Ben is a civil practitioner with a specialism in property, chancery and public law.
In his property practice, Ben’s excellent tactical and advocacy skills mean that he is regularly trusted by solicitors in property disputes beyond his call. He regularly advises and appears in disputes concerning factually and legally complex matters often involving high value real estate.
In his traditional chancery practice, Ben is often instructed to advise on and appears in cases concerning contentious probate and all of the ‘private client’ areas of law. He is known for his no-nonsense approach to litigation and gives pragmatic advice in often sensitive cases.
The residual part of Ben’s practice is general civil litigation with a specialist focus on disputes involving public bodies. As such Ben is first-choice junior counsel for a number of solicitors in private law claims concerning people in custody or private law claims against local authorities. Ben has also appeared in a number of high-profile inquests.
Ben joined chambers following a general commercial law pupillage at a specialist commercial set in London and after various academic appointments in public and administrative law.
Ben has experience in drafting and advising at all stages of litigation including pre-action and enforcement. Ben’s experience includes the following:
- Commercial and residential leasehold disputes
- Various statutory residential tenancies
- Housing Disrepair
- Disputes concerning agricultural land
- Disputes concerning mortgages, land charges and/or other forms secured lending
- Adverse Possession
- Boundary Disputes
- Applications under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992
- Applications under the Party Wall Etc Act 1996
Ben has experience in drafting and advising at all stages of litigation including pre-action and enforcement. Ben’s experience includes the following:
- Contentious probate and disputes arising out of wills and testamentary dispositions
- Disputes involving trusts (including breaches of trust, removal of trustees and tracing against trustees)
- Disputes arising out of loans and financial instruments (including consumer credit and other forms of regulated and unregulated lending)
- Applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
- Applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
Public Law and Inquests:
Owing to Ben’s previous life in academia he has a specialist interest in public law and regulation. Ben has advised and appeared in a number of inquests including high-profile ones and is known for his tactful yet precise approach to the inquisitorial process.
Ben has advised and defended in various environmental prosecutions. He was also panel environmental prosecutor for a local authority. Accordingly, he is keen to expand further into areas ancillary to his property and public law practice including planning and environmental enforcement and regulation.
Ben has experience of cases involving road traffic accidents, employer’s liability and public liability. He regularly appears in interim and final hearings on all tracks. Ben also has a thriving papers practice and can be instructed to draft pleadings, advices and schedule of losses.
Mapp v Eastwood, Kelly, Barratt and Hedges(Canterbury County Court and High Court Justice, Chd – Ongoing)
Currently instructed as sole counsel in a long-running dispute about a business lease over a livery yard. The claim has so far given rise to various application for interim injunctive relief and will likely be resolved at a significant week-long trial.
The Inquest of Barry West (2021)
Advised and appeared as counsel in the inquest of Barry West, the son of Fred and Rose West. Ben advised on novel applications for anonymity on interim relief in coronial proceedings.
Peter Skerrit v Ministry of Justice (Liverpool County Court, 2021)
Successfully represented the claimant at a three-day trial suing the MOJ for the public authorities’ breach of duty over failing to keep the claimant safe from gang violence which resulted in serious burn and psychiatric injury while in custody in prison.
The Inquest of Lucas Dobson (2019)
Advised and appeared in the inquest of Lucas Dobson, the 6 year-old child who tragically drowned in the river Stour at Sandwich. Ben appeared for Lucas’ mother.
Fackrell v Rodney Warren & Co Limited T/a Warrens Law and Advocacy (High Court of Justice, Senior Courts Costs Office – 2019)
Successfully advised and appeared in detailed assessment proceedings under the Solicitors Act 1974. The Court assessed the client’s liability towards the solicitors as nil on the basis that the solicitors have given negligent funding advice to the client.
Mary Mohanaei v Abdullah Ramadan and Adel Mohanaei (High Court of Justice, Chd, 2018)
Advised, drafted and successfully appeared in a high value cross-border inheritance dispute involving allegations of dishonesty and misrepresentation concerning three properties
Will Trust of C v Springer (Thanet County Court, 2018)
Advised and appeared for the claimant trustees in their successful claim for trespass to land against the defendant who defended the claim on the basis of proprietary estoppel. Ben also successfully obtained summary judgment in respect of the defendant’s defence under the Equality Act 2010
- Platinum Award (University of Law)
- Petit Bursary (The University of Birmingham)
- Sir Christopher Benson Scholarship (Middle Temple)
- University of East Anglia Law School Award for Exceptional Achievement
- UK Environmental Law Association National Mooting Competition: First Place
- UEA Senior Mooting Competition: First Place
- UEA Negotiation Competition: First Place
- University of Law – Bar Professional Training Course
- The University of Birmingham – LLM in International Law
- University of East Anglia – LLB in Law
- PIBA – Personal Injury Bar Association
- CHBA – Chancery Bar Association
- Attorney General’s ‘Junior Junior’ Panel member
Ben is a petrolhead and enjoys restoring vintage BMWs and working on other four-wheeled projects. He also plays golf (badly) and follows the changing fortunes of Fulham Fc.
