Ben’s practice combines commercial and public law . He frequently assists in strategic cases where expertise is required in specialist areas of civil law.
Solicitors praise his work as “exceptional”, singling out his “attention to detail, and forensic preparation of the case,” while maintaining a “confident… professional, team-oriented approach”. Others say that Ben “could not have been more helpful”, describing him as “very thorough - grasped every nuance and detail… extremely quickly”.
Ben acts for multinationals, start-ups, public authorities, professionals, unions, high-net worth individuals and more vulnerable members of society. He provides the highest quality service to all his clients in a prompt and practical manner. He assists with advice, negotiation, mediation and litigation to the Court of Appeal level. His approach is accessible to all backgrounds, genders, abilities and beliefs. He is LGBTQI friendly and open to all faiths and none.
Before coming to the Bar, Ben spent a decade in research and campaigning. He has first-hand experience of recruitment, managment and finance in organisations large and small.
Ben is passionate about legal education. He trains lawyers and other professionals by making difficult areas of law more accessible.
- Public law
- Civil litigation
- Art law
Education and Qualifications
BA (Hons) English and Related Literature, University of York (first class)
Ben’s commercial law practice has developed rapidly. Solicitors and in-house counsel frequently refer to him in complex multi-party contractual matters and benefit from his well-rounded legal expertise across private and public law.
He has recently advised an international IT software company on the enforcement of non-solicitation / non-competition clauses and non-disclosure agreements. He has supported clients through lengthy commercial proceedings, including dealing with the aftermath of a High Court Search and Seizure Order (or ‘dawn raid’) in a breach of confidence claim involving the ex-employee of a multinational company.
Ben is familiar with the remedies needed to protect intellectual property and digital assets, such as orders for delivery up and digital data imaging. His allied skills in public law enable him to seamlessly advise and protect his client’s interests when issues of procedural fairness or privacy arise. He closely monitors legal developments on liability for content on websites, search engines and online directories.
Having spent much of his life immersed in IT, Ben has an affinity with technology companies and is able to provide valuable legal assistance to start-ups, investors and established businesses in the sector. He is frequently brought in at an early stage in business planning to help embed solid contractual foundations and ownership structures for profitable enterprises.
Ben has experience in resolving disputes relating to contractors, partnerships, debt recovery, insolvency, winding-up petitions, minority shareholders, letters of credit and the duties of company directors. Commercial clients also value Ben’s experience in attracting global talent to the UK and dealing with employment and regulatory issues.
Ben is an experienced employment lawyer who advises and assists employers and employees on disciplinaries, dismissals, discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing, TUPE transfers, unpaid wages, holiday pay, union matters and modern slavery.
Ben’s experience includes drafting employment contracts, internal policies, pleadings and representation in Tribunals, civil courts and before regulatory panels. He primarily focuses on the corporate, legal and public sectors but also accepts instructions from other fields.
He assists businesses, public authorities and professionals with practical and strategic advice, negotiation and, where necessary, representation at preliminary hearings, multi-day trials and appeals.
Owing to the breadth of Ben’s practice, clients often request him when atypical points arise, such as wasted costs, data protection or immigration issues, such as under the ‘right to work’ scheme. Unusually, he has cross-examined numerous solicitors (including Partners at magic circle firms) in his employment trials, as well as handling other sophisticated executive witnesses.
Ben is committed to supporting the employment law community. He trains widely and has written an acclaimed guidebook for the Law Centres Network on employment rights (described by a Head of Employment as “incredibly useful and thorough”), plus many articles and blogs for lawyers and non-lawyers.
Ben is authorised to litigate by the Bar Council and accepts instructions via solicitors or from clients directly via the direct access scheme.
Ben is frequently instructed in urgent, high-profile and complex public law matters for individual claimants, organisations and public authorities. He has a track-record of successfully applying equality law in judicial review proceedings, (a much under utilised tool). He has successfully obtained court orders for urgent interim relief (including without notice) and substantial damages for his clients through precise written and oral advocacy.
