AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
Ben practises in all aspects of commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Most of his work is in the Business and Property Courts and he regularly appears across the Northern, North-Eastern and Midlands Circuits and in London.
Within his broad commercial practice Ben has developed specialisms (detailed further below) in contract disputes, company and shareholder matters, insurance, insolvency, professional negligence and construction. He also has a growing sports law practice, having acted for a number of football clubs.
Ben approaches every instruction with intellectual rigour, attention to detail, commercial pragmatism and speed. His attitude is that cases are won on the facts and lost on the law, so it is essential to identify and analyse the key issues early to achieve the best result for his client. He is also aware of the ever-pressing need to give a firm, clear view on prospects, for the benefit of the client and insurer/funder.
Ben acts predominantly as sole Counsel and has been led by chambers’ silks on a number of occasions. His clients span the range from large corporations and institutions to private individuals, and the subject matter ranges from multi-million-pound claims and injunctions to his client’s home
Year of Call: 2005
Ben has acted as advocate in a number of arbitrations under the 1996 Act and various different arbitration schemes, and before both lawyer and non-lawyer tribunals. He has particular experience of arbitration in the context of disputes relating to professional partnerships and LLPs and some experience of sports arbitrations.
The Football League v. Curran (2022) – acted in arbitration pursuant to EFL Regulation 95 relating to Rochdale AFC
Re Raleys Solicitors (2020) – acted for former partner in partnership dissolution and winding up proceedings (in arbitration) relating to prominent Yorkshire firm of personal injury / industrial disease solicitors which dissolved by operation of law when three of six partners were suspended from practice in Feb 2009
Re Beehive Surgery Partnership (2020) – acted for retiring partner in partnership dispute (subject to arbitration) relating to a medical partnership
Ben has acted in banking and finance disputes throughout his practice, relating to loans (secured and unsecured); related professional negligence claims against surveyors and conveyancing solicitors; guarantees and indemnities; funding arrangements (including factoring, leasing, hire-purchase); consumer credit and financial services; loan, insurance and swap mis-selling; and assignments. He is regularly instructed to advise, draft and appear in Court both for and against financial institutions; and in FOS complaints/proceedings.
Madworth Limited v. Asplin (2022) – claim for £250k by Isle of Man company against guarantor
Park v. CNH Industrial Capital Europe Ltd  1 WLR 860 (Court of Appeal) – claim by finance company against borrower and competing claim to set aside judgment on the grounds that it was procured by fraud; the principles set down by the Supreme Court in Takhar were considered and applied
Slater & Gordon v. Chester Lettings v. (1) Clydesdale Bank (2) National Australia Bank Limited (2021) – counterclaim against solicitor based on among other things failure to investigate and substantiate mis-selling claims against banking group; issues arising in relation to confidentiality in these proceedings of the terms of subsequent settlement agreement reached with banks
(1) Palfreyman Power Ltd (2) GC Power Cables Ltd v. Lloyds Bank Plc (2021) - acted for complainant companies in FOS proceedings against their business bank in relation to a fraud on the companies committed by their financial controller whereby c.£700k was taken by presentation of cheques paid to cash. Complaint based on Bank’s Quincecare duty of care to client to query payments. Complaint successful to extent of 50% of fraudulent payments and interest.
Moulding v. JCT600 Limited t/a Bentley Newcastle (2020) – acted for the defendant car dealer in relation to a claim by owner of The Hut Group to cancel the purchase of a Lamborghini Countach for c. £350k; the issues arising included the application of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 and the Consumer Rights Directive in circumstances where the vehicle was inspected by an agent of the purchaser
The Flying Dutchmen Ltd v. (1) Lloyds Bank Plc; (2) George Green LLP (2020) – advised on claims by garden centre operator against bank and former solicitors relating to £1.8M funding and hedging product
Bank of Baroda v. Maniar  EWHC 2463 (Comm) – Manchester Mercantile Court - guarantee claim for €425k against former directors of ROI cash-and-carry company, defended on grounds that guarantee unenforceable by reason of Examinership proceedings in ROI
Promontoria v. Walker (2017) – Liverpool County Court – claim by mortgage assignee for possession of £1.5M property portfolio, defended on grounds of unfair relationship connected with IRH mis-selling; settled after 4-day trial in Dec 2017
Davies v. GE Money (2017) – claim by mortgagee for sale at £400k undervalue of farmhouse outside Bolton, alleging failure to take care of the property and failure to repair before selling
R (Clifford t/a Central Credit) v. Financial Ombudsman Service (2014) – Manchester Administrative Court – successfully obtained permission for apply for JR of FOS determination of complaint against credit broker, on grounds that FOS failed to give reasons and failed to investigate
Ben acts in all areas of commercial litigation, with an emphasis on contractual disputes (including sale of goods, supply of services, agency, share/business sale agreement disputes and warranty claims).
