Professional practice

Ranked in Chambers and Partners 2024Leading Junior The Legal 500 2024

Benedict’s practice is focused on high-value commercial litigation and arbitration, specialising in civil fraud, banking and finance, and both commercial and investment arbitration. He is recognised in the legal directories as “an absolute star”, “a consummate advocate”, “technically gifted” and “a fantastic team player”.

Benedict has acted in proceedings at all levels of the English courts, and increasingly takes on significant advocacy roles as junior counsel.

He is also developing a practice in offshore work focussed on fraud and asset recovery, and has acted in proceedings in the BVI and Cayman Islands, and in the DIFC courts. Benedict is called to the bar in the BVI, and is registered as an advocate in the DIFC.

In arbitration, he has appeared in or advised on proceedings under the ICSID, ICC, LCIA, HKIAC, SIAC, LMAA, ICDR and UNCITRAL Rules, seated both in London and abroad. Benedict is also noted as an “up-and-coming arbitrator”, and has sat under the ICC and UNCITRAL Rules.

Highlights of Benedict’s recent or current work include acting:

  • for Zimbabwe, in Border Timbers Ltd v Republic of Zimbabwe [2024] EWHC 58 (Comm) and currently on appeal to the Court of Appeal, defending enforcement of  a c. $165 million ICSID award on State immunity grounds, with Benedict conducting part of the oral advocacy both in the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal;
  • for the claimant as sole counsel in a four-day contempt trial in the DIFC Court of First Instance;
  • for the claimant in a Benelux-seated ICC arbitration arising out of a c. €60 million private equity dispute, including appearing as sole counsel in a successful application for interim measures under the ICC Emergency Arbitrator provisions;
  • for the primary defendant in Suppipat v Narongdej [2023] EWHC 1988 (Comm), a $2 billion multi-party fraud claim arising out of the sale of Thailand’s largest renewable energy firm and one of The Lawyer’s ‘Top 20 cases’ of 2022;
  • for the beneficial owner of a shares in a c. $200 million fund in just and equitable winding up proceedings arising from serious misconduct by fund management (BVI High Court and ECCA); and
  • for National Bank Trust in PJSC National Bank Trust v Shishkhanov, a c. $2 billion fraud action against over 30 defendants (BVI High Court);

Prior to joining Essex Court Chambers Benedict qualified in New Zealand, where he prosecuted serious criminal cases before moving to commercial practice. He graduated first in his year from the Universities of Auckland and Cambridge.

 

What others say

Legal 500 UK Bar 2024, Commercial Litigation:
Benedict has a brilliant and incredibly quick legal mind, good judgement, and communicates really well with team members. He is an outstanding barrister and very valuable team member”

Legal 500 UK Bar 2024, International Arbitration:
Benedict is an absolute star: he has perfect command of the law, works incredibly hard, and is a fantastic team player. He is a consummate advocate, who uses his complete command of the documentary record and of the witness evidence to develop and present his arguments in a way which always invariably finds favour with the tribunal”

Chambers & Partners 2024, Commercial Dispute Resolution
You need someone who gets the points and is bright. Benedict is just able to get these legal concepts quickly and turn them into something

Benedict is technically gifted and impressive on points of detail

Legal 500 UK Bar 2023, International Arbitration:
“Benedict is highly professional in fact-finding processes whether by analysing facts or determining the key elements of the dispute. He has vast experience in public international law and investment disputes.”

Legal 500 UK Bar 2023, Commercial Litigation:
“Benedict is technically excellent – he will also grasp the key point quickly and will hone in on any weaknesses in an opponent’s argument.”

