Ben Lask

Ben Lask
Call 2003
Education

BA(First Class), Sussex; Diploma in Sports Law (KCL)

Contact the Clerks

+44 (0)20 7405 7211 | chambers@monckton.com

Ben Lask is an experienced junior specialising in Public, EU and Competition Law.  He has particular strength in the regulatory arena, and is recommended in Chambers UK as a leading junior in the fields of Competition Law, Telecommunications Law and Data Protection.

Ben appears regularly in the High Court and in a range of specialised tribunals.  He has experience in the Court of Appeal and has litigated in EU Courts.

Ben is a clear and persuasive advocate, and is equally effective working on his own or as part of a team in larger cases.  He is highly valued by clients and instructing solicitors for his attention to detail, judgement, and ability to identify the key issues at the heart of any dispute.

Ben is a member of the Attorney General’s B Panel and a contributor to the leading EU Competition Law text, Bellamy & Child European Union Law of Competition.  He is direct access qualified.

Public & Administrative Law

Ben is a member of the Attorney General’s B Panel.  He has a broad Public Law practice, with experience and expertise in human rights, immigration, data protection, freedom of information, education and social security.

Ben appears regularly in judicial review proceedings in the Administrative Court, and in statutory appeals before the Upper Tribunal and First Tier Tribunal.

Ben is currently involved in:

  • R (Project Management Institute ) v Minister for the Cabinet Office: acting for the Government in a challenge concerning the grant of Royal Charter status.
  • R (Mahoney and Others) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government: acting for the Government in a series of claims concerning Crossrail and its impact on the gypsy community.
  • R (Foo Ann Ku) v Secretary of State for the Home Department: acting for the Government in a claim concerning statelessness and the rights of British Overseas Citizens.

Recent and significant cases include:

  • R (Shoesmith) v Ofsted and Ors [2011] EWCA Civ 642, [2011] ICR 1195: claim by the former Director for Children’s Services in Haringey concerning the fairness of the procedures adopted by Ofsted and the Secretary of State.
  • MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2013] UKUT 0290: leading case on the compatibility of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 with EU law.
  • R (Cambridge Associates) v Ofsted [2013] EWHC 1157: claim concerning the ambit of an expert regulator’s discretion and the impact of regulatory action on an education provider’s rights under Article 1, Protocol 1 of the ECHR.
  • R (Kiana) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 671, [2012] 1 WLR 765: claim concerning welfare support and Article 8 ECHR.  Leading case on the provision of welfare support under s.4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
Competition & Regulatory Law

Ben has extensive experience in competition and regulatory matters, with a particular focus on telecommunications, broadcasting and environmental compliance.  He acts for both private and public  bodies, and has appeared in a number of major cases in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal.

Ben is recommended in Chambers UK as a leading junior in the fields of Competition Law and Telecommunications Law, and is a contributor to the leading EU Competition Law text, Bellamy & Child European Union Law of Competition.  He has acted in two of the major competition cases of the last few years: EWRG v Philips and BSkyB v Ofcom.

Ben is currently involved in:

  • BSkyB and Ors v Ofcom [2012] CAT 20: appeal against regulator’s decision to impose a wholesale must offer obligation on TV broadcaster.  Appeal to Court of Appeal pending.
  • R (Project Management Institute ) v Minister for the Cabinet Office: acting for the Government in a challenge concerning the grant of Royal Charter status.
  • OFT’s decision to refer the “payday lending” market to the Competition Commission for a market investigation.

Recent and significant cases include:

  • EWRG and Ors v Philips Electronics and Ors: standalone competition law claim concerning the lighting industry’s implementation of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (Directive 2002/96)
  • Ticket Generator v Greater Anglia: standalone competition law claim concerning the market for the resale of Stansted Express tickets.
  • JML Direct Ltd v Freesat [2010] EWCA Civ 34: claim concerning the allocation of Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) numbers by a digital satellite television platform.
  • Ofcom and Ors v Floe Telecom Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 47: appeal concerning the interpretation of telecoms licences and the scope of the EU law “Marleasing” principle of harmonious construction.
EU Law

Ben is an expert on EU law, acting for both public and private clients.  He has appeared in a number of  leading EU law cases in both the UK and European Courts.  These have included direct actions before the European Courts, claims for Francovich damages, and various cases in the national courts concerning the interpretation and application of UE law.

Issues on which Ben has recently advised include: EU provisions concerning the mutual recognition of professional qualifications (Directive 2005/36/EC); legal status and capacity of the European Investment Bank; EU provisions on citizenship and free movement (Directive 2004/38/EC); amenability of EU institutions to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.

Ben is currently involved in:

  • R (Project Management Institute ) v Minister for the Cabinet Office: acting for the Government in a challenge concerning the grant of Royal Charter status.
  • Series of judicial review challenges concerning the free movement rights of Turkish workers under the EEC-Turkey Association Agreement.
  • DWP v Information Commissioner: appeal concerning the scope of the concept of data protection in EU Directive 95/46/EC and the Data Protection Act 1998.

Recent and significant cases include:

  • MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2013] UKUT 0290: leading case on the compatibility of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 with EU law (Directive 79/7/EEC on the principle of equal treatment in social security).
  • Case T-433/10 P Allen and Ors v European Commission; Case T-45/01 Sanders and Ors v European Commission: discrimination claims brought against the European Commission by contractors working at the EU’s JET nuclear fusion project.
  • Ofcom and Ors v Floe Telecom Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 47: appeal concerning the interpretation of telecoms licences and the scope of the EU law “Marleasing” principle of harmonious construction.
Data Protection & Freedom of Information

Ben is highly sought after in the fields of Data Protection and Freedom of Information.  He appears regularly in the Information Rights Tribunal, acting on behalf of private clients, public authorities and the Information Commissioner.  The public authorities for which Ben has acted recently include Defra, DWP, the CPS and the Environment Agency.  His cases include Birkett v Information Commissioner and Defra at first instance, which culminated in the leading Court of Appeal case on the entitlement of public authorities to rely on late exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act 2000: [2011] EWCA Civ 1606.

