wide variety of matters encompassing general commercial litigation, construction, professional negligence and costs.

Ranked as a leading junior in the Legal 500 for Professional Negligence, Benjamin has been described asTechnically gifted both in writing and orally. – Legal 500, 2020

Benjamin’s recent and current instructions include:

  • Redbourn Group Ltd v Fairgate Development Ltd [2017] EWHC 1223 (TCC) (Coulson J) Acting for the Claimant project managers in their successful opposition to the Defendant property developer’s application to set aside default judgment. Benjamin acted as sole counsel in the four-day quantum hearing which concerned issues of damages for repudiatory breach of contract against a background of property development and planning – [2018] EWHC 658 (TCC).
  • Quaradeghini v Mischcon de Reya [2019]: sole Counsel in a lost litigation claim arising out of banking proceedings
  • A piling works construction claim in the Jersey Royal Courts
  • Sole Counsel in a three-day trial in the Queen’s Bench Division (April 2018). A solicitors negligence claim concerning conveyancing and planning enforcement. Benjamin successfully resisted an application to amend the Particulars of Claim on limitation grounds and the claim was dismissed on grounds of no duty of care and causation.
  • Led by David Turner QC in Muduroglu v Stephenson Harwood (A Firm) [2017] EWHC 29 (Ch), successfully striking out allegations against solicitors who acted for the claimant in property development and share transactions. Includes issues of limitation, amendments made under CPR Part 17, and allegations of dishonest assistance and breach of trust.
  • Led by Fiona Sinclair QC in a delay claim brought by the main contractor against architects and M&E consultants arising from a luxury London apartment development.
  • Sole Counsel in a claim in arbitration for delay and damages brought by an employer against architects of a prestigious UK art gallery.
  • Led by Ben Hubble QC in Guney v Kingsley Napley [2016] EWHC 2349 (QB). Acting for defendant solicitors in a claim arising from five years’ of family litigation, concerning issues of domicile and claims for financial provision under the 1975 Inheritance Act. Succeeded in having several heads of loss struck out and the Claimants’ applications to amend refused.

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Areas of Expertise

Commercial

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Commercial litigation is at the heart of Benjamin’s practice.   He deals with a wide range of commercial disputes across a variety of industry sectors addressing issues such as contractual disputes, negligence claims, breach of fiduciary and directors’ duty, breach of trust (including accessory liability), banking disputes, shareholder disputes, breach of confidence and misuse of private information.  He has experience of advising on jurisdictional matters and conflicts of laws, which in turn formed a significant part of his academic legal studies.

Benjamin also has experience of pre-action and interim applications including freezing injunctions and security for costs.

Recent instructions include acting as sole counsel in a four-day TCC trial on causation and quantum concerning damages for repudiatory breach of contract (Redbourn Group Ltd v Fairgate Developments Ltd [2018] EWHC 658 (TCC).

Cases

Redbourn Group Limited v Fairgate Development Limited

[2018] EWHC 658 (TCC) – Sole counsel in a four-day quantum hearing in the TCC to assess the value of the Claimant&...

[2017] EWHC 1223 (TCC)
[2017] EWHC 1223 (TCC)
Redbourn Group Limited v Fairgate Development Limited

[2018] EWHC 658 (TCC) – Sole counsel in a four-day quantum hearing in the TCC to assess the value of the Claimant’s claim for damages for repudiatory breach of contract following default judgment on liability.

Obtaining a freezing injunction in the High Court

In the context of a claim to enforce a loan agreement which was resolved in favour of Benjamin’s client at trial. ...

Obtaining a freezing injunction in the High Court

In the context of a claim to enforce a loan agreement which was resolved in favour of Benjamin’s client at trial.

Muduroglu v Stephenson Harwood [2017] EWHC 29 (Ch)

Muduroglu v Stephenson Harwood (A Firm) [2017] EWHC 29 (Ch)  A complex professional negligence claim relating to the ...

