Ben Gordon

Since joining chambers as a first-six pupil in 2006 Ben has developed a busy and successful defence practice at every level of the criminal justice system. Whilst specialising in serious crime Ben also has experience practising in prison law, regulatory and disciplinary proceedings (professional misconduct) and inquests. In 2018, Ben is ranked in the field of serious crime in the Legal 500 directory.

Ben has successfully defended his clients in matters ranging from murder and serious violence to organised crime, drug importation, money laundering, firearms, complex fraud and sexual offences and has successfully appealed against wrongful convictions (e.g. R. v. Yohannes (Siem) [2011] EWCA Crim 1362) and excessive sentences (e.g. R. v. Malin (Sadiq) [2014] EWCA Crim 1651). Listed below are a few examples of cases in which he has acted.

Murder

As junior counsel Ben represented a 12-year old who was charged with murder following a series of highly-publicised happy-slap attacks in south London. The murder charge was eventually dismissed when pleas to lesser offences were accepted. In 2017, Ben appeared as junior counsel at Hove Crown court defending a convicted supplier of Class A drugs who was charged with conspiring to murder a fellow trafficker after police activity had disrupted their activities and confiscated large quantities of drugs and cash.

In another example, Ben was led by Queen’s Counsel at the Central Criminal Court in a multi-handed gang-related murder trial in which his client was acquitted by the jury. The case involved extensive legal argument around developing areas of law such as the admissibility of evidence relating to gang membership as well as expert evidence relating to mobile telephone cell-site analysis and firearms residue.

Robbery

Ben has successfully defended many clients charged with robbery at every level of the scale ranging from street muggings to armed cash-in-transits. In 2014, Ben appeared as leading counsel in a multi-handed case involving a conspiracy to rob commercial premises across south London. Ben also appeared as stand-in junior counsel in the trial of the largest armed robbery in British history (the Securitas Depository in Tonbridge) as well as in the unprecedented jury-less trial of the armed robbery of the Menzies Depository at Heathrow airport.

Organised Crime, Money Laundering & Drug Importation

Ben appeared as junior counsel in the reported case of R. v. Thakrar [2009] Crim.L.R. 357, CA. In this case, the appellant’s conviction was successfully appealed on the grounds of unauthorised jury research into extraneous material. In another example Ben appeared as junior counsel in a trial resulting from a two-year undercover SOCA operation into the distribution of Class A drugs and the laundering of the profits. The case involved a long and sophisticated operation which revolved around covert surveillance and cell-site analysis and resulted in the arrest and charge of multiple conspirators.

Ben has appeared on behalf of many defendants charged with the importation and supply of large quantities of drugs of all classes in trials which frequently involve proactive surveillance operations and expert telecommunications analysis.

In 2014, Ben appeared on behalf of a defendant charged with conspiracy to steal from commercial heavy goods vehicles. Again, the case resulted from an extensive police operation involving covert surveillance and the forensic analysis of cell-site evidence.

Serious & Complex Fraud

Ben has successfully defended in many fraud and dishonesty cases involving duty evasion, mortgage fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic credit diversion, car-ringing and benefit overpayment. A prominent example of such work was in 2013 when Ben appeared as junior counsel at Bristol Crown court in the multi-handed trial of multiple defendants charged with conspiring to defraud mortgage lenders. The case ended with the acquittal of Ben’s client. In another example in 2014, Ben appeared at Swansea Crown court for the second defendant of nine charged with conspiring to defraud mobile phone customers through the sale of phoney insurance policies. The trial marked the conclusion of a five-year multi-agency investigation.

More recently, in 2015 and 2016, Ben has appeared as leading counsel in a multi-millions pound tax fraud trial at Swansea Crown court, as junior counsel in a substantial mortgage fraud trial at Winchester Crown court and an advanced fee fraud trial at Leeds Crown court. Also, appearing on his own in 2016, Ben successfully defended his client at Harrow CC in a multi-handed fraud trial concerning insiders from high street banks and fraudulently transferred electronic credits.

Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery

In 2017, Ben appeared at Nottingham Crown court in the trial of a traveller family in what was described as the largest police and multi-agency investigation into modern day slavery or forced or compulsory labour ever conducted in the UK. Multiple members of the family from Lincolnshire were tried with conspiring to require workers to perform forced or compulsory labour. At the time of conducting the trial, prosecutions under s.71 of the Coroner’s and Justice Act 2009 were relatively novel. Ben represented the wife of one of the principal defendants who, along with her sister, was one of a very small number of family members who were acquitted of all charges.

Misconduct in Public Office

In 2018, Ben appeared as leading counsel at Maidstone Crown court in a well-publicised case. The trial concerned allegations of Misconduct in Public Office against four security officers from the Medway Secure Training Centre in Kent (for juvenile offenders). The allegations emanated from the production and airing of a BBC1 Panorama documentary in which an undercover reporter purported to have gathered evidence of the abuse and mistreatment of trainees at the centre. Ben’s client was acquitted of all charges. Ben has also successfully defended other prison officers charged with assaults on inmates.

Causing Death by Driving

This is an area of practice in which Ben specialises and he has successfully defended commercial HGV and public service vehicle drivers who have been charged and tried following tragic and fatal collisions with cyclists and pedestrians. In 2018, Ben appeared as junior to Queen’s counsel at Reading Crown court and successfully defended an HGV driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving following a collision on the M1 motorway which resulted in eight deaths and serious injury to four others. The human cost of this tragedy was without precedent in English & Welsh jurisprudence.

Regulatory Proceedings (Professional Misconduct)

Ben has successfully represented nurses and other healthcare professionals at both the Nursing & Midwifery Council and the Health and Care Professions Council. Following successful hearings Ben’s clients have secured their ongoing registration and ability to practise unrestricted. More recently, Ben has repeatedly appeared at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defence Police Force (MDP HQ Wethersfield) to defend Police Federation members accused of regulatory offences.

Other

Ben invariably enjoys an excellent relationship with his professional and lay clients and is dedicated to the fearless and tenacious defence of those he represents.

Ben is co-secretary of the pupillage committee at chambers, a member of the tenancy committee and an enthusiastic advocacy trainer both at Furnival and for the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

Away from the bar Ben’s passion lies in his children and other friends and family, global travel, films, literature and all competitive sports.

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