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Benjamin Phelps

Call 2017

bphelps@2tg.co.uk

+44 (0)20 7822 1200

Overview

Ben practises across the full range of chambers’ core areas with a particular emphasis on private international law, commercial and employment litigation.

Ben’s practice has a substantial international dimension. He is currently instructed in high value disputes before the DIFC Courts (with Timothy Killen) and Supreme Court of Gibraltar (with Benjamin Browne QC). Ben has particular interest in dealing with questions of jurisdiction and applicable law. He recently assisted Marie Louise Kinsler QC in a challenge to jurisdiction considering the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brownlie v Four Seasons and recent developments in the principles governing the granting of extensions of time for service of the Claim Form. Ben also recently assisted leading counsel in advising on applicable law in the context of a cross border claim by a high-profile sport’s team.

Ben’s commercial practice is diverse. Recent work includes advising charities on breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims, companies on the terms of declaratory relief and enforcement, and shareholders on unfair prejudice petitions. He was instructed to assist Will Clerk and Stuart Benzie in successfully obtaining a doorstep delivery up order (Hyperama Plc [2018] EWHC 3484 (QB)).

Ben represents employees and employers across a range of employment litigation including unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims. He is currently instructed by an employee in a claim for unfair dismissal against a backdrop of a highly peripatetic working life and instructed by the MOD in a long running sexual harassment and discrimination claim.

Private International Law

Ben’s practice has a substantial international element well beyond his call, whether that be challenging jurisdiction, determining/ applying the applicable law, or appearing before international Courts. Ben has experience of Rome I, Rome II, the Brussels I Regulation (Recast), the Lugano Convention, the Montreal Convention, the Athens Convention, the Package Travel Regulation and domestic principles e.g. forum conveniens and forum non conveniens. Ben also has experience of intra UK jurisdiction and applicable law disputes. Recent highlights include:

Peacock v HHI  (2019 – ongoing) – challenging jurisdiction on behalf of a South Korean domiciled defendant. Raising questions of the scope of the tort gateway following Brownlie, the application of the necessary or proper party gateway, forum conveniens and recent case law on challenging extensions of time (assisting Marie Louise Kinsler QC).

X v X  (2019) – question of applicable law in a high value breach of contract claim by a prominent sports team (assisting leading counsel). The argument as to which law applied could provide a complete defence to a claim in excess of £5 million.

Bhatti  (2019 – ongoing) – trial on a preliminary issue of habitual residence under the Rome II Regulation scheduled for early 2020 (assisting Marie Louise Kinsler QC and Alistair McKenzie).

X v X  (2019 – ongoing) – advising on jurisdiction and applicable law in an intra UK multi-million claim for damages following severe injuries suffered by a child (assisting Marie Louise Kinsler QC).

Sullivan v TCA  (November 2019) – case before the Supreme Court of Gibraltar with Benjamin Browne QC. Claim valued circa £15 million.

Brownlie No2  (2019 – ongoing) – assisting Marie Louise Kinsler QC and Alistair McKenzie with an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Commercial

Ben has a flourishing and diverse commercial practice acting for Claimants and Defendants in a broad range of disputes, both led and unled. Highlights include:

Hyperama Plc [2018] EWHC 3484 (QB) – successfully obtained a doorstep delivery up order in the context of alleged theft of confidential information by employees (assisting Stuart Benzie and Will Clerk).

X v X  (2019) – advising a charity on breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and potential injunctive relief.

X v X  (2019) – advising a party who successfully obtained declaratory relief following Part 8 proceedings on enforcement of declaratory relief.

In the matter of X (a company)  (2019) – advising a shareholder on an unfair prejudice petition raising issues of lawful act economic duress following Times Travel UK Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 824.

GlobeMed  (2018 – ongoing) – high value contractual claim in the DIFC Courts. Instructed as part of a team of 2TG counsel.

Employment

Ben has extensive experience advising, drafting and representing both employers and employees in a wide range of employment disputes. He has experience in particular of unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing and breach of restrictive covenants. Particular highlights include:

X v X  (2019 – ongoing) – Representing an employee with a highly peripatetic working life in a claim for unfair dismissal.

X v X  (2019 – ongoing) – Representing an employee in a disability discrimination claim against a large tech company in the context of complicated mental health problems.

Hyperama Plc  [2018] EWHC 3484 (QB) – successfully obtained a doorstep delivery up order in the context of alleged theft of confidential information by employees (assisting Stuart Benzie and Will Clerk).

Ben has a particular interest in issues associated with protecting transgender rights in the workplace and has spoken extensively on the topic with Niazi Fetto.

Clinical Negligence

Ben regularly advises, drafts and appears for NHS Trusts and private hospitals in clinical negligence cases, often including multiple experts and cases in excess of £1m. A recent case involved advising in a case concerning the likely effects of a complex cocktail of drugs on a patient sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Ben also acts on behalf of Claimants.

Insurance & Reinsurance

Ben has recently completed two secondments at international law firms where he worked on a range of coverage issues in relation to property damage work. Ben has a particular interest in non-party costs orders against Insurers having recently delivered talks on the same with Howard Palmer QC.

Ben has recently advised an Insurer in a professional negligence claim valued at circa £500,000 in a complex case involving contesting jurisdiction over invalid service and the effect of an Insured’s bankruptcy in a case outside the scope of the Third Parties (Right Against Insurers) Act 2010.

Property Damage

Ben regularly advises, drafts and appears in property damage cases. Ben has particular experience of tree subsidence cases, the New Roads and Street Works Act and fire damage.

Ben is currently instructed in a high value bridge damage case, led by Isabel Hitching QC.

Ben assisted Neil Moody QC and Daniel Crowley in preparation for a 4 week trial in the TCC following extensive property damage and loss of profits occasioned by a warehouse fire started in the 2011 London Riots.

Professional Negligence

Ben acts for both Claimants and Defendants in professional negligence claims. He is currently instructed on behalf of the Defendant in a circa £500,000 solicitor’s negligence claim where it is alleged the Defendant missed the limitation period for the Claimant’s underlying personal injury claim.

Sport

Ben accepts instructions from players, clubs and regulatory authorities. Ben deploys his expertise in contract, tort, employment and the conflict of laws in the Sport law context.

Ben recently assisted leading counsel in advising on applicable law in the context of a claim by a high-profile sport’s team for breach of contract (claim valued at circa £5 million).