Muduroglu v Stephenson Harwood [2017] EWHC 29 (Ch)

Muduroglu v Stephenson Harwood (A Firm) [2017] EWHC 29 (Ch)  A complex professional negligence claim relating to the solicitors’ conduct of a series of share purchase agreements, loan agreements and property transactions against a background of fraud.  Led by David Turner QC.   The claim was struck out (and amendments refused on limitation grounds).

Claim against Insurance Brokers

Acting for insurance brokers in a claim brought against them and two insurers under EL policies.   Engages issues of po...

Claim against Insurance Brokers

Acting for insurance brokers in a claim brought against them and two insurers under EL policies.   Engages issues of policy interpretation, rectification, dual insurance and gaps in cover.

Acting for a software company

In a claim which raises issues of conversion, unjust enrichment, retention of property rights and constructive trusts. ...

Acting for a software company

In a claim which raises issues of conversion, unjust enrichment, retention of property rights and constructive trusts.

Dispute between shareholders and co-directors of a company

Involving issues of fraud and breach of directors’ and fiduciary duties.

Dispute between shareholders and co-directors of a company

Involving issues of fraud and breach of directors’ and fiduciary duties.

Advice regarding disputed multi-million pound share sale

Advising in a dispute arising from a multi-million pound share sale.

Advice regarding disputed multi-million pound share sale

Advising in a dispute arising from a multi-million pound share sale.

Advising on liability

Advising on liability under the Bribery Act 2010.

Advising on liability

Advising on liability under the Bribery Act 2010.

Construction

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Construction comprises a significant proportion of Benjamin’s practice, acting and advising for employers, contractors and sub-contractors in disputes in the High Court (in particular the Technology and Construction Court) and the County Court as well as adjudication and arbitration.  He has been instructed in relation to several high-profile construction and engineering projects in the UK, including motorways, nuclear-implicated and marine installations and commercial and residential property.

Benjamin has acted on claims for and against construction professionals, including architects, structural engineers, concrete suppliers and interior designers involving standard form and bespoke contracts.   He has experience of the major forms of construction and engineering contracts, including JCT and NEC3.   He has experience of litigation and arbitration where the underlying issues include mechanical and electrical engineering, civil and marine engineering, concrete, subsidence, traffic flow modelling, public procurement and nuclear safety and engineering.

Since commencing practice, and in addition to acting as a junior on high value disputes, a significant proportion of Benjamin’s construction practice has been as sole counsel.   He regularly acts for both employers and contractors and is comfortable appearing before any tribunal whether led or not.

Recent work includes:

  • acting as sole counsel in Redbourn Group Ltd v Fairgate Development Ltd [2018] EWHC 658 (TCC); [2017] EWHC 1223 (TCC)
  • representing an architect in RIBA disciplinary proceedings
  • sole counsel for an architectural practice in arbitration proceedings arising from the design and design coordination of a prestigious UK art gallery.
  • a claim in the Jersey Royal Court concerning defective piling works

Cases

Redbourn Group Limited v Fairgate Development Limited

Benjamin acts for the Claimant project managers who succeeded in resisting the Defendant developer’s application ...

[2017] EWHC 1223 (TCC)
[2017] EWHC 1223 (TCC)
Redbourn Group Limited v Fairgate Development Limited

Benjamin acts for the Claimant project managers who succeeded in resisting the Defendant developer’s application to set aside default judgment in a claim arising from a large mixed commercial/residential development in Wembley.   Mr Justice Coulson considered the interrelationship between CPR 13.3 and 3.9 and made important findings on the nature of promptness for the purposes of CPR 13.3(2).

At a four-day hearing before Andrew Bartlett QC (sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court) the Claimant’s claim for damages was assessed.  This involved consideration of issues and evidence around planning issues in the context of the London Plan and local planning authority requirements.

