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Ben Quiney QC

Call 1998 • QC 2014

"clever, practical and easy to work with."
(Legal 500 2016)

Practice

Ben practises in all areas of common law and commercial litigation. He specialises in commercial and insurance disputes, construction, and professional negligence.

Career Summary

He has practised at Crown Office Chambers since its formation, and 1 Paper Buildings prior to merger. Before coming to the Bar he was awarded a first class degree in law and went onto take the BCL postgraduate degree. After University he worked as a tax trainee with Ernst Young. During this period he received intensive training and experience in accounting, finance and corporate tax matters and techniques.

Recommendations

In the recent editions of Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 Ben is identified as a Leading QC in his core areas of work, such as Insurance, Property Damage, and Professional Negligence. He is described in Chambers and Partners 2019 and Legal 500 2018 as:

  • “A hard-working and meticulous barrister who is very good on his feet.”
  • “Responsive, incisive, clear and an excellent strategist.”
  • “Very bright and eloquent.”
  • “He exudes total confidence in his case and he is a good cross-examiner.”
  • ‘Ferociously intelligent but at the same time very down to earth and approachable’

Previously, Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 have described him as:

  • “Very calm, very intelligent, highly responsive, fun to deal with and a good strategist.”
  • “He is very dedicated, always on top of the details and very pragmatic.”
  • “He is excellent, very good at what he does and particularly good at difficult coverage cases.”
  • “His client care is excellent and he’s always open to new ideas.”
  • “clever, practical and easy to work with.”
  • “A real fighter.”
  • “He has great attention to detail. He is also very tenacious, very bright, ambitious and hard working.”
  • “He is incredibly bright, he gets to the kernel of the problem very quickly. He is very practical and pragmatic in his approach.”
  • “A great advocate and a very tough opponent.”

Construction & Engineering

Ben has wide experience in construction disputes including trial work in the TCC, Arbitrations (domestic and international), and Adjudications. He has dealt with cases for both employers and contractors. Ben regularly works on insurance issues arising from construction projects, including claims under CAR, PI, Property, and Liability policies.

Ben has wide experience of arbitrations and has acted in ICC, LCIA, LMAA, ARIAS, SIAC, and ad hoc arbitrations.

Ben has particular experience in cases involving construction professionals. The cases that he has been involved in have included allegations against professionals including architects, M&E Consultants, and quantity surveyors. Ben has experience of most standard form contracts, including JCT, ICE, NEC, FIDIC, and professional terms (such as ACE, RIBA, RICS). In the latest edition of Chambers and Partners he is identified as a Leading QC in Construction Professional Negligence.

Selected Cases

  • Waterside Developments v Thomas Barnes & ors – Ben is acting in the TCC for engineers involved in the construction of a large wharf side development in Manchester. The multi-party dispute raises interesting questions as to the inter-relationship of engagements and damages (BLM).
  • Blue Manchester v North West – Ben is acting for the leaseholder in a long running dispute concerning the construction and management of a landmark building in Manchester. It raises interesting issues on landlord and tenant claims and the scope of allegedly necessary remedial works (JMW).
  • Carillion Construction Ltd v Woods Bagot Europe Ltd [2016] B.L.R. 382 & [2017] BLR 203 – Ben acted for Defendant engineers in a £multi-million claim arising from an alleged failure to design services of the Rolls Building. Complicated allegations of law relating to the interpretation of contracts and settlement agreements arose, in addition to significant technical matters of acoustic engineering and delay analysis. It also featured a number of preliminary arguments, including resolution by the Court of Appeal of key uncertainties relating to delay analysis. (BLM).
  • Broom v Fluid – Ben is acting for engineers in a claim arising from a private development that appeared on the “Grand Designs” programme and is alleged to require significant remedial works. This is a multi-million pound dispute that raises very difficult engineering issues as it is an “iceberg” house sunk into a small area of land in North London. Difficult questions of scope of duty, technical evidence and quantification arise, along with the unique feature of the building having its own television programme about it. Issues also arose as to the management of the case [2018] EWHC 1266 (TCC) (BLM).
  • Bank of Ireland v Phillip Pank Partnership – Ben acted for the firm of surveyor’s engaged by the Claimant to review the ongoing construction works at a high value residential development in London and now being sued for alleged failures to identify failures by the developer. This case also gave rise to one of recent Mitchell-line of decisions [2014] EWHC 284 (TCC)(BLM).

