Ben Lawrence – Head of the Criminal Group
Phone: 0161 214 1500
Year of call: 2003Book BarristerDownload Details
‘Recommended expert’ Legal 500 2022
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
“Highly experienced in fraud and confiscation cases, as well as drugs and firearms conspiracies.” Legal 500 2021
“He has particular expertise in fraud matters.” Legal 500 2019
“A fraud specialist.” Legal 500 2017
“Well regarded for fraud cases.” Legal 500 2016
“Fraud is a particular strong suit, both prosecution and defence.” Legal 500 2015
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  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
- 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 Jason Potts: Prosecuted a man who attacked three females in the same evening in Stoke on Trent. Potts was jailed for 10 years and given five years on license. The case was covered in The Daily Star and The Stoke Sentinel.
R v Mark Baddeley: Prosecuted a man who groomed and attacked a 14-year-old girl at knife point. The man was jailed for six years and given five years on license. The case was covered by the Stoke Sentinel.
R V Terence Llewellyn: Prosecuted a man who was accused of sexual offences against four victims over more than two decades. Following a 12-day trial, 81-year-old Terence Llewellyn was found guilty on 36 counts and jailed for 24 years.
R v Gary Jones: Prosecuted a man who received a 17-year sentence after a campaign of sexual abuse against a schoolgirl. The case was covered in the Stoke Sentinel.
R v Doyle: Prosecuted a man who was found guilty of raping and assaulting two young girls. Following a 12-day trial, Doyle was found guilty on seven counts. He was jailed for 24 years with an extra two on licence. The case was covered on the BBC.
R v Yahya Choudry, Abid Hussain, Shahbaz Ali & Mustafa Boztaz: Prosecuted four men who were found guilty of money laundering. Following a six-week trial Manchester Crown Court, the men received jail sentences totalling 26 years.
R v Crook: Prosecuted a man who was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 13 years and placed on the sex offenders register for life.
R v Lee Wilding, Kelly Grayson and Dylan Jones: Prosecuted three gang members who attempted armed robberies at a Conservative Club and a Premier Inn hotel.
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.Book BarristerBack to top
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.
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.Book BarristerBack to top
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
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.
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
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.Book BarristerBack to top
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.
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.Book BarristerBack to top
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.Book BarristerBack to top