Ben Smitten
  • Recommended as a leader in Crime.

    Chambers UK 2018

  • Recommended as a leader in Crime.

    Legal 500 2017

  • An excellent advocate.

    Legal 500 2016

  • He has a knack of finding practical solutions when others fail.

    Legal 500 2017

  • Immensely hardworking and excellent with clients, who find him unstuffy and refreshing.

    Legal 500 2018

  • Ranked as a Leading junior in Crime.

    Chambers UK 2019

  • A canny tactician with sound judgement.

    Legal 500 2020

  • His detailed preparation on cases is exceptional. He quickly gets up to speed with exceptionally complex cases.

    Chambers UK 2020

Called 1999

Ben Smitten


Ben has 20 years’ experience at the highest level of criminal proceedings from pre-charge written advice to appellate advocacy. Ben has experience in criminal defence, private prosecutions and inquests. For almost a decade Ben has been instructed on a private basis in relation to all levels of alleged criminality and at all stages of criminal proceedings including the pre-charge stage, pre-trial applications and fully contested trials. His phenomenal results and level of instruction are testament to his work rate and winning strategies

Ben is a specialist criminal defence advocate and adviser with particular expertise in defending serious and organised crime, large-scale fraud, regulatory proceedings, inquests and homicide (from multiple murders to corporate manslaughter).

Ben has been regularly and privately instructed by Mishcon de Reya, Kingsley Napley, BCL (London), Edward Fail Bradshaw and Waterson and Grosvenor Law (Mayfair). These cases have involved representing a range of individuals from company directors (from multiple jurisdictions), foreign nationals, doctors, police officers, professional sports persons and ultra-high net worth individuals.

His work rate, ability and experience in defending in large scale, serious and complex criminal cases is unrivalled. He is committed, extremely hard working and determined.

In 2008, when Ben was first ranked, he was the youngest ranked “Leading Junior” in Chambers and Partners directory.

Since 2015, Ben has been recommended as a Leading Junior in crime in the top 20 criminal barristers (non-silk) in Legal 500.

Ben is qualified to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis.

Ben has a wealth of experience in traditional criminal defence (traditional and white collar), private prosecutions, regulatory and inquisitorial proceedings:

  • Ben has recently represented a trader in an investigation by the US Department of justice, SFO and FCA in to LIBOR related issues. This matter involves regulatory proceedings by the FCA before the Regulatory Decisions Committee, as well as a criminal investigation by the SFO. The FCA rigorously sought a prohibition order. However, the RDC were persuaded this wasn't an appropriate sanction. Consequently, the trader was the only individual allegedly involved in LIBOR to avoid any sanction.
  • Ben prosecuted in the case of Allseas v PS, the largest successful private fraud prosecution to date involving an attempt to gain control of 100 million euros.
  • Ben represents a retired Chief Superintendent in both inquest and criminal proceedings arising from the Hillsborough stadium disaster.
  • Ben is currently representing company directors under investigation for corporate manslaughter and other health and safety breaches in both inquest and criminal proceedings.
  • Ben is acting in inquest and criminal proceedings for a senior retired police officer in respect of policing issues arising from historical criminal investigations under consideration by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (Westminster strand).

As the recent cases of R v WD (causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence) and R v ML (knife point robbery with a guideline starting point of 4 years immediate custody) demonstrate Ben can secure alternative non-custodial outcomes in complex and difficult cases.

Professional Memberships
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
Fraud Lawyers Association
Criminal Bar Association

Recommended as a leader in Crime in Chambers UK 2019
Recommended as a leader in Crime in Legal 500 2018
‘An excellent advocate.’ Legal 500 2016
‘He has a knack of finding practical solutions when others fail.’ Legal 500 2017
Immensely hardworking and excellent with clients, who find him unstuffy and refreshing.’ Legal 500 2018