Ben is an equalities barrister with expertise across public, administrative and employment law. He is ranked in Chambers and Partners 2022 for Administrative and Public Law, where he is described as having a ‘standout crossover practice at the intersection of public and equality law’.
Ben’s cases typically involve commercial and/or policy issues that affect individuals, businesses and local authorities. He is particularly interested in cases that raise systemic issues or significant financial implications.
Ben acts for clients in high-stakes cutting-edge litigation, such as the landmark case of R (DMA & 4 others) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  1 W.L.R. 2374;  EWHC 3416 (Admin), on central government’s defective monitoring of national contracts worth £10 billion, where he was led by Zoe Leventhal of Matrix Chambers and instructed by Deighton Pierce Glynn.
Ben was instructed on the pro bono counsel team representing the human rights charity, LIBERTY, who intervened in a judicial review of the UK government’s use of Napier Barracks as asylum support accommodation. The intervention focused on the fundamental right to human dignity and the domestic applicability of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (‘UN CRPD’).
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 businesses, start-ups, local authorities, professionals, NGOs, unions, high-net worth individuals and highly vulnerable members of society. He provides the highest quality service to all his clients. His approach is accessible to all backgrounds, genders, abilities and beliefs. He is LGBTQIA+ friendly and open to all faiths and none.
Before coming to the Bar, Ben spent a decade in research and campaigning on issues relating to environmental justice and climate change.
Ben is passionate about legal education and runs a popular legal blog, all of which helps him make complex areas of law more accessible. He has spoken at the Dilemmas in Family Migration conference (organised by ILPA), alongside leaders in the field and NGO partners. In October 2021, he was appointed to a panel of trainers to deliver a course entitled ‘Starting a Conversation About Race in Chambers’, devised by the Bar Council’s Race Working Group with expert input.
There is, we find, considerable force in Mr Amunwa’s submission that, in the case of the claimant, there was no material benefit to him in applying for permission to appeal against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal judge…"
- Public law
Education and Qualifications
BA (Hons) English and Related Literature, University of York (first class)
After campaigning on social justice issues for over a decade, Ben came to bar in order to continue holding the executive to account through judicial scrutiny of public authorities.
He is frequently instructed in urgent, high-profile and complex public law matters for individuals, non-governmental organisations (such as The Unity Project and LIBERTY) and local authorities. He has acted in crowd-funded, public interest litigation, group actions for damages and matters with a high-level of media interest, with recent cases reported in the national press.
Recently Ben was led by Alex Goodman of Landmark Chambers in ST & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1085 (Admin), a successful challenge to the UK government’s ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy which affects many thousands of individuals, including British children of migrant parents. The case received significant media coverage in The Guardian.
Ben has a track-record of successfully applying equality law in judicial review proceedings concerning discrimination related to sex, disability and race. Working closely with committed teams of solicitors, he is fortunate to have achieved life-altering outcomes for some of his clients, obtaining many urgent court orders for interim relief and substantial settlements or awards of compensation.
Ben enjoys a good reputation before the Administrative Court of the High Court and is 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 Treaties.
Ben regularly assists with cases that concern international law, fundamental human rights, detention, economic and social rights, discrimination, statutory duties to accommodate and support the vulnerable, migrants’ access to public funds, contempt of court and costs. He maintains an interest in child rights and education law challenges (including special educational needs cases). His many articles and blog posts on these topics are widely read by practitioners of all levels.
Businesses, solicitors and in-house counsel frequently instruct Ben in complex multi-party commercial disputes, benefitting from his well-rounded expertise.
Ben is currently representing clients in the London Circuit Commercial Court in a dispute over the export of luxury goods. His cases frequently have a global dimension, raising matters of jurisdiction and international law.
Ben assists with the protection intellectual property and digital assets, matters at the core of the modern economy. He is familiar with obtaining orders for delivery up and digital data imaging. He is able to advise and protect his client’s interests on issues of privacy rights. He closely monitors legal developments on database rights, online contracts / licence agreements, website indexing and the legal risks for search engines and meta-search engines.
He has advised an international software company on the enforcement of non-solicitation / non- competition clauses and non-disclosure agreements. He has supported clients through lengthy commercial proceedings, including 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 provides valuable assistance to start-ups, investors and established businesses in the technology sector. He is frequently brought in at an early stage in business planning to help embed solid contractual foundations and to achieve effective ownership structures.
