Ben was named Shipping Junior of the Year 2019 at the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards and was shortlisted for Shipping Junior of the Year for the Legal 500 UK Awards 2020. He is described by the directories as "a rising star" (Legal 500, 2019); “a standout shipping and commodities junior" (Chambers & Partners, 2018) and “a star of the future” (Chambers & Partners, 2017). He is also recognised as a leading junior in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific Guide. His significant recent cases include:
Ben's broad international commercial practice has a particular emphasis on commodities, insurance / reinsurance and shipping. He appears as sole and junior counsel in the Court of Appeal, the Commercial Court and the London Mercantile Court, and before arbitral tribunals under the rules of many different international organisations including the LMAA, the LCIA, the ICC, the SIAC, the HKIAC, the Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution, FOSFA and GAFTA.
Ben undertakes the full spectrum of shipping work, including every species of charterparty and bill of lading claim, as well as shipbuilding and ship finance disputes. He has developed a particular specialisim in cases involving carriage of goods under the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules, and has appeared in several of the leading cases on such claims in recent years in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
In the insurance context, Ben acts in a full range of marine and non-marine claims. He has a specific interest in reinsurance, and appeared with Poonam Melwani QC in Beazley Underwriting v. Al Ahleia Insurance Company  1 Lloyd's Rep IR 561, a leading case on the operation of claims control clauses where a reinsurance market is divided, with Guy Blackwood QC in A v. B, an arbitration arising out of the purported avoidance of a quota share energy treaty on the basis of an allegation that risks ceded to the treaty had been compressed by the use of facultative excess of loss reinsurance, and with Luke Parsons QC in San Evans Maritime v. Aigaion Insurance  1 Lloyd's Rep IR 462, which resolves an important issue as to the jurisprudential basis of 'follow the leader' clauses.
Ben’s commodities work covers a wide range of hard and soft commodities disputes with particular experience of oil and gas, coal and steel, rice, sugar, grains, and oils and fats. Much of his work involves working closely with solicitors and trade representatives to assist in the presentation of cases in trade association arbitrations.
Ben accepts appointments as an arbitrator, and is a supporting member of the LMAA.
"He is very calm and professional in his assessment, which conveys confidence and gravitas beyond his call."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"He has a good analytical brain and provides clear legal advice, keeping in mind all the possible commercial outcomes."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"He has the ability to simplify the trickiest of legal problems in a way that is readily understandable."(Legal 500, 2020)
"His response times are exceptional and he has a calm and considered approach to urgent and legally difficult questions."(Legal 500, 2020)
"He has amazing intellectual ability and a unique talent to simplify difficult problems to make them understandable."(Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2019)
‘Intelligent, responsive and well versed in commodities cases, he is a favourite of leading law firms in the sector.’(Legal 500 2019)
"A very bright and able junior." "Very user-friendly, extremely clever and able to see the commercial side of a dispute."(Chambers UK 2019)
"A rising star..."(The Legal 500, 2019)
"He is truly the standout rising star for shipping and trading disputes work."(Chambers UK, 2018)
"The perfect package – highly intelligent, practical, fast and reliable..."(Legal 500, 2017)
"He is the most user-friendly barrister I have ever encountered in all my years of practice."(Chambers and Partners, 2018)
"He has an ability to simplify the trickiest of legal problems in a way that is readily understandable..."(Legal 500, 2017)
"…highly praised as a "star of the future"…."(Chambers and Partners, 2017)
"... user-friendly, extremely intelligent and always able to find a way through the knottiest of problems"(The Legal 500, 2017)
"He is the best junior I have come across in my career - he can get to grips with every legal question we have thrown at him."(Chambers and Partners, 2017)
"I go to him because he can do everything."(Chambers and Partners, 2017)
"….A "real rising star" with a flourishing practice in hard and soft commodity disputes and all types of charter party and bill of lading disputes. …."(Chambers and Partners, 2016)
"... Very intelligent - someone who will go far..."(Chambers and Partners, 2016)
"... Very responsive and always willing to take responsibility..."(Chambers and Partners, 2016)
Ben has a specialism in international trade and commodities. He acts in a wide range of hard and soft commodities disputes with particular experience of oil and gas, coal and steel, rice, sugar, grains, and oils and fats. He regularly provides assistance and advice to solicitors and in-house counsel in connection with trade association arbitrations, and has experience of working closely in conjunction with trade representatives where direct legal representation is excluded by the relevant trade association rules.
