Ben Lester

Managing Associate

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Ben is a solicitor and Managing Associate with expertise in maritime law and is a core member of the firm’s emergency response team.

Prior to joining Stann, Ben gained several years’ experience with a leading London shipping firm. Today, he’s a sought-after specialist with a strong admiralty background and a focus on shipping disputes.

Ben’s reputation with emergency response and crisis management continues to grow, thanks to a wealth of experience and calmness under pressure. He was a leading member of the team that successfully handled the aftermath of the grounding of the Ever Given on behalf of the vessel’s owners and insurers. 

During his time at Stann, Ben has handled complex claims arising from collisions, groundings, fires, total losses and other major incidents and regularly deals with cases relating to salvage and general average following high-profile casualties. He also advises on the full range of disputes within the shipping, offshore and trade sectors, including claims arising under charterparties and contracts of carriage, and has extensive experience representing clients in high-value disputes in the English courts and in arbitration.

Ben is regularly consulted for dependable, insight-led advice on non-contentious matters – such as those relating to the drafting and negotiation of commercial contracts and sale and purchase agreements. He has also worked closely with some of the world’s largest shipping companies in strategic consulting and project management roles, using his commercial instinct and industry knowledge to help clients achieve their business objectives.

At all times, Ben’s focus is on providing a world-class service to clients, no matter how challenging the circumstances may appear to be.


Ben's Career Highlights

Emergency Response PlusMinus

Examples of major incidents handled by Ben:

  • The grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal.

  • The seizure of a tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

  • A collision in the South China Sea and associated pollution-response efforts.

Dispute resolution PlusMinus

Examples of disputes handled by Ben:

  • Smit Salvage BV & Ors v Luster Maritime SA & Anr (The ‘Ever Given’) [2023] EWHC 697 (Admlty)

  • Multi-million dollar LMAA arbitration proceedings arising from the constructive total loss of a car carrier.

  • High Court proceedings arising from a multi-ship collision in a river channel.

Investigations PlusMinus

Examples of investigations led by Ben:

    • Investigation into cause of total loss of an offshore vessel.

    • Investigation into cause of immobilisation of a Capesize bulk carrier.

    • Investigation into circumstances of a collision involving a chemical tanker.

Advisory PlusMinus

Ben has advised on the following matters:

  • The sale and purchase of Panamax and Capesize vessels.

  • The negotiation of commercial towage contracts.

  • The drafting of bespoke charterparty terms.

Consulting and Projects PlusMinus

Examples of Ben’s work in this area:

  • Emergency response planning for a leading ship management company.

  • A major commercial feasibility study for a shipowner.

  • An extensive risk assessment for a port and terminal operator.