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Practice Areas

Hickman & Rose's founding partner has spent over 25 years representing individual and corporate clients facing the most serious allegations of wrongdoing.

Ben has acted for some of the world's best known people and firms. He is consistently involved in the most complex and sensitive criminal cases in the UK.

An expert strategic litigator, Ben's skills extend beyond criminal and regulatory matters into extradition, Unexplained Wealth Orders, Production Orders, Confiscation and Forfeiture proceedings and working closely with foreign lawyers on multi-jurisdictional matters.

Ben is acutely aware of the importance of reputation for his clients. He always puts reputational concerns at the heart of his litigation strategy.

Ben frequently acts for corporations and individuals caught up in fraud investigations by law enforcement agencies such as the Serious Fraud Office, National Crime Agency, and the Financial Conduct Authority.

He has a high success rate in these matters, frequently persuading the authorities not to pursue matters beyond the initial investigation stage. Clients include News Corporation, a number of global banks, as well as senior individuals at BAT, Olympus, Deutsche Bank, HP/Autonomy and Macmillan Publishing.

Ben represented many of the key individuals investigated in connection with allegations of LIBOR fixing. His LIBOR clients include Ryan Reich, who was acquitted at criminal trial and Pete Koutsogiannis who was discharged by the FCA's Regulatory Decisions Committee.

Ben has long experience defending against allegations of overseas bribery, particularly in the extractive industries. Current clients include senior individuals in the long-running SFO investigation into alleged corruption at the Kazakh mining group ENRC.

Ben also acts for companies facing criminal charges. He has defended clients accused of corporate manslaughter and is currently acting for ITH Pharma in relation to serious health and safety offences. Ben has advised a number of major English and US law firms on their disclosure obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Hickman & Rose's success is built on an intimate understanding of every aspect of the criminal justice system, from police station to the Supreme Court. Ben draws on this deep well of experience when advising his private clients..

Ben routinely represents professional people who find themselves caught up in criminal matters that, if not handled with great care, can ruin lives. He takes strategic control from the earliest stage in order to steer a matter towards the best outcome. He has achieved significant success persuading the police either not to arrest, or to bring an investigation to an end before the charging stage.

Ben is acutely aware of the reputational impact of being involved in any criminal matter. His clients value the way he quickly grasps the reputational aspect of their cases. He has developed strategies to handle the most sensitive matters in a way that avoids negative publicity. Many of Ben's clients in this area remain anonymous.

Ben has provided specialist legal advice to a number of individuals in relation to Operation Yewtree and 'Me Too' type sex offence allegations. Many of these cases have been disposed with the minimum - or even no - resulting publicity. His recent clients in this area include one of the best-known performers in the world, and a world-famous musician.

Many of Ben's criminal cases straddle jurisdictions. He is expert in setting overall legal strategy and co-ordinating lawyers working across the globe. For example, Ben recently led the legal teams acting for Peter Boone, a leading UK-based academic accused by the Portuguese authorities of manipulating markets via his blog; and Matthew Libatique, the award-winning Hollywood filmmaker accused of crimes in Poland.

Ben has an extensive track record representing High Net Worth and high profile clients such as politicians, celebrities and their families in relation to a range of legal matters, both criminal and regulatory.

Contrary to general opinion, famous people often find their high public profile a disadvantage in legal matters. Not only are the reputational risks greater, but law enforcement agencies have been known to focus on high profile suspects simply because of who they are. Ben has long experience of working in this area. He knows what may happen, and how best to mitigate against it.

Ben routinely advises his HNW clients on the implications of the Criminal Finances Act for offshore wealth including what to expect from Unexplained Wealth Order legislation, and how best to react when a UWO arrives. He also advises on money laundering and POCA matters.

The nature of Ben's work in this area means many of his clients’ identities are not in the public domain. Those who are include the artist David Hockney, the former X-Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos and the businessman Hans Kristian Rausing.

Ben often acts in the most high profile and significant extradition matters. He successfully prevented the Kyrgyz businessman Maxim Bakiev from being extradited to the US and for a Pakistani business tycoon in his US extradition case, as well as for former Credit Suisse broker Surjan Singh in his US extradition matter.

Career

LLB (Hons) Warwick University. Admitted 1990. Co-founded Hickman & Rose 1991.

Professional Memberships

Ben has served as co-chairman of the criminal law section of the IBA and is a member of the Law Society’s money laundering panel.

Publications

Ben regularly writes and lectures on criminal law issues. He has lectured to the Judicial Studies Board, the Criminal Cases Review Commission, Transparency International, the Annual Justice Conference and addressed the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards Ceremony. He is regularly sought out by the media for expert opinion on legal matters. He was named the Times’ ‘Lawyer of the Week’ in recognition of his work on miscarriages of justice.

Personal

Outside work Ben is the co-founder of Grit, (www.grit.org.uk), a charity dedicated to improving disadvantaged young people's life chances; and LevelSixStudios, a yoga studio (www.levelsixstudios.co.uk). Ben was a British heavyweight kickboxing champion in 2000 and 2002.