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd v. AAG DS Limited (formerly Flybe Aviation Services)  – acting for defendant in relation to claim for USD2.7M for supply of aircraft components and services; issues arising include whether supply was to Flybe Limited (which had subsequently entered administration)
Trude v. (1) Hyman (2) Valcura Ltd (2022) – BPC in Manchester (Business List) – acting for defendants in relation to claim for £988k arising from consultancy agreement connected with property joint venture
(1) Muralidharan (2) Thiagaraja (3) Bader v. (1) Rosenthal (2) MIR Limited (2021) – High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man (Civil Division) – acting for claimants minority shareholders in unfair prejudice claim pursuant to s.180 of the IoM Companies Act 2006 relating to IoM B2B2C e-money business operating the MuchBetter payment platform (value potentially exceeding £100m); and in defending cross-claims by companies for breach of contract/duty
Elite v. BCR  EWHC 3250 – Commercial Court – acted (led by Lesley Anderson KC) for insurance agent in defending a claim by an insurer for damages exceeding £400k on the basis of alleged breaches of a general binding authority agreement in relation to the issue of latent defect insurance policies
BP v. Haswell (2021) – acting for BP in relation to series of claims against former employees posted overseas in respect of UK incomes tax refunds arising from BP tax equalisation policies but retained by the employees, in sums exceeding £150k in each case
Yurukov v. Bet365 (2021) – acting for online betting company in relation to series of claims for allegedly unpaid winnings, defended on various bases including obvious error and/or operation of betting account for a third party
Re Apple Properties Ltd; Parrott v. The Law Trust Limited (2021) – acting in dispute in High Court of Justice of Isle of Man for corporate and fiduciary service provider sued by client in relation to alleged investment losses of c.USD700k sustained over a number of years; claimant’s agents and/or financial advisers joined as additional parties
Bates v. Kent County Council v. Agilisys Ltd (2021) – acting for outsourcing company in relation to claim by local authority for breach of contract and/or negligence concerning operation of call centre service and the authority’s potential liability for catastrophic personal injuries sustained following a road traffic accident on an icy road
Ralph v. Given (2020) – BPC in Manchester - dispute between formerly engaged couple about ownership and right to possession of various assets including £200k Aston Martin and £250k engagement ring; issues raised include whether the hirer’s rights under a hire purchase agreement can be equitably assigned by virtue of a promise to make a ‘gift’ of a car
Velocity Composites Plc v. Kaman Composites UK Limited (2020) – BPC in Manchester (Circuit Commercial Court) – acted for claimant manufacturer of aerospace composite kits in claim against defendant aircraft part manufacturer for £430k in sums due under and/or damages for breach of material supply agreement
Tradebe Fawley Ltd v. Chemtech Waste Management Ltd (2020) – BPC in Manchester (Circuit Commercial Court) – acted for waste management company in claim for £600k damages for breach of contract and/or negligence, arising from supply of hazardous waste with excessive cadmium levels and consequent unplanned shutdown of the claimant’s waste incinerator
Profile Talent Ltd v. Chloe Etherington (aka Chloe Ferry) (2020) – BPC in Newcastle – acted for prominent reality TV star in defending claim for commission/fees/damages following disputed termination of a representation agreement with the claimant talent agency; issues raised included whether agency owed fiduciary duties when seeking to renegotiate representation agreement
(1) AFH Group Ltd (2) AFH Independent Financial Services v. Tucker (2020) – BPC in Manchester (Business List) – acted for claimant purchasers of financial advisory business in relation to dispute concerning earn-out payments, use of confidential information, breach of restrictive covenants
Delphi Diesel Systems Ltd v. Kiveton Park Steel Ltd (2019) – BPC in Birmingham – acted for defendant steel component manufacturer in resisting claim for £897k pursuant to business and asset purchase agreements
Bank of Baroda v. Maniar  EWHC 2463 (Comm) – Manchester Mercantile Court - guarantee claim for €425k against former directors of ROI cash-and-carry company, defended on grounds that guarantee unenforceable by reason of Examinership proceedings in ROI
Manchester City Football Club Ltd & Ors v. Davies & others (2017) – BPC in Manchester - claim against group of urban climbers who had climbed on to the roof of the Etihad stadium in Manchester for worldwide injunctions against them and persons unknown preventing entry on to the Club and parent group’s premises. Led by David Casement KC. Interim injunctions obtained.
