Ben Lask

Call 2003
Education
BA(First Class), Sussex; Diploma in Sports Law (KCL)
Contact

+44 (0)20 7405 7211

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“Heading for great things.” – Chambers UK, 2017

“Exceptionally able and extremely effective” – Legal 500, 2016

“Combines a giant intellect with an immense work ethic” – Legal 500, 2016

“Extremely bright” – Chambers UK, 2016

Ben is an experienced junior specialising in Public, EU and Competition Law.  He is recommended in both Chambers UK and the Legal 500 as a leading junior in the fields of Competition Law, Telecommunications and Data Protection. In 2016, Ben was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel. He is a contributor to the leading EU Competition Law text, Bellamy & Child European Union Law of Competition, and is direct access qualified.

Ben appears regularly in the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the EU Court of Justice. He is a clear and persuasive advocate, and is equally effective working on his own or as part of a team in larger cases. Ben 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.

  • Public & Administrative Law

    “inspires the court’s trust” – Legal 500, 2016

    “effective junior with an exceptional eye for detail.” – Legal 500, 2015

    In 2016, Ben was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel, having spent four years on the B Panel. He has a broad Public Law practice, with particular expertise in EU law, human rights, discrimination and immigration.

    Ben is recommended in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in Administrative and Public Law, and appears regularly in the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the EU Court of Justice.

    Ben has acted for the Government in a number of leading public law cases, including MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] UKSC 53 and Secretary of State for the Home Department v Franco Vomero [2016] UKSC 49 in the Supreme Court.

    Cases include:

    R (Turley) v Wandsworth LBC [2017] EWCA Civ 189; [2017] H.L.R. 21; [2017] 2 P. & C.R. DG9: human rights challenge to social housing legislation under and Article 14 of the ECHR.

    Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v HY (RP) [2017] UKUT 303 (AAC): EU law challenge to domestic legislation governing the recognition of gender reassignment.

    Ahmed v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 99: EU law challenge to domestic legislation on the rights of non-EU nationals to reside in the UK following divorce.

    NA (Libya) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 143: errors of law in the context of country guidance cases.

    Secretary of State for the Home Department v Franco Vomero [2016] UKSC 49, [2012] EWCA Civ 1199, [2013] 1 WLR 3339: Supreme Court appeal concerning the deportation of foreign criminals under the EU Citizenship Directive.

    MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] UKSC 53, [2014] EWCA Civ 1112, [2014] ICR 1129: leading case on the compatibility with EU law of domestic legislation on gender reassignment.

    Case C-218/14 Singh v Minister of Justice and Equality [2016] QB 208: represented the UK Government in a successful intervention before the EU Court of Justice concerning the rights of third country nationals to reside in the EU.

    R (Benjamin) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 1626: Francovich damages claim against the Home Office concerning its implementation of the EU Citizenship Directive.

    R (Jewish Human Rights Watch) v Leicester City Council [2016] EWHC 1512: judicial review challenge to Council’s motion to boycott goods from the occupied territories.

    R (SB (Jamaica)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 400: Court of Appeal challenge concerning the Government’s immigration policy on recourse to welfare support.

    R (Tomescu) v Lord President of the Council [2015] EWHC 3293, [2016] 1 CMLR 39: EU law challenge to the UK’s rules on the entitlement to vote and stand in parliamentary elections.

    Case C-115/15 Secretary of State for the Home Department v NA (Pakistan) [2017] Q.B. 109; [2016] 3 W.L.R. 1439; [2017] 1 C.M.L.R. 12; [2017] Imm. A.R. 34 :preliminary reference from the Court of Appeal concerning the residence rights of non-EU national victims of domestic violence.

    Entry Clearance Officer v SM (Algeria) [2015] EWCA Civ 1109, [2016] 1 CMLR 45: Court of Appeal case concerning the EU Citizenship Directive and domestic rules governing the recognition of inter-country adoptions.

    GM (Poland) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (judgment of 10 December 2015): Court of Appeal case concerning the Government’s policy on the deportation of foreign criminals.

    R (Khatib) v Secretary of State for Justice [2015] EWHC 606: judicial review challenge to Secretary of State’s decision to maintain the high escape risk classification of a convicted terrorist.