Construction Insurance

Ben frequently advises on insurance disputes arising from construction projects. This includes claims and recoveries. Recent projects he has acted on include:

  • Coverage issues arising from a large PFI Hospital project.
  • CAR and PI coverage issues with respect to multiple power stations across Europe.
  • Professional Indemnity and CAR claims following the modernisation of a major railway system.
  • Coverage issues arising from landlord’s claims following a major fire in a South London nightclub.
  • Coverage issues arising from a prestigious University project.
  • Recoveries arising from fires on various projects, including a major National Trust Property.

Adjudications and Enforcements

Ben has extensive experience in complex and high value adjudications. He deals with adjudications from start to finish, including enforcement. Enforcements have included:

  • A Large University Project – Ben is acting for an architect in a complex and multi-million pound adjudication dealing with the nature and extent of the duties of various professionals and the difficulties arising from works on listed buildings (DWF).
  • Dawnus Construction Holdings v Amey LG Ltd [2017] EWHC B13 (TCC)dispure dealing with agreed dispute resolution provisions in back to back contracts;
  • TEN v Black – an adjudication enforcement proceedings in the TCC arising from a significant North London development (Mills & Reeve);
  • A Large London Hotel Development – Ben acted for a developer in a series of multi-million pound adjudications arising from a serious fire in a very prestigious London development. The series of adjudications have focused on the cause and culpability for a large fire, operation of a JV agreement, liquidated damages, and the role of project managers (Howard Kennedy).
  • Hart v Larchpark & Fidler [2008] 1 BCLC 589 & [2007] BLR 30 – an adjudication enforcement dealing with multiple issues including: the Adjudicator’s jurisdiction; written contracts and time limits; stays under the insolvency rules; and default judgments;
  • Bennett (Electrical) Services v Inviron [2007] EWHC 49 (QB) – an enforcement raising defences based on the Adjudicator’s jurisdiction and forms of contracts.
  • ALE v MSD [2006] EWHC 2080 (TCC)an adjudication enforcement dealing with the Adjudicator’s jurisdiction under the 1996 Act, contracts, estoppel, and insolvency.

Property Damage

Ben undertakes all areas of property damage work. He deals with coverage, recoveries and defences. Ben has extensive experience of very large fire claims and disaster litigation. He has been involved in the TCC and Commercial Court multi-million pound litigation arising from major fires.

In the latest edition of Chambers and Partners he is identified as a Leading QC.

Selected Cases

  • Boots v Schneider – is acting for Schneider, manufacturer of a component that is alleged to have caused an electrical fire. The fire is alleged to have caused £20m of damage (Zelle).
  • 2 Entertain v Sony – Ben is acting for Sony in defending a multi-million pound bailment claim arising from an arson during the London Riots 2011. The case raises various interesting issues ranging from the effect of limitation and majeure clause to liability of warehousemen to causation and quantification (DAC Beachcroft)
  • Howmet v EDL & ECS 157 Con. L.R. 1 & [2016] B.L.R. 555 – Ben acted for a factory owner in a recovery action resulting from a serious fire that caused £20+m losses arising from an alleged failure of fail safe devices. This case dealt with significant arguments relating to scope of duty, causation and novus actus (RPC).
  • Cadbury v ADT [2011] BLR 661 , [2012] BLR 441 & 145 Con. L.R. 147 – Ben acted for the Claimants against Defendant engineers in this £100m+ recovery action involving the destruction by fire of a large popcorn factory in Pontefract, arising from the installation and operation of a CO2 fire suppression system. This case was one of the Lawyers top 20 cases of 2011 (DAC Beachcroft).

Professional Liability

He has advised upon and dealt with a variety of professional negligence cases, including those involving accountants, tax consultants, lawyers, insurance professionals, construction professionals and emerging professions.

In the latest editions of Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 he is identified as a Leading QC.