Twinacre Nurseries v. Kennett Insurance Brokers (2017) – BPC in Leeds - professional negligence claim for £860k against insurance brokers arising from severe underinsurance of commercial tomato growing business
Ben deals with a wide range of contentious company matters, both domestic and offshore. The majority of his (solvent) company work involves unfair prejudice petitions and shareholder disputes and he has a range of experience of advising, drafting and going to Court on such matters. He also acts in disputes arising from corporate transactions such as share and asset sale agreements and warranty claims; and breach of restrictive covenants (including applications for interim injunctions).
(1) Muralidharan (2) Thiagaraja (3) Bader v. (1) Rosenthal (2) MIR Limited (2022) – High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man (Civil Division) – acting for claimants minority shareholders in unfair prejudice claim pursuant to s.180 of the IoM Companies Act 2006 relating to IoM B2B2C e-money business operating the MuchBetter payment platform (value potentially exceeding £100m); and in defending cross-claims by companies for breach of contract/duty
Bibby v. (1) Project Fleet Newco Ltd; (2) Foresight Regional Investment LP (2022) – acted (alongside Eleanor Temple) in relation to substantial dispute arising from sale of plant maintenance and servicing business; claim for £1.87M unpaid consideration met by counterclaim for damages for breach of warranty and/or fraud
Re JPS Financial Ltd, JPS Walker Ltd (2022) – acted for respondents to unfair prejudice petition relating to successful claims management business and associated law firm, estimated value £800k - £1M. The case raised difficult issues concerning the valuation of WIP in claims management businesses and the effect of hindsight on such valuation.
Re Manahiki Ltd (2021) – acting in relation to shareholder dispute concerning Ryan-Jayberg Limited (industry-leading refrigeration cabinet manufacturer and supplier) and in particular concerning realisation of shareholding worth in excess of £3M
Doyle v. Vincent (2021) – BPC in Leeds - share purchase agreement dispute; acted for sellers claiming unpaid sums amounting to £150k and £36k in damages for fraudulent misrepresentation. Claim largely successful at trial in April 2021.
Re Graham & Brown Ltd (2018) – Ben (led by David Casement QC) acted for respondents to unfair prejudice petition concerning well-known wallpaper business founded in 1940s; petitioner sought a buyout order in relation to shareholding said to be worth £20M. Petition discontinued at trial in late 2018.
Ben deals with all aspects of contentious corporate and personal insolvency. He frequently acts for office holders in relation to claims against former directors for misfeasance, transactions at undervalue, preferences and transactions defrauding creditors. He acts for directors in relation to disqualification and permission to act proceedings. He is also experienced in a wide range of insolvency applications (including applications to restrain presentation or advertisement of winding up petitions).
