Ben practises in public, planning, environmental and property law. He has appeared for clients in the Magistrates’ Court, County Court, High Court, Court of Appeal 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. Ben accepts instructions on a direct access basis.
Some of Ben’s notable cases include:
- Dulgheriu v Ealing LBC  4 All ER 881. A challenge to an order by the local council excluding protestors from the vicinity of an abortion clinic (led by Philip Havers QC, pending judgment in the Court of Appeal)
- R (Langton) v SSEFRA  Env LR 9. A challenge to the Secretary of State’s policy on badger culling, raising important points about the Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations (led by Richard Turney, pending judgment in the Court of Appeal)
- Finney v Welsh Ministers  JPL 402. A challenge to the interpretation of s.73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Permission has been granted to appeal to the Court of Appeal. Ben appears as sole counsel.
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 has a broad public law practice, which includes 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.
Ben accepts instructions in all areas of education law. He has advised and assisted on SEND Tribunal appeals and has also advised and represented claimants and defendants in judicial review claims. Ben was recently instructed to represent the Secretary of State (led by Galina Ward) in response to an unsuccessful challenge by a local academy against a decision by a nearby school to open a sixth form centre: R (John Kyrle High School) v Secretary of State for Education , Unreported.
Healthcare and Court of Protection
Ben is the co-author of the chapter on GP law in Lock & Gibbs, NHS Law and Practice (LAG, 2018). He regularly advises clients on matters of healthcare law, particularly ordinary residence. Ben also accepts instructions in the Court of Protection.
Free Speech and Protest
Ben appeared on behalf of the claimants (led by Philip Havers QC) 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. This case was recently considered by the Court of Appeal. For press coverage, see here and here.
Ben is also instructed on behalf of an individual seeking to challenge a similar order which was recently imposed by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. For press coverage, see here.
Ben was also asked to speak to members of the Irish Parliament in relation to the human rights implications of proposals to introduce nation-wide “buffer zones” outside abortion clinics in the wake of the referendum.
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.
Ben has been instructed as junior counsel by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in an ongoing judicial review relating to the Pension Protection Fund following the CJEU’s judgment in Case C-17/17 Hampshire v Board of the Pension Protection Fund. The claim relates to the obligation on members states to provide citizens with a minimum level of pension protection, pursuant to Art. 8 of Directive 2008/94/EC.
Ben has also advised and represented individuals in relation to Police Injury Pensions.
GDPR and Privacy
Ben has advised clients in response to claims under the GPDR and claims for breach of confidence/misuse of private information.
Ben has experience in a wide range of environmental law matters. He regularly advises clients on the application of the Habitats and Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations. Ben has also represented clients in the Magistrates Court in claims brought under the Environmental Protection Act.
Notable court appearances include:
- R (Langton) v SSEFRA EWHC 2190 (Admin) – a claim which raised a number of important matters relating to the application of the Habitats Regulations. This was the first case to consider the effect of the CJEU judgment in People Over Wind. The Court of Appeal recently heard an appeal in relation to this case; judgment is awaited.
- R (Langton) v Natural England  EWHC 597 (Admin) – the first case which discussed how to interpret SSSI citations and the extent of statutory undertakers’ duties under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
- R (Client Earth) v Environment Agency  unreported – a claim relating to the application of the Industrial Emissions Directive and Best Available Techniques at the Humber Refinery. Ben was instructed on behalf of the Environment Agency and led by Tim Buley QC. They were successful in getting permission to bring a judicial review refused.
Ben is a contributor to Garner’s Environmental Law, for which he writes the chapter on the management and shipment of waste.
Ben has an extensive planning practice. He regularly advises 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
- Interpretation of the NPPF
- Ports and infrastructure projects
- Community Infrastructure Levy
Ben also frequently appears for clients at planning inquiries, hearings and in the High Court. Notable appearances include
- Finney v Welsh Ministers EWHC 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. The claim is due to be heard by the Court of Appeal shortly.
- Land North East of Eagles Farm, Sevenoaks: a four-day planning inquiry which considered an application to construct a gypsy/traveller site in the greenbelt. Ben acted as sole counsel for the Rule 6 party.
- 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.
- 80 Dunsmure Road: Ben appeared as sole counsel for the appellants in a planning appeal against an enforcement notice.
Ben has appeared for clients in the High Court, County Court and First-tier Tribunal 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
- Freehold 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.
- Lease variations
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.
- 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