    R (Mahoney and Others) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2015] EWHC 589; [2015] RVR 237: judicial review challenge concerning the impact of Crossrail on the gypsy community.

    R (Buer) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 1109: [2015] 1 CMLR 3: Court of Appeal case concerning the rights of Turkish citizens under the EEC-Turkey Association Agreement.

    R (NS) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 1971, [2014] Imm AR 1153: first decided case concerning the Government’s policy restricting migrant access to state benefits.

    R (Shoesmith) v Oftsed 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.

    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

    “Really heading for great things.”  – Chambers UK, 2017

    “Clear, methodical and thoughtful in his advice”- Chambers UK 2017

    “Very responsive, very commercial” – Chambers UK, 2017

    “Combines a giant intellect with an immense work ethic” – Legal 500, 2016

    “Exceptionally able and extremely effective” – Legal 500, 2016

    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 and Legal 500 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 a number of the major competition cases of the last few years, including Streetmap v Google [2016] EWHC 253 (Ch) in which he represented Google in its successful defence to an abuse of dominance claim brought by the online map provider, Streetmap. Ben is currently acting for British Airways in a follow-on damages claim against MasterCard arising out of the European Commission’s 2007 decision on payment card interchange fees. He is also acting for the European Commission in an ongoing appeal against its decision on the Euro Interest Rate Derivative cartel.

    Cases include:

    British Airways Plc v MasterCard Incorporated (Case No. 1269/5/7/16): acting for British Airways in follow-on damages claim relating to anti-competitive payment card fees.

    HSBC v European Commission (T-105/17): acting for the European Commission in an appeal against its decision on the Euro Interest Rate Derivatives cartel.

    Streetmap v Google [2016] EWHC 253 (Ch): acted for Google in major abuse of dominance claim concerning Google’s search engine and online maps.

    British Telecommunications Plc v Ofcom [2015] CAT 6: acted for TalkTalk in an appeal before the Competition Appeal Tribunal concerning charges for calls to 08 numbers.

    BSkyB and Ors v Ofcom [2014] EWCA Civ 133: acted for Ofcom in an appeal against its decision to impose a wholesale must offer obligation on TV broadcaster. Remitted to the Competition Appeal Tribunal following appeal to the Court of Appeal.

    R (Project Management Institute ) v Minister for the Cabinet Office [2014] EWHC 2438: judicial review challenge concerning the grant of Royal Charter status.

    EWRG and Ors v Philips Electronics and Ors: acted for claimants in 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.

    Advisory work includes:

    CMA investigation into resale price maintenance.

    Compatibility of franchise agreements with competition law.

    Application of competition law to business-to-business online marketplaces.

    Merger control in the travel industry.

    Action by PhonepayPlus, the enforcement authority for premium rate services.

    CMA investigation of the “payday lending” market.

    Ofcom broadcasting licences.

    Commercial dispute between telecommunications providers.

    Rights of broadcasters and Pay TV providers under the Communications Act 2003 and the EU Common Regulatory Framework

  • EU Law

    Ben is an expert on EU law, acting for a range of public and private clients.  He has appeared in a number of leading EU law cases in the UK, including claims for Francovich damages, and various cases in the national courts concerning the interpretation and application of EU legislation. He is instructed regularly by the Government to represent the UK before the EU Court of Justice.

    Given his experience in EU law, Ben is perfectly placed to advise on issues arising from the 2016 EU referendum and the UK’s plans to leave the EU.

    Domestic cases include:

    Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v HY (RP) [2017] UKUT 303 (AAC): EU law challenge to domestic legislation governing the recognition of gender reassignment.

    Ahmed v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 99: EU law challenge to domestic legislation on the rights of non-EU nationals to reside in the UK following divorce.

    Secretary of State for the Home Department v Franco Vomero [2016] UKSC 49, [2012] EWCA Civ 1199, [2013] 1 WLR 3339: Supreme Court appeal concerning the deportation of foreign criminals under the EU Citizenship Directive.

    MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] UKSC 53, [2014] EWCA Civ 1112, [2014] ICR 1129: leading case on the compatibility with EU law of domestic legislation on gender reassignment.

