Ben joined Chambers in 2017 and has quickly developed a busy commercial and chancery practice spanning Chambers’ practice areas. He has particular experience in civil fraud and asset recovery exercises, international arbitration, commercial litigation (including aviation, telecoms, international sale of goods, and energy), company law and shareholder disputes, financial services regulation and litigation, and contentious trusts and estates litigation.

A large proportion of Ben’s work has an international or offshore element and he has a particular interest in the jurisdictional and enforcement issues these raise. Ben has undertaken placements both in the global disputes team of an oil and gas major and the litigation team of a leading Jersey law firm. He has also been instructed to advise and/or act in relation to the DIFC, the Astana International Financial Centre, Jersey, Guernsey, BVI, the Singapore International Commercial Court, and LCIA, DIFC, ICC, and ICSID arbitrations. As a result of these varied experiences, Ben is able to take a flexible and creative approach to the problems brought to him.

Ben is a robust advocate and, unusually for his call, has substantial Court and trial experience, both as a junior and as sole counsel.  He appeared as a junior (led by Elspeth Talbot Rice QC) on the two-week trial of  First National Trustco (UK) Limited & Anor v Page & Ors [2019] EWHC 1187 (Ch) in the Chancery Division and on the two-week trial of Lloyd v Kruger [2018] EWHC 2011 (Comm) in the Circuit Commercial Court (led by Sarah Bayliss). He has also appeared as sole counsel at the final hearing of an LCIA arbitration before a three-member tribunal and regularly appears on interlocutory applications in both the High Court and the County Court.

On a recent interlocutory application in the High Court, against an opponent of far more senior call, the judge complimented Ben on his “excellent” skeleton argument and oral submissions.  Clients have reported that his handling of the case was just excellent” , praised him on his outstanding” written work, and thanked him for going above and beyond” for them. Silks describe his written work as excellent” and praise him as a “brilliant” junior who works like a Trojan”.

Ben is happy to be instructed on his own or as part of a larger team, and has been instructed as sole counsel on various High Court claims including: a substantial sale of goods claim; a 7-figure  claim with jurisdictional issues; s.994 unfair prejudice petitions; and successfully overcoming allegations of breaches of international economic sanctions to obtain judgment on a US$850,000 claim.

Some examples of recent work are:

  • Sole counsel on an LCIA arbitration concerning allegations of deceit and unjust enrichment, including appearance at the final hearing before a 3-member tribunal.
  • Toucan Energy Holdings Ltd & Anr v Wirsol Energy Ltd & Ors  – acting and appearing as junior counsel (led by Stephen Cogley QC and Samuel Townend) on a US$60 million energy and construction dispute in the Commercial Court.
  • Acting and advising as junior counsel (led by Edward Cumming QC) in relation to an arbitral application to support the overseas enforcement of a 9-figure LCIA award.
  • AMC III Purple BV v Amethyst Radiotherapy Limited [2019] EWHC 1503 (Comm) – acting and advising as junior counsel (led by Edward Cumming QC) in relation to the successful application for summary judgment and resistance to a stay in favour of an indirectly connected arbitration.
  • First National Trustco (UK) Limited & Anor v Page & Ors [2019] EWHC 1187 (Ch) – appearing as junior counsel (led by Elspeth Talbot Rice QC) in a two-week trial involving claims on a trustee indemnity and allegations of asset misappropriation.
  • Intelsat Global Sales & Marketing Ltd v JSC Kazteleradio – acting as sole counsel on a telecoms claim for in excess of US$5 million.
  • Instructed as sole counsel on an asset recovery exercise following misappropriation of sums in alleged breach of trust.
  • Harrison-Mills v The Public Trustee & Ors [2019] EWCA Civ 966 – acting as junior counsel (led by Sarah Bayliss) on this appeal concerning the construction of a 1924 indenture.
  • Lloyd v Kruger [2018] EWHC 2011 (Comm) – acting and appearing as junior counsel (led by Sarah Bayliss) in a two-week fraud trial in the Circuit Commercial Court raising issues of deceit and forgery.
  • Acting and advising (led by Edward Cumming QC) in relation to claims for breach of trust and dishonest assistance against financial institutions.
  • Acting and advising (led by Elspeth Talbot-Rice QC and Hugh Miall) in relation to a Jersey dispute concerning alleged breaches of directors’ duties.
  • Sinel v Hennessy [2018] JRC065A – acting (led by Edward Cumming QC) in relation to a substantial multi-jurisdictional probate dispute before the Jersey Court, which raised important issues of privilege, confidentiality, and proprietary rights over documents.
  • Advising (led by Rupert Reed QC and Matthew Watson) in relation to an international sale of goods dispute and DIFC-seated arbitration.
  • Obtaining – as sole counsel –  urgent ex parte injunctive relief from the High Court.

