Benjamin Fowler has a broad commercial practice with a particular focus on construction and engineering, professional liability and costs.
Ranked as a Leading Junior in the Legal 500 for Professional Negligence, Benjamin has been described as:
“Extremely hardworking and astute. He is very collected, and will advise when a case is weak and needs to be strengthened, as well as when a more aggressive and expansive approach is required. These qualities are unusual for someone of his call.” – Legal 500, 2021
“Technically gifted both in writing and orally.” – Legal 500, 2020
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. He has substantial advocacy experience as sole counsel in numerous trials and appeals.
Benjamin has considerable experience of professional liability disputes, in particular claims against solicitors and construction professionals (including disciplinary and regulatory matters). Examples include:
- Holt v Holley & Steer  EWCA Civ 851: Sole counsel in the Court of Appeal successfully striking out a claim against solicitors arising out of ancillary relief proceedings on limitation grounds.
- Quaradeghini v Mischcon de Reya: sole counsel in a lost litigation claim arising out of banking proceedings. Successfully overturned the striking out of the claim for want of prosecution on appeal:  EWHC 3523 (Ch);  4 WLR 34.
- 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)  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 Ben Hubble QC in Guney v Kingsley Napley  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.
- Benjamin also has significant disciplinary experience, including successfully defending an architect in a RIBA disciplinary action and acting for a leading UK architect in an ARB matter due to be heard this year.
Benjamin has a significant construction practice, encompassing TCC litigation, arbitration and adjudication. Examples of Benjamin’s work include:
- Premier Inn Hotels Limited v McAleer & Rushe Limited v (3) M Clarke & Sons Limited (4) Urban Innovations Limited (5) Michael Slattery & Associates Fire Safety Engineers Limited (6) Bureau Veritas Building Control UK Limited, and other associated matters. Benjamin acts with Anneliese Day QC for the cladding subcontractors on this cladding claim concerning one of the Premier Inn group’s hotels.
- Adjudication concerning architectural design of a major swimming pool complex
- Redbourn Group Ltd v Fairgate Development Ltd  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 –  EWHC 658 (TCC).
- Instructed by Dandara, a major property developer on Jersey, in Royal Court claims against a civil engineering contractor, arising out of allegedly defective subcontract works on the foundations of a beachfront property.
- Adjudication concerning design coordination of M&E and drylining sub-contract packages.
- 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.
- A complex claim in arbitration worth in excess of £100 million (led by Roger Stewart QC) relating to a nuclear facilities project in Scotland.
- A TCC claim arising from traffic modelling and design for the redevelopment of a junction of a major UK motorway (led by Anneliese Day QC).
Benjamin has a growing costs practice, and regularly appears in the SCCO and County Courts on detailed assessment proceedings and related hearings. Recent work includes:
- Solicitor-client assessments under s. 71 of the Solicitors Act 1974, including advising in relation to solicitors’ liens, delivery up of clients’ files, applications and ‘special circumstances’.
- Advising on the applicability of QOCS in claims against multiple defendants and ‘mixed’ claims.
- Preliminary issue concerning the scope of the EL/PL Protocol and the exclusion for clinical negligence.
- 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  UKSC 8).
- Sole counsel in appeals and detailed assessments on the recoverability of ATE premiums.
- Advising on Part 36 formalities including the date of acceptance following the settlement of an extensive multi-million pound group action.
- Numerous detailed assessments.
In other matters, outside of the above specialist areas, Benjamin deals with a wide range of commercial disputes across a variety of industry sectors, including insolvency, company and partnership disputes, directors’ duties, fraud, conspiracy and breach of confidence. Benjamin has a particular interest and specialism in personal property and sales of goods. He is regularly instructed as sole counsel in multi-day trials and has extensive experience of freezing injunctions, security for costs and other such applications.
Benjamin has given many talks over the last 18 months on the disclosure pilot scheme and regularly advises on issues arising from the pilot and Practice Direction 51U.