Private:

A claim in the Jersey Royal Courts arising out of piling design and implementation

Private:

A claim in the Jersey Royal Courts arising out of piling design and implementation

A complex claim in arbitration

Worth in excess of £100 million concerning a nuclear-implicated installation; involving issues of civil and marine engi...

A complex claim in arbitration

Worth in excess of £100 million concerning a nuclear-implicated installation; involving issues of civil and marine engineering, M&E installation and delay.  Led by Roger Stewart QC and Anneliese Day QC.    The claim also incorporated an adjudication.

Adjudication under the Scheme for Construction Contracts (England and Wales) Regulations 1998

Click to read description

Adjudication under the Scheme for Construction Contracts (England and Wales) Regulations 1998

Acting for the contractor in a fee claim under a bespoke Maximum Price Target Cost contract, concerning issues of deductions for rework

Arbitration

Concerning motorway construction and public sector procurement (led by Anneliese Day QC).

Arbitration

Concerning motorway construction and public sector procurement (led by Anneliese Day QC).

A claim against an architect

Led by Fiona Sinclair QC in a delay claim brought by the main contractor against architects and M&E consultants aris...

A claim against an architect

Led by Fiona Sinclair QC in a delay claim brought by the main contractor against architects and M&E consultants arising from a prestigious London residential development.

Linked claims against structural engineers

Obtaining summary judgment in linked claims against structural engineers arising from a loft conversion.

Linked claims against structural engineers

Obtaining summary judgment in linked claims against structural engineers arising from a loft conversion.

CIP Properties (AIPT) Limited v Galliford Try Infrastructure Limited v (1) EIC Limited (2) Kone PLC (3) DLG Architects LLP (4) Damond Lock Grabowski & Partners.

Click to read description

[2015] EWHC 481 (TCC)
[2015] EWHC 481 (TCC)
CIP Properties (AIPT) Limited v Galliford Try Infrastructure Limited v (1) EIC Limited (2) Kone PLC (3) DLG Architects LLP (4) Damond Lock Grabowski & Partners.

With Fiona Sinclair QC and Sian Mirchandani, acting for the architects DLG, resisting a main contractor’s £6m contribution and damages claim following the settlement of the developer claimant’s defects claim.  The action related to the construction of the landmark “Broadway Plaza” development in Birmingham with allegations concerning the design of drainage and waterproofing.

Acting for property owners

Acting for the employer in a claim against the main contractor and engineers arising from a basement development in a mu...

Acting for property owners

Acting for the employer in a claim against the main contractor and engineers arising from a basement development in a multi-million pound London residential property.

Claim against building contractors

Concerning allegations relating to the failure to install damp-proofing measures

Claim against building contractors

Concerning allegations relating to the failure to install damp-proofing measures

Claim against structural engineers

Following subsidence, involving issues of soil dessication, tree removal and NHBC guidelines

Claim against structural engineers

Following subsidence, involving issues of soil dessication, tree removal and NHBC guidelines

Professional Liability

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Technically gifted both in writing and orally.” – Legal 500, 2020

Benjamin has experience in all aspects of professional liability and regularly advises and acts on behalf of both claimants and defendants in claims against lawyers, construction professionals (including architects and structural engineers), surveyors and valuers, insurance brokers, accountants and financial professionals.  In lawyers’ claims, Benjamin has experience of cases including conveyancing, lost litigation, underlying family proceedings, probate, mortgage lending, corporate transactions and tax advice.  Benjamin has also acted for defendant solicitors and planning consultants in a claim arising from a lost chance to obtain planning permission and appeal an enforcement notice and refusal of planning permission.

Recent work includes:

Quaradeghini v Mischon de Reya (Ch Div, 2019) acting as sole counsel in a lost litigation claim arising from the Defendant’s handling of a claim brought against the Claimants by Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

Tomlinson v TW Solicitors (QB, 2018) as sole counsel, successfully defeating a claim against solicitors following a three-day trial in the Queen’s Bench Division.