    R (Benjamin) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 1626: Francovich damages claim against the Home Office concerning its implementation of the EU Citizenship Directive.

    SM (Algeria) v Entry Clearance Officer [2015] EWCA Civ 1109: Court of Appeal case concerning the EU Citizenship Directive and domestic rules governing the recognition of inter-country adoptions.

    R (Tomescu) v Office of the Prime Minister [2015] EWHC 3293: EU law challenge to the UK’s rules on the entitlement to vote and stand in parliamentary elections and the EU referendum.

    Speciality Produce Limited v DEFRA: Francovich damages claim arising from the UK’s implementation of the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

    R (Buer) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 1109; [2015] 1 CMLR 3: acted for Secretary of State in Court of Appeal case concerning the rights of Turkish citizens under the EEC-Turkey Association Agreement.

    R (Project Management Institute) v Minister for the Cabinet Office [2014] EWHC 2438: judicial review challenge concerning the grant of Royal Charter status and its compatibility with the Treaty on European Union.

    Defra v Information Commissioner and Badger Trust [2014] UKUT 0526: Upper Tribunal challenge concerning the scope and application of Directive 2003/4/EC on public access to environmental information.

    DWP v Information Commissioner (EA/2013/0040): appeal concerning the scope of the concept of personal data in EU Directive 95/46/EC on data protection.

    European Court cases include:

    Case C-193/16 E v Subdelegacion del Gobierno en Alava (judgment of 13 July 2017): preliminary reference concerning a Member State’s power to deport an EU citizen who has committed serious criminal offences.

    Case C-133/15 Chavez-Vilchez (judgment of 17 May 2017): preliminary reference concerning the Zambrano principle.  Judgment of the Grand Chamber.

    Case T-105/17: HSBC v European Commission: acting for the European Commission in an appeal against its decision on the Euro Interest Rate Derivatives cartel.

    Case C-218/14 Singh v Minister of Justice and Equality [2016] QB 208: preliminary reference concerning the rights of third country nationals to reside in the EU. Judgment of the Grand Chamber.

    Case C-115/15 Secretary of State for the Home Department v NA (Pakistan) [2017] Q.B. 109; [2016] 3 W.L.R. 1439; [2017] 1 C.M.L.R. 12; [2017] Imm. A.R. 34 :preliminary reference from the Court of Appeal concerning the residence rights of non-EU national victims of domestic violence.

    Case C-518/15 Matzak v Town of Nivelles: preliminary reference concerning the application of the Working Time Directive to ‘on call’ emergency workers.

    Cases C-331/16 & C-366/16 K and HF: preliminary reference concerning concerning the extent to which serious criminals such as war criminals and terrorists can rely on EU law to resist deportation from a Member State

    Case C-353/16 MP (Sri Lanka): preliminary reference from the Supreme Court concerning the scope of subsidiary protection under the Qualification Directive.

    Case C-184/16 Petrea: preliminary reference concerning a Member State’s power to remove an EU citizen who has re-entered its territory despite being subject to an exclusion order.

    Case T-433/10 P Allen and Ors v European Commission; Case T-45/01 Sanders and Ors v European Commission: direct action discrimination claims brought against the European Commission by contractors working at the EU’s JET nuclear fusion project.

  • Data Protection & Freedom of Information

    “Very thorough, methodical and thougtful in his advice” “Showed excellent technical knowledge on the issue at hand and explained the reasoning behind it very clearly” – Chambers UK, 2017

    “Very responsive, approachable and user-friendly” – Legal 500, 2016

    “He was extremely resilient and impressive in a case where he was under extreme pressure from the court.” “His advice is competent and well expressed.” – Chambers UK, 2016

    “Very nice to work with, responsive and accessible.” Chambers UK, 2015

    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

    Ben is highly sought after in the fields of Data Protection and Freedom of Information.  He is recommended as a leading junior in Data Protection in Chambers UK and Legal 500, and appears regularly in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals, acting on behalf of private clients, public authorities and the Information Commissioner.  The public authorities for which Ben has acted include the Department for Communities and Local Government, Defra, DWP, the CPS and the Environment Agency.

    Ben’s expertise covers Data Protection, Freedom of Information and Environmental Information.

