Ben advises on the full range of financial crime exposure that businesses face. He is instructed in some of the most significant current enforcement processes both in the UK and internationally, covering risk generated by alleged financial misstatements, money laundering, sanctions breach, facilitation of tax evasion, bribery and corruption. This experience feeds through into the wider range of ways in which the domestic and international enforcement landscape can affect business interests – whether that is in the context of enforcement situations; internal investigations; compliance, remediation and monitorship activity; investors assessing risk and opportunity; or strategic M&A transactions with exposure to criminal risk.
He routinely partners with GCs and CCOs (in the Oil and Gas, Industrial, Telecoms, Media, Technology, Security, Defence, Retail and Leisure and other sectors) to manage these situations with Boards, their wider business colleagues and external stakeholders. Having trained and practised as a defence lawyer in the City of London, he became a board member and the joint-head of bribery and corruption at the UK Serious Fraud Office. There, he led some of the SFO’s top contemporary cases, including the prosecution at trial of corporates and their senior executives; the first Deferred Prosecution Agreement; and what until recently was the largest DPA. Having also concluded a resolution on the defence side at Freshfields, he has unique experience of negotiating UK DPAs on both sides of the table.
At the SFO, he influenced UK policy matters such as the effective implementation of the Code of Practice governing DPAs, enforcement of the UK Bribery Act and development of the law of corporate criminal liability. He also had a particular focus on building the international relationships necessary to investigate and conclude the most complex matters, and has a good understanding of that community and the rules and real-life practice that govern it.
Partner, previously SFO’s Joint Head of ABC