Ben Cooper QC > Doughty Street Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Doughty Street Chambers
Doughty Street Chambers
53-54 DOUGHTY STREET
LONDON
WC1N 2LS
England

Work Department

Position

Ben defends some of the most complex and difficult extradition and criminal cases at all levels resulting in numerous successes on human rights and humanitarian grounds.

Career

Ben acted for Gary McKinnon since his arrest in 2005 on a US extradition warrant all the way up to the House of Lords and European Court and for subsequent judicial reviews against the Secretary of State and DPP, finally securing his discharge on Article 3 grounds. He acts for Liberty defending a victim of serious domestic violence who is wanted in the US in relation to allegations of international child abduction. He represented Babar Ahmad and others accused of terrorism by the USA facing indefinite solitary confinement within federal Supermax prisons, ETA suspects, IRA suspects and terrorist allegations on the African continent.

He advises Governments on how to secure extradition agreements and local authorities on how to secure the return of fugitives. He defeated a German extradition request for IRA allegations before the High Court in Belfast. A number of his clients have obtained relief from the European Court preventing removal to the US on both Article 3 and Article 8 grounds. Ben has successfully campaigned and lobbied Parliament for the introduction of the forum bar to extradition. He successfully defended Richard O’Dwyer against the US Government’s request for his extradition for Copyright offences securing the first Deferred Prosecution Agreement to be used in the extradition context which resulted in his successful High Court appeal and subsequent withdrawal of all criminal charges against him in the US.

Ben has defended a number of large scale Cybercrime hacking cases before the English Crown Courts including Ryan Cleary the lead defendant in the prosecutions of LulzSec/Anonymous.

In November 2012, Ben was honoured by Liberty as Human Rights Lawyer of the Year. To read more please click here. Ben has been highly recommended for many years in Chambers and Partners where he is top ranked as an extradition specialist and in The Legal 500 where he has been ranked top tier for his criminal law expertise.

Ben has successfully defended extradition cases taken on by Fair Trials International and is also a member of Fair Trials International’s Legal Experts Advisory Panel, a formal network of defence lawyers, criminal justice NGOs and academics from across Europe which highlights priorities for reform in order to assure fair trial rights across the EU.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > International crime and extradition

(2020 Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Ben Cooper QCDoughty Street ChambersHe is extremely tenacious and will leave no stone unturned in the defence of his clients. He has immense experience in the field of extradition law. He very often brings a new insight to a case, particularly where issues of human rights are involved.

Doughty Street Chambers ‘has an excellent, in-depth extradition team‘, with particular strength in human rights cases, and is also ‘pre-eminent in international criminal law‘, according to clients. In a recent highlight, ‘impressive advocate‘ Edward Fitzgerald QC represented the appellant before the Supreme Court in Elgizouli v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision to provide mutual legal assistance to the USA for a capital trial, without seeking assurances that the death penalty would not be imposed; the Supreme Court upheld the challenge. In other recent news of note, the ‘fearless‘ Ben Cooper QC took silk in March 2020 further strengthening the set at the senior end. Elsewhere in chambers, the ‘meticulousAmal Clooney is ‘tactically first class and a natural lead advocate in cases‘; Australia- and English-qualified Megan Hirst has developed ‘a preeminent role in acting for victims in international courts‘; and Amelia Nice‘s experience of family law is ‘an added bonus and places her ahead of many of her peers when there is an overlap of family law in extradition cases‘.

London Bar > Set overviews: England and Wales

With offices in London, Bristol, Manchester, and The Hague, Doughty Street Chambers has a wealth of expertise in public, civil liberties, criminal, and associated practice areas, and is among the top ten chambers for most leading junior and rising star rankings in the 2021 guide. Ben Cooper QC was appointed Queen’s Counsel in March 2020. The set was further strengthened by a host of new members. In the public law and civil liberties and human rights teams, Maya Sikand, Shu Shin Luh, and Anthony Vaughan arrived from Garden Court Chambers. Sarah Palin joined the media and information law team from 1 Brick Court, while Beth Grossman  joined from the now-closed Ely Place Chambers; Jonathan Lennon  joined the crime team from Carmelite Chambers, as did Peta-Louise Bagott  from Kingsley Napley and Rabah Kherbane  from 2 Bedford Row; Leonie Hirst joined the Court of Protection and mental health team; Alice Irving joined the housing and social welfare team. In other news, Stephen Cragg QC and Benjamin Newton  have been appointed as Recorders, sitting on the South Eastern and Western Circuit respectively, and David Lammy MP joined as an associate tenant.

Regional Bar > Set overviews: England and Wales

With offices in London, Bristol, Manchester, and The Hague, Doughty Street Chambers has a wealth of expertise in public, civil liberties, criminal, and associated practice areas, and is among the top ten chambers for most leading junior and rising star rankings in the 2021 guide. Ben Cooper QC was appointed Queen’s Counsel in March 2020. The set was further strengthened by a host of new members. In the public law and civil liberties and human rights teams, Stephen Knafler QC has joined from Landmark Chambers, while Maya Sikand, Shu Shin Luh, and Anthony Vaughan arrived from Garden Court Chambers. Sarah Palin joined the media and information law team from 1 Brick Court, while Beth Grossman  joined from the now-closed Ely Place Chambers; Jonathan Lennon joined the crime team from Carmelite Chambers, as did Peta-Louise Bagott  from Kingsley Napley and Rabah Kherbane from 2 Bedford Row; Leonie Hirst joined the Court of Protection and mental health team; Alice Irving joined the housing and social welfare team. In other news, Stephen Cragg QC and Benjamin Newton  have been appointed as Recorders, sitting on the South Eastern and Western Circuit respectively, and David Lammy MP joined as an associate tenant.