Ben Keith is a barrister specialising in Extradition, Immigration, Serious Fraud, Human Rights and Public law. He has extensive experience of appellate proceeding before the Administrative and Divisional Courts, as well as applications and appeals to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). He has particular expertise in human rights and extradition proceedings in post-soviet states including Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Kazakhstan.
Ben is ranked in Chambers and Partners as a band 1 leader in the field of Extradition at the London Bar.
"Gifted, very diligent and up-to-date on the law."
"He is unafraid to raise challenges on all sorts of issues, and has his finger on the pulse." "He is a really clear, straight-to-the-point advocate."
Chambers and Partners 2017.
Ben is ranked in the Legal 500 as a band 1 leading individual in international crime and extradition at the London Bar:
‘A well-respected figure, who is popular with clients and appreciated for his clear and straightforward advice.’
Legal 500 2017.
He is appointed to the Attorney General's 'B' Panel of counsel and advises the Government Legal Department on a range of public law matters, including Judicial Review, Immigration, Extradition, Search Warrants, Inquests, Prison Law and detention cases.
He has significant expertise in the challenge of INTERPOL Red Notices.
He was named Judicial Review Barrister of the Year for 2013 by Acquisition International.
In 2014 he wrote submissions to the House of Lords Committee on Extradition Law on behalf of the Criminal Bar Association and gave evidence to the Committee. The transcript of his evidence can be found here. The final published report is here.
"He is extremely knowledgeable" and "always willing to go beyond boundaries and test new areas of law."
Chambers and Partners 2016 for Extradition.
"He has an in-depth knowledge when it comes to ex-Soviet Union countries and he has defended numerous individuals in the most serious cases. He is very diligent and he will pursue points without fear when he thinks they are right."
Chambers and Partners 2015 for Extradition.
- Ben is a Football Association affiliated lawyer.
Direct Public Access
- Ben accepts Direct Public Access instructions.
Ben lectures and provides training in Criminal, Extradition, Human Rights and Public Law to defence solicitors and prosecution agencies. He is an Associate Lecturer in Human Rights at Birkbeck College, University of London.
- Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum
- Fraud Lawyers Association
- European Criminal Bar Association.
- Criminal Bar Association.
- Young Fraud Lawyers Association (Chair 2011-2013).
Ben is a barrister appointed to the Serious Fraud Office list of approved counsel and has expertise in financial crime particularly with an international element and advises on fraud, money laundering and confiscation for Defence, Prosecution, companies and foreign governments. He also deals with cases in which parallel civil and criminal sanctions are used to prevent the disbursement of assets, including freezing orders and restraint proceedings.
Ben is an extradition barrister specialising in extradition proceedings in first instance hearings at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and also in appeals to the Administrative Court, including cases of murder, rape, people trafficking, terrorism and complex fraud. He also advises individuals in relation to Interpol Red Notices and their removal.
He has a busy Appellate practice and has appeared in over 100 cases before the Administrative and Divisional courts in cases dealing with Human Rights including Articles 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 of the ECHR including allegations against requesting states of torture, political corruption, rendition and discrimination.
He has particular expertise in extradition cases to former soviet states and especially where the requests are issued in order to persecute opposition politicians, he has represented clients in extradition requests from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Moldova.
In Chambers and Partners 2013 and 2014 editions, Ben was described as:
“He has an in-depth knowledge when it comes to ex-Soviet Union countries and he has defended numerous individuals in the most serious cases.”
“He is very diligent and he will pursue points without fear when he thinks they are right.”
“He is very good at the increasingly important crossover between immigration and extradition. He is very articulate in court, and leaves no stone unturned in his case preparation.”
He also has extensive experience of extradition proceedings to all members of the EAW scheme having conducted in excess of 500 cases including Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Romania, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Latvia, France, Spain, and Belgium.
Ben also represents in extradition requests in Category 2 jurisdictions including Albania, Canada, Turkey, USA, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Turks and Caicos, Canada, India, Nigeria and South Africa.
He provides advice on mutual legal assistance and extradition requests both inside and outside the European Arrest Warrant Framework including advice on persons being requested to return from foreign jurisdictions to the UK and liability for arrest and detention.