As his testimonials show, Ben enjoys a good reputation before the Administrative Court of the High Court, undaunted by opponents such as leading public law QCs and Attorney General A Panel counsel. He has appeared in cases that concern the application of international law and rights derived from EU Treaties. He is also familiar with the principles and practicalities of commercial judicial review.
Ben regularly assists with cases that concern unlawful detention, economic and social rights, discrimination in the exercise of public functions, statutory duties to accommodate and support vulnerable children and families, contempt of court and costs. His many articles and blog posts in this area are read by senior solicitors, voluntary sector lawyers and in-house counsel alike.
Ben is regularly instructed in civil property disputes, including in cases of fraud, negligent design, construction and build and breach of fiduciary duty. His combination of public and private law knowledge makes him an ideal choice for cases that cross this divide, such as disputed care home costs and civil appeals (both topics on which he has provided extensive training to practitioners).
He has experience in multi-track litigations that involve disputed expert evidence and points of law (such as cause of action estoppel and abuse of process). Ben assists with drafting pleadings, advising on merits or quantum, attending CCMCs and other application hearings, urgent interim injunctions, trials, appeals and costs matters.
His experience of civil claims is diverse, and includes bringing and defending claims in contract, economic torts, malicious prosecution, possession proceedings, bailment, discrimination and harassment, data protection breaches, nuisance, harassment, negligence and human rights claims.
Keen to protect his clients from litigation risk where appropriate, Ben is comfortable with negotiation and excels at mediation. He has achieved substantial results for his clients by using these methods and drafting bespoke settlement agreements to extricate parties from complex disputes.
Ben is authorised to litigate by the Bar Council and is able to take instructions via solicitors or through direct access.
Ben is a popular choice for complex and strategic immigration cases whether at the application stage or in the Tribunals or higher Courts. He has experience in representing clients before Presidential panels in the Upper Tribunal, High Court judges and in the Court of Appeal.
Ben offers a full service, from applications and appeals to judicial review challenges. He has expertise in the Points-Based System, entry clearance, Windrush cases, the EEA regulations, challenges to decisions on fresh claims, certification, trafficking and detention, international adoption, asylum, nationality, indefinite leave to remain, long residence, family reunion, discretionary leave, adult dependent relatives, family and private life and human rights matters.
Ben is passionate about providing the clearest possible guidance in this complex area. He has held seminars in chambers, produced articles for LexisNexis PSL and created online webinars and training videos with Datalaw. His content is praised for the practical value it offers all practitioners.
Ben is authorised to litigate by the Bar Council (enabling him to assist OISC regulated firms in judicial review matters) and is able to take instructions via solicitors or through direct access.
Having benefitted from close collaborations with numerous local authorities on education matters over the years, Ben enjoys a solid reputation as an effective education lawyer.
From early on, Ben has been dedicated to achieving fair outcomes in special educational needs cases. He believes that every child with special educational needs is unique and a thorough understanding of their complexities is essential. He has been on site visits to specialist settings and worked alongside highly experienced experts in the fields of educational psychology, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physio-therapy, as well as social workers and local authority education department staff and teachers. He has a high degree of insight into the mechanics of SEN assessment, decision-making and provision.
As a result of his experience, Ben is able to handle the most complex SEN Tribunal disputes, often at short notice. Legal officers seek out his advice on strategy and points of law to be taken in the Upper Tribunal. He has developed particular expertise in cases involving young adults with profound learning difficulties and physical disabilities, including in multi-day ‘pilot scheme’ cases where social and health care recommendations may be made in Education Health and Care Plans. Ben’s representation in this forum is robust but fair, focusing always on finding the right outcome for the child or young person affected.
Drawing on years of practice in employment law, Ben has a strong command of discrimination law and assists in claims brought against schools in the SEN Tribunal or in the civil courts – a fast-moving area of increasing technical complexity where Tribunals and clients alike appreciate Ben’s guidance.
He has collaborated with solicitors and lay clients to provide rapid and effective advice to families seeking to bring claims against independent schools and further and higher education institutions for educational negligence, discrimination, harassment and breach of contract. He is known for his empathetic approach with clients in difficult circumstances.