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 grievances, disciplinary matters, dismissals, discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblowing, business transfers, wages and holiday disputes, union matters and modern slavery.
He has conducted complex trials in person and remotely via video-link, including several 10-day discrimination cases in 2021 alone, involving thousands of pages of evidence and multiple witnesses.
Ben’s experience includes settlement negotiations, drafting (employment contracts, internal policies and 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 or industries.
He provides practical and strategic advice, negotiation skills and effective 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, breaches of disclosure duties, data protection or immigration issues.
Unusually, he has cross-examined numerous solicitors (including Partners at magic circle law firms) in his employment trials, as well as questioning executive witnesses over sexual harassment allegations.
Ben has given training to employment practitioners 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.
Appointments & Memberships
- Commercial Bar Association (‘COMBAR’)
- Employment Lawyers Association (‘ELA’)
- Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit)
Acting for the first intervener, LIBERTY, by way of written submissions in a judicial review challenge to the adequacy and lawfulness of the Defendant’s decision to repurpose a Ministry of Justice facility, the Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, as asylum support accommodation. Led by Zoe Leventhal of Matrix Chambers and instructed by Deighton Pierce Glynn.
Paragraph GEN.1.11A of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules and related guidance failed to discharge the statutory duty to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. Individual decision to impose a ‘no recourse to public funds’ condition quashed. Ben was led by Alex Goodman of Landmark Chambers and instructed by Deighton Pierce Glynn.
R (DMA & 4 others) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 3416 (Admin)
Landmark, systemic challenge to the outsourcing of asylum support accommodation resulting in structural breaches of human rights, widespread unlawful delays and breaches of the Equality Act 2010. Represented ‘AA’, led by Zoe Leventhal of Matrix Chambers and instructed by Deighton Pierce Glynn.
MS (British citizenship; EEA appeals)  UKUT 356
EU national minors with no lawful immigration status in the UK may establish that pursuant to human rights law they have been ‘lawfully resident’ in the UK even if they (or their carers) have not been exercising EU Treaty rights.
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.
R (LC) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1925 (Admin)
Successful judicial review challenge against the unlawful detention of a vulnerable EEA national with a complex procedural and criminal history.
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 2787 (Admin)
Consideration of the American Cyanamid principles on when interim relief should be granted in an unlawful detention judicial review. Unusually the application arose after trial and judgment.
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.
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.
Re: A (2021)
Advising an IT start-up on database right issues.
Re: H (2020)
Multi-party litigation in the London Circuit Commercial Court regarding alleged breaches of contract and duty in the international luxury goods trade.
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.
De Costa v London Fire Commissioner: 2305561/2019 (March 2021)
Successfully represented the Respondent against an unfair dismissal claim brought by a former firefighter who had attended the Grenfell Tower fire.
Saiyed v London United Busways Ltd: 2202674/2019 (December 2020)
Successfully represented the Claimant in a constructive dismissal claim involving allegations of sexual harassment against a senior manager. Respondent in breach of its disclosure obligations due to failure to retain and/or loss of relevant emails and cloud-based data.
Rumsey v MPS Housing Limited and London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham 2202672/2019 (October 2020)
Representing a local authority in a claim for unfair dismissal under regulations 4(9) and 7(1) of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.
Gardner v The Coopers Company and Coborn School: UKEAT/0235/19/BA (August 2020)
Instructed by a national teacher’s union, successfully representing the Claimant/Appellant overturning the findings of the Employment Tribunal on the date on which employment terminated due to insufficient reasoning.
Mrs J Presland v The Governing Body of North Walsham High School and Norfolk County Council: 3327883/2017 (2019)
Instructed by a national teacher’s union, representing the Claimant in an application for costs by the Respondents.
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.
Mr J Baafour-Kyei - London Borough of Waltham Forest: 3200377/2017 (2018)
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 (2015 to 2019)
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 involving a malicious allegation of sexual harassment.
Matthews v Bolitho School Penzance Ltd in Creditors Voluntary Liquidation: 14001882017 (2017)
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 (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 (2017)
Acting for the Claimant in a four-day disability discrimination and breach of reasonable adjustments trial.
- Supporting Migrant Workers: rights-based approaches, Law Centres Network (2018)
- Contributor to 4 Practice Notes maintained by Lexis Nexis PSL on public law issues
- Recorded 20 webinars on employment and public law topics with Datalaw
- Various articles on commercial litigation, New Law Journal (2018)