Most of the cases in which Ben acts are confidential, but some illustrative cases include:
Ben's shipping work encompasses all types of charterparty and bill of lading dispute in the High Court and in maritime arbitration, as well as shipbuilding and ship finance disputes.
Illustrative cases include:
Ben acts in claims concerning all aspects of the Admiralty jurisdiction, and is able to provide drafting and advisory assistance in relation to the law and practice of the Admiralty Court including limitation, arrest, orders for appraisement and sale and priorities.
Illustrative cases include:
Al Khattiya c/w Jag Laadki  EWHC 389 (Admlty), which concerns the significance of the place of a collision in a forum non conveniens application
The SAMCO EUROPE and MSC PRESTIGE  2 Lloyd's Rep 579, the trial of a claim arising out of a collision between a container vessel and a VLCC in the Gulf of Aden. Ben appeared with Jeremy Russell QC. Teare J's decision as to the apportionment of costs (The SAMCO EUROPE and MSC PRESTIGE (Costs)  EWHC 1656 (Admlty)) is also a significant decision on the effect of withdrawing an offer to settle prior to trial.
The sale pendente lite of the ship "MOST SKY".
The constitution of a limitation fund for the fishing vessel "B462 VIDAR".
In addition, Ben has been instructed as sole counsel in several claims arising out of yacht casualties, including the fatal capsizing of the "HOOLIGAN V" on 3 February 2007, a collision between two yachts racing under the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing during Cowes Week in 2009, and a collision inside a marina in Minorca.
Ben's practice includes all aspects of marine and non-marine insurance, and reinsurance (where Ben has a particular interest).
Illustrative cases include:
Many of the cases in which Ben is instructed are before international arbitral tribunals, and he is able to advise on all aspects of arbitration law and procedure.
Ben has experience of arbitration under the rules of a number of different international organisations including the LMAA, the LCIA, the ICC, the SIAC, FOSFA and GAFTA. He has recently acted in a number of cases concerning the jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals.
Illustrative cases include:
Ben is instructed to appear in commercial disputes of all shapes and sizes. He has acted in disputes concerning the rights and duties of fiduciaries, warranty claims arising under share purchase agreements, and claims arising out of invoice factoring and the negotiation of bills of exchange. Examples include:
Talos Capital Limited v. JCS Investment Holding XIV Ltd  EWHC 3977, where Ben and Guy Blackwood QC appeared for the successful claimants in their application for an anti-suit injunction to restrain foreign proceedings on the ground that they were vexatious and oppressive.
LNOC Ltd v. Watford Association Football Club Limited  EWHC 3615 (Comm), a dispute as to the authority of a director to bind a Championship football club. The judgment contains an in-depth analysis of the circumstances in which an individual director will have authority to bind a company, and a detailed analysis of the application of s. 44 of the Companies Act 2006. Ben appeared with Jonathan Davies-Jones QC
"A standout shipping and commodities junior"(Chambers UK, 2018)
B.A. in English Literature, St John’s College, Oxford (First Class)
Graduate Diploma in Law, College of Law (Distinction)
Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law (Outstanding)
Middle Temple Queen Mother Scholarship, Harmsworth Exhibition and Certificate of Honour
LMAA Supporting Member
LCIA Young International Arbitration Group
"Slicing the reinsurance pizza", L.L.I.D. 2013, May 30, 7
“Mystery solved on follow the settlements", L.L.I.D. 2014, Aug 14, 4