Alongside his colleagues in the public law team, Ben runs well-attended seminars and training sessions to enhance the skills and practical experience of education law solicitors and their colleagues.
Ben’s Art law practice has seen him advise a broad range of clients, from individual artists to collectors of fine art, antiques and classic cars.
Ben has obtained favourable settlements for artists whose work has been damaged, lost or destroyed by art organisations. He has supported Jessica Franses (Head of 36 Art) in a customs dispute over irreplaceable 17th century ivory antiques, requiring detailed submissions on the application of international conventions.
He has represented claimants in complex contractual and economic tort claims arising from defective or mis-sold items of fine art, as well as claims against celebrities and media companies due to procurement of breach of contract. His work in this area has also included advising a non-UK based client on international jurisdiction and conflict of law issues.
Having previously worked in the cultural sector, Ben is well-placed to support the aspirations of creative individuals and organisations in a sensitive and economical manner. He has contributed articles and blog posts to enhance legal awareness in the sector.
Appointments & Memberships
- Commercial Bar Association (‘CBA’)
- Employment Lawyers Association (‘ELA’)
- Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit)
- Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (‘ARDL’)
X v Y (2019)
Representing the Defendant employee against a multinational corporation following a High Court Search and Seizure Order for delivery up and computer imaging of digital devices, hard drives and cloud storage accounts based on suspected breaches of confidence and restrictive covenants. Successfully resolved by settlement.
Re: E (2019)
Advising and drafting pre-action correspondence for an international software company seeking to enforce non-solicitation / non-competition clauses and non-disclosure agreements against a sub-contractor dealing and a third party.
A v B (2019)
Drafting a Defence and advising on the merits of a claim by a sub-contractor for alleged breach of contract against a special purpose vehicle for an urban development.
K v M (2019)
Advice and drafting for the Claimants in a claim on a promissory note against a land developer, where the Defendant has brought a counterclaim alleging breach of a property sale contract.
Re: S Ltd (2018)
Advising an IT consultancy company on recovering shares from a former director and minority shareholder and mitigating the risk of an unfair prejudice petition.
Parkinson v MEM Consumer Finance Limited (2018)
Defending a finance company in a County Court claim by a consumer for alleged breaches of the Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Claim struck out on the grounds of limitation and by effect of the doctrine of res judicata due to a previous complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Re: B (2018)
Successfully defended a local authority against a multi-party claim for breach of Data Protection Act 1998 following a subject access request and complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’).
Re: I (2018)
Advising on correspondence and negotiations in a partnership dispute involving a profitable family business, ownership of business assets, online accounts and a website domain name and registration.
Re: X (2018)
Advising on a claim for alleged procurement of breach of contract in the television entertainment sector.
Re: Y (2018)
Representing the local authority defending a claim by a judge for unpaid invoices from sitting as a coroner. Claim successfully settled on day one of the County Court multi-track trial.
Avuru v Overare (2016)
Representing the Defendant in a four-day High Court trial concerning allegations of breach of fiduciary duty in the sale of property.
Cavanagh and others v FM Conway Limited (2018)
Representing a national infrastructure company defending a group claim by hundreds of construction workers for historic holiday pay in light of the judgment of the European Court of Justice in King v Sash Window Workshop Ltd.
X v a School (2018)
Substantial settlement achieved for a direct access employment client dismissed from an independent school following public interest disclosures.
Representing a local authority and an NHS Trust defending a claim brought by a care worker for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal. Claim successfully settled mid-trial.
Mrs J Presland v The Governing Body of North Walsham High School and Norfolk County Council: 3327883/2017
Instructed by a national teacher’s union, representing the Claimant in an application for costs by the Respondents.
Mr J Baafour-Kyei - London Borough of Waltham Forest: 3200377/2017
Acting for the local authority, successfully defending claims for race discrimination, racial harassment and unfair constructive dismissal brought by a mathematics teacher.
