Ben practises in public, planning, environmental and property law. He has appeared for clients in the Magistrates’ Court, County Court, High Court, and the Immigration and Social Entitlement Tribunals. He has also appeared at planning inquiries. Ben is regularly called upon to give advice and draft pleadings. Ben’s recent clients have included individual claimants and defendants, developers, environmental groups, landlords, tenants, local authorities and government departments.
Prior to joining Landmark, Ben worked for five years as a civil service fast-streamer at the Ministry of Defence. His work spanned various aspects of defence and security policy and included liaison with foreign governments, dealing with public law challenges and the application of international human rights law. Ben was also involved with the government effort to plan for the 2012 London Olympics.
Ben accepts instructions in all areas of public law. Ben has particular experience in the following areas.
Ben has appeared in both the High Court and Upper Tribunal in immigration judicial review proceedings. Ben also regularly appears before the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration) for bail applications and for appeals covering all areas of immigration law. Ben also acts for clients in unlawful detention claims.
Ben recently appeared as sole counsel for the claimant in R (Hussein) v SSHD  EWHC 2320 (Admin) – an unlawful detention claim which explored the application of the SSHD’s Adults at Risk Policy and the Hardial Singh principles.
Religious liberty and free speech
Ben recently appeared on behalf of the claimants in Dulgheriu v Ealing LBC  EWHC. This concerned the implementation by Ealing Council of a Public Spaces Protection Order (“buffer zone”) under s.59 of the Crime Policing and Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2014. The Order prevents people from expressing views relating to abortion in the vicinity of an abortion clinic in Ealing. The case raises important issues relating to the use of these controversial anti-social behaviour measures and articles 8 (right to private and family life), 9 (freedom of religion), 10 (freedom of expression) and 11 (freedom of assembly) of the ECHR. For press coverage, see here.
Ben is currently acting as junior counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). He recently appeared with Fiona Scolding QC at the Inquiry hearing into abuse within the Anglican Church, specifically by former bishop Peter Ball. For press coverage, see here and here.
Social Security, tax and pensions
As a pupil to Galina Ward, Ben assisted with the preparation of appeals relating to tax credits, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and police injury pensions. In addition, as a Free Representation Unit representative, Ben appeared before the First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement) for individuals appealing decisions in relation to their entitlement to benefits.
Healthcare, Education and Information
Ben has a keen interest in healthcare law, and co-authored (with Hannah Gibbs) a chapter on GP law in the leading textbook on the matter: NHS Law and Practice.
Ben has represented unsuccessful Freedom of Information Act applicants in appeals to the Information Tribunal.
In addition, as pupil to Galina Ward, Ben assisted with and advised on claims relating to school admissions and SEN matters, as well as with a judicial review of a prison categorisation decision.
Ben acted as a junior to Richard Turney in two judicial review claims against the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Natural England in relation to the culling of badgers in England. The claims raised important public law principles and issues relating to the Habitats Regulation. It is also the first English case to consider the effect of the controversial CJEU People Over Wind judgment: R (Langton) v SSEFRA  EWHC 2190 (Admin). Ben continues to represent the claimant, who has recently brought a further judicial review in this matter.
Ben has also represented clients in statutory nuisance claims in the Magistrates Court.
As part of his planning practice, Ben has been instructed to advise on matters relating to the EIA Regulations.
Ben was recently appointed as a contributor to Garner’s Environmental Law, for which he writes the chapter on the management and shipment of waste.
In addition, as a pupil to Charles Banner, Ben assisted with the drafting of submissions for the Court of Justice of the European Union in relation to the regulation of genetic mutation techniques.
Ben has appeared for clients in both the High Court and County Court in relation to property matters. In particular, Ben frequently appears for both landlords and tenants in residential (private and public sector tenancy) possession hearings and in disrepair actions at the County Court. Ben has also successfully represented clients at hearings relating to orders for sale and enforcement, business tenancy renewals, applications for default judgment and other case management hearings.
