AREAS OF EXPERTISE
- Commercial Law
- Competition/Market Conduct
- Conflict of Laws (Private International Law)
- Intellectual Property
- Professional Negligence
- Constitutional Law
- Immigration Law
Ben has a broad practice with a particular focus on commercial, public law, criminal appeals and common law matters. Ben has been involved in cases in the High Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia, Federal Magistrate's Court, Supreme Court of Victoria, County Court of Victoria, and Magistrates Court of Victoria. Ben is a member of the Victorian and Western Australian Bars and is a member of Francis Burt Chambers in Perth.
Background and Qualifications
Prior to coming to the Bar, Ben worked at Freehills for four years in Dispute Resolution, as an Associate to The Honourable Justice Kenneth Hayne AC at the High Court of Australia (2012-2013) and as Counsel Assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth (2013-2014).
Ben accepts briefs in the areas of administrative law, arbitration, commercial law, common law, competition and consumer law, conflict of laws, constitutional law, criminal law, insolvency, international law, regulatory investigations and federal and State taxation.
Ben holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Western Australia ("UWA"), where he completed his Law (Hons) and Commerce degrees and was ranked first out of 192 graduating Law students. Ben won a number of academic prizes at UWA including the HCF Keall Prize for the highest marks in the final year of the law degree and the Frank Edward Parsons Memorial Prize in Law for most outstanding characteristics of leadership and service. He was also a member of the UWA Philip C. Jessup International Law Mooting Team that finished first in Australia and runner up in the World Finals in Washington DC.
At a post-graduate level, Ben has completed a Master of Laws from New York University (as a Hauser Global Scholar) focusing on Corporate and Competition Law, where he won the Betty Bock Prize for Competition Policy, and a D.Phil. in Law from the University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar). He has taught Finance, Corporations Law, Private Law, Competition Law, Public Law, Administrative Law, Taxation Law and Evidence at various stages of his career (often while practicing full-time) at the University of Oxford, University of Melbourne, Trinity College, UWA and the Australian National University. At Oxford, Ben was also an Editor of the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal.
Some of Ben’s experience since coming to the Bar includes:
Competition Law and Market Regulation
- Acting and appearing for Enernoc Australia Pty Ltd in proceedings in the Supreme Court of Western Australia (with Craig Colvin SC) concerning State and National energy regulation (Enernoc Australia Pty Ltd v Minister for Energy for the State of Western Australia  WASC 29 and Enernoc Australia Pty Ltd v Minister for Energy for the State of Western Australia [No 2]  WASC 113).
- Acting for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in conducting investigations (including undertaking s155 examinations) regarding exclusive dealing, misuse of market power, misleading or deceptive conduct and unconscionable dealing.
- Advising on a variety of exclusive dealing type arrangements (with Michael O'Bryan QC).
- Acting on an arbitration concerning international supply arrangements with alleged Competition Law violations (with Alan Archibald QC).
- Acting for the Applicants in Public Transport Development Authority/Civic Nexus Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in a Land Tax dispute concerning land, buildings and an associated development worth in excess of $1 billion (with Jim Delany QC)  VCAT 1457 (and subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria  VSCA 266).
- Acting for the Applicants in the successful High Court of Australia challenge to the Bell Group Companies (Finalisation of Matters and Distribution of Proceeds) Act 2015 - Bell Group N.V. (in liquidation) v Western Australia; W.A. Glendinning & Associates Pty Ltd v Western Australia; Maranoa Transport Pty Ltd (in liq) v Western Australia  HCA 21 (with Malcolm McCusker QC, Steven Penglis and Adam Sharpe) involving consideration of taxation, insolvency and constitutional law.
- Acting for the Australian Taxation Office in a Federal Court of Australia challenge to the conclusive evidence provisions contained with the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (with Peter Hanks QC and Nigel Evans) (Chhua v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 1127).
- Advising the Australian Taxation Office on challenge to various garnishee orders contested by insolvency practitioners (with Stephen Sharpley QC and Eugene Wheelahan).
- Acting for the Australian Taxation Office in bankruptcy proceedings.
- Acting on a Supreme Court of Victoria matter concerning misleading or deceptive conduct and the need to obtain urgent injunctive relief (with Daniel Crennan).
- Advising on the enforcement of foreign judgments under the Foreign Judgments Act 1991 (Cth) (with Jim Delany QC).
- Acting and appearing unled in the Federal Circuit Court for a defendant following an application for the annulment of a bankruptcy created by a sequestration order following successful appeal.
- Acting in an ongoing oppression matter under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), including breach of fiduciary duty, unconscionable dealing and breach of a contractual term of good faith claims in the Supreme Court of Western Australia for in excess of $500million (with Jonathon Moore QC).
