Ben Mills Crime

Call: 2000

Introduction

Ben, by his regular inclusion in the industry directories, is recognised as a leader in the field of both criminal law and regulatory crime. He enjoys a thriving practice working predominantly in fraud, counterfeiting, consumer protection and health and safety law, other serious crime and associated complex confiscation proceedings. At the core of his practice is an acute attention to his client’s best interests and a tireless commitment to his cases.

He was Junior Counsel in R v X [2013] EWCA Crim 818, the leading authority on the CPUT Regulations 2008 and the application of recklessness to corporate entities. He is one of a small number of expert Counsel instructed nationally in cases focussing on the activities of ‘loan sharks’. These predominantly involve Consumer Credit Act offences, blackmail and large scale fraud/money laundering.

He was Junior Defence Counsel in R v Shuttleworth and Southerton (2013) – a 6 month cut-throat baby murder trial which received national attention.

During the House of Lords expenses scandal, he was instructed to advise a Life Peer in all pre-charge matters and police interviews. His client was not prosecuted.

After a very competitive process Ben has also been appointed to the Attorney General’s List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law (Band B).

He was nominated for Birmingham Law Society: Barrister of the Year 2013.

What the directories say:

Chambers & Partners 2020: “He has proved virtually unrivalled in his encyclopaedic knowledge and his excellent manner with clients.”

Legal 500 2015: “Advocacy is at the top of the list of his strengths – he engages with the judiciary and jurors alike.”

Chambers & Partners 2015: Has a criminal practice which encompasses offences including blackmail, money laundering and offences against the person.

Expertise: “He is a very hard-working junior, who is very meticulous with his preparation.”

Chambers & Partners 2014: “He is approachable and committed. He is organised and responds quickly to queries, and is an awesome cross-examiner…He has a real commitment to the work, and shows incredible levels of preparation, and a delightful manner in dealing with juries.”

“Chambers & Partners 2013: “conscientiously performs some sensationally good work”

Legal 500 2011: “the fantastic Ben Mills is highly recommended for fraud matters”

Legal 500 2012: “excellent with lay clients”and “very strong in court”

Reported Cases:

Instructed in leading sentencing case for illegal money lending: R v Dixon [2012] 2 Cr.App.R.(S)100.

Dudley MBC v Arif [2011] [2012] R.T.R. 20; [2012] A.C.D. 86- Ben represented Dudley MBC in an appeal by way of case stated from the Magistrates Court where the appellant had been acquitted of an offence of plying for hire contrary to the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 s.45. The issue related to whether the defendant could assert ‘mistake’ when the offence was one of strict liability.

Brett v DPP, Queens Bench Division of the High Court, [2009] 1 W.L.R. 2530 – Ben represented the DPP in this appeal by way of case stated which related to the admissibility of hearsay evidence served under s 16 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

 

Articles and Publications:

Contributing Editor: ‘Consumer and Trading Standards: Law and Practice’, 2013.

A Health and Safety Sentencing Tool-kit – Local Government Lawyer Online – October 2012 – Ben Mills sets out a tool-kit for defence and prosecution lawyers that will establish the foundation for quality advocacy at health and safety sentencing hearings.

‘Any time for Money Laundering’ – a guide to the recent authorities setting out the principles of sentencing when ancillary POCA offences are included on an indictment.

‘I Drink Therefore I Am’ – Alcohol Dependency Syndrome (R v Woods 2008) – an analysis of the recent changes in this area of law and its application in a defence to murder

‘Conduct and Effect – Offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008’ – an analysis of the new offences under this legislation and how they operate

Qualifications and Appointments:

BA (Hons) in English and Philosphy at Birmingham University (2:1)

Diploma in Law at BPP Law School, Lincoln’s InnLaw Commission: Research Assistant 2000-2001.

Attorney General’s Unified List of Prosecuting Advocates (Panel C) – July 2009 – 2012.

Appointed to the Attorney General’s Unified List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law (Band B) – 2012 ongoing.

Midlands Circuit Representative for Criminal Bar Association: 2007-2010.

Ben is a Level 3 CPS prosecutor.


Crime

Ben has developed particular expertise in the issues surrounding Alcohol Dependency Syndrome, the management of large scale disclosure, complex fraud and the representation of those in public service accused of serious criminal conduct.

Recent instructions include successfully defending clients charged with multiple allegations of historic rape, high value fraud and child murder (Junior Counsel); prosecuting serious organised crime (junior counsel) and money laundering in excess of £20 million

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Fraud, Business and Financial Crime

Ben has substantial experience of both prosecuting and defending high value business crime. He was junior counsel in the successful prosecution of a £23 million fraud conspiracy. He is one of a small team of expert Counsel who are instructed to prosecute ‘loan sharks’ nationally on behalf of the Illegal Money Lending Team for Consumer Credit Act offences, blackmail and money laundering.

Ben’s practice in this area of law has principally involved acting as Junior Counsel on a number of major fraud trials for both the prosecution and the defence. This has included acting as junior counsel in what was described as the largest prosecution CPS York Casework Directorate have ever undertaken.

His particular expertise is in the process of large scale disclosure and distilling information into manageable documents to assist the jury in understanding complex financial evidence.