Further details of Ben’s experience are set out below by practice area.

Areas of experience

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  • Arbitration
    • Involvement in DIFC, ICC, ICSID, LCIA, LMAA, UNCITRAL and ad hoc arbitrations.
    • Sole counsel on an LCIA arbitration concerning allegations of deceit and unjust enrichment, including appearance at the final hearing before a 3-member tribunal.
    • Acting and advising as junior counsel (led by Edward Cumming QC) in relation to an arbitral application to support the overseas enforcement of a 9-figure LCIA award.
    • AMC III Purple BV v Amethyst Radiotherapy Limited [2019] EWHC 1503 (Comm) – acting and advising as junior counsel (led by Edward Cumming QC) in relation to the successful resistance to a stay in favour of an indirectly connected arbitration.
    • Assisting with an action for enforcement of a defence-sector arbitral award worth several hundred million dollars.
    • Advising and drafting pleadings (as sole counsel) in relation to  an LCIA arbitration
    • Advice on a challenge to a partial award on jurisdiction under s. 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
    • Advice on the merits of a proposed s. 68 challenge to an award for serious irregularity.
    • Drafting a skeleton for a s.69 appeal of an award on a point of law.
    • Drafting advice on the availability of equitable remedies in arbitration.
    • Drafting advice on the prospects of an ICSID claim.
    • Drafting response submissions in an ICC arbitration concerning the supply of animal feed.
    • Assisting in the preparation for an UNCITRAL arbitration concerning natural gas.
    • Assisting with the preparation for an ICSID arbitration in relation to an alleged expropriation of mining concessions.
    • Assisting in drafting opening submissions for, and the hearing of, a multi-million dollar fraud arbitration under the LCIA rules.
    • Drafting defence submissions in an LMAA arbitration relating to redelivery of a vessel.
  • Aviation
    • Representing the defendant airline in claims for compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004
    • Drafting advice in relation to detention rights under s. 88 Civil Aviation Act 1982
    • Drafting a mediation position statement in relation to a multi-million pound claim for debt and liquidated damages under a wet lease
  • Banking and Financial Services
    • Advising (led by Edward Cumming QC) in relation to claims for breach of trust and dishonest assistance against a number of financial institutions.
    • Assisted (Nathan Pillow QC, David Davies, and Anton Dudnikov) in a large fraud claim alleging diversion of profits from a bank through a complex series of artificial loans.
    • Advising on a potential claim for breaches of mortgage regulations.
    • Advising on the construction of a bank guarantee.
    • Drafting a reply and defence to counterclaim in relation to interest rate hedging product miss-selling litigation.
    • Drafting a skeleton for a summary judgment application in relation to a guarantee alleged to constitute an unfair relationship under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
  • Civil Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery
    • Obtaining – as sole counsel –  urgent ex parte injunctive relief.
    • Advising on an asset recovery exercise following misappropriation of sums in alleged breach of trust.
    • Advising (led by Edward Cumming QC) in relation to claims for breach of trust and dishonest assistance against a number of financial institutions.
    • Assisting (Steven Thompson QC and Richard Mott) in drafting the skeleton argument for strike-out and discharge applications in the context of a fraud claim for over $300 million, involving proprietary injunctions and claims for breach of fiduciary duty.
    • Assisting (Steven Thompson QC) in drafting the skeleton argument for an application for asset disclosure in support of a nine-figure claim before the DIFC.
    • Assisting in drafting opening submissions for, and the hearing of, a multi-million dollar claim in conspiracy involving offshore structures and BVI law.
    • Assisting (Richard Millett QC, Paul McGrath QC, and David Davies) in drafting procedural skeleton arguments and undertaking conflict of laws research in support of a fraud claim for over $400 million
    • Assisting (Nathan Pillow QC, David Davies, and Anton Dudnikov) on an application for specific disclosure in the context of a Russian law fraud claim for over $800 million.
    • Drafting advice on the prospects of a counterclaim in the context of a large fraud claim.
    • Drafting advice on a proposed contempt application.
    • Drafting advice on evidence and prospects of success in several VAT missing trader (MTIC) frauds.
    • Assisting (Edward Cumming QC) in relation to a claim under s. 423 Insolvency Act 1986 to recover substantial sums dispersed by a judgment debtor at an undervalue.

