Ben Mills Regulatory

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.


Regulatory

Ben has extensive expertise in Trading Standards matters and is regularly instructed to advise on precharge issues in respect of complex Trading Standards prosecutions.

He is one of a small number of expert Counsel who are instructed to prosecute ‘loan sharks’ nationally on behalf of the Illegal Money Lending Team, for Consumer Credit Act offences, violence, blackmail and highlevel money laundering.

 

+ Add to Brochure

Health & Safety, Corporate & Gross Negligence Manslaughter

Ben has been appointed to the Attorney General's List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law (Band B).

This is an area of Ben’s practice which is constantlygrowing and in which he has significant expertise. He has both prosecuted and defended a number of serious health and safety cases, including those involving fatalities at work. At the core of his practice are an acute attention to his client's best interests and a tireless commitment to his cases.

He has recently prosecuted on behalf of the HSE, a serious Health and Safety case involving the maiming of an employee in the workplace and defended one of the first ever prosecutions under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2006.

Other instructions include advising on a health and safety prosecution against the Lawn Tennis Association and has advising, preparing and subsequently prosecuting a company for serious breaches of s2 HSWA, which resulted in the death of one of their employees.

Ben also has considerable experience of representing parties at inquests. His expertise in that field allows him to offer full continuity to clients in cases which are preceded by such a hearing. These are always sensitive hearings and are often highly complex involving a full Article 2 ECHR investigation of the circumstances surrounding a death.

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council v RS Components Ltd – advised, prepared and subsequently successfully prosecuted thiscompany for breaches of s 2 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which resulted in the death of one of their employees.

HSE v Panesar – instructed to defend a principal contractor for a breach of his duty under section of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 following a fatality on his building site caused by defective machinery.

 

+ Add to Brochure

Inquests & Coronial

Ben’s practice covers a large variety of regulatory work and he now has extensive experience of inquest work including those that involve complex ‘Article 2’ issues. He has represented a custody officer where a suspect died whilst under his supervision. This was an ‘Article 2’ inquest which looked in detail at the practices and procedures of the police in relation to their custody suite operations. The inquest concluded with no criticism of the client and with recommendations made to the Police Force on their future training and monitoring practices.

Ben undertakes the associated health and safety or other criminal trials that follow and in that way can offer continuity of representation to the client throughout the proceedings.

He is currently instructed to represent a paramedic who was alleged to have acted negligently as regards a patient who subsequently died. We successfully argued for the criminal Health and Safety prosecution to be dismissed. Representation will continue through the forthcoming inquest.

Ben has regularly provided training sessions on inquests

+ Add to Brochure

Licensing

Ben regularly represents local councils in taxi licensing appeal hearings and has prepared detailed skeleton arguments on issues such as what amounts to 'playing for hire' and the scope of evidence which the tribunal are entitled to consider

Reported Cases:

Brett v DPP, Queens Bench Division of the High Court, [2009] 1 W.L.R. 2530 - Ben represented the DPP in an appeal by way of case stated from the Magistrates Court where the appellant had been convicted of drink driving. He did not have conduct of the case in the Magistrates Court. The primary issue was whether the court was right to admit evidence of a certificate of analysis of a blood specimen sent under s.16 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 [RTOA] when notice had been given pursuant to s.16 (4) of that Act, “requiring” the attendance of the analyst at the hearing. Ben was instructed to represent the DPP in relation to a case stated, questioning the operation of the hearsay provisions within the Criminal Justice Act 2003 in relation to section 16 (4) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (certificates of analysis as truth of their contents). As was submitted, the Court concluded that they did apply.

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

 

+ Add to Brochure

Trading Standards, Consumer Protection & Food Safety

Ben is one of only three advocates ranked for Consumer Law in Chambers and Partners 2014 which states:

"Wins broad respect as a practitioner whose prior experience in criminal matters stands him in good stead to advise on the highly regulated consumer law area. Mills is praised for his strong client skills and astute court manner.

Expertise: "He is approachable and committed. He is organised and responds quickly to queries, and is an awesome cross-examiner."

Recent work: He was instructed as junior counsel in Warwickshire County Council v European Environmental Controls, a prosecution relating to the door-to-door sale of security systems to the elderly."

Ben has extensive experience in prosecuting Trading Standards offences for local authorities and defending those accused of the same. He is regularly instructed to advise on pre-charge issues in respect of complexTrading Standards prosecutions.

He is one of a small number of expert Counsel who are instructed to prosecute ‘loan sharks’ nationally on behalf of the Illegal Money Lending Team, for Consumer Credit Act offences, violence, blackmail and highlevel money laundering.

Ben has also been appointed to the Attorney General's List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law (Band B). At the core of his practice are an acute attention to his client's best interests and a tireless commitment to his cases.

He also has considerable experience in Food Safety matters.

He is a contributing Editor for: 'Consumer and Trading Standards: Law and Practice', Jordans, 2013.

Recent Regulatory instructions include:

- Advising on and assessing the merits of a multi-agency national counterfeiting conspiracy.

- Prosecuting Birmingham City Council's largest ever seizure of counterfeit clothing.

- Prosecuting a multi-handed car-clocking conspiracy – from pre-charge advice through to conviction.

- Prosecuting a national company under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 in respect of door-to-door sales of securitysystems and home improvements to the elderly.

- Prosecuting a serious Health and Safety case involving the maiming of an employee and another involving a fatality in the workplace.

- Defending one of the first ever prosecutions under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2006.

Reported Cases:

Junior Counsel: R v X [2013] 2 Cr.App.R.15: leading authority on the CPUT Regulations 2008 and the application of recklessness to corporate entities.

Prosecuted leading “loan shark” sentencing case: R v Dixon [2012] 2 Cr.App.R.(S)100.

Contributing Editor for: 'Consumer and Trading Standards: Law and Practice', Jordans, 2013.

+ Add to Brochure