Re Harewood Associates Ltd; Harewood Venture Capital Ltd (2022) – BPC in Manchester (Insolvency and Companies List) - acted (with Louis Doyle KC) for claimant liquidators in relation to claims to challenge attempts to ‘wipe out’ intercompany balances by purported invoices for management charges in total sum of c. £4.5M
Re Prospect Business Centres Limited (in administration) & 7 Others (2021) – BPC in Leeds (Insolvency and Companies List) – acted for respondent directors and companies in relation to claims by office holders for group of serviced office providers challenging pre-insolvency intercompany transactions in sums exceeding £1M; advised on application to strike out which resulted in discontinuance of claims
Re York Homes Development Ltd (2020) – BPC in Manchester (Insolvency and Companies List) – successful application for an administration order pursuant to Schedule B1 para.12(1)(c) by a creditor in respect of a deadlocked property development company, where the creditor was owned by one of the shareholders in the company
Re Houston Management Facilities Ltd (2020) – BPC (Insolvency and Companies List) – acted for respondent director in defending claims for c.£1.7M under ss.212 and 213 Insolvency Act 1986 in relation to allegedly unaccounted VAT on sales abroad of burnable refuse
Mullins v. (1) Hunt (2) Twinn (2017) – Birmingham Business and Property Courts – obtained judgment for £280k in misfeasance claim against former directors of liquidated recruitment company following 4-day trial
Red Ventures Recruitment v. Gostelow (2016) – Manchester Chancery District Registry – £100k preference claim against parents of director who had ‘propped up’ the company with their credit cards
Bibby Financial Services v. Bal (2016) – Manchester Mercantile Court – defending £350k personal guarantee claim by liquidator against former director of recruitment company, after successfully resisting 2014 bankruptcy proceedings
Re Rowellian Social Club (2016) – Northampton District Registry – application for directions in the administration of a sports social club
Ben has acted in a number of cases with an international element, raising conflict of law issues. He is also familiar with the requirements for service of English proceedings out of the jurisdiction and challenges to jurisdiction. Ben has also in recent years been instructed in relation to in a number of offshore matters proceeding in the High Court of the Isle of Man.
BP v. Haswell (2021) – acting for BP in relation to series of claims against former employees posted overseas in respect of UK incomes tax refunds arising from BP tax equalisation policies but retained by the employees, in sums exceeding £150k in each case. The cases involve issues around the substantive applicable law, and the procedural requirements for service out of proceedings against a former employee.
Ben has acted in a range of partnership and LLP disputes. Ben has appeared in Court proceedings (including partnership dissolution and winding up) and acted in disputes under arbitration (before legal and non-legal tribunals). The partnerships/LLPs concerned have included commercial businesses and medical, dental and legal professional businesses.
Re WP Thompson & Co (2021) – acted (led by Mark Harper QC) in contested partnership dissolution proceedings under arbitration before Prof Mark Watson-Gandy relating to a substantial firm of patent attorneys, raising issues as to whether notice of dissolution can be revoked
Prasad v. Hanif (2021) – BPC in Manchester – partnership dispute arising from dissolution of medical partnership – Ben acted at 5-day trial in Feb 2021 of a range of issues as to the terms of the partnership agreement, treatment of partnership drawings, status and ownership of property and assets used in the partnership business
Conlon v. Conlon (2019) – BPC in Manchester – partnership dispute between brother and sister concerning stud farm and horse-trading businesses carried out in the UK and the USA; the proceedings concerned accounting issues arising post dissolution including the location and value of the partnership assets (including a 50% share in a horse estimated to be worth £4M)
Worger v. AWB Charlesworth LLP (2018) - BPC in Leeds (Business List) – LLP dispute arising from contested expulsion of claimant from well-known North/West Yorkshire law firm. Ben (led by Lesley Anderson QC) acted for the firm and the partners other than the claimant, who sought c. £500k in respect of his partnership share, future profits, damage to reputation.
Kotak v. Kotak (2016) – RCJ Chancery Division - complex partnership dispute between two brothers regarding a property investment and development business worth up to £15M, involving allegations that one brother ‘milked’ the partnership and burdened the properties with borrowing without the other’s consent
Ben has acted in a range of professional negligence claims against solicitors, surveyors/valuers, financial advisers, accountants, insurance brokers and construction professionals. The focus of his professional negligence work is on claims against solicitors, and he has particular experience of acting for mortgage lenders against conveyancing solicitors.
