Professional practice

Benedict has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration practice. He has experience in insurance, banking, and general commercial disputes; and both investor-state and commercial arbitration, including proceedings under the ICSID, ICC, LCIA, HKIAC, SIAC and UNCITRAL Rules. He also has particular interests in public international law, private international law, agency and restitution.

His recent work has included acting as part of counsel teams in several substantial investment disputes at various stages of proceedings, on behalf of both investor and state parties. He has also been instructed as junior counsel in commercial arbitrations, and in High Court litigation. In addition to led work, Benedict has appeared as sole advocate in a number of general commercial County Court trials and applications.

Prior to joining Essex Court Chambers Benedict qualified in New Zealand, where he prosecuted serious criminal cases before moving to commercial practice. He has appeared both led and un-led in the New Zealand courts.

He graduated first in his year from the Universities of Auckland and Cambridge.

 

Arbitration & related court applications

Acting as junior counsel for a Middle Eastern investor in an arbitration under a multilateral investment treaty (UNCITRAL)

Instructed on behalf of the respondent State in a substantial (USD 1.5 billion) BIT claim brought by an investor in the uranium mining sector (UNCITRAL)

Advising prospective claimants in relation to a BIT claim arising out of the expropriation of a copper concession (ICSID / UNCITRAL)

Acting as junior counsel for the respondent in a HKIAC arbitration in the pharmaceuticals / life sciences sector

Acting as junior counsel in linked ICC and SIAC arbitrations arising from software licensing disputes

Acting as junior counsel for the claimant in an arbitration arising out of the marketing of luxury motor yachts (LCIA)

Commercial dispute resolution

Instructed as sole counsel for the defendant, a listed transport operator, in a High Court claim for unpaid commercial invoices

Appeared as sole counsel in a number of County Court trials and application. Examples include acting for the successful defendant in a claim by a firm of City Solicitors for unpaid fees and acting for a web hosting company in a claim brought by a former client

Conflict of laws & private international law

Acting as junior counsel for the claimant in an urgent application for interim prohibitive and mandatory injunctive relief relating to the misuse of confidential information in the nuclear sector, which involved complex questions of jurisdiction in respect of interim relief under the Judgments Regulation (Queen’s Bench Division)

Advising the claimant party in a civil fraud dispute on jurisdiction in respect of anti-suit injunctions against Cypriot and Russian parties in support of London arbitration agreements

Injunctions

Acting as junior counsel for the claimant in an urgent application for interim prohibitive and mandatory injunctive relief relating to the misuse of confidential information in the nuclear sector, which involved complex questions of jurisdiction in respect of interim relief under the Judgments Regulation (Queen’s Bench Division)

Appeared as sole counsel for the claimant in a successful application for an urgent interim mandatory injunction requiring access to a commercial office premises (Central London County Court)

Advising the claimant party in a civil fraud dispute on jurisdiction in respect of anti-suit injunctions against Cypriot and Russian parties in support of London arbitration agreements

International commercial arbitration

Acting as junior counsel for the respondent in a HKIAC arbitration in the pharmaceuticals / life sciences sector

Acting as junior counsel in linked ICC and SIAC arbitrations arising from software licensing disputes

Acting as junior counsel for the claimant in an arbitration arising out of the marketing of luxury motor yachts (LCIA)

Investment treaty disputes

Acting as junior counsel for a Middle Eastern investor in an arbitration under a multilateral investment treaty (UNCITRAL)

Instructed on behalf of the respondent State in a substantial (USD 1.5 billion) BIT claim brought by an investor in the uranium mining sector (UNCITRAL)

Advising prospective claimants in relation to a BIT claim arising out of the expropriation of a copper concession (ICSID / UNCITRAL)

Media, art, entertainment

Instructed on behalf of the defendant in a claim relating to the sale of an allegedly forged Old Masters painting (Commercial Court)

Revenue law (including VAT, IPT, duties & excise)

Advising a bank in relation to an appeal involving complex issues arising out of the dissolution of VAT Groups (Court of Appeal)

Career

2017: Tenancy at Essex Court Chambers, following successful completion of pupillage

2016: Call (Lincoln’s Inn)

2013–2015: Associate, Gilbert Walker, Auckland, New Zealand

2012–2013: Crown Prosecutor, Wellington, New Zealand

2012: Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand

2010–2011: Law clerk to Sir David A.R. Williams QC

Education

2015–2016: LL.M., Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge (starred first)

2007–2012: B.A., LL.B. (Hons), University of Auckland

Awards

2016: B.R.D. Clarke Prize for first in year in the LL.M., 3 Verulam Buildings Prize for international commercial litigation, first in year in international commercial tax (University of Cambridge); Emlyn Wade Prize, W.M. Tapp Postgraduate Scholarship, Honorary Senior Scholarship (Gonville & Caius College)

2015: W.M. Tapp Studentship and College Scholarship (Gonville & Caius College); William Georgetti Scholarship, Spencer Mason Travelling Scholarship, Gordon Watson Scholarship

2012: Semi-finalist and best applicant memorial, Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot, international rounds

2007–2012: Auckland District Law Society’s prize for first in year in the LL.B., winner of the University’s mooting competition and a range of subject prizes in law, Senior Scholarship in English, Senior Prize in French (University of Auckland)