Ben Williams



36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082


5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123


Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570

Clerked by:
Paul Clarke
Rory Davis


Ben appears at first instance before licensing committees throughout the country. Ben's appellate work both for and against local authorities regularly takes him before tribunals from the Magistrates' Courts to the Administrative Court. He has extensive experience in liquor and entertainment licensing prosecutions including offences of sales of alcohol to underage persons and breach of license authorisations.

Ben regularly appears in taxi licensing cases both for local authorities and appellants involving both hackney carriage and private hire vehicles. He has advised extensively on the formulation and implementation of licensing policies.

Significant Reported Cases

Kingston upon Hill City Council v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Greggs PLC [2016] EWHC 1064 (Admin)

R (on the application of 4 Wins Leisure Ltd) v (1) Licensing Committee for Blackpool Council (2) Brook Leisure Blackpool Ltd (3) World Wide Clubs (UK) [2007] EWHC 2213 (Admin) (Licensing Act 2003, a successful defence to a challenge to the Council’s determination of whether a business was 'in thevicinity's.13 (3))

R (on the application of Blackpool Council) v Blacktax Radio Taxis Ltd [2008] EWHC 2776 (Admin); [2009] A.C.D. 18; (Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976;Taxi licensing; a successful appeal concerning the right of appeal to the Magistrates Court and the lawfulness of conditions on a licence.

Luminar Leisure Ltd v Wakefield Magistrates’ Court & (1) Brooke Leisure Ltd (2) Classic Properties Ltd (3) Wakefield MDC[2008] EWHC 1002 (Admin);: (2008) ACD 56; (2008) 172 J.P. 345; (2008) 172 J.P.N. 547 (Licensing Act 2003,a case concerning the impact of Crime and Disorder happening away from the licensed premises)

R (on the application of Blackpool Council) v (1) Hamish Howitt (2) Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport (Intervener) [2008] EWHC 3300 (Admin): [2009] 4 All E.R. 154; (2009) 173 J.P. 101; Licensing Act 2003, a successful application for Review concerning the definition of 'crime and disorder' within the 2003 Act)

R (on the application of Mark Eric Morris) v (1) Preston Crown Court & (2) Blackpool Borough Council (interested party) [2012] EWHC 2134 (Admin); taxi licensing, byelaws. Successfully resisted a claim on the correct interpretation of a byelaw in the context of horse drawn hackney carriages.

Leeds City Council v (1) Leeds District Magistrates & (2) Shell UK Products Ltd (interested party) [2013] EWHC 1346 (Admin) Licensing Act 2003, a successful claim for judicial review, quashing a costs order made against the Local Authority following an appeal.

Torfaen County Borough Council v Stubbs [2014] EWHC 4702 (Admin) Street Trading – definition of a ‘roundsman’, successful case stated in which the High Court overturned the acquittal of a street trader.


Ben is a member of both the Employment and the Licensing teams and also the equal opportunities officer for Chambers.

His practice has a strong emphasis on Regulatory Law and procedure with a particular expertise in Health and Safety and Environmental Law. Increasingly Ben is asked to advise at an early stage of investigation as well as delivering specialist advice on best practice within varied regulatory fields. Recommended in the Legal 500 United Kingdom 2014 & 2015 editorial Northern Circuit - regulatory, health and safety, and licensing

He regularly prosecutes and defends Health and Safety and Trading Standards matters throughout the country, and is experienced in abatement notices including statutory appeals against such notices. 

Ben has a keen interest in Coroner's Court Inquests and Licensing matters including Taxi licensing and public entertainment licensing.  He advises a large number of Local Authorities in respect of policy implementation and enforcement.

Ben has also represented a number of professionals before their regulating bodies in the context of disciplinary proceedings. These have included; police officers, medical practitioners, accountants and a number of different sportsmen.

Ben has extensive experience in respect of regulatory law. He regularly appears in health and safety prosecutions brought by local authorities, the health and safety executive and the police.

Ben is experienced in appearing before a jury and before a Coroner alone.  Ben is frequently asked to assist in Inquests that run alongside Environmental and Health & Safety investigations by prosecuting authorities.

He is experienced in all areas of Disciplinary Proceedings and has recently acted on behalf of police officers, professional sportsmen and medical professionals.

A comprehensive CV reflecting his extensive experience in respect of the following areas can be provided upon request:

  • Health & Safety
  • Environmental law
  • Consumer protection
  • Education

Year of Call: 2001

Areas of Expertise
  • Employment
  • Licensing
  • Regulatory & Disciplinary Law


Chambers UK 2016

"He is always very clear on the facts and he can go straight to the heart of an issue without too much dilly-dallying."

"He's a very affable barrister, he's got a good manner with witnesses and his understanding of NHS work is fantastic."

"A brilliant barrister. He comes across as being laid back, but is very astute, always very clear on the facts and comes in with the killer questions when necessary."

"He is lovely - really down-to-earth and approachable."


North Eastern Circuit - Employment - Employment - Leading Junior

- ‘Excellent with clients and tactically savvy’ (Legal 500 2014)

-‘Puts witnesses at ease, yet still asks those important killer questions’ (Legal 500 2015)

-‘He shows great attention to detail.’ (Legal 500 2017)

Northern Circuit - Employment

"I have been impressed by his attention to detail and very quick response to any question." (Chambers UK 2017)



Northern Circuit - Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing - Leading junior

- ‘Regularly represents local authorities, the police and licensees.’ (Legal 500 2014)

-‘Exceptionally client-focused’ (Legal 500 2015)

-‘He presents very well and is user-friendly.' Legal 500 2017)

“He has a calm manner but an authoritative presence. A lot of the arguments he wins on paper because he's very thorough." "He is practical and prepared” (Chambers UK 2014)

Midlands Circuit - Licencing

"I have been impressed by his attention to detail and very quick response to any question." "His written advice is analytical and a joy to read." (Chambers UK 2017)


Road Transport Lawyers Association

Northern & North Eastern Circuits

Member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers

Employment Lawyers Association

Employment Law Bar association


Judicial Review: Law & Practice (ed. Frances Patterson Q.C. asst. ed. Sam Karim) (Jordans 2014) Licensing Chapter


LLB (Hons)


Chambers UK Logo 2016



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