- Acting in an ongoing Supreme Court of Victoria matter concerning the exercise of an option to renew a lease (with Jonathon Moore QC). Acting on an insolvency for a liquidator with disputes concerning the conduct of Receivers, the withdrawal of caveats and applications for examination summons.
- Advising on a dispute concerning oil production facilities and construction contracts worth in excess of $100 million (with Jonathon Moore QC).
- Acting and appearing in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an international telecommunications company and computer hardware company in a dispute concerning alleged defective products and service (unled).
- Acting in oppression proceedings under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
- Acting on an insolvency for a liquidator with disputes concerning the conduct of receivers and controllers, the withdrawal of caveats and applications for examination summons.
- Acting and appearing for the "homeless persons union of Victoria" in the Supreme Court of Victoria to resist applications evicting homeless people from housing affected by the East-West Link project (unled).
- Acting for the Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate against a union in a Federal Court of Australia matter where civil penalties and contempt of court allegations were challenged on constitutional grounds (with Richard Niall QC and Matthew Follett).
- Advising on the legality of certain State transport arrangements and appeals against fines including an assessment of the application of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities (with Stephen Donaghue QC).
- Advising on the rights of two pregnant women in immigration detention facing deportation (with Richard Niall QC).
- Advising and appearing on a pro bono basis on appeals under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth), including to the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia.
- Acting on a High Court of Australia constitutional challenge to ad hominem parole legislation (with Robert Richter QC, Kris Walker QC and Daniel Bongiorno) (Knight v Victoria  HCA 25).
- Advising on constitutional and employment law matters concerning the State of Victoria and Fire Fighting Services (with the Solicitor-General of Victoria, Richard Niall QC).
- Acting on a constitutional challenge to s596A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) in the High Court of Australia (with the Solicitor-General of Victoria, Richard Niall QC) (Palmer v Ayres; Ferguson v Ayres  HCA 5).
- Acting for the Victorian Workcover Authority in a serious injury application in the County Court of Victoria (with Jeremy Ruskin QC).
- Drafting an settling submissions and other documents for medical panels constituted under s274 of the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).
- Appearing for the Office of Public Prosecution in sentencing appeals in the County Court of Victoria.
- Acting for the Australian Federal Police before the Coroners Court of Victoria in the investigation into the death of Mr Numan Haider (COR 2014 4917) (with Douglas Campbell QC).
- Acting for the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources in myki ticketing disputes (unled).
- Acting and appearing for the Australian Federal Police in public interest immunity claims.
Some of Ben’s experience before coming to the Bar includes:
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v TPG Internet Pty Ltd  HCA 54 – which considers consumer law, misleading or deceptive conduct and pecuniary penalties (assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth).
- Assisting on three arbitrations under the Commercial Arbitration Act 1985 (WA) with a total quantum of damages in excess of $US 160 million.
- Acting for a financial services company in considering issues of liability and insurance coverage when an employee was badly injured in an overseas incident.
- Reviewing various commercial arrangements involving: restraints of trade; port and rail access (including the Roy Hill Project); collective acquisitions; and third-line forcing.
- Advising on applying for authorisations and making notifications to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
- Plaintiff S156/2013 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection  HCA 22 – which considers administrative law, constitutional law and the legislative power of the Commonwealth (assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth).
- Commonwealth v Australian Capital Territory  HCA 55 – which considers constitutional law, powers of federal Parliament and the inconsistency of Commonwealth and Territory law (assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth).
- Kline v Official Secretary to the Governor-General  HCA 52 – which considers administrative law, freedom of information and the request for access to documents (assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth).
- Acting for the Receivers and Managers of Burrup Fertilisers Proprietary Limited in relation to a constitutional challenge to the examination power contained in sections 596A and 596B of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
- Commonwealth Minister for Justice v Adamas  HCA 59 – which considers extradition and whether surrender was incompatible with the terms of an extradition treaty (assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth).
- Arbitration under the Timor Sea Treaty (Timor-Leste v Australia) in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth).
- The Seizure and Detention of Certain Documents and Data (Timor-Leste v Australia) in the International Court of Justice (assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth).
- Acting for the North West Shelf joint venture partners (including BHP Billiton Petroleum & Chevron) in a taxation dispute (involving constitutional and administrative law issues) for potentially in excess of $2.9 billion dollars.
- Acting in a high profile criminal corruption trial and appeal (including application for special leave to the High Court of Australia).
MEMBERSHIP & ASSOCIATIONS
*liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation
*liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation