What others say
Benjamin was awarded Crime Junior of the Year at the 2019 Chambers and Partners Bar Awards, and is ranked in Band 1 in Crime:
‘Benjamin Newton is widely acknowledged to be a standout defence junior at the general crime Bar in London. He frequently turns his hand to serious cases involving murder, terrorism and attempted murder’. They report that he “Achieves outcomes that are unbelievable. He is a bit of a magician.”
Their sources say that “Benjamin Newton is superb. He’s very thorough and likeable, and is fantastic with clients. No matter what kind of client or what kind of case he gets their trust and respect very quickly. What’s more, he’s a fantastic advocate – very persuasive. He’s very attentive, articulate, and good with detail.” It is also said that he "provides excellent client care for both the professional and lay client, and is brilliant at reducing complex points down to an understandable and relatable level." "His temperament is excellent and he copes with whatever is thrown at him. He deals with things in good humour and maintains a clear head at all times."
Chambers and Partners also recognise Benjamin to be ‘valued for his wide-ranging experience in fraud cases’, ranking him in Band 2. "He is the most gracious and knowledgeable barrister you could ever wish to meet." "He is very good with clients, has a really easy manner and is very astute and bright." "An intelligent and forceful advocate who is superb with clients."
Sources for their Fraud section also say that he “has an excellent eye for detail, is very practical in terms of getting to the heart of what the issues are, and he is able to come up with solutions. He shows very good judgement.”
He is also ranked in both crime and criminal fraud by The Legal 500, which describes him as ‘a rare breed in that he is exceptionally clever, phenomenally responsive to the needs of those instructing him, empathetic and personable; all while maintaining a necessary and welcome sense of humour. Clients — and solicitors — feel completely safe in his hands… …he is one of the very best.’ (Crime).
“Benjamin is exceptionally responsive to the needs of clients and instructing solicitors. He is supremely good at condensing complicated and voluminous material into a digestible format. He is a charming and erudite advocate who is able to cut to the core issues in a case.” (Fraud).
Benjamin has substantial experience across all areas of criminal law, and sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court. He is frequently instructed in relation to allegtions of financial crime, serious sexual offences, and murder/manslaughter. In addition to criminal trials, he regularly advises on and conducts fresh criminal appeals, and has expertise in extradition, courts martial proceedings, and criminal-related public law.
Benjamin is consistently instructed in relation to substantial allegations of fraud and money laundering, and regulatory matters of a financial nature.
He is ranked in Chambers and Partners 2020 as a leading junior in financial crime, and is described as ‘really bright and really insightful’, and ‘a superb advocate; he is a quietly understated barrister, who goes about his work in a very diligent manner and can turn his hand to almost any case’.
Similarly The Legal 500 2020 ranks Benjamin highly for Criminal Fraud and comments that "He is exceptionally bright, very hard-working and very good with clients." "Extremely impressive and very practical in his application of the law."
Benjamin studied economics to degree level and is confident in dealing with cases involving the financial markets. From 2016 to 2020 he acted for one of the former Barclays traders accused of manipulating the Euribor rate (R v P, Southwark Crown Court).
He is currently instructed for the first of three defendants accused of conspiracy to commit fraud in relation to direct payments for personal care (R v N, St Albans Crown Court), for a highly respected jeweller accused of fraud in the course of his trade (R v L, Wood Green Crown Court), for the 1st of 16 defendants in a banking fraud (R v P, Southwark Crown Court), and for an alleged participant in a conspiracy to launder £7.2m of fraudulently obtained payments (R v A, Southwark Crown Court).
He recently acted for a company director accused of using a prohibited name following liquidation of a company contrary to s216(3) Insolvency Act 1986 (R v B, Westminster Magistrates Court).
In 2019 he defended one of eight defendants alleged to have misled investors through the sale of carbon credits and diamonds in a multi-million pound ‘boiler room’ fraud (R v A, Southwark Crown Court, leading Kate O’Raghallaigh) – the trial of which collapsed due to disclosure issues surrounding the revelation of an unqualified expert.
Benjamin is frequently instructed on behalf of professional clients. In 2018 he defended an accountant against whom allegations of fraud and forgery were dismissed following a submission of no case to answer and in whose favour a wasted costs order was made against the CPS (R v J, Southwark Crown Court). He also acted for a company financial controller who was privately prosecuted for fraud and theft of over £1.5m (R v L, St Albans Crown Court).
Other recent cases include an SFO prosecution against a defendant extradited from Malasia in relation to a £17m Ponzi Fraud (R v D, Southwark Crown Court), an accountant facing allegations of cheating the public revenue of £8m (R v P, Southwark Crown Court), and a solicitor accused of fraudulently posing as the freeholder of properties so as to extort payments from lessees (R v M, Bournemouth Crown Court).
In earlier years his significant cases included Operation Inertia at Kingston Crown Court representing a former company director implicated in a large scale MTIC fraud (led by Rebecca Trowler Q.C.) and Operation Aloof at Kingston Crown Court, representing the second of three defendants in a three month trial relating to large scale money laundering through a bureau de change (led by David Hislop Q.C.).
Benjamin also has experience in licensing matters and in cases brought by the Health and Safety Executive and other public bodies appointed to enforce safety regulations.
Benjamin has vast experience in cases relating to the most serious allegations of sexual offending, including cases attracting publicity and requiring careful and delicate conduct both in and out of court. He is also consistently instructed to provide those who have been convicted with fresh advice on appeal.
Current cases include a father accused of sexually assaulting his daughter’s friend (R v B, Guildford Crown Court), historic allegations of rape of a child (R v M, Snaresbrook Crown Court), commercial-scale controlling of prostitution (R v D, Woolwich Crown Court), and an allegation of sexually assaulting an emergency worker (R v A, Chelmsford Crown Court).
He has recently acted in cases involving: a masseur accused of sexually assaulting clients (R v M, Inner London Crown Court), a step-father accused of historic allegations of abuse against his step-sons (R v S, Maidstone Crown Court), a couple who abused a young child (R v D, Woolwich Crown Court), alleged multiple rapes of a woman with disabilities (R v T, Harrow Crown Court), accusations of historic familial sexual abuse (R v Y, Isleworth Crown Court), a retired home tutor accused of sexually assaulting a child (R v B, Central Criminal Court), a defendant extradited from Canada in relation to allegations of rape and sexual assault of his niece (R v S, Woolwich Crown Court), teenage boys accused of a gang rape on a school friend (R v H, Croydon Crown Court), and cousins accused of systemic sexual abuse of younger family members (R v A, Warwick Crown Court).
Benjamin is frequently instructed to defend cases of murder, attempted murder, and manslaughter at first instance and in advice on appeal.
He has recently acted in a conspiracy to murder arising from an alleged gang reprisal attack using a firearm and machetes (R v A, Central Criminal Court), an attempted murder involving a stab-wound to the heart (R v F, Croydon Crown Court), and a murder in which the father of three young children was accused of killing and concealing their mother - a highly complex ‘missing body’ case (R v L, Woolwich Crown Court).
In 2018 he represented a young man accused of a fatal stabbing in a park in South-East London (R v A, Central Criminal Court), and another accused of attempted murder following an attack on a sleeping relative with boiling water and a knife (R v Z, Isleworth Crown Court).
In 2017 he acted for one of two brothers accused of a revenge attempted murder (R v G, Stafford Crown Court), and defended a man who had killed his girlfriend with the infliction of over a hundred knife wounds, the issues being fitness to plead and diminished responsibility (R v A, Central Criminal Court, led by Rebecca Trowler Q.C.).
In early 2016 he led Kate O’Raghallaigh in the defence of a nightclub doorman who, along with two others, stood trial for gross-negligence manslaughter following the death of a restrained customer through positional asphyxiation (R v R, Central Criminal Court).
Later in 2016 he represented a nurse alleged to be criminally culpable for the death of a patient following a surgical procedure (R v P, Central Criminal Court). The prosecution offered no evidence following six days of legal argument on abuse of process.
Other recent notable cases include the defence of a well respected property developer embroiled in a multi-handed alleged murder of an innocent bystander at a public house on Borough High Street in London. (R v A, Central Criminal Court).
Benjamin has appeared in a number of significant terrorism cases, most recently representing a female ‘lone wolf’ who had planned a suicide attack at St Paul’s Cathedral (R v S, Central Criminal Court).
He recently acted in two lengthy trials for the first of five defendants alleged to have continued in their membership of a proscribed organisation, contrary to s11 Terrorism Act 2000 (R v J, Birmingham Crown Court, leading Abigail Bright). He is currently instructed to represent one of the two founding members of the same organisation, who was also recently charged with membership.
Benjamin has previously acted for a serial offender in relation to dissemination of terrorist material and encouraging acts of terrorism (R v N, Newcastle Crown Court), and a defendant involved in a multi-handed confidence fraud targeting retired individuals across the south of England that was dubbed the ‘Bank of Terror’ and tried at the Central Criminal Court due to alleged connections to ISIS.
Benjamin is consistently instructed to act for defendants charged with the most serious of offences across the criminal spectrum, and is specifically sought to represent individuals charged with unusual offences.
He is currently instructed in a five-handed conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent and joint enterprise false imprisonment relating to an alleged honour attack (R v I, Wood Green Crown Court), and an organised crime conspiracy relating to drugs and firearms arising from the Encrochat hack (R v H, Southwark Crown Court).
He is also representing a lorry driver accused of conspiring with three co-defendants to facilitate unlawful immigration into the UK (R v M, Newcastle Crown Court),.
Earlier examples included the three-month trial of twenty allegations of perverting the course of justice in relation to serious sexual offences, led by Sarah Elliott Q.C. (R v B, Bristol Crown Court), and the first trial on indictment without a jury – a £1.75m armed robbery at Heathrow Airport, led by Kirsty Brimelow Q.C. (R v C, Central Criminal Court).
Benjamin also has a wealth of experience defending activists and protestors, including Trenton Oldfield, who disrupted the 2012 University Boat Race, twenty defendants in the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station case that gave rise to the undercover police officer scandal, and the UK Uncut activists who occupied Fortnum & Masons during a TUC rally.
In addition to first instance cases Benjamin is frequently instructed to advise on fresh appeals and applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, and regularly appears in the Court of Appeal. He was a contributor to Taylor on Criminal Appeals, edited by Paul Taylor.
Current cases include the appeals of two environmental activists who were convicted of crimes instigated by an undercover police officer, several fresh appeals for individuals convicted of sexual offences, and numerous victims of trafficking convicted without recognition of their true status.
Benjamin recently appeared as junior counsel for twelve building workers convicted of offences following the first national building workers strike in 1972 (the ‘Shrewsbury Pickets’ case).
Benjamin has also successfully achieved the quashing of convictions for historic indecent assault (R v Youssef  EWCA Crim 1694) and sexual assault in (R v Ay  EWCA Crim 1605), as well as in numerous appeals on behalf of victims of trafficking whose status was overlooked when they were convicted of related offences (e.g. R v V(T)  EWCA Crim 1223, R v N  EWCA Crim 984, and R v HTP  EWCA Crim 1959).
He is equally adept at pursuing appeals against sentence, achieving substantial reductions in numerous recent cases including R v York  EWCA Crim 2544, R v Oghene  EWCA Crim 262, and R v Slater  EWCA Crim 2084.
As well as cases before the Court of Appeal, Benjamin has expertise in criminal-related judicial review, such as the quashing and remittal of a sentence due to procedural unfairness in R (on the application of Gatenby) v Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court  EWHC 3772 (Admin).
Earlier significant appellate cases have included R v Kail  Crim. L.R. 359, a guideline judgment by Leveson LJ following joined appeals concerning the elements to be proved in relation to defendants who are unfit to plead, and, R v Henry  1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 55, in which he acted for a previously unrepresented defendant in relation to an unlawful sentence of imprisonment which was halved on appeal.
Benjamin also appeared as junior to Sarah Elliott Q.C. in Attorney General’s Reference No. 71 of 2014  EWCA Crim 1998, where they successfully protected a merciful sentence imposed upon the mother of a young baby.
Earlier cases of importance included R v Barkshire (and others)  Crim. L.R. 453, the quashing of twenty convictions due to the involvement of the undercover officer Mark Kennedy. Also, R v Buxton (and others)  1 W.L.R. 857;  2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 23 , the quashing of restraining orders imposed upon thirteen environmental activists following an obstruction of the railway at Ffos-y-Fran opencast coal mine. R v Twomey (and others)  1 W.L.R. 630;  2 Crim. App. R. 25 was the appeal leading to the first judge-only trial on indictment (led by Kirsty Brimelow Q.C.).
Benjamin has significant experience in extradition matters, particularly those raising an issue of human rights.
Kemp v Court of Instruction of Orihuela, Alicante, Spain  EWHC 69 (Admin) related to the proportionality of extradition following a lengthy delay under tagged curfew.
In Korkosz v Circuit Court, Warszawa-Praga, Poland  EWHC 698 (admin) an Article 8 challenge was based on the establishment of a new life in this country with a British academic. Cousins v Grand Instance Tribunal of Boulogne Sur Mer, France  EWHC 2324 (Admin) related to the Article 8 rights of a retired woman sought for VAT offences in France, whilst AM v Spain  A.C.D. 111 concerned the breach of the appellant’s young daughters’ Article 8 rights.
Benjamin has contributed chapters to Human Rights in the Investigation and Prosecution of Crime, edited by Jonathan Cooper OBE and Madeleine Colvin, and Taylor on Criminal Appeals, edited by Paul Taylor. He also regularly writes articles and presents seminars on his specialist areas of practice.
Benjamin is a member of the Fraud Lawyers Association, the Criminal Bar Association, and Lawyers for Liberty.