Ben Leb – Stour Chambers, 8 Vernon Place, Canterbury, CT1 3HG
My registration number is: ZA132103
In order to provide legal advice and representation, I need to collect and hold personal information. This may be your personal data or information relating to other parties involved in the matter. I will take all possible steps to protect personal information. I will ensure that I do not do anything that may infringe your rights or undermine your trust. This privacy notice describes the information I collect about you, how it is used and shared, and your rights regarding it.
I (Ben Leb) am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a Data Controller for the personal data that I hold and process as a barrister. My ICO registration number is ZA132103. If you need to contact me about your data or this privacy notice, you can reach me at Stour Chambers, 8 Vernon Place, Canterbury, Kent, CT13HG or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The vast majority of the information that I hold about you is provided to or gathered by me in the course of your case and/or proceedings and/or the provision of legal services. Your solicitor and/or I will tell you why we need the information and how we will use it. On occasion I may also obtain information that is available publicly.
What data do I process about you?
I collect and process both personal data and special categories of personal data as defined in the GDPR. This may include:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Payment or bank details
- Date of birth
- Next of kin details
- Details pertaining to education and employment
- Information on your background & current circumstances
- Financial information
- Other family details
- Lifestyle and social circumstances
- Information concerning your health
Where relevant, I may also need to process special category personal data that reveals your:
- Racial or ethnic origin
- Political opinions
- Religious and philosophical beliefs
- Trade union membership
- Genetic data
- Biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person
- Data concerning health
- Sex life and sexual orientation.
On occasion, I may also process personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences.
The same categories of information may also be obtained from third parties, such as other legal professionals or experts, members of the public, your family and friends, witnesses, courts and other tribunals, investigators, government departments, regulators, public records and registers.
My lawful basis for processing your information
The General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) requires all organisations that process personal data to have a lawful basis for doing so. The lawful bases identified in the GDPR that I seek to rely upon are as follows:
- Consent of the data subject – where this required, I will ensure that I have your specific consent for processing your data.
- Performance of a contract with the data subject or to take steps to enter into a contract.
- Compliance with a legal obligation – to comply with various regulatory and professional obligations, e.g. filing tax returns with HMRC.
- The legitimate interests of my business or a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests, rights or freedoms of the data subject.
Examples of legitimate interests include:
- Where the data subject is a client or in the service of the controller;
- Provision of legal services and advice;
- Processing is necessary to ensure network and information security, including preventing unauthorised access;
- For purposes of practice management, accounting and debt recovery;
- For completion of professional regulatory requirements;
- Processing for direct marketing purposes, or to prevent fraud; and
- Reporting threats to public security.
Special category processing
I process special category data when:
- I have your explicit consent to do so; or
- It is necessary for the exercise or defence of legal claims or judicial acts.
Criminal data processing
On occasion, I process data relating to criminal offences where it is necessary for:
- The purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings;
- The purpose of obtaining legal advice; or
- The purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights.
I use your information to:
- Provide legal advice and representation;
- Assist in training pupils and mini pupils;
- Investigate and address your concerns;
- Communicate with you about news, updates and events;
- Investigate or address legal proceedings relating to your use of my services, or as otherwise allowed by applicable law;
- Make statutory returns as required by HMRC or other similar body;
- Assist in any tendering or panel membership applications;
- Assist in any other applications for the purpose of professional development or career progression;
- Communicate legal updates and judgments to other legal professionals;
- For marketing purposes;
- To take or defend legal or regulatory proceedings or to exercise a lien;
- To respond to potential complaints or make complaints;
- To check for potential conflicts of interest in relation to future potential cases;
- To carry out anti-money laundering and terrorists financing checks;
- To respond to requests for references;
- When procuring goods and services;
- To publish legal judgments and decisions of courts and tribunals as required or permitted by law.