Muduroglu v Stephenson Harwood (A Firm) [2017] EWHC 29 (Ch) as junior to David Turner QC, striking out claims against solicitors arising out of their handling of share sale agreements and warranties and complex loan transactions and trust arrangements.

 

Cases

Muduroglu v Stephenson Harwood [2017] EWHC 29 (Ch)

Led by David Turner QC, successfully striking out claims against a firm of solicitors brought by a former client. ...

Muduroglu v Stephenson Harwood [2017] EWHC 29 (Ch)

Led by David Turner QC, successfully striking out claims against a firm of solicitors brought by a former client.

Guney v Kingsley Napley

Acting (led by Ben Hubble QC) for defendant solicitors in a claim arising from five years’ of family litigation, conce...

[2016] EWHC 2349 (QB)
[2016] EWHC 2349 (QB)
Guney v Kingsley Napley

Acting (led by Ben Hubble QC) for defendant solicitors in a claim arising from five years’ of family litigation, concerning issues of domicile and claims for financial provision under the 1975 Inheritance Act. Succeeded in having several heads of loss struck out and the Claimants’ applications to amend refused.

Claim against Insurance Brokers

Acting for Defendant insurance brokers in a claim brought by an insured against two EL insurers and the broker.    C...

Claim against Insurance Brokers

Acting for Defendant insurance brokers in a claim brought by an insured against two EL insurers and the broker.    Concerns issues of dual insurance, policy interpretation, gaps in coverage, rectification and exemptions.

Acting for defendant solicitors

A claim for wrongful advice in relation to a termination notice in an agency agreement.

Acting for defendant solicitors

A claim for wrongful advice in relation to a termination notice in an agency agreement.

Claim against solicitors

Advising on limitation in the context of a claim against solicitors for failing to obtain a first legal charge for a mor...

Claim against solicitors

Advising on limitation in the context of a claim against solicitors for failing to obtain a first legal charge for a mortgagee.

Acting for an IFA

A claim arising from a series of investments in a fund which is alleged to have been a UCIS, including alleged breaches ...

Acting for an IFA

A claim arising from a series of investments in a fund which is alleged to have been a UCIS, including alleged breaches of FSMA and COBS.

Lenders claims

Including acting for defendant solicitors in a claim for breach of trust and failure to obtain security, raising issues ...

Lenders claims

Including acting for defendant solicitors in a claim for breach of trust and failure to obtain security, raising issues of contributory negligence, mitigation and appropriate remediation.

Acting for IFAs

In a spate of claims arising from investments entered into prior to the global financial crisis where it was alleged tha...

Acting for IFAs

In a spate of claims arising from investments entered into prior to the global financial crisis where it was alleged that the investments were outside the claimants’ risk profile.  Most involve detailed consideration of limitation which have led to successful summary judgment applications and drop-hands settlements.

Acting for defendant solicitors

In a claim brought by a firm previously instructed in the same underlying matter, alleging failure to recover their cost...

Acting for defendant solicitors

In a claim brought by a firm previously instructed in the same underlying matter, alleging failure to recover their costs.

Acting for defendant accountants

In a contribution claim against tax advisors and providers of an EFRBS tax avoidance scheme.

Acting for defendant accountants

In a contribution claim against tax advisors and providers of an EFRBS tax avoidance scheme.

Sole counsel in the Court of Appeal

Arising from the under-settlement of divorce proceedings.

Sole counsel in the Court of Appeal

Arising from the under-settlement of divorce proceedings.

International Arbitration

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Benjamin has extensive experience of arbitration, in particular large-scale construction arbitration.   Benjamin acted (led by Roger Stewart QC and Anneliese Day QC) on behalf of contractors in a complex arbitration claim worth in excess of £100 million relating to a nuclear installation.  He is currently acting as sole counsel in the preliminary stages of an arbitration between employer and architect arising from a prestigious art gallery development.   

Benjamin is a member of IBA and YIAG.