Re Apple Properties Ltd; Parrott v. The Law Trust Limited (2021) – acting in dispute in High Court of Justice of Isle of Man for corporate and fiduciary service provider sued by client in relation to alleged investment losses of c.USD700k sustained over a number of years; claimant’s agents and/or financial advisers joined as additional parties on the grounds that they were themselves responsible for (among other things) any negligent dealing with the investment funds
Choudhuri v. Elsey & Hodson (2021) – acting for claimant in substantial claim against former solicitors based on negligent failure to complete a leasehold extension in relation to a doctor’s flat on Harley Street; and negligent failure to advise on / protect against the precarious terms of the landlord’s licence to practice medicine at the flat. The case also raises issues concerning postponement/extension of limitation periods on the grounds of incapacity and/or deliberate concealment.
Pakroo v. Withers LLP (2021) – acted for claimant in claim for damages exceeding £400k against solicitors on the grounds of negligent drafting and/or advice in relation to the sale of a substantial residence and the potential tax issues arising. Settled in early 2022 before trial.
Twinacre Nurseries v. Kennett Insurance Brokers (2017) – BPC in Leeds professional negligence claim for £860k against insurance brokers arising from severe underinsurance of commercial tomato growing business
DRS Welding v. Christie Owen & Davies; DRS Welding v. HCB Solicitors (2017) – Birmingham Business and Property Courts - professional negligence claims against (1) surveyor for overvaluation of block of serviced apartments; (2) former solicitors for handling of claim against surveyor
Ben is a member of Kings Sports.
He has acted for a number of football clubs in relation to commercial and sports matters,. He acted in a high-profile claim by Manchester City Football Club and the City Football Group for worldwide injunctions against persons unknown to protect their global premises from trespassers (and in particular a group of urban climbers who climbed on to the roof of the Etihad Stadium in Manchester in 2017 and put a video of them doing so on social media). Ben was led by David Casement QC, instructed by Pinsent Masons LLP, and successfully obtained far-reaching interim injunctions.
Ben has also acted in a substantial dispute between a Premiership player and his former agent.
He is keen to develop his sports law practice.
Manchester City Football Club Ltd & Ors v. Davies & others (2017) – Manchester Business and Property Courts - claim against group of urban climbers who had climbed on to the roof of the Etihad stadium in Manchester for worldwide injunctions against them and persons unknown preventing entry on to the Club and parent group’s premises. Led by David Casement QC. Interim injunctions obtained.
Bony v. Kacou & Ors (2017) – Manchester Chancery District Registry – application to challenge jurisdiction in relation to claim by professional football player against former agents and associates for receipt of secret commissions / bribes
Frazer v. Manchester City Football Club (2016) – Manchester County Court - successfully defending ticket refund claim by claimant suspected to be or acting for a ticket tout
Hockaday v. Leeds United Football Club (2015) – Manchester District Registry – claim by former coach for £88k alleging he was sacked in breach of contract
Ben acts in a wide range of construction work from high-value commercial projects involving standard form contracts including JCT, to more informal domestic construction projects. He also acts in adjudications and subsequent enforcement proceedings.
PGK v. A1 Demolition Limited (2022) – BPC in Manchester – dispute arising from agreement for defendant to carry out groundworks at a former quarry site in Leicestershire prior to residential development. Issues arising include the safety of the work done and compliance with planning conditions
Gordon v. Carrock Design Build Limited (2021) – acted for claimant property owners in relation to a claim for damages exceeding £600k for negligent design and/or construction works at an exclusive hotel on Ullswater; and in particular the failure to produce a watertight shell when converting an existing barn building
Flynn v. GB Joinery Ltd (2020) – acted for claimant property owners in relation to claim for damages exceeding £100k for defective joinery and construction works
Tradebe Fawley Ltd v. Chemtech Waste Management Ltd (2020) – BPC in Manchester (Circuit Commercial Court) – acted for waste management company in claim for £600k damages for breach of contract and/or negligence, arising from supply of hazardous waste with excessive cadmium levels and consequent unplanned shutdown of the claimant’s waste incinerator. The issues raised included complex technical questions around the effect on the waste processing cycle of the introduction of such waste and the subsequent efforts to mitigate the damage.
Britcon (UK) Limited v. WYG Engineering Limited (2019) – BPC in Leeds (TCC) – acted for claimant building company in damages claim against defendant civil and structural engineer arising from negligent design and specification of foundations, retaining wall and fill for construction project in Rotherham. Awarded £140k following 2-day trial.