Ben is a barrister who acts in Immigration cases, including First Tier Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal. He has particular specialism in asylum claims linked to extradition proceedings and Interpol Red Notices and especially those claiming asylum from former soviet states. He has recently acted in cases involving asylum claims from Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey as well as judicial review proceedings.
He is presently instructed in a series of judicial review cases invloving unaccompanied minors in the Calais Jungle camp.
He advises both the Home Office, individuals and companies on all aspects of immigration.
He also acts in family rights cases and for Tier 1 investors in applications and appeals. He has expertise in representing individuals under the points based system and educational institutions on Tier 4 revocation and suspension proceedings.
He advises on unlawful imprisonment and damamges arising out of immigration proceedings.
He is appointed to the Attorney General's 'B' Panel of counsel. Ben was named Judicial Review Barrister of the Year for 2013 by Acquisition International. He is a barrister who has extensive experience of appearing before the Administrative and Divisional Court, on statutory appeals, judicial review and habeas corpus applications. His public law work encompasses: Prison law, Immigration, Inquests, applications to the European Court of Human Rights, and failure of disclosure in criminal and associated proceedings.
He is a barrister who deals with search warrants for all parties and advises companies, government departments, police forces and individuals on the validity of search warrants and challenges to search warrants by judicial review.
Ben is a barrister who undertakes regulatory work on behalf of government bodies and prosecuting agents as well as Defendants and potential Defendants. He has expertise in dealing with cases in relation to the Department of Health and NHS Counter Fraud Service, including advice on freezing injunctions, restraint and criminal and civil fraud. He advises and represents professionals in cases on their regulatory obligations and concurrent criminal and civil liability, in particular in relation to the Financial Service and Markets Act 2000 and FCA investigations. This includes accountants, barristers, solicitors and medical professionals. Ben provides advice and representation in relation to judicial review and Appellate Court proceedings. Ben also advises and represents at inquests.
In relation to medical professionals he has recently represented defendant's before the General Medical Council and Nursing Midwifery Council.
Cases of Note
PART 2 EXTRADITION CASES
Government of Russia v Roman Solodchenko (2016)
Representing the Defendant in extradition request from Russia in relation to the BTA Bank (Kazakhstan) litigation. The case was discharged after it was conceeded that the case had no merit.
Government of Moldova v Moldeveanu (2016)
Representing the Defendant in extradition request from Moldova. The case was discharged on Article 3 ECHR grounds as Moldova were unable to provide adequate assurances on prison conditions.
Government of Ukraine v Roman Solodchenko (2016)
Representing the Defendant in extradition request from Ukraine in relation to the BTA Bank (Kazakhstan) litigation. The case was discharged on Article 6 ECHR grounds. The issues of abuse and political motivation were not ruled on by the court.
Government of the Russian Federation v AE (2015)
Representing the Defendant in extradition request from Russia in relation to the BTA Bank (Kazakhstan) v Mukthar Ablyazov litigation. The case was discharged as Russia conceded the case had no merit.
Government of the Russian Federation v Igor Kononko (2015)
Representing the Defendant in extradition request from Russia in relation to the BTA Bank (Kazakhstan) v Mukthar Ablyazov litigation. The case was discharged on Article 6 ECHR grounds. This was the first case where Russian prisons have been inspected.
Government of Turkey v Ozcan Ucar (2014)
Representing Defendant in extradition to Turkey in relation to allegations of political corruption and violence. The request was discharged as an abuse of process.
Government of Ukraine v Igor Kononko  EWHC 1420 (Admin)
Representing the requested person is in extradition appeal by Ukraine in relation to the BTA Bank (Kazakhstan) v Mukthar Ablyazov litigation. The case was found to be an abuse of the courts process by Ukraine.
Lutsyuk v Government of Ukraine  EWHC 189 (Admin)
Extradition to Ukraine discharged due to the likelihood of a breach of Article 3 ECHR. The Judgement also makes Immigration Country Guidance Cases applicable to extradition proceedings and sets the test for assurances in extradition proceedings as being the same as the European Court of Human Right Judgement inOthman (Abu Qatada) v UK.
Lumenica (aka Bedri Cala) v Government of Albania  EWHC 2589 (Admin) and  EWHC 3802 (Admin)
Leading authority on the powers of the Administrative Court to extend time for the service of appeals. Represented the Government of Albania in relation to a case of double murder.