Ben has provided written advice and drafting services for clients in relation to a number of other property matters, including:
- Leasehold enfranchisement under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993
- The interpretation of leases and enforceability of leasehold covenants
- Easements and rights of way
- Rights to light
- Disrepair and dilapidations
- Rent recovery in commercial leases
- Forfeiture, estoppel and waiver
- Assets of Community Value
- Business tenancy renewals and terminations.
Ben was recently instructed as a junior to Katharine Holland QC in a high-value High Court claim in relation to valuation, the enforceability and interpretation of covenants and deeds of indemnity.
Ben is also instructed as a junior to Myriam Stacey in a claim relating to the construction of complex commercial lease.
In addition, as a pupil to Thomas Jefferies, Ben assisted with advice in relation to forfeiture, highways and valuation.
Ben has a busy planning practice and has appeared for clients both the High Court and at inquiries. Recent appearance include:
- Finney v Welsh Ministers  3073 (Admin): A significant case relating to the application of s.73 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990 and the Arrowcroft principle. Ben acted as sole counsel.
- Land North East of Eagles Farm, Sevenoaks: a planning inquiry which considered an application to construct a gypsy/traveller site in the greenbelt.
- St Peters’ Church, Norwich: a planning hearing into a proposed housing development in Norwich City Centre. Ben appeared on behalf of interested parties to make submissions in respect of viability and the application of NPPF2
- 21 Buckle Street: Ben appeared as a junior to Christopher Katkowski QC (on behalf the appellant) at a planning inquiry relation to the construction of a multi-storey apart-hotel in Tower Hamlets.
In addition, Ben has advised clients on a wide range of planning matters, including:
- Permitted development rights
- Habitats Regulations
- EIA Regulations
- Greenbelt issues
- Public Sector Equality Duty
- Heritage matters and ‘enabling development’
- Neighbourhood plans
- Air quality issues
As a pupil to Guy Williams, Ben attended and assisted with several planning inquiries and hearings, including in relation to:
- Compulsory purchase and estate regeneration
- Infrastructure Projects.
- BPP University, Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding) (2016)
- BPP University, Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction) (2015)
- University of Oxford (Hertford College), M.St in History (Distinction) (2010)
- Durham University (St Aidan’s College), BA History (First Class) (2009)
- Inns of Court Debating Competition 2016 (Finalist)
- Advocacy Scholarship (BPP University)
- Prince of Wales Scholarship (Gray’s Inn)
- Bar Council Law Reform Essay Competition 2014 (Winner, best GDL entry)
- David Karmel Scholarship (Gray’s Inn)
- ‘GP Practice Management’ Lock and Gibbs, NHS Law and Practice (LAG, 2018), co-authored with Hannah Gibbs
- ‘Judicial Remedies for Human Rights Act Breaches: Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Carmichael  EWCA Civ 548’, Judicial Review 2018
- ‘At what point does what’s mine become yours? A critical analysis of the current law on common intention constructive trusts and cohabitation’, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Student Law Review (2016), vol. 4, issue 1
- ‘Monkey see, monkey do something about this law: a proposal to reform the Communications Act 2003′ (winner, best GDL entry in the Bar Council Law Reform Essay Competition, 2014)
- ‘The Pope, the pop princess and the privacy protector: mass surveillance and the defence of human rights’, BPP Human Rights Law Journal (2014), vol. 5
Talks and Seminars
- ‘Rooftop Development: Tenants’ Statutory Rights’, co-authored with Thomas Jefferies, September 2017
- ‘The issue of consent in user and alterations covenants’, Landmark Chambers seminar, September 2017
- ‘Public Procurement Update 2017’, co-authored with Charles Banner
- ‘Planning High Court Challenges: Practice and Procedure Update 2017’, Landmark Chambers seminar, November 2017, co-authored with James Maurici QC