Spotlight on new Silks: Ruth den Besten KC

28 March, 2023

Ruth’s practice spans the full range of commercial and chancery disputes, but she is particularly well known for her civil fraud expertise.

She has appeared in many of the “big ticket” fraud trials of recent years, including Vale v Steinmetz, the 21 week trial of Suppipat v Narongdej (a $billion fraud claim, concerning ownership of a Thai wind energy company) and Tatneft v Bogolyubov and Kolomoisky (the longest virtual Commercial Court trial, as junior to Mark Howard KC).

Ruth has also appeared in and secured successful results for her clients in substantial interlocutory matters, including Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank v. Dr Shetty (jurisdiction challenge and discharge of worldwide freezing relief), and Jinxin v MPS LLC (strike out of misrepresentation and conspiracy claims for absence of proper pleading of fraud).

Civil fraud sits particularly well with Ruth’s background in commercial chancery work; as a junior she appeared in Libya Investment Group v Credit Suisse & Ors, Arcelormittal v Essar, Coroin v McKillen, Bank of St Petersburg, BTA v Ablyazov and Lexi Holdings v Luqman. However, Ruth also maintains a strong insolvency and company law practice, having appeared in the Supreme Court in Lehman (Waterfall I), and for the administrators of the BHS Group in their petition to wind up Retail Acquisitions Limited (Dominic Chappell’s company, which purchased BHS for £1); she is (in particular) currently engaged in a number of cases arising from the collapse of NMC Healthcare Plc, the largest private healthcare provider in the UAE.

Ruth was awarded Legal 500 Commercial Litigation Junior of the Year 2022 and is recognised in the directories for civil fraud (Legal 500, Tier 1 (Leading Juniors) and Chambers & Partners, Band I), commercial litigation and dispute resolution (Legal 500, Tier 1 (Leading Juniors) and Chambers & Partners, Band 2), restructuring and insolvency, and company law. She has been described variously as “First-class” “Ferocious, but in a good way” and “Superwoman”. It has also been said that she “is incredibly bright and well known for handling heavy commercial litigation”, a “real master of her brief who does brilliant cross-examination and can own the witness“, “has strengths in abundance – excellent with clients, calm, commercial, tenacious, expert, a team player and very polished” and  “writes beautifully and with brevity”.

Ruth is excited to build her silk practice; she enjoys working as part of a team, and has found mentoring younger members of the bar particularly rewarding.

She balances her work with raising two rambunctious boys, tennis and skiing. She is a governor of Ludgrove School and a trustee of its Foundation.

Her full CV can be found here.