Selected Cases

  • VWF Litigation – Ben is acting as part of the team defending the series of claims arising from the alleged under-settlement of miner’s VWF claims by, amongst others, Raleys solicitors. He acted for solicitors in Perry v Raleys Solicitors [2017] P.N.L.R. 27 (BLM). Permission to appeal to the Supreme Court has been granted, with the appeal to be heard in November 2018. This will be dealing with the notion of the test for lost chances and honesty, the principles in Allied Maples, and questions of the Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction (BLM).
  • The Ingenious Litigation – Ben is acting for accountants in the Ingenious Litigation, which is one of the Lawyers Top Cases of 2018. It is a class action of 100s of high net worth individuals arising from a £1.5bn tax management fund. The claims are varied and complex. The Claimants are a number of investors in Ingenious Media’s film/game investment partnerships who are seeking recoveries after allegations of tax avoidance by HMRC and adverse findings in the Tax Tribunals. The action centres on the claim that investors were assured that these partnerships were entirely legitimate trading businesses seeking to make profit through financing films and video games, such as Avatar. Liabilities that have arisen from the decisions of HMRC and the Tribunals are alleged to exceed £500m. The Defendants include tax advisors, accountants and banks. The case is being managed by Morgan J in the Chancery Division (Kennedys).
  • BPC Hotels Ltd v Wright Hassall LLP [2016] EWHC 1286 (TCC) Ben successfully struck out a claim raising allegations of solicitors’ and barrister’s negligence. This was based on the scope of retainer and issues of causation (BLM).

Brokers Negligence

He regular acts for and against Insurance Brokers. Recent cases have included:

  • Ram Recycling v DRC and ors [2012] EWHC 1736 Comm, [2012] EWHC 2464 (Comm) & [2012] EWHC 2757 (Comm) was a multi-party dispute in the Commercial Court dealing with issues relating to broker’s and sub-broker’s negligence, breach of warranty of authority, and coverage.
  • British Gymnastics v Zurich, Brit & Perkins Slade [2017] EWHC 2500 (Comm) – Ben acted for brokers in this long running multi-million pound coverage dispute arising from cover issued to the British Gymnastics Association. Issues arose relating to cover, non-disclosure, claims made policies, the practice in the Lloyds Market, brokers’ duties, and causation.

Accountants’ Negligence

Ben is acting for a number of accountants in different large value claims facing allegations ranging from failures to advise with respect to large financial investments for high net worth lottery winners to the management of Inland Revenue investigations (and COP9). This includes various tax management schemes arising from property, film finance, and investment schemes. Before coming to the Bar Ben worked at Ernst & Young.

IFAs and Investment Schemes

He has advised on and acted in various cases involving investment schemes, tax management schemes, and related investment advice. This has included property investments, film finance schemes and various corporate re-structuring issues. Ben is currently involved in the Ingenious litigation.

Construction Professionals

Ben regularly acts for all types of construction professionals. Recent cases have included:

  • Services engineers: Carillion Construction Ltd v Woods Bagot Europe Ltd [2016] B.L.R. 382 & [2017] BLR 203
  • Structural engineers: Bloom v Fluid [2018] EWHC 1266 (TCC) & Mirant Asia-Pacific Construction (Hong Kong) Limited and others v. Ove Arup & Partners International Limited and others [2005] PNLR 10
  • Fire safety engineers: Howmet v EDL & ECS 157 Con. L.R. 1 & [2016] B.L.R. 555 & Cadbury v ADT [2011] BLR 661, [2012] BLR 441 & 145 Con. L.R. 147
  • Surveyors: Bank of Ireland v Phillip Pank Partnership [2014] EWHC 284 (TCC) & Catlin Estates Limited v. Carter Jonas [2006] PNLR 273 and
  • Architects: Maribo v CZL.
  • Technical Auditors: Liberty v Campagna (2011) 27 Const LJ 275

Insurance & Reinsurance

He advises upon and litigates all insurance related disputes, including: D&O, PI, PL & EL policy disputes; dealing with insolvent insureds and insurance companies; subrogated recovery claims (including disaster claims); and all coverage issues (including non-disclosure, notification, moral hazard, and warranty cases). Insurance issues frequently arise in all other areas of Ben’s practice, such as Professional Negligence and Construction.

Ben has wide experience of arbitrations and has acted in ICC, LCIA, LMAA, ARIAS, SIAC, and ad hoc arbitrations.

In the latest edition of Chambers and Partners he is identified as a Leading QC.