     

    Ben also has an academic interest in this area, having researched the law of tracing and unjust enrichment under the supervision of Professor Charles Mitchell. He has delivered inhouse presentations on the topic and welcomes the opportunity to do so again.

  • Commercial Litigation
    • Advising (led by Rupert Reed QC and Matthew Watson) in relation to an international sale of goods dispute and DIFC-seated arbitration.
    • Instructed as sole counsel on a substantial sale of goods claim in the High Court.
    • Appearing as junior counsel (led by Sarah Bayliss) on a two-week fraud trial in the Commercial Court.
    • Drafting the skeleton argument for a trial of preliminary issues concerning the construction of a take or pay contract for natural gas.
    • Drafting the trial skeleton argument for a mercantile court hearing concerning ATE insurance.
    • Drafting skeleton argument sections on specific disclosure and security for costs for a large commercial court CMC.
    • Assisting in a trial relating to breaches of a collaboration agreement for the international supply of shipping equipment.
    • Advice on a carriage dispute under a contract of affreightment involving demurrage, loss of profits and force majeure.
    • Drafting response submissions in an ICC arbitration concerning the supply of animal feed
    • Drafting advice on the remedies available to the buyer for under-delivery of natural gas in respect of a take or pay contract.
    • Drafting a skeleton argument resisting specific disclosure in a misrepresentation claim.
    • Advising on the construction of a consignment agreement regarding a multi-million pound painting.
    • Drafting advice on the construction of a multi-party agreement for the supply and distribution of industrial equipment.
    • Drafting advice on the construction of a management agreement for a pub.
    • Drafting particulars of claim under an exclusive distribution agreement.
    • Drafting particulars of claim for rescission, procuring a breach of contract, and debt in relation to a media talent management agreement.
    • Drafting particulars of claim seeking injunctions in a Formula 1 dispute.
    • Drafting a defence and counterclaim relating to the design, manufacture and installation of an industrial kitchen.
    • Assisting in defending a claim for receipt of secret commissions.
    • Advising on disclosure and admissibility in preparation for a county court trial.
    • Drafting defence submissions in an LMAA arbitration relating to redelivery of a vessel.
    • Drafting advice on a carriage dispute under a contract of affreightment involving demurrage, loss of profits and force majeure.
    • Drafting advice on the consequences of a collision and oil spill.
    • Drafting advice on the coverage of a Lloyds Open Form salvage award under a hull policy.
  • Company
    • Instructed as sole counsel on an unfair prejudice petition in the High Court.
    • Acting and advising (led by Elspeth Talbot-Rice QC and Hugh Miall) in relation to a dispute concerning alleged breaches of directors’ duties.
    • Assisting in a misrepresentation claim relating to the sale of a media company.
    • Drafting advice on the prospects of a claim for alleged breaches of a director’s duties.
    • Drafting advice on reflective loss and derivative claims.
    • Drafting advice on a proposed restructuring of a corporate group.
    • Drafting advice on the construction of a share purchase agreement.
  • Energy, Oil & Gas
    • Toucan Energy Holdings Ltd & Anr v Wirsol Energy Ltd & Ors  – acting and appearing as junior counsel (led by Stephen Cogley QC and Samuel Townend) on a US$60 million energy and construction dispute in the Commercial Court.
    • Drafting the skeleton argument for a trial of preliminary issues concerning the construction of a take or pay contract for natural gas.
    • Advice on the remedies available to a party under a take or pay agreement for natural gas.
    • Assisting in an ICSID claim for alleged expropriation of mining concessions.
    • Assisting in a fraud claim relating to West African crude oil trading.

     

    Ben has completed a 3-month placement in the global disputes department of an oil and gas major.