Megson Utilities v. Complete Utility Solutions (2017) – construction dispute regarding installation of gas and water pipework at Royal Veterinary School, £90k payment claim met by £150k damages set-off
Northern Commercial Bar Association (committee member since 2015; CPD officer 2017-2020)
Chancery Bar Association
Northern Chancery Bar Association
British Irish Commercial Bar Association
Professional Negligence Bar Association
R3 Associate Member
- (from Jan 2023) editor of chapters on Default Judgment and Summary Judgment in Commercial Litigation – Pre-Emptive Remedies (Sweet & Maxwell)
- Calling time: the law of limitation directions – Counsel Magazine June 2017; https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/calling-time
- presented session on unlawful dividends for Kings Chambers Insolvency Day – Sep 2022
- The Disclosure Pilot and new approach to Witness Statements – tactics – in-house seminar for Hill Dickinson (Manchester) – May 2022
- presented workshop for Association of Partnership Practitioners on wrongful exclusion from partnership and/or LLP – Jun 2021
- discussion panel on the Disclosure Pilot at Chancery Bar Winter Conference Jan 2020
- presented workshop session on the insolvency tipping point following Sequana for Kings Chambers Insolvency Day - Oct 2019
- the CPR Disclosure Pilot under Practice Direction 51U–seminars for Kings Chambers in Jan 2019 and Jun 2021; in-house for DWF insolvency team Jun 2019 and Lupton Fawcett Feb 2020
- Interim Injunctions to protect property – in-house seminar for Hill Dickinson (Liverpool) October 2018
- Online payment fraud: a case study – in-house seminar Nov 2017 for Addleshaw Goddard LLP
BA (Hons) Literae Humaniores – first class (Balliol College Oxford)
GDL (City University, London)
BVC (BPP Law School, London)
Major Scholar (Inner Temple)
"Ben Harding is a safe pair of hands." Chambers UK 2023
"Pragmatic, very client friendly and certainly a rising star at the Manchester Bar." Chambers UK 2023
"Ben provides the perfect mix of clever, thorough and commercial advice with excellent client care." Chambers UK 2023
"Ben has a breadth of knowledge that is highly impressive and combines that with a gravitas that belies his length of call. An outstanding young commercial barrister and one to watch for the future." Legal 500 2023
"Very intelligent, and his preparation is phenomenal. He is a very considered advocate - quiet but effective." Chambers UK 2022
"Very calm, very pragmatic and very bright." Legal 500 2022
"He is extremely diligent, knows the law inside out and is not afraid to come off the fence and give his view." "He gives insightful advice on knotty commercial litigation disputes." "He is a very good advocate, who is extremely knowledgeable and hard-working." Chambers UK 2021
"Absolutely outstanding. His technical knowledge is excellent and he is very supportive and responsive." Chambers UK 2021
‘A star junior for commercial disputes.’ Legal 500 2021
‘Fabulous brain able to distill a lot of information in a short time. Very calm and methodical in court and in conference. Very reassuring.’ Legal 500 2021
"He is excellent - very good with clients, very thorough and always takes time to prepare for conferences." "He is hard-working and his written work is a delight. His advice is succinct and easy for clients to understand." - Chambers UK 2020
‘A brilliant barrister.’ - Legal 500 2018
"He is an exceptional intellect and a skilled advocate." - Chambers UK 2015
"He is as bright as a button; he has a great delivery and a good courtroom presence."- Chambers UK 2014
36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082
5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
DX: 713113 LEEDS PARK SQ
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123
Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
DX: 13023 BIRMINGHAM
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570
Lesley & Ben were invited to sit on a panel at the Association’s national winter conference on 18/01/20 on the topic of ‘the Disclosure Pilot – one year on’.
Lesley Anderson QC and Ben Harding have succeeded at trial in a test case in the Manchester Circuit Commercial Court regarding the construction of a standard-form ATE policy…
Ben Harding has obtained judgment for £280k in a misfeasance claim
What? A Nuisance?
Liverpool Law Society: 2023 Costs Conference (online)
Have We Got Planning News for You: Season 9 Episode 4 - Sue Bridge BSc (Hons), Dip…
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