Legal 500 UK Bar 2022, International Arbitration:
“An up-and-coming barrister who is very diligent, knows the law and very easy to work with. He is also very good in coming up with novel angles to issues”

Arbitration & related court applications

Appointed as sole arbitrator in a contractual / insurance dispute (ICC, London seat, 2019–2020), and as party-appointed arbitrator in a shipping dispute involving a major international organisation (UNCITRAL / PCA, Paris seat, 2022–2023)

Border Timbers Ltd v Republic of Zimbabwe [2024] EWHC 58 (Comm) (Commercial Court and Court of Appeal, 2022–present): counsel for Zimbabwe defending enforcement of a c. $165 million ICSID award on State immunity grounds, with Benedict conducting part of the oral advocacy both in the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal

Middle Eastern Investor v Middle Eastern State (London seat, 2023-present): counsel for the respondent State in an arbitration under the OIC agreement, defending a claim for c. $1 billion arising from geo-political events in the late 2010s and early 2020s

Claimants v Respondent (SIAC, Singapore seat, 2024-present): counsel for the claimant parties in a dispute arising out of the termination of a contract in the LNG sector on sanctions-related grounds

Claimant v Respondent (ICC, Benelux seat, 2023–2024): instructed for the claimant in a c. €60 million private equity dispute, including appearing as sole counsel in a successful application for interim measures under the ICC Emergency Arbitrator provisions

West African State v Defendant (Commercial Court, 2024): sole counsel for State award creditor in relation to enforcement of a c. $114 million award in an ICC arbitration arising from the termination of offshore oil exploration licenses

Claimant v Defendant (Commercial Court, 2023): sole counsel for an award creditor seeking enforcement of a c. $5 million award in an LMAA arbitration

Claimant v Defendant (Commercial Court, 2023): sole counsel for sellers resisting an appeal under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 from an award in Refined Sugar Association proceedings

Patel Engineering Ltd v Republic of Mauritius PCA Case No. 2017-34 (2019–2024): counsel for an Indian investor in respect of successful claims under a BIT arising from the termination of a government lease (including expropriation, breach of fair and equitable treatment, and discrimination); Benedict had a substantial role at the merits hearing making oral submissions and leading and cross-examining expert witnesses

Al Rajhi v Sultanate of Oman (London seat, 2017–2023): counsel for a Middle Eastern investor in an arbitration under the OIC Agreement

Cairn Energy PLC v India (Commercial Court, 2021): counsel for the Republic of India in proceedings seeking enforcement of a $1.7 billion investor–state arbitral award

Claimant v Respondent (UNCITRAL, London seat, 2021): counsel for the claimant mining company in a substantial claim against a state-owned electricity company relating to the supply of electricity to a copper and gold mine in southern Africa

Vedanta Resources Ltd v India PCA Case No. 2016-05 (2019–2021): counsel for the Republic of India in a multi-billion dollar claim alleging breaches of an investment treaty by way of a taxation measure

Wemade Co., Ltd v Lansha Information Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd (Singapore seats, 2018–2021): appearing for and advising a leading PRC gaming company and its affiliates in related ICC and SIAC arbitrations concerning the licensing of gaming software in China

ASA v TL [2020] EWHC 2270 (Comm): counsel for the claimant in an application under s 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996

Claimant v Defendant (Commercial Court, 2018): appeared as junior and sole counsel for the applicant in a successful application for a worldwide freezing injunction under s 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996, in support of an LMAA arbitration

World Wide Minerals Ltd v Republic of Kazakhstan (UNCITRAL, London seat, 2017–2018): instructed on behalf of the respondent state in a $1.5 billion BIT claim brought by an investor in the uranium mining sector

Advised prospective claimants in relation to a prospective ICSID / UNCITRAL claim arising out of the expropriation of a copper concession

Claimant v Respondent (HKIAC, 2018): acted for the respondent in an arbitration in the pharmaceuticals / life sciences sector

Claimant v Respondent (LCIA, 2017): acted for the claimant in an arbitration arising out of the marketing of luxury motor yachts

Banking & financial services

Chia Hsing Wang v Real Assets (RA) Global Opportunity Fund I Ltd (Commercial Division of the BVI High Court, 2023–2024): acting for the beneficial owner of shares in a c. $200 million fund in just and equitable winding up proceedings arising from serious misconduct by fund management

