Ben Derrington

Legal Director


Ben is a Legal Director and Head of the Business Risk and Regulation Team.

Ben works with clients in highly-regulated sectors, advising them on investigations and prosecutions; crisis management and complex compliance issues. He has particular experience in health and safety, environment, waste, food production, trading standards, data protection, anti-bribery and transport matters. He often advises in the aftermath of serious incidents, where the spotlight of the national media means that reputations are at stake.

His experience in contentious matters means that he is ideally positioned to give practical advice on compliance issues, helping clients to navigate regulatory changes, avoid breaches of the law and manage the permits and consents necessary for doing business.

Ben’s technical qualifications in risk management and environmental science distinguish him from other regulatory lawyers, allowing him to work at greater depth to find solutions to the challenges faced by his clients. He is a trusted adviser to a number of multinational businesses and has experience of conducting comprehensive regulatory audits.

Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, Ben obtained a master’s degree in Environmental Analysis & Assessment from Imperial College and worked on an OECD project to develop standardised testing in aquatic toxicology. Ben has subsequently obtained the NEBOSH National Certificate in Health and Safety Management. He is a member of the Health & Safety Lawyers’ Association and the United Kingdom Environmental Lawyers’ Association.

Relevant experience

  • Director of a specialist construction business: Successfully defending a high-profile manslaughter prosecution in the Crown Court following a fatality in a major construction project (acquittal).
  • Multi-national Business (Food Production): Conducting a full health and safety and environmental legal audit and advising on a compliance plan.
  • National Waste Recycling and Waste to Energy Business: Managing the response to an EA investigation into a waste/contamination issue of national significance (No prosecutions).
  • National Business (Agriculture): Negotiating an enforcement undertaking with the EA following a series of pollution incidents originating from an effluent treatment plant.
  • National business (Logistics): Representation at a public inquiry into their Vehicle Operator Licence: facing a vehicle curtailment liability of £3 million (no further action).
Ben Derrington’s intense and insightful client focus is what makes Ashfords the go-to firm in this region

Legal 500 2021