Cases

Acting for contractors

A complex arbitration claim worth in excess of £100 million relating to a nuclear installation. Led by Roger Stewart QC...

Acting for contractors

A complex arbitration claim worth in excess of £100 million relating to a nuclear installation. Led by Roger Stewart QC and Anneliese Day QC.

Costs

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Benjamin has a busy practice in costs work.   He has been instructed on a variety of costs matters, which include the following:

  • Led by Nicholas Bacon QC in the Supreme Court on a successful application relating to CFA enforceability on appeal from the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland (Denise Brewster v NILGOSC [2017] UKSC 8).
  • Detailed and provisional assessment proceedings in the SCCO and County Court.  In particular:
    • Enforceability issues arising from the assignment of CFAs.
    • Acting on behalf of a successful claimant appealing a provisional assessment of an ATE premium which was subsequently held to be wholly recoverable.
    • An appeal of a decision on the recoverability of an ATE premium.
  • Solicitor-client assessments under s. 71 Solicitors Act 1974, including
    • applications for permission to commence detailed assessment proceedings outside the 1-month period and “special circumstances” cases;
    • acting in detailed assessment proceedings;
    • applications for delivery of files and enforceability of liens; and
    • advising on strategy and issues such as costs of assessments, liens, and interest.
  • Setting aside of default costs certificates and applications for relief from sanctions following late service of Points of Dispute.
  • Advising on Part 36 formalities including the date of acceptance following the settlement of an extensive group action.
  • Advising on the application of QOCS in claims with an element of personal injury.

 

Benjamin has extensive experience of dealing with costs management in both the County Court and High Court.

Chancery

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Benjamin’s commercial and property practice regularly involves consideration of issues of a chancery nature such as breach of directors’ duties, breach of fiduciary duties, breach of trust and proprietary remedies.    Benjamin has significant experience of trusts of land, including claims under the Trusts of Land and Trustees Act 1996.

Benjamin has experience of and has given talks on issues of will preparation, probate and administration in a professional liability context, including claims from disappointed beneficiaries.

Benjamin regularly advises and acts for high street banks and other lenders in various aspects of mortgage law, appearing in the Court of Appeal, High Court and County Court.  Benjamin regularly deals with complex possession matters and rectification (including subrogation claims and vesting orders).   Recent work includes:

  • Sole counsel in the Court of Appeal resisting an application for permission to appeal a decision of the High Court refusing a stay of execution of a warrant for possession on human rights grounds.
  • Sole Counsel in the High Court resisting various applications for interim injunctions and stays of execution brought by tenants and mortgagors.
  • Obtaining a High Court Freezing Injunction relation to a claim to enforce a loan agreement and promise to secure the loan by way of a second charge
  • Acting as Sole Counsel in a successful common intention constructive trust claim relating to residential property following a five-day trial which was reported in the national press.
  • Acting in a subrogation claim in the Lands Tribunal arising out of a mortgage fraud.
  • Successfully representing a lender appealing an enforcement notice over a series of flats built without planning permission in a two-day planning inquiry.  The appeal was brought on the basis that the notice was brought after a period of four years of continuous use in breach of planning permission.  It also required consideration of the test for positive deception under the Welwyn principle.

Cases

Re Whelen (Deceased)

A probate dispute concerning issues of due attestation (in accordance with s. 9 of the Wills Act 1837); want of knowledg...

[2015] EWHC 3301 (Ch)
[2015] EWHC 3301 (Ch)
Re Whelen (Deceased)

A probate dispute concerning issues of due attestation (in accordance with s. 9 of the Wills Act 1837); want of knowledge and approval; revocation by destruction and costs. Led by Simon Myerson QC.

Claim in the Central London County Court

Sole counsel in this successful claim following a five-day trial by which his client sought to establish an interest in ...

Claim in the Central London County Court

Sole counsel in this successful claim following a five-day trial by which his client sought to establish an interest in a property purchased with her former partner and held in his sole name.