Selected Cases

  • Wheeldon v Millennium Insurance [2017] BLR 23, 178 Con LR 168 and [2018] EWCA Civ 2403 – Ben successfully represented a recycling company seeking to recover insurance monies due to a fire, which raises issues of coverage, warranties, the recycling industry and technical evidence (Trowers Hamlin).
  • British Gymnastics v Zurich, Brit & Perkins Slade – Ben acted for brokers in this long running multi-million pound coverage dispute arising from cover issued to the British Gymnastics Association. Issues arose relating to cover, non-disclosure, claims made policies, the practice in the Lloyds Market, brokers’ duties, and causation. In addition there was a particular dispute as to the placing and management of excess cover, which Ben successfully argued could not be added as new allegations to the claim close to trial; British Gymnastics v Zurich, Brit & Perkins Slade [2017] EWHC 2500 (Comm). (Mills & Reeve)
  • Curzon Capital v Pembroke Managing Agency, Ben acted in an insurance dispute arising from various warranties provided on a multi-million euro asset purchase involving a shopping centre in Vienna, which raised coverage arguments, technical evidence and issues of Austrian law (CMS).
  • LIBOR – Ben acted in an ICC arbitration for a trader facing prosecution arising from the well-publicised alleged Libor manipulation on issues arising from available D&O cover (Fenchurch Law).
  • Genesis v Allianz [2014] EWHC 3676 (QB) – Ben successfully represented Allianz at trial following Allianz’s declinature of the Claimant’s claim on the basis that it, by its director, had committed (or procured) arson of the business premises (and its contents) (DACBeachcroft).

Fire, Flood and other Disaster Claims

Ben has extensive experience of very large fire claims and disaster litigation. He has been involved in TCC and Commercial Court multi-million pound litigation arising from major fires such as: Primark v Magna, Cadbury v ADT, Southwark v Greenacre, Howmet v ECS, Wheeldon v Millennium Ins, CPG v Great Lakes, V A Laundry v Sterling Ins, Boots v Schneider, and 2 Entertain v Sony.He was part of the team of Counsel working on the Buncefield litigation for Total, including dealing with the disclosure dispute in that litigation; [2008] EWHC 2218 (Comm). He advises on both the coverage and recovery elements of this category of cases.

D&O Insurance

Ben is regularly instructed to advise and act on disputes dealing with Directors and Officers policies. Ben has particular expertise in this area as a result of his experience with Directors’ Duties cases. Recent cases have included:

  • A coverage dispute arising from alleged wrongful trading activities in the green energy market.
  • Issues arising from directors disqualification proceedings and alleged wrongful trading in the running of a major charity.
  • A dispute relating to whether defence costs should be indemnified in a long running financial fraud case.

Coverage issues arising from US Securities prosecutions involving Russian nationals in the energy sector.

Professional Indemnity Claims

Ben regularly advises on all issues connected to professional indemnity disputes. Recent work includes:

  • Advice on aggregation of claims arising from various conveyancing transactions.
  • Advice on the inter-relationship between contractual and non-contractual exclusions.
  • Advice on the scope of cover for IFAs.
  • Advice on the effective of a deliberate or reckless act of a professional on cover.

Commercial

Ben has a wide experience of commercial matters, including: sale of goods; contractual disputes; civil fraud, company law and insolvency issues; guarantees and indemnities; passing off and intellectual property matters; jurisdictional disputes; and fiduciary obligations and equitable remedies.

Ben has wide experience of arbitrations and has acted in ICC, LCIA, LMAA, ARIAS, SIAC, and ad hoc arbitrations. Ben has been called to the BVI Bar.

Selected Cases

  • SDI v Rangers FCBen is acting for Rangers Football Club in a long running dispute between it and Sports Direct. This raises issues relating to the interpretation of a distribution agreement and the appropriateness of injunctive relief, [2018] EWHC 2948 (Comm)(Mills & Reeve).
  • St Vincent European General Partner Ltd v Robinson [2018] EWHC 1230 (Comm) [2018] EWHC 1442 (Comm) – Ben is acting for property advisers involved in the multi-million pound sale of commercial properties in Poland. The Claimant alleged that various parties had been involved in breaches of fiduciary duty, sales at under value, breaches of contract and an unlawful means conspiracy. This involved unsuccessful applications to join a number of additional Defendants, including Ben’s client (Mills & Reeve).
  • ICC Arbitration – Ben acted for an importer of rock salt in a £million+ arbitration dealing with documentary credits and force majeure clauses (Rustem Guardian).
  • LMMA Arbitration – Ben acted for an importer in a multi-million pound international sale of goods dispute (Rustem Guardian).
  • MPA v HPI (2017, BVI) – Ben was instructed in enforcement proceedings in the BVI Courts arising from a multi-million dollar Panamanian Arbitration award determining a dispute involving the operation of an Ecuadorian Port (Appleby).
  • Internovia Litigation – Ben is acting for companies in a multi-million pound complex shareholder dispute regarding mines in Brazil in the Commercial Court (Candey Parker).

