Ben Lawrence

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 2003

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“A fraud specialist.” Legal 500 2017

Ben studied law at the University of Manchester and was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 2003. His main area of specialism is crime, in which he both defends and prosecutes. He has particular expertise in fraud cases. Ben also has a busy practice in regulatory and licensing matters. He is developing a strong reputation in health and welfare aspects of the Court of Protection.

Legal Directory Recommendations

“Well regarded for fraud cases.” Legal 500 2016

“Fraud is a particular strong suit, both prosecution and defence.” Legal 500 2015

Expertise

  • Crime

    Ben’s main area of practice is Crime. He both prosecutes and defends. He has defended in cases of the utmost seriousness, including murder, rape, sex trafficking, conspiracy, complex frauds and money laundering. Through a strong grasp of the law and the facts of each case, he provides straightforward advice and represents clients robustly and with tenacity.

     

    Ben is a category 4 prosecutor and is on the rape, Proceeds of Crime and fraud panels.  He was on the former RCPO panel and continues to receive instructions from the central fraud group. He is regularly instructed as a junior in complex cases, including drugs, money laundering and attempted murder. He has prosecuted trials instructed by the CCU.

     

    Ben frequently appears before the Court of Appeal, including successfully arguing a legal point in the leading authority on sections 119 & 122 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003:  see R -v- Hulme [2007] 1 Cr.App.R. 26.

     

    Ben has particular expertise in all aspects of the Proceeds of Crime Act and its predecessors:


    • High value and complex confiscation hearings
    • Hidden assets
    • Restraint proceedings (including for third parties)

    • Advising and appearing for POCU
    • Equitable interests of spouses and partners
    • Enforcement
    • Judicial review
    • Certificates of inadequacy in the High Court

    • Receivership hearings in the High Court

    • Section 22 and 23 applications

    • Police Property Act applications
    • Detention and forfeiture proceedings
    • Costs argument.

    R v Clifton Jeter

    Prosecution junior in double attempt murder by a serving murder lifer against two prison staff. Defence witnesses included some of the most serious offenders in the prison system.

    Operation Gilroy

    Defending in a complex and paper-heavy money laundering and fraud case. Having avoided a custodial sentence, case involves complex confiscation proceedings.

    Operation Kremlin

    Defence junior in multi-handed ‘contract’ murder. Acquitted on successful abuse of process argument following revelation of serious disclosure failures.

    R v Nadeem Ahmed

    Successful spousal rape defence.

    R v Lee Paul Dean

    Prosecuted a man who was jailed for six years after being found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl.
    The case was covered on ITV News and in the Stoke Sentinel.
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  • Fraud - Criminal

    Ben’s main specialism within crime is fraud. He prosecutes and defends and accepts instructions from legally aided or privately paying clients. His thorough preparation and consequent knowledge of a case is key to representing his clients. It also allows him to bring life to a case before a jury.

    Ben has experience of all major types of fraud, including missing trader frauds, corporate frauds, Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, short and long firm frauds, alcohol, cigarette and tobacco duty evasion, VAT frauds, NHS frauds and trademark offences.

    Ben is available to advise and represent clients at all stages of a case. He provides pre-charge advice for the prosecution and will advise Defendants under investigation. He is a meticulous and tenacious trial advocate. He has a wealth of experience dealing with complex confiscation proceedings, including high value and high profile cases, equitable interests and hidden assets, and other aspects of proceeds of crime, such as pre-charge restraint, enforcement, contested High Court receivership applications and contested High Court certificates of inadequacy.

    Cases

    Operation Dolly: Prosecution junior in sophisticated long firm fraud, involving extensive use of false documents, transfers between multiple bank accounts and an international element.

    Operation Limited: Defending multi-handed and paper heavy multiple mortgage fraud and money laundering case, consequent to high level drug offences.

    R v Colin Fell: Privately paid fresh evidence appeal to Court of Appeal to address hidden assets finding on a confiscation order.

    R v Michael Mawdsley: Defending high profile and paper-heavy Ponzi fraud by financial adviser with vulnerable victims. High value and complex confiscation proceedings.

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  • Regulatory

    Ben is a member of the prosecution regulatory panel and prosecutes for the HSE. He is available for advice and representation work. He prosecutes and defends all types of health and safety offences, including:

    • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
    • Food Safety
    • Gas Safety
    • Fire Safety
    • Hazardous substances

    Ben carries out work in a number of other regulatory areas, including:

    • Trading standards & consumer protection
    • Police disciplinary hearings
    • Tax Tribunals
    • Fitness to practise hearings at healthcare tribunals and panels, including GMC, GOC, GDC GPhC and HCPC
    • DVSA prosecutions

    Cases

    R v Monwar Ali: Prosecuting gas safety offences resulting in risk to life for the HSE in the Crown Court.

    R v Lovatt: Defending trading standards offences of unfair and misleading commercial practices in the Crown Court.

    Environment Agency v Revell: Prosecuting tyre disposal / landfill offences in the Crown Court.

    Licensing

    Ben has experience of appearing in and advising on a wide range of licensing cases. He both prosecutes and defends. He has appeared in first instance cases and appeals to both the Magistrates and Crown Court. His advocacy experience in the criminal courts for more than a decade is an obvious asset in licensing cases, and he is adept at presenting his clients’ cases in the best possible light to lay tribunals. He is also skilled at presenting legal submissions both at first instance and on appeal.

    The areas he accepts instructions in include:

    • Alcohol licences
    • Gaming licences
    • Taxi licences
    • HGV licences
    • Scrap metal licences
    • Adventure activities

    Cases

    Richards v SHBC: Prosecuting taxi licence appeal in the Magistrates’ Court.

    BBC v Oggie’s Bar: Defending alcohol licence review with allegations of large scale public disorder in Blackpool town centre.

    MCC v Fallon: Defending taxi licence appeal in the Magistrates’ Court.

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  • Court of Protection

    Ben is part of Chambers’ very strong Court of Protection team. He is developing a growing reputation in his own right. His main expertise is in health and welfare cases. He also has experience in property / financial affairs.

    Ben has appeared for local authorities, for the Official Solicitor on behalf of P and for family members. His practice includes cases before High Court judges involving complex issues such as capacity to consent to sexual relations.

    Cases

    HBC v CT: Instructed by the local authority in sensitive case involving novel issues on capacity to consent to sexual relations. Delicate issues of deprivation of liberty and restraint protocols due to P’s escape risk.

    NCC v AH: Instructed by the official solicitor on behalf of P in a case in which P’s husband also became incapacitous during the proceedings and required representation by the official solicitor. Case involved finely balanced deprivation of liberty arguments prior to the Supreme Court decision in Cheshire West and P & Q.

    ERC v DB: Instructed by the official solicitor on behalf of P. Unusual case in which all parties disagreed with the psychologist’s assessments as to capacity and cross-examination was required.

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  • Public Access

    Ben is accredited to receive instructions directly from members of the public through the Public Access Scheme.

    Click here to view our Public Access pages and details of the process for instructing public access accredited barristers.

     

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