Government of Turkey v A (2012)
The Turkish extradition request accused the Defendant of being a member of the PKK and conspiring to murder 5 individuals in 1999 in Turkey. Allegation of torture and mistreatment were made against the Turkish Government. The case was discharged due to injustice and oppression because of the passage of time.
Government of Moldova v Antonov
Extradition request by the Government of Moldova. Representing the Defendant who was discharged on the grounds that Moldovan detention and prison facilities did not meet Article 3 requirements as there was a real risk of torture.
Government of Ukraine v EK 
Extradition request by the Government of Ukraine. Representing a close associate of the former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who has recently been convicted at a sham trial instigated by political opponents. Client is accused of miss-selling of promissory notes for gas assets to Russia and Vladimir Putin, the request we allege is politically motivated. Arguments in relation to political corruption Articles 3, 5 and 6 ECHR.
Government of Azerbaijan v AM
David Josse QC led Ben Keith defending a member of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party on allegations of fraud. The Extradition request was found to be a sham based on political motives and the Defendant was discharged.
Vatoci v Government of Albania:  All ER (D) 327 (Mar)
A murder extradition appeal on the question of proof of identity where the extradition request had already been discharged in another jurisdiction.
R(on the Application of Zaporazhchenko and Redya) v Westminster Magistrates Court and Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 34 (Admin)
David Josse QC led Ben Keith in a judicial review of the decision of the Magistrates Court not to discharge a Ukrainian extradition request because the Secretary of State had failed to order extradition in relation to an allegation of large scale fraud in the Ukraine. Judicial review granted.
South Africa v Ian Armstrong 
Extradition request by South Africa successfully negotiated the withdrawal of a request involving the theft of gold mining equipment.
A v Government of Croatia  EWHC (Admin)
Appeal against Extradition order in relation to a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
PART 1 EAW EXTRADITION CASES
Obert v Greece  EWHC 303 (Admin)
The Divisional Court allowed the extradition appeal of Obert v Greece. Mr Obert was accused of handling a stolen car in Greece and Italy in 2002. Greece had done nothing to prosecute the case since 2002 and no evidence was produced. Extradition was not requested until 2014 year after the evidence had been destroyed. The case had also been discharged by Italy in 2015 as being time barred. The Divisional Court found that given the passage of time it would be oppressive to extradite.
Muldoon v Spain  EWHC
Appeal against extradition to Spain where no action was taken by the Spanish authorities for over 14 years. The Appeal was allowed on the basis that there was no offence disclosed on the European arrest warrant.
Da Silva v Portugal  2540 (Admin)
Representing the Appellant in extradition proceedings to Portugal. This case dealt with the right to re-trial in Portugal under section 20 of the Extradition Act 2003.
Domenico Rancadore v Italy  EWHC (Admin)
Instructed as Junior Advocate for the Appellant in resisting extradition to Italy in relation to alleged leader of Cosa Nostra.
Florea v Romania  EWHC 2528 (Admin)
Leading authority on Romania Prisons and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights in extradition proceedings. Romania were asked to give assurances as to the type and quality of prisons that the Appellant will be held in.
Brazuks and ors v Latvia  EWHC 1021 (Admin)
Leading Authority on Latvian Prisons and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights in Extradition proceedings.
Goman v Poland  EWHC 3606 (Admin)
Extradition appeal allowed on article 8 grounds. Ouseley J allows time spent on curfew to be taken into account in article 8 balancing exercise.
A and B v Hungary  EWHC 3132 (Admin)
In the recent Divisional court hearing against an order for extradition to Hungary, in which Mr Keith was instructed for A the Divisional Court allowed the appeal of the sole carer B in relation to an offence of £100,000 mortgage fraud and a separate conviction of 2 years and 10 months custody with a 9 year old child involved. Moses LJ laid down new guidance on Article 8 in extradition proceedings.
Wolokowicz and ors v Poland and ors  EWHC 102 (Admin)
Leading authority on the risk of suicide in extradition proceedings, including argument on article 3 ECHR and section 25 of the Extradition Act 2003.
Coton v High Court of Dublin, Ireland  EWHC 3874 (Admin)
Appeal against extradition to Ireland to face an allegation of contract killing after a passage of time of 23 years.