    Cases include:

    Defra v Information Commissioner and Badger Trust [2014] UKUT 0526: Upper Tribunal challenge concerning the scope and application of Directive 2003/4/EC on public access to environmental information.

    DWP v Information Commissioner (EA/2013/0040): appeal concerning the scope of the concept of personal data in EU Directive 95/46/EC on data protection and the Data Protection Act 1998.

    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.

    Williams v Information Commissioner and Environment Agency (EA/2012/0172): 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/2012/0075): appeal by a serving prisoner against the Information Commissioner’s decision that the CPS was entitled to withhold information concerning the prisoner’s prosecution.

    Robinson v Information Commissioner (EA/2013/0157): appeal concerning the disclosure of information held by the CPS relating to a high profile unsuccessful prosecution.

  • 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

    Competition Law: “He is commercial, to the point, articulate and very good with lay clients.”- Chambers UK, 2018

    Telecommunications: “Ben Lask is extremely charming, very easy to work with and extremely sharp.” “He’s very good on the details.” – Chambers UK, 2018

    Leading junior in Administrative and public law (including local government): ‘‘He delivers well-presented written work and is well-respected in the court.’’Legal 500, 2017 

    Leading junior in Competition: ‘‘Clever and a great team player.’’Legal 500, 2017 

    Leading junior in EU Law: ‘‘A clever, hardworking and strong advocate.’’Legal 500, 2017 

    Leading junior in IT and Telecoms (including Data protection): ‘‘He is intelligent and approachable.’’Legal 500, 2017 

    Data Protection: “He showed excellent technical knowledge on the issue at hand and explained the reasoning behind it very clearly.” “He was very thorough, methodical and thoughtful in his advice.” – Chambers UK, 2017

    Telecommunications: “He is very responsive, very commercial and able to manage difficult clients. He provides clear advice and is always at the end of the phone when we need to speak to him.” “Ben is very clear, methodical and thoughtful in his advice.”Chambers UK, 2017

    Competition Law: “He is personable and really heading for great things.” Chambers UK, 2017

    Leading Junior in Telecoms (regulatory): ‘‘He combines a giant intellect with an immense work ethic.’’ Legal 500, 2016

    Leading Junior in Data Protection: ‘‘He is very responsive, approachable and user-friendly.’’ Legal 500, 2016

    Leading Junior in EU and Competition: ‘‘Exceptionally able and extremely effective.’’ – Legal 500, 2016

    Leading Junior in Administrative and Public Law (including local government): ‘‘He has good presentation skills and inspires the court’s trust.’’ Legal 500, 2016

    Competition Law: “He has good transferable skills and is particularly strong on areas that cover the regulatory, public law and competition law overlap. He is a delight to work with and you can always rely upon him to produce very good work.” – Chambers UK & Chambers Global, 2016

    Data Protection: “He was extremely resilient and impressive in a case where he was under extreme pressure from the court.” “His advice is competent and well expressed.” – Chambers UK, 2016

    Telecommunications: “He was extraordinarily thorough, and brought himself up to speed exceptionally quickly.” “He’s extremely bright and extremely good at picking up issues.”Chambers UK, 2016

    “A hardworking and effective junior with an exceptional eye for detail.’’  Leading Junior in Administrative and Public Law. Legal 500, 2015

    “Completely at ease with high-ranking commercial clients.’’Leading Junior in EU and Competition Law. Legal 500, 2015

    “Good attention to detail.’’Leading Junior in Data Protection. Legal 500, 2015

    “He grasps facts quickly.’’Leading Junior in Telecoms Law.  Legal 500, 2015

    Competition Law: “He’s very easy to work with and always keeps you informed.” “You can rely on him completely.”Chambers UK, 2015

    Data Protection: “Very nice to work with, responsive and accessible.” Chambers UK, 2015

    Telecommunications: “Very thorough in his analysis and highly practical in his advice to the client.”Chambers UK, 2015

    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

    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

    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

    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
    • Brexit and EU Sports Law, Global Sports Law & Taxation Reports, June 2017
    • 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

    Bar European Group

    Human Rights Lawyers Association

    Administrative Bar Association

     

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