Subrogation claims

Appearing in the High Court, County Court and First Tier Property Tribunal in subrogation and rectification claims for m...

Subrogation claims

Appearing in the High Court, County Court and First Tier Property Tribunal in subrogation and rectification claims for mortgage lending institutions.

Claim for the return of shares

Advising on the effects of personal insolvency.

Claim for the return of shares

Advising on the effects of personal insolvency.

Insolvency

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Benjamin acts for and advises private individuals, corporate bodies and insolvency practitioners on bankruptcy and corporate insolvency.   His recent work includes disputed bankruptcy petitions and advising a trustee in bankruptcy on costs recovery.

Benjamin was sole counsel in Access Flooring Services (Special Works) Limited v Pither & Or [2019] EWHC 1243 (Ch), an application under ss. 212, 238 and 239 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Insurance

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In line with Chambers’ expertise, Benjamin’s practice encompasses insurance work, particularly in the context of professional indemnity insurance.   He has experience of a wide range of coverage issues and often advises on matters of policy construction.   Recent work includes

  • a claim against insurers and insurance brokers raising issues of policy interpretation, dual insurance and rectification.
  • a subrogated claim brought against a security company following a theft of clothing stock from a warehouse facility.
  • a claim for damages for repudiatory breach of contract arising from insurers’ refusal to indemnify following a series of thefts.   Concerned the insurers rights to avoid the policy and the distinction between different policy years.

Property Damage

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Benjamin has experience of property damage claims, particularly in the context of insurance.

He has dealt with claims arising from flood, fire, and subsidence (including tree root removal).   Recent matters include:

  • Acting for a claimant seeking damages for subsidence and cracking caused by the structural engineer’s failure to consider and advise on tree root removal and appropriate mitigation.
  • Acting for a commercial tenant in a claim for damage and business interruption brought against a neighbouring tenant for extensive water damage caused to their property and stock.
  • Business

Cases

Acting for a homeowner in a claim

Against a local council highways agency and a major construction company relating to a flood caused by negligent drainag...

Acting for a homeowner in a claim

Against a local council highways agency and a major construction company relating to a flood caused by negligent drainage repairs.

Acting for a commercial tenant in a claim

For damage and business interruption brought against a neighbouring tenant for extensive water damage caused to their pr...

Acting for a commercial tenant in a claim

For damage and business interruption brought against a neighbouring tenant for extensive water damage caused to their property and stock.

Defending a company

Which ran a light steam railway alleged to have damaged a steam engine.

Defending a company

Which ran a light steam railway alleged to have damaged a steam engine.

Product Liability

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Benjamin acted for a leading international manufacturer of engineered metal components, in a claim against a manufacturer of plant which exploded in their premises causing extensive damage.    He acted for a distributer of dehumidifier units alleged to have caused fire damage in a claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.   He has recently acted and advised in claims concerning biodigestive heaters (under the renewable heat incentive scheme) and defective boilers.

Disciplinary

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Benjamin accepts instructions in relation to Regulatory and Disciplinary matters.    His experience of these – in particular, solicitors’ disciplinary matters – has mostly arisen in the context of claims against professionals, but he is developing a practice in Regulatory and Disciplinary work as well.   He has recently given talks and written articles on the role of dishonesty and lack of integrity following the decisions in Ivey and Wingate.

Qualifications & Memberships

Before coming to the Bar, Benjamin ran his own travel company, led tours and lectured on art history in Italy and around Europe.

Benjamin holds a BA in Art History with First Class Honours from Peterhouse, Cambridge.  He received a distinction on the GDL at City University, winning the Maitland Advocacy Prize, and a distinction on the BCL at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, winning the prize for Advanced Property and Trusts.  Benjamin was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn where he was awarded Hardwicke, Lord Bowen and Lord Denning Scholarships.

Benjamin is a member of IBA, COMBAR, TECBAR, SCL and PNBA.

Publications

VAT registration number: 166422509