  • Insolvency
    • Advising a director on the prospects of a claim in misfeasance against a liquidator.
    • Drafting advice in relation to the exercise of security rights during the statutory moratorium in administration.
    • Assisting in the preparation for an administration application.
    • Assisting in the drafting of the skeleton argument for an injunction against a receiver.
    • Assisting (Edward Cumming QC) with a claim to recover divested assets under s. 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
    • Numerous bankruptcy petitions.
    • Numerous winding up petitions.
    • Applications to restrain presentation or advertisement of a winding up petition
    • Applications for validation orders.
  • Insurance & Reinsurance
    • Advising on potential claims under the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010
    • Drafting particulars of claim under an event cancellation policy placed in the Lloyd’s market.
    • Drafting the trial skeleton argument for a claim in the mercantile court against an ATE insurer, pursuant to the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 1930.
    • Drafting advice on the construction of a reinsurance treaty where the underlying insurance was written on the Bermuda Form
    • Drafting advice on the construction of numerous excess of loss reinsurance treaties and potential allocation strategies under them.
    • Drafting advice on coverage of an employee’s fraud under a professional indemnity and fidelity policy.
  • International & Offshore
    • Acting (led by Edward Cumming QC) in relation to a substantial multi-jurisdictional probate dispute, including jurisdictional challenges and conflict of laws issues.
    • Assisting (Steven Thompson QC) in drafting the skeleton argument for an application for asset disclosure in support of a nine-figure claim before the DIFC.
    • Acting in relation to a Jersey dispute concerning large family trusts.
    • Assisting in the preparation of an application for a proprietary injunction in the Cayman Islands.
    • Drafting advice on privilege and the disclosure of documents in a Cayman Islands dispute.
    • Advising on issues of state immunity and non-justiciability in commercial claims.
    • Drafting advice on the prospects of various proposed ICSID claims.
    • Assisting with the preparation for an ICSID arbitration in relation to an alleged expropriation of mining concessions.
    • Assisting (Andrew Fletcher QC and David Davies) on an action for enforcement of a defence-sector arbitral award worth several hundred million dollars.
    • Assisting in drafting opening submissions for, and the hearing of, a multi-million dollar claim in conspiracy involving Russian and BVI law and involving companies from numerous offshore jurisdictions.
    • Drafting a skeleton argument seeking disclosure of documents said to be undisclosable under Cypriot law.

     

    Most of Ben’s work during pupillage, and a large proportion of his work in practice, has an international element and he has substantial experience of advising and constructing arguments on difficult conflict of laws issues. Some examples include: the governing law of a pre-Hague Convention trust, challenging abuse of the anchor defendant jurisdictional gateway under Article 8(1) of the Brussels 1 Regulation (Recast), conflicting prior judgments of foreign courts, the effect of the Rome II Regulation on amendments to foreign law claims, and the applicable law for a claim in conspiracy.

  • Media
    • Assisting in a claim relating to the sale of a media company.
    • Various pieces of advice in relation to allegedly misappropriated documents or information, concerning privacy, confidentiality, copyright, and database rights.
    • Drafting particulars of claim for rescission, procuring a breach of contract, and debt in relation to a media talent management agreement.
    • Drafting advice on the protection of performance rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Copyright and Performances (Application to other Countries) Order 2016.
  • Trusts, Probate & Estates
    • First National Trustco (UK) Limited & Anor v Page & Ors [2019] EWHC 1187 (Ch) – appearing as junior counsel (led by Elspeth Talbot Rice QC) in a two-week trial involving claims on a trustee indemnity and allegations of asset misappropriation.
    • Harrison-Mills v The Public Trustee & Ors [2019] EWCA Civ 966 – acting as junior counsel (led by Sarah Bayliss) on this appeal concerning the construction of a 1924 indenture.
    • Sinel v Hennessy [2018] JRC065A – acting (led by Edward Cumming QC) in relation to a substantial multi-jurisdictional probate dispute before the Jersey Court, which raised important issues of privilege, confidentiality, and proprietary rights over documents.
    • Acting in relation to a Jersey dispute concerning large family trusts.
    • Acting (led by Andrew Holden) in relation contentious probate proceedings, including a summons to challenge a caveat.
    • Drafting the skeleton argument in support of a part 8 claim for directions from a master on the construction of a trust.
    • Drafting advice on the construction of a will that was amended pursuant to the Variation of Trusts Act 1958.
    • Drafting the skeleton argument resisting an application for early disclosure of trust deeds.
    • Assisting in a dispute arising out of the investigation of a testator’s offshore assets.
    • Assisting in relation to multi-jurisdictional litigation concerning a large family trust.
    • Assisting in a part 8 claim for directions on the construction of a long-standing family trust settlement.

Academic History

  • BA, Philosophy and Politics (First Class) – Durham University
  • GDL and BPTC – City University
  • LLM, International Commercial Law (Distinction) – University College London

Scholarships and Prizes

  • The Peter Taylor Scholarship
  • Maitland Advocacy Prize
  • Major Exhibition (Inner Temple)
  • Clifford Chance Palatinate Shield

Lectures and Seminars

  • Ben regularly provides seminars and lectures, at conferences or as inhouse presentations. He is very happy to talk on any subject within his practice areas. He has previously given talks on topics including:
    • Interim injunctions in the DIFC
    • The Disclosure Pilot and predictive coding
    • Tracing and unjust enrichment
    • ICSID, bilateral investment treaties, and other investment claims
    • The application and use of financial regulatory rules in civil claims
    • Freezing and proprietary injunctions
    • Civil fraud claims and family offices