I may share your personal data with:
- Instructing solicitors or other lawyers involved in your case;
- A pupil or mini pupil, under my training;
- Opposing counsel, for the purposes of resolving the case;
- My chambers management and staff who provide administrative services;
- My regulator or legal advisors in the event of a dispute or other legal matter;
- Law enforcement officials, government authorities, or other third parties to meet any legal obligations;
- Legal directories, for the purpose of professional development;
- Any relevant panel or tendering committee, for the purpose of professional development;
- Accountants and banking officials;
- Regulators or arbitrators, where complaints or disputes arise;
- Any other party where I ask you for consent, and you consent, to the sharing;
- Data Processors, such as Chambers Staff, IT support staff, e-mail providers, data storage providers and professional colleagues;
- Experts and other witnesses;
- Prosecution authorities;
- Courts and tribunals;
- Lay clients;
- Family and associates of the person whose personal information I am processing;
- In the event of complaints, the Head of Chambers, other members of Chambers who deal with complaints, the Bar Standards Board, and the Legal Ombudsman
Transfers to third countries and international organisations
This privacy notice is of general application and as such it is not possible to state whether it will be necessary to transfer your information out of the EEA in any particular case or for a reference. However, if you reside outside the EEA or your case or the role for which you require a reference involves persons or organisations or courts and tribunals outside the EEA then it may be necessary to transfer some of your data to that country outside of the EEA for that purpose. If you are in a country outside the EEA or if the instructions you provide come from outside the EEA then it is inevitable that information will be transferred to those countries. If this applies to you and you wish additional precautions to be taken in respect of your information please indicate this when providing initial instructions.
Some countries and organisations outside the EEA have been assessed by the European Commission and their data protection laws and procedures found to show adequate protection. The list can be found here. Most do not. If your information has to be transferred outside the EEA, then it may not have the same protections and you may not have the same rights as you would within the EEA.
I may transfer your personal information to the following which are located outside the European Economic Area (EEA):
- cloud data storage services based in the USA who have agreed to comply with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, in order to enable me to store yourdata and/or backup copies of your data so that I may access your data when they need to. The USA does not have the same data protection laws as the EU but the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield has been recognised by the European Commission as providing adequate protection. To obtain further details of that protection see https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/data-transfers-outside-eu/eu-us-privacy-shield_en.
- cloud data storage services based in Switzerland, in order to enable me to store your data and/or backup copies of your data so that I may access your data when I need to. Switzerland does not have the same data protection laws as the EU but has been recognised by the European Commission as providing adequate protection; see https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/data-transfers-outside-eu/adequacy-protection-personal-data-non-eu-countries_en. If I decide to publish a judgment or other decision of a Court or Tribunal containing your information then this will be published to the world. I will not otherwise transfer personal information outside the EEA except as necessary for providing legal services or for any legal proceedings. If you would like any further information please use the contact details at the end of this document.
I am satisfied that such transferred data is fully protected and safeguarded as required by the General Data Protection Regulation.
I retain your personal data while you remain a client unless you ask me to delete it. My Retention and Disposal Policy (copy available on request) details how long I hold data for and how I dispose of it when it no longer needs to be held. I will delete or anonymise your information at your request unless:
- There is an unresolved issue, such as a claim or dispute;
- I am legally required to; or
- There are overriding legitimate business interests to do so.
The GDPR gives you specific rights in terms of your personal data. For example, you have to be informed about the information I hold and what I use it for; you can ask for a copy of the personal information I hold about you; you can ask me to correct any inaccuracies with the personal data I hold, and you can ask me to stop sending you direct mail, or emails, or in some circumstances ask me to stop processing your details. Finally, if I do something irregular or improper with your personal data, you can seek compensation for any distress you are caused or loss you have incurred.
You can find out more information from the ICO’s website:
and this is the organisation that you can complain to if you are unhappy with how I have dealt with your query.
Accessing and correcting your information
You may request access to, correction of, or a copy of your information by contacting me at email@example.com
You may opt out of receiving emails and other messages from my practice by following the instructions in those messages.
I will occasionally update my privacy notice.
When I make significant changes, I will notify you of these through either mail or email. I will also publish the updated notice on my chambers’ website profile.
This set comes recommended for its members' expertise in children and matrimonial finance matters. The children cases range across both public and private law work, and include those concerning non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and fabricated illness. On the financial side, the set's barristers demonstrate the ability to act in substantial financial remedies cases as well as Schedule 1 and TOLATA matters.~ Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020
Stour Chambers has 'a range of barristers at different levels suited for different cases'. Members continue to be instructed in complex multi-day cases in the public law space, where it provides 'expert counsel' across Kent and further afield involving non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and extreme neglect. On the family finance front, Elizabeth Spence is a go-to barrister for high-value cases with issues of minority shareholdings and opponents deploying hostile litigation tactics.~ Legal 500 Bar Guide 2021