Ben Thomas is a C-List Specialist Regulatory Advocate and Joint Head of Chambers Consumer Protection Team.
He is regularly instructed by local authorities to advise on prosecution and to conduct cases on their behalf. These have included prosecutions under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. He is currently jointly instructed by both the Environment Agency and a local authority to advise on prosecution of a waste site, which has attracted considerable local attention and political concern. He is currently advising a local authority in relation to a fatal accident that occurred at a hotel.
Ben has experience of prosecuting and defending prosecutions brought by the Health and Safety Executive under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and of prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency. He is also instructed by the Food Standards Agency and has also defended such prosecutions.
He has developed a niche practice in prosecuting cases investigated by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under the Forestry Act 1967 and is often asked to advise on jurisdictional issues regarding such cases and in relation to the time limit under Section 17 (2). Such work has involved travel throughout England and Wales.
He is often asked to advise early on and has developed excellent relationships with those instructing.
He is also regularly instructed by local authorities to advise and represent in relation to all other areas of their work. These include alcohol licencing, taxi licencing and abatement notices.
- Environment Agency v Louise Bland (January 2022) Instructed by the Environment Agency in relation to the operation of an illegal waste treatment site.
- Health and Safety Executive v Park View Academy and TW Steam & Heating Services (November 2021) Defence of the Second Defendant in relation to offences relating to exposure to asbestos during construction work at a school. (click here for media coverage of the case)
- Health and Safety Executive v David Coulson (May 2021) Successful prosecution of building contractor whose breaches in relation to undertaking an extension had exposed the occupants to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Craven District Council v Bizzie Lizzies Restaurants (January 2020)- Successful prosecution of a fish and chip shop for offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act resulting from an accident, causing significant injuries to a staff member.
- Derby City Council v Good Mood Food (November 2019)- Defence of restaurant for breaches of food hygiene regulations.
- Nasir Ali v Craven District Council (November 2017) Successfully resisted the appeal against the revocation of a taxi licence in respect of a driver who had been alleged to have committed a sexual assault on a passenger. The appeal was dismissed, and the revocation upheld notwithstanding the decision of the police not to charge any offences.
- Kirklees Council v JGC (Ltd) (July 2017) Defence of land agents for breach of a Tree Preservation Order.
- Craven District Council v David Eckersall (January 2017) Successful prosecution for the demolition of a Grade II listed building. This case attracted significant media interest