Ranked as a Leading Junior for Business and Regulatory Crime (Health & Safety) in The Legal 500 (2024), a C-List Specialist Regulatory Advocate and Joint Head of Chambers Consumer Protection Team
Ben is a specialist Regulatory and Public Law Barrister. He is often asked to advise early on and has developed excellent relationships with those instructing.
‘Ben is tenacious, approachable, and detail-oriented. A persuasive advocate in court.’ Legal 500 (2024)
‘Ben communicates well and has a very calm manner with clients. He quickly identifies the key issues in a case.’
Ben is regularly instructed by local authorities to advise on prosecution, and to conduct cases on their behalf, covering the full breadth of their work. These have included health and safety offences, food hygiene breaches, environmental and planning offences. He is often instructed pre-charge to advise on prosecution and on investigations. He is currently advising a local authority in relation to a fatal accident that occurred at a hotel.
Ben has significant experience of prosecuting and defending prosecutions brought by the Health and Safety Executive under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, notable cases have involved prosecution of a building contractor who was convicted of health and safety breaches concerning a household extension which exposed the occupants to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Ben is instructed in prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency; and is often instructed pre charge. These have included significant illegal waste sites, complex issues regarding insolvency and ownership of the site. He has experience of advising on ancillary orders and been involved in several applications for Restriction Orders in relation to illegal waste sites.
Ben has considerable knowledge of trading standards law and is currently instructed to advise pre charge on a significant trading standards prosecution, involving several alleged fraudulent businesses.
Ben has a niche practice in 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 limits for brining proceedings. Such work has involved travel throughout England and Wales.
Ben has been involved in several prosecutions relating to fishing law, both at sea and inshore and has a detailed knowledge of the legislation involved. These cases have been brought by the Marine Management Organisation, Inshore Fisheries Authorities, and the Environment Agency.
Ben is also regularly instructed by local authorities and other regulatory bodies to advise and represent in relation to all other areas of their work. These include alcohol licencing, taxi licencing, abatement notices, closure orders and defective properties.
- Environment Agency v Clifford Shee (January 2023)- Successful prosecution of a repeat environmental offender, relating to the operation of an illegal waste site where a significant fire occurred. See press coverage from the Chronicle Live and the BBC.
- Marine Management Organisation v Ocean Fleet Seafood Limited and Others (December 2022)- Prosecution of both the owners and masters of four fishing vessels arising from inaccurate logbooks and landing decelerations. Involved dealing with a company entering administration, legal argument as to the interpretation of the legislation and jurisdictional issues.
- Selby District Council v Queens Staith Leisure Ltd and Philip Smith (November 2022)- Successful prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 of a hotel and the managing director following an incident in the spa which resulted in significant injuries to a customer. See press coverage.
- Newcastle City Council v Samir Najeeb (October 2022)- Prosecution under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 following a customer had placing an order for a takeaway, and due to a serious peanut allergy, a request was made that the order be free from peanuts. Unfortunately, the dish supplied contained peanuts (due to the use of mixed nut powder) and as a result the customer suffered an anaphylactic reaction. Complex legal issues regarding the identity of the correct Defendant and who can be a Food Business Operator. The Defendant was convicted. See press coverage.
- Environment Agency v Danny Thorpe (August 2022)- Successful application for a Restriction Order under Section 109D Environment Act 1995. Notwithstanding a large-scale fire at an illegal waste site the respondent had continue to undertake illegal waste activities. Later instructed to prosecute breaches of the Restriction Order. Application successfully made in February 2023 to extend the order. Also instructed in prosecution arising from breaches of the Order. See press coverage.
- Craven District Council v The Punch Bowl Low Bentham (July 2022)- Successful application for a Premises Closure Order in relation to a pub that was persistently trading without a valid premises licence. Also instructed in relation to resisting the appeal against revocation of the licence.
- York City Council v Price (April 2022)- Successful prosecution in relation to unlicenced scrap metal business.
- 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. Fine imposed was significantly below the range in the sentencing guidelines. See press coverage here.
- 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. See press coverage here.
- Craven District Council v Bizzie Lizzies Restaurants (January 2020)- Successful prosecution of a local fish and chip shop for offences under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 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. See press coverage here.
- 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. See press coverage here.