Mr Z Habib v Asghar and Co Solicitors: 3300000/2015
Three successful judgments for the Claimant bookkeeper including a costs order against the Respondents with an interim payment of £20,000 on account of costs following a long-running constructive unfair dismissal claim.
Matthews v Bolitho School Penzance Ltd in Creditors Voluntary Liquidation: 14001882017
Representing thirteen claimants seeking payments against an insolvent employer under EU law (the Collective Redundancies Directive) and the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
Asghar & Co Solicitors v Habib (Unfair Dismissal)  UKEAT 0332/16/1505 (15 May 2017)
Period of delay to be considered when determining if an employee has affirmed a contract of employment before resigning and claiming constructive dismissal.
Ms S Gill v Flogas Britain Ltd: 2600985/2016
Acting for the Claimant in a four-day disability discrimination and breach of reasonable adjustments trial.
Smith (appealable decisions; PTA requirements; anonymity)  UKUT 216
Guidance from President Lane on the correct procedure for seeking permission to appeal in the Upper Tribunal where an individual’s appeal has been allowed in part by the First-tier Tribunal.
L v The Secretary of State for the Home Department (2018)
Judicial review against a refusal of a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, resolved successfully by consent.
HA v The Secretary of State for the Home Department (2018)
Successfully settled urgent judicial review claim for sex discrimination, breaches of statutory duties and human rights due to failure to accommodate adequately a victim of trafficking and her child.
R (LC) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1925 (Admin)
Successful judicial review challenge to the unlawful detention of a vulnerable EEA national with a complex procedural and criminal history.
AD v The Secretary of State for the Home Department (2018)
Successfully resolved urgent judicial review claim for disability discrimination, breaches of statutory duty and human rights breaches arising from failure by the Defendant to adequately accommodate a claimant with severe mental health difficulties.
EK v The Secretary of State for the Home Department (2018)
Successfully obtained urgent interim relief following the detention of a non-EEA foreign national prolonged by the unavailability of a suitable release address.
R (LC) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2787 (Admin)
Consideration of the American Cyanamid principles on a post-judgment application for interim relief in judicial review proceedings for unlawful detention.
SM v London Borough of Ealing (2016)
Defending the local authority in a judicial review claim and interim relief applications regarding the adequacy of temporary accommodation under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 for a family with young and vulnerable children. Appearing unled against a public law QC and successfully defending a ‘show cause’ application.
R (Medical Justice and others) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department (2016)
Representing one of nine claimants in a judicial review challenge to the UK government’s restrictive re-definition of torture by reference to Article 1 of the UN Convention Against Torture and subsequent detention of non-UK nationals. As reported in the Guardian.
R (SC) v London Borough of Ealing  EWHC 2765 (Admin)
Representing the local authority in judicial review proceedings concerning duties to accommodate children with special educational needs under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. Case settled following a grant of permission to appeal by the Court of Appeal.
Representing the governing body of a maintained school defending a claim in the SEN Tribunal for disability discrimination and failure to make reasonable adjustments for a child with severe autistic spectrum disorder and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.
Representing the local authority in a ‘pilot scheme’ appeal in the SEN Tribunal with 6 expert witnesses heard over 2 days.
Representing the local authority in parents’ appeal on behalf of a child with severe learning difficulties seeking Applied Behavioral Analysis (‘ABA’) therapy.
Representing the local authority in a complex appeal in the SEN Tribunal concerning alleged breakdown in the home-school relationship.
Sotello v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (2018)
Defending the local authority against a civil claim for malicious prosecution following a lengthy dispute over attendance in education. Claim remitted to the County Court following a High Court appeal.
James South (2018)
Instructed by a national teacher’s union, representing a teacher at a four-day disciplinary trial.
Paul Coxon (2016)
Instructed by a national teacher’s union, representing a teacher at a four-day part-heard disciplinary trial (following a successful application for the chair of the first panel to recuse himself). Trial involved live video-link evidence.
Ryan Barnett (2015)
Successful defence of a teacher following a part-heard five-day trial which required handling of vulnerable witnesses.