Cyrus Opportunities Master Fund II, Ltd v Oceanwood Opportunities Master Fund (Financial List, 2019): counsel for Oceanwood in proceedings raising issues under the Market Abuse Regulation in relation to the trading of debt securities (settled shortly before trial)

Advised a PRC issuer of a series of bonds on potential conflicts of interests affecting the bond trustee in connection with claims by bondholders in the Hong Kong courts

Civil fraud & asset recovery

PJSC National Bank Trust v Shishkhanov (Commercial Division of the BVI High Court, 2023–present): acting for the claimant Russian bank in a c. $2 billion fraud action against over 30 defendants

Suppipat v Narongdej [2023] EWHC 1988 (Comm) (Commercial Court, 2020–2023): counsel for the primary defendant in a c. $2 billion multi-party fraud claim arising out of the sale of Thailand’s largest renewable energy firm, tried over 20 weeks from October 2022 to March 2023

Lonestar Communications Corporation LLC v Kay (Commercial Court, 2021–2022): acting for the claimant in a conspiracy claim concerning a large-scale distributed denial-of-service (“DDoS”) attack on a Liberian telecommunications network

Advised 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

Claimant v Respondents (DIFC Court of First Instance, 2024): sole counsel for the claimant in a four-day contempt trial 

Floreat Real Estate Limited v XYZ BVIHCMAP2023/0017 (Commercial Division of the BVI High Court and Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, 2023–2024): acting for the successful applicant in an application for the appointment of joint provisional liquidators to a c. $200 million fund in support of a just and equitable winding up petition, upheld on appeal

Suppipat v Narongdej [2022] EWHC 278 (Comm): counsel for the successful respondent to an application for an expanded worldwide freezing injunction over assets worth $900 million in place of existing undertakings over identified shareholdings, with the applicants required to fortify their cross-undertaking in support of the existing undertakings and ordered to pay the costs of the unsuccessful application

Claimant v Defendant (Commercial Court, 2018): appeared as junior and sole counsel for the applicant in a successful application for a worldwide freezing injunction under s 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996, in support of an LMAA arbitration

Claimant v Defendant (Queen’s Bench Division, 2018): acted 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

Appeared as sole counsel for the claimant in a successful application for an urgent interim mandatory injunction requiring access to a commercial office premises

Advised 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

Appointed as sole arbitrator in a contractual / insurance dispute (ICC, London seat, 2019–2020), and as party-appointed arbitrator in a shipping dispute involving a major international organisation (UNCITRAL / PCA, Paris seat, 2022–2023)

Claimants v Respondent (SIAC, Singapore seat, 2024-present): counsel for the claimant parties in a dispute arising out of the termination of a contract in the LNG sector on sanctions-related grounds

Claimant v Respondent (ICC, Benelux seat, 2023–2024): instructed for the claimant in a c. €60 million private equity dispute, including appearing as sole counsel in a successful application for interim measures under the ICC Emergency Arbitrator provisions

West African State v Defendant (Commercial Court, 2024): sole counsel for State award creditor in relation to enforcement of a c. $114 million award in an ICC arbitration arising from the termination of offshore oil exploration licenses

Claimant v Defendant (Commercial Court, 2023): sole counsel for an award creditor seeking enforcement of a c. $5 million award in an LMAA arbitration

Claimant v Defendant (Commercial Court, 2023): sole counsel for sellers resisting an appeal under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 from an award in Refined Sugar Association proceedings

Claimant v Respondent (UNCITRAL, London seat, 2021): counsel for the claimant mining company in a substantial claim against a state-owned electricity company relating to the supply of electricity to a copper and gold mine in southern Africa

Wemade Co., Ltd v Lansha Information Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd (Singapore seats, 2018–2021): appearing for and advising a leading PRC gaming company and its affiliates in related ICC and SIAC arbitrations concerning the licensing of gaming software in China