O’Brien v Governor of Wandsworth Prison  EWHC 3474 (Admin)
Application for writ of habeas corpus for non-production of Defendant in extradition proceedings within time at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Nikitins v Latvia  EWHC 2621 (Admin)
Appeal against extradition order. Appeal allowed due to disproportionate interference with the Appellant’s Article 8 family rights.
Popa v Regional Court in Plzen Mestro, Czech Republic  EWHC 329 (Admin)
Appeal to Divisional Court alleging abuse of process in extradition proceedings due to illegal detention of defendant on a defective EAW.
Budaj v District Court of Presov Slovak Republic  EWHC 193 (Admin)
Appeal on the basis that is was unjust and oppressive to extradite the Appellant because of the passage of time.
Wieslaw Kulig v Regional Court in Tarnow, Poland  EWHC 791 (Admin)
Appeal on the basis that exceeding an overdraft did not constitute an offence under section 1 of the Theft Act 1968.
Mikitavicius v Prosecutor General, Lithuania  EWHC 129 (Admin)
Appeal on the basis of Article 3 ECHR and where the Appellant had been extradited in spite on an extant appeal.
Kurtis Russell Mighall v Audencia Provincial of Palma De Malloca, Second Chamber, Spain  EWHC
Appeal against Extradition order on grounds that the European Arrest Warrant was deficient.
Paczowsky v Regional Court in Warsaw, Poland  EWHC 3531 (Admin)
Extradition appeal in relation to passage of time and abuse of process in Poland.
Stojkova v Distirct Court in Okresny, Slovakia  EWHC 3532 (Admin) (High Court)
Extradition appeal in relation to discrimination on the basis of sexuality and ethnicity in Slovakia.
Ciarch and 4 others v Circuit Court in Katowice, Poland and others  EWHC 2772 (Admin)
Conjoined applications for strike out of extradition appeals and guidelines as to grounds of appeal.
Regional Court in Konin, Poland v Pawel Walerianczyk  EWHC 2149 (Admin)
Represented the Respondent in an appeal against discharge. Argument about the applicability of time limits and the nature of a notice of appeal.
Zdenek Tous v District Court in Nymburk, Czech Republic  EWHC 1556 (Admin)
Appeal against Extradition order in relation to right to retrial in the Czech Republic and the Burden and standard of proof required in section 20 of the Extradition Act 2003.
Sondy v CPS  EWHC 108 Admin  All ER (D) 41 (Jan)
Leading Authority on admission of further evidence on appeal by Requested persons in Extradition Proceedings. Extradition request discharged post appeal.
Szombathely City Court, Hungary and others v Roland Fenyvesi and Kalman Fenyvesi  EWHC 231 (Admin),  4 All ER 234
Junior counsel on behalf of the Hungarian judicial authorities in extradition case on Roma discrimination, and Articles 3 and 6 of the ECHR. Now the leading authority on the admission of further evidence on appeal.
Michal Tazbir v Regional Court in Gdansk, Poland  EWHC 838 (Admin)
Appeal against extradition order on grounds that European Arrest Warrant was not compliant with section 2(4)c of the Extradition Act 2003.
Ruban v Ukraine
European Court of Human Rights. representing the appellant in an Application of Article 7 ECHR and maximum sentences after the abolition of the death penalty in Ukraine for client who is serving a life sentence for murder in Ukraine.
Rule 39 Applications
Dogaev v UK
Representing the Appellant - (Unsuccessful on article 3 and 8 grounds)
Florea v UK
Representing the Appellant -(Unsuccessful on article 3 grounds)
Brazuks v UK
(Unsuccessful on article 3 grounds)
Zibala v UK
Representing the Appellant -(Successful on article 8 grounds)
Vatoci v Albania
Representing the Appellant -(Unsuccessful on article 3 grounds)
N v Nursing and Midwifery Council (2013)
Ben Keith defended Ms N against allegations of professional misconduct before the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Ms N was accused of misconduct as a nurse in 2010, after full hearing Ms N was found not to be impaired to practice as a nurse.
R v James Citro (Central Criminal Court)(2011)
Defending in a cold case review of a historic murder from 1998 of a neighbour in Wembley, the Defendant having two previous convictions for rape in the Republic of Ireland in 1978.
Sternaj v DPP  EWHC 1094 (Admin)
Instructed as led junior in an appeal by way of case stated on the interaction between the Refugee Convention 1951 and Immigration Act 1971 Offences.