Menu My portfolio: 0

Ben specialises in media and information, public and human rights law. He is recommended in Chambers and Partners (Defamation & Privacy; and Administrative & Public Law) and in Legal 500 (Defamation & Privacy; and Media & Entertainment). Ben is a member of the Attorney General’s C Panel for Junior Counsel to the Crown. He was nominated as Defamation Junior of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2016.

Media and Information Law

Main areas of practice

Ben has a broad practice in media and information law, with a particular expertise in defamation, breach of confidence, privacy, data protection and harassment claims and in related areas such as reporting restrictions, source protection issues, open justice and contempt of court.

In recent years, Ben has appeared in several of the most important recent cases in these fields, including the following:

  • Channel 4 v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (2019): Costs in production order proceedings under the Terrorism Act 2000.
  • Oliver v Shaikh (2019): Harassment proceedings brought by a Circuit Judge relating to online publications.
  • Stunt v Associated Newspapers (2018): Court of Appeal decision on the journalistic exemption under the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • In re BBC / R v Sarker (2018): Appeal in respect of an order for reporting restrictions in criminal proceedings.
  • Brevan Howard Asset Management v Reuters & another (2017): Court of Appeal decision on the Article 10 ECHR public interest defence to a breach of confidence claim.
  • Miller v Associated Newspapers (2017): Decision of the Supreme Court on the recovery of additional costs in libel and privacy claims.
  • Hourani v Thomson and others (2017): Trial of claims in defamation and harassment relating to online material, and related source protection issues.
  • Re Times Newspapers; R v Abdulaziz (2016): Court of Appeal decision on an order for an in camera hearing and reporting restrictions in a criminal trial.
  • PJS v News Group Newspapers (2016): Supreme Court decision on an application to discharge a privacy injunction relating to a celebrity.
  • Guardian News and Media & others v Incedal and another (2014 / 2016). Two Court of Appeal decisions on in camera hearings and reporting restrictions in a criminal trial.
  • Yeo v Times Newspapers (2015): Trial of a defamation claim brought by a former MP in which TNL succeeded in its defences of truth and Reynolds / s 4 public interest.
  • Vidal-Hall & others v Google Inc (2015): Court of Appeal decision establishing that damages are available in data protection claims without proof of special damage.
  • Reed Elsevier UK and another v Bewry (2014): Court of Appeal decision on the disapplication of the limitation period in defamation claims.
  • R (Guardian News and Media) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court & another (2012). Court of Appeal decision on open justice in criminal proceedings.

Ben has for several years been instructed as junior counsel for News Group Newspapers in the privacy claims managed together as the Mobile Telephone Voicemail Interception Litigation.Between 2013 and 2016 he represented over 100 claimants who brought defamation, data protection and conspiracy claims in the Group Litigation relation to the “blacklisting” of workers in the construction industry over the course of several decades.

Pre-publication advice

Ben has worked as a regular duty lawyer for the BBC, the Independent and the Observer. He has also provided ad hoc pre-publication advice to a number of media organisations as well as charities and NGOs.

Training

Ben has given in-house training on defamation, data protection and privacy law, and issues relating to reporting restrictions, production orders, journalists’ access to court documents and other open justice issues to various organisations including the BBC, Google, Channel 4 and News Group Newspapers.

Publications on media and information law

Online Publication Claims: A Practical Guide (Matrix, 2017), edited by Hugh Tomlinson QC & Guy Vassall- Adams QC; co-author of the chapter on identifying the proper defendant.

Human Rights Practice (Sweet and Maxwell, 2013), edited by Jessica Simor QC; co-author of the latest update of the chapter on article 10: freedom of expression.

Public and human rights law

Ben’s practice in public and human rights law spans a range of work, including judicial review claims, civil actions against public bodies and Tribunal cases. Among the recent prominent cases in which he has acted are the following:

  • XYZ and others v Ministry of Defence (2017): Claims brought in respect of alleged unlawful detention and mistreatment of Iraqi civilians during and after the 2003 Iraq War.
  • R (BD) v Director of Legal Aid Casework (2016): Decision of the Court of Appeal on the recovery of costs in judicial review proceedings.
  • IS v Director of Legal Aid Casework (2016): Judicial review proceedings relating to the Exceptional Case Funding scheme for legal aid under LASPO 2012.
  • R (Miranda) v SSHD (2016): Challenge to the exercise of the power to stop, search and detain under the Terrorism Act 2000, Schedule 7; Ben acted for the intervener Liberty, whose submissions that the power was incompatible with Article 10 ECHR were accepted by the Court of Appeal.
  • Allbutt v Ministry of Defence (2014): Decision of the Supreme Court establishing that the principle of combat immunity did not bar negligence claims relating to a death and injuries of service personnel on the battlefield.
  • R (Refugee Action) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2014): Judicial review proceedings in which Popplewell J quashed the Secretary of State’s decision as to the sums at which asylum support should be provided.

Publications on public and human rights law

Halsbury’s Laws of England, 5th edition: Rights and Freedoms (June 2013), sole author of the chapters on the right to liberty and the right to a fair hearing.

Children in Need: Local Authority Support for Children and Families (Legal Action Group, 1st edition, 2011; 2nd edition, 2013), sole author of the chapter on legal fundamentals.

Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook (Legal Action Group, October 2010), sole author of the chapter on welfare benefits.

International law

Ben has been instructed in cases relating to a range of international jurisdictions. He has been instructed in constitutional appeals before the Privy Council (Trinidad & Tobago), the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal of Belize. He has also acted in appeals in death penalty cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malaysia and Singapore.

Ben accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.

Privacy Notice

Ben is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to his clients, including advice and representation services, Ben needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes his client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which he is instructed. To read Ben’s privacy notice in full, please see here.

DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS
WHAT THEY SAY:

“Very smart and very good with clients.” “An expert in his field.”

Chambers & Partners, 2019 (Defamation & Privacy)

“Delivers amazing drafting and is highly responsive.” “Charming and hard-working.”

Chambers & Partners, 2019 (Administrative & Public)

 ‘He is very responsive and drafts well, particularly for breach of confidence and privacy matters.’

Legal 500, 2018 

“Developing a notable strength in administrative and public law disputes which involve a crossover with human rights law. He is instructed on behalf of claimants and defendants in a wide range of judicial reviews. Recently, he has appeared in challenges to the government’s legal aid reform.”

“He is superb. Really good and very bright. He is very talented, extremely clever and a very good writer.” “He is phenomenally hard-working and diligent. He puts in more hours than others and is on top of all the papers.”

Chambers and Partners 2018 (Administrative & Public)

“Impressive junior with a broad practice covering the full ambit of media law. He frequently appears in high-profile defamation and data protection cases.”

“An excellent junior: he has a keen eye for detail, is responsive and has a solid knowledge of media law.”

Chambers and Partners 2018 (Defamation & Privacy)

“Incredibly bright and hardworking.”

Legal 500 2017 (Defamation & Privacy)

“A superb junior, whose advice is always thoughtful and on-point.”

Legal 500 2017 (Media & Entertainment)