Ben’s expertise covers Data Protection, Freedom of Information and Environmental Information.  He is a member of the Attorney General’s Freedom of Information Panel.

Ben is currently involved in:

  • DWP v Information Commissioner: appeal concerning the scope of the concept of data protection in EU Directive 95/46/EC and the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • Two related cases concerning Defra’s entitlement to withhold information relating to the Government’s policy on Badger Control and Bovine TB.
  • Robinson v Information Commissioner: appeal concerning the disclosure of information held by the CPS relating to a high profile unsuccessful prosecution.

Recent and significant cases include:

  • Williams v Information Commissioner and Environment Agency (EA/20120172): appeal concerning information gathered by the EA during an investigation into possible criminal offences committed by an NHS Trust through its waste management operations.
  • Stephens v Information Commissioner and CPS (EA/20120075): appeal by a serving prisoner against the Information Commissioner’s decision that the CPS was entitled to withhold information concerning the prisoner’s prosecution.
  • Birkett v Information Commissioner and Defra [2011] EWCA Civ 1606: leading case on the entitlement of public authorities to rely on late exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Sports Law

Ben has acted both for and against a number of sporting bodies, including the Football Association (FA), the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WBPSA).

Ben holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Law from King’s College London, for which he obtained a distinction.  He was recently interviewed for BBC Five Live’s Morning Report on whether the Freedom of Information Act 2000 should be extended to cover sports governing bodies such as the Football Association.

Recent and significant cases include:

  • Newell v Luton Town Football Club 2020 Ltd: represented Luton Town FC in a case before the Football Disciplinary Commission concerning the Football League Articles of Association.
  • Football Association v Luton Town Football Club and Ors: represented an employee of Luton Town FC in three related disciplinary cases before the Football Association’s Disciplinary Commission. Proceedings concerned contraventions of the FA rules relating to irregular payments.
  • World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association v Everton: civil proceedings arising from a disciplinary case against former member and BBC commentator Clive Everton.
What the Directories Say

Under Competition Law: He continues to act in several of the ongoing major competition cases. Experienced in both appeals and follow-on damage claims, he is widely viewed as a solid junior to have in the team. “He has a very high intellect and is capable of mastering very complex factual situations.” “Has a gift for standing back and seeing the bigger picture.” Chambers UK, 2014

Under Data Protection: Practises in this area and is active in public and EU law generally. He represents private and public bodies in this field, and clients include Defra, the CPS and the Environment Agency. He is both “very good on the detail” and “extremely confident.” Chambers UK, 2014

Under Telecommunications Law: Represents Ofcom as well as private sector telecoms operators. Regularly acts in competition disputes concerning broadcasting matters. “He will bury himself in cases and will come out knowing all the details.” Chambers UK, 2014

Under Telecommunications: “Ben Lask is a firm favourite with Ofcom, and is cutting a dash as a dynamic junior who can be effectively deployed in the most critical cases. He represented Ofcom in defence of its decision regarding pay TV.” Chambers UK, 2013

“Ben Lask is another popular choice for instructing solicitors, and is able to offer widespread experience in competition law matters. He is praised for his “considered and very knowledgeable approach,” and has particular strength in the regulatory arena. He was led by Dinah Rose QC representing Ofcom in the pay-TV CAT appeal.” Chambers UK, 2013

Chambers UK, 2012 under Telecommunications states Ben Lask “is fast becoming a favourite junior for Ofcom in its high-profile battles with market-leading operators. One case he handled was Sky v Ofcom, an appeal in the CAT against a decision by the regulator to impose a wholesale must-offer obligation on the broadcaster in respect of Sky Sports channels.”

Recommended by Chambers UK, 2011 under Telecommunications Law is Ben Lask, “who is praised for his confident manner. He acted in JML Direct v Freesat UK, in a challenge to the allocation of channel numbers on an electronic programme guide by Freesat.”

Publications
  • Contributor to Bellamy & Child: European Community Law of Competition (7th ed.)
  • Contributor to Atkin’s Court Forms: Competition (2nd ed., 2009)
  • Contributor to the Solicitors Journal Human Rights Update
  • Headnotes, Human Rights Law Reports (2003-2004)
  • “Birmingham City Football Club v Revenue and Customs”, De Voil Tax Intelligence, June 2007
  • “OFT v IBA: A New Regime Emerges?” Legal Week, 1 April 2004
  • “Modernisation of EC Competition Law: Uncertainties and Opportunities [2003] Comp Law 295
  • “The Potential Impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on the Law Relating to Sport” [2000] I.S.L.R. 48
Additional Information

Ben read law with history at Sussex University where he obtained a first class honours degree.  After graduating, Ben joined the Civil Service Fast Stream where he worked in the Lord Chancellor’s Department (now the Ministry of Justice) between 1998 and 2003, spending the last three years as Private Secretary to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg.

Ben holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Law from King’s College London, for which he obtained a distinction in 2000. In 2003, he was awarded the Everard Ver Heyden Foundation Prize by the Inns of Court School of Law and the Middle Temple Sachs Prize for his performance in his bar exams.

Professional Memberships

Human Rights Lawyers Association

Administrative Bar Association

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