He has recently been junior prosecuting counsel in a £1 million pound money laundering conspiracy relating to the Morecambe Bay cockle pickers disaster. In addition to that he instructed as sole counsel to represent a defendant named first on the indictment in a multi-handed £1 million black money fraud and currently junior defence counsel in a high volume VAT and revenue fraud.

R v Thoto and Ors – instructed as sole Counsel. Successfully defended a conspirator, first on the indictment in a multi-handed fraud to the value of approximately £1 million pounds.

R v Eric Danison - led by Malcolm Morse in this successful prosecution of a multi-handed £23 million international fraud

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Homicide (Murder and Manslaughter)

Ben has extensive experience in homicide cases where he has regularly appeared as Junior Counsel either for the defence or the prosecution. His particular expertise covers the management of disclosure, familial homicide and alcohol dependency syndrome. He was instructed as Junior Defence Counsel in the case of R v Shuttleworth and Southerton (2013) - a two-handed cut throat case involving the murder of a 2 year old child who died following a sustained period of child neglect and violence which went largely undetected by the public services with which the deceased came into regular contact. It engaged serious arguments on the causes and timing of death/fatal injuries requiring the examination of many medical experts from across the paediatric spectrum. The case attracted national media interest.

His recent instructions cover some of the most high-profile cases in the country, including defending, as junior Counsel, the Nottinghamshire teacher charged with the attempted murder of a pupil.

R v CL and Another – Instructed as sole Counsel. Successfully defended a mother charged with child cruelty on the basis of neglect. The baby in question suffered multiple and severe fractures of the head. The issues were to involve challenging medical experts about the possible cause and timing of the injuries as well as a cut-throat defence against the co-defendant who is her partner

R v Peter Harvey, Nottingham Crown Court - as Junior Counsel to Rex Tedd QC, Ben represented the Nottinghamshire teacher charged with the attempted murder of a pupil in one of the highest-profile cases of early 2010. The teacher was alleged to have struck the pupil with a dumbell whilst shouting "die, die, die."

R v Hollyoake– [led by David Williams QC] instructed to represent a man suffering from Alcohol Dependency Syndrome charged with murder.

R v Trevor Bate and Others – Stafford Crown Court, led by Desmond de Silva QC, Head of 2 Paper Buildings, London. Successfully defended Mr Bate on a charge of murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

 

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Organised Crime and Terrorism

Ben Mills was junior prosecuting counsel in a high profile animal rights conspiracy trial. It was the first contested case under s145 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 and involved the calling of over 100 live witnesses. It involved issues of large scale disclosure, witness anonymity and judicial recusal.

He has also both prosecuted and defended in large scale drug trafficking conspiracies and has developed a particular practice in prosecuting loan sharks charged with money laundering and other associated violent crimes.

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Restraint and Confiscation

Ben has considerable experience of conducting confiscation proceedings for bothe the prosecution and the defence and the applications for restraint, variation or discharge which inevitably accompany them. He has acted and advised at all stages of these proceedings and in respect of associated forfeiture proceedings in the Magistrates Court.

He has recently conducted a complex confiscation hearing which resulted in a confiscation order of £1.3 million and confiscation proceedings involving realisable assets in excess of £20 million.

He regularly delivers training sessions for both the prosecution and the defence on the evolving law and principles that govern these proceedings. Most recently in respect of the implications of R v Waya.

R v K - successfully prosecuted a loan shark charged with 3 million pounds worth of POCA offences and blackmail.

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Serious Sexual Offences

Ben's experience includes successfully defending those accused of historic, multiple child rape and successfully prosecuting an uncle of historic sexual offences against his niece (aged 5).

He was junior prosecuting counsel in the successful prosecution of three men who drugged and raped a succession of teenage boys. This involved substantial arguments on bad character relating to previous acquittals and the living out of sexual fantasy on the internet.

Ben has also developed a significant amount of experience in defending ‘breach of trust’ cases and in particular those involving teachers and other professionals accused of abusing or sexually assaulting those in their care. Such cases usually generate extreme emotional reactions on all sides and in the media which, if the client's interests are to be properly and fully protected, need to be understood and managed with particular care and expertise. Ben's past and current instructions include:

• Representing a caretaker accused of multiple rapes and assaults on a 15 year old pupil on school premises.

• Representing a 30 year old teacher accused of serious offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in relation to a 15 year old female pupil of his. The offences took place over a prolonged period of time.

• Representing a 63 year old care assistant in a care home, accused of multiple allegations of rape and indecent assault when preying on his clients who were either elderly or had severe learning difficulties.

He has recently presented a short training course to lawyers and teachers' union representatives which focused on the representation of teachers who find themselves caught up in the criminal justice system.

R v JM and others – instructed as sole Counsel to defend Mr Moosab on multiple counts of historic rape and sexual abuse by a father and two sons against the daughters.

R v W– instructed as sole Counsel Successfully defended a father accused of multiple rapes against his daughter.

R v TM – instructed as sole Counsel. Multiple allegations of attempted rape by a 63 year old care assistant in a care home, preying on the elderly and on clients with severe learning difficulties.

R v B - successfully prosecuted an uncle of historicsexual abuse against his 5 year old niece.

R v Osbourne and Briggs – led by Andrew Lockhart QC. Successfully prosecuted 2 men accused of stupefying and raping a number of young men.

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