Background

Ben has a strong reputation in major infrastructure, building and construction, professional indemnity and insurance disputes. Since being called to the Bar, Ben has been fortunate to work throughout most civil jurisdictions in Australia, as well as having an active domestic and international arbitral practice. In recent times, Ben has enjoyed working with colleagues in Australia as well as China, Hong Kong, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.

Ben enjoys working with a team of hard-working professionals dedicated to resolving a common problem. Throughout his past decade at the Bar, Ben has had the opportunity to work with dedicated solicitors, experienced experts and committed clients, all of whom bring a nuanced approach to resolving an issue in dispute.

Ben has found the diversity of his practice rewarding. He has worked with a broad client base, including large foreign state-owned enterprises involved in international energy projects, the Ngapuhi people of New Zealand seeking to secure the return of taonga tuturu (Maori sacred artefacts) as well as a range of individual, corporate and government clients in disputes large and small.



Focus Areas + Select Cases

Mining Infrastructure Arbitration(2016): acting for a leading engineering contractor in relation to a dispute heard in both Australia and Dubai concerning a purported breach of the honesty and fairness obligation contained within standard form clause 23 of AS2124-1992 (with Mr Corsaro SC).

Thiess Pty Limited –v- Parsons Brinkerhoff Australia Pty Limited & Ors[2016] NSWSC 173: acting for a large engineering firm in relation to a dispute concerning the collapse of part of the Lane Cove Tunnel (with Mr Miller SC).

John Holland Pty Limited v Kellogg Brown & Root Pty Limited[2015] NSWSC 451: acting for a design and construct building contractor in relation to a dispute concerning a major rail maintenance facility in New South Wales (with Mr Braham SC).

Thermal Power Plant Arbitration (2015): acting for an EPC contractor in relation competing claims with a combined value in excess of US$1B. The arbitration was conducted pursuant to the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce with the seat of the arbitration in Singapore and (with Mr Corsaro SC).

Cordon Investments Pty Limited v Lesdor Properties Pty Limited (2013) 29 BCL 329: acted for a building and construction company in relation to a dispute arising from the purported repudiation of a joint venture deed for a multi-level mixed residential and commercial development (with Mr Corsaro SC).

Swift v McLeary[2014] NSWCA 52: successfully obtained a mandatory injunction requiring the defendant to perform obligations under a contract for the benefit of a third party corporate entity; the dispute arising from the sale by the parties of a major industrial air conditioning and refrigeration group of companies (with Mr McKeand SC).

Liu v State of New South Wales [2014] NSWSC 933: acted for the State in relation to a claim for $1.5M for property seized and inadvertently destroyed by the NSW Police Force, successfully reduced to less than $35,000 with indemnity costs in favour of the State.

Nutectime International Pty Limited v Timentel Pty Limited(2014) NSWCA 16: successfully acted for directors of a corporate investment vehicle against allegations of oppression brought by a minority shareholder (with Mr Corsaro SC).

Inadvertent cannulisation of carotid artery (NSWSC 2016): defended proceedings on behalf of a Local Health District brought by a former patient who sustained Middle Cerebral Artery infarction following inadvertent cannulisation of the carotid artery. Liability and causation were in issue, with proceedings ultimately resolved at mediation in 2016.

Bariatric Surgery Litigation (NSWSC 2016): acted against a specialist bariatric surgeon on behalf of a patient who sustained a gastro-oesophageal perforation and consequent sepsis following a laparoscopic removal of gastric band and conversion to a sleeve gastrectomy. Liability and causation were in issue, with proceedings ultimately resolved at mediation in 2016 (with Mr Cranitch SC).

Arterio-venous fistula and subsequent incomplete quadriplegia (NSWSC 2015): acted for a Local Health District in proceedings brought by a former patient with incomplete quadriplegia who maintained that the Hospital failed to diagnose and treat an arterio-venous fistula on presentation. Liability and causation were in issue, with proceedings ultimately resolved at mediation in 2015.

Birth delay and subsequent severe form quadriplegic cerebral palsy (NSWSC 2015): acted on behalf of a young girl who sustained Grade III Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy during birth with consequent severe form quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Liability and causation were in issue, with proceedings ultimately resolved at mediation in 2015 (with Mr Cranitch SC).

Miljus v Watpac Constructions Pty Limited (2012) 82 NSWLR 597: (2012) 219 IR 198; defended proceedings brought against a builder for injury sustained by a supplier whilst travelling on a public road on approach to building site. This reported decision is a significant comment on what constitutes reasonable discharge of the duty of care owed by a principal contractor (with Mr Scott).

Inquest into the death of Mr Tut Nyal (2011): Appeared for Justice Health in relation to a suicidal death of a detainee held by the Department of Corrective Services

Inquest into the deaths of Mr Andrew Short and Ms Sally Gordon (2011): Appeared for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in relation to the death of two well known and respected sailors, who both drowned following a tragic boating accident during the Flinders Islet Yacht Race in 2009.

Inquest into the death of Brendan Burns (2013): Appeared for the family of a patient who died following treatment at a hospital in regional New South Wales. The Court found the patient had died from acute hydrocephalus due to an undiagnosed colloid cyst of the third ventricle of the brain, with a recommendation made to the Minister for Health to consider implementing a scheme for regular training in short-form neuro-surgicall skills for general surgeons practicing in regional centres.


 


 


 


Notable Cases

Thermal Power Plant Arbitration (2015) - worked with a team of solicitors, barristers and trial advocates from NSW, Hong Kong and New York on behalf of an EPC contractor. The dispute was conducted pursuant to the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), with Singapore being the seat of the Arbitration. The value of the competing claims exceeded US $1-billion and provided an excellent opportunity to work with leading industry experts from across the globe (with Mr Corsaro SC).

Te Pahi Silver Medal (2014) – In 2014, a small silver medal, measuring 4.5cm, was included on a catalogue of items to be auctioned in Sydney. The medal had been struck in 1806, and gifted to Te Pahi, the paramount chief of the Bay of Islands in New Zealand by the then Governor of NSW. Records indicate that in April 1810, colonials attacked Te Pahi’s home island with the presents Te Pahi had received from the NSW Government left as ‘booty to the invaders’. The return of the medal to New Zealand was important to the descendants of Te Pahi. The case provided an excellent opportunity to work with Maori and Maori historians in relation to this highly significant piece of taonga tuturu. The medal was ultimately purchased by Te Papa Museum and the Auckland Museum and returned to New Zealand (with Mr Roberts SC).

Cordon Investments Pty Limited v Lesdor Properties Pty Limited [2013] 29 BCL 329: acted for a building and construction company in relation to a dispute arising from the purported repudiation of a joint venture deed for a multi-level mixed residential and commercial development (with Mr Corsaro SC). Read More

Miljus v Watpac Constructions Pty Limited (2012) 82 NSWLR 597; (2012) 219 IR 198; defended proceedings brought against a builder for injury sustained by a supplier whilst travelling on a public road on approach to building site. This
reported decision is a significant comment on what constitutes reasonable discharge of the duty of care owed by a principal contractor (with Mr Scott). Read More



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