Directors’ Duties Cases

Ben has particular expertise in director’s cases and has been described in the legal directories as an expert in this field. He regularly advised on Directors & Officers Insurance claims arising from such issue. He successfully argued in the Court of Appeal the novel point that directors owe special and particular duties of disclosure in Item Software v. Fassihi and others [2005] 2 B.C.L.C. 91 (CA), which is now a core case in this area. He acts for both companies and directors/employees. These cases often involve allegations relating to breach of fiduciary duty, restrictive covenants, copyright, passing off, economic torts, and accessory liability. He has taken to trial a number of such cases including:

Freezing Injunctions, Search Orders, and other interim remedies

Ben has extensive experience of with and without notice urgent applications, such as:

Product Liability

Ben regularly works on technical cases involving defective products. His main focus is on disputes where products have failed causing financial losses. For example, he often deals with claims in a sale of goods context or where defective products cause damage to buildings and plant, such as by fire or flood. Ben has dealt with cases covered by most standard form contracts and often has to deal with issues relating to limitations and exclusions.

Selected Cases

  • Boots v Schneider – is acting for Schneider, manufacturer of a component that is alleged to have caused an electrical fire. The fire is alleged to have caused £20m of damage. The complex and multi-party 6 week trial is listed for Autumn 2018 in the TCC (Zelle).
  • Howmet v EDL & ECS 157 Con. L.R. 1 & [2016] B.L.R. 555, Ben acted for a factory owner in a recovery action resulting from a serious fire that caused £20+m losses arising from an alleged failure of fail safe devices. This case dealt with significant arguments relating to scope of duty, causation and novus actus (RPC).
  • Bembridge Marine v Allen & ors [2012] EWHC 2213 (TCC), Ben defended the supplier of bolts and gratings in a £7m sale of goods claim in the TCC. The case raised issues of contractual formation, sale of goods, and limitations of liability. He succeeded in enforcing ASD’s limitation of liability clause in its standard contract terms, which was found to cap the recoverable damages at £705 rather than £7million (DAC Beachcroft).
  • Cadbury v ADT [2011] BLR 661, [2012] BLR 441 & 145 Con. L.R. 147 Ben acted for the Claimants against Defendant engineers in this £100m+ recovery action involving the destruction by fire of a large popcorn factory in Pontefract, arising from the installation and operation of a CO2 fire suppression system. This case was one of the Lawyers top 20 cases of 2011 (DAC Beachcroft).

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Qualifications


  • Birkdale School, Sheffield.
  • University College, Oxford. BA (Hons) in Law – First Class.
  • Tax Trainee with Ernst & Young
  • University College, Oxford. BCL.
  • Admitted to Gray’s Inn. Awarded the Lord Birkenhead Scholarship.
  • Inns of Court School of Law.
  • Called to the Bar.
  • Tenant at Crown Office Chambers (previously One Paper Buildings).
  • Appointed QC
  • Called to the BVI Bar.

Memberships


  • COMBAR
  • LCLCBA
  • TECBAR
  • PNBA

Recommendations


“Ferociously intelligent but at the same time very down to earth and approachable.”

Legal 500 2017

“Very calm, very intelligent, highly responsive, fun to deal with and a good strategist.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

“He is very dedicated, always on top of the details and very pragmatic.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

“He is excellent, very good at what he does and particularly good at difficult coverage cases.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

“Particularly good at oral advocacy.”

Chambers & Partners 2017

“His client care is excellent and he’s always open to new ideas.”

Chambers & Partners 2017

“He has great attention to detail, is very tenacious and very bright.”

Chambers & Partners 2016

“Extremely user-friendly – very clear in the way that he explains things.”

Chambers & Partners 2016

“He is incredibly bright, he gets to the kernel of the problem very quickly. He is very practical and pragmatic in his approach.”

“He is an ingenious lawyer, and one of those practitioners that just loves the law.”


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