ASA v TL [2020] EWHC 2270 (Comm): counsel for the claimant in an application under s 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996

Claimant v Defendant (Commercial Court, 2018): appeared as junior and sole counsel for the applicant in a successful application for a worldwide freezing injunction under s 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996, in support of an LMAA arbitration

Claimant v Respondent (HKIAC, 2018): acted for the respondent in an arbitration in the pharmaceuticals / life sciences sector

Claimant v Respondent (LCIA, 2017): acted for the claimant in an arbitration arising out of the marketing of luxury motor yachts

Investment treaty disputes

Border Timbers Ltd v Republic of Zimbabwe [2024] EWHC 58 (Comm) (Commercial Court and Court of Appeal, 2022–present): counsel for Zimbabwe defending enforcement of a c. $165 million ICSID award on State immunity grounds, with Benedict conducting part of the oral advocacy both in the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal

Middle Eastern Investor v Middle Eastern State (London seat, 2023-present): counsel for the respondent State in an arbitration under the OIC agreement, defending a claim for c. $1 billion arising from geo-political events in the late 2010s and early 2020s

Patel Engineering Ltd v Republic of Mauritius PCA Case No. 2017-34 (2019–2024): counsel for an Indian investor in respect of successful claims under a BIT arising from the termination of a government lease (including expropriation, breach of fair and equitable treatment, and discrimination); Benedict had a substantial role at the merits hearing making oral submissions and leading and cross-examining expert witnesses

Al Rajhi v Sultanate of Oman (London seat, 2017–2023): counsel for a Middle Eastern investor in an arbitration under the OIC Agreement

Cairn Energy PLC v India (Commercial Court, 2021): counsel for the Republic of India in proceedings seeking enforcement of a $1.7 billion investor–state arbitral award

Vedanta Resources Ltd v India PCA Case No. 2016-05 (2019–2021): counsel for the Republic of India in a multi-billion dollar claim alleging breaches of an investment treaty by way of a taxation measure

World Wide Minerals Ltd v Republic of Kazakhstan (UNCITRAL, London seat, 2017–2018): instructed on behalf of the respondent state in a $1.5 billion BIT claim brought by an investor in the uranium mining sector

Advised prospective claimants in relation to a prospective ICSID / UNCITRAL claim arising out of the expropriation of a copper concession

Media, art, entertainment

Sotheby’s v Mark Weiss Ltd (Commercial Court, 2018): instructed on behalf of a defendant in a claim relating to the sale of an allegedly forged Old Masters painting

Shipping & admiralty

Claimant v Defendant (Commercial Court, 2023): sole counsel for an award creditor seeking enforcement of a c. $5 million award in an LMAA arbitration

Claimant v Defendant (Commercial Court, 2023): sole counsel for sellers resisting an appeal under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 from an award in Refined Sugar Association proceedings

Instructed as sole counsel on a number of dry shipping matters, both in court and arbitration. Examples include bills of lading disputes raising issues of privity, the Hague-Visby time bar and limitation under a Himalaya clause, and an LMAA arbitration acting for charterers in a demurrage / pumping warranty claim

Other Cases

Efobi v Royal Mail Group Ltd [2021] UKSC 33, [2021] 1 WLR 3863, [2021] ICR 1263: junior counsel acting pro bono for the appellant in an appeal to the Supreme Court raising novel issues in relation to the burden of proof in discrimination claims

Howe v Harrow School (County Court, 2021): sole counsel for Harrow School in the successful defence of a contractual claim brought by the parent of a former pupil

Buttet v Ambassade de France au Royaume-Uni ET 2204921/2012 (2019): appeared as sole counsel for the French Republic in a successful assertion of state immunity in respect of a claim by a former security contractor at the French embassy to the United Kingdom

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

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)

2015: W.M. Tapp Studentship and College Scholarship (Gonville & Caius College)

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

2011: First in year in the LL.B. (University of Auckland)