Ben primarily practises in procurement, contracting and negotiations for government agencies in relation to information technology, platforms and services. During the last five years, he has been involved in a number of significant projects.
What he does
Ben provides pragmatic and commercial advice on major projects. He recognises that major projects are successful only where the legal aspects are integrated with the project operational requirements and financial constraints to ensure the project outcome is delivered. He therefore considers legal risk part of the overall project risk and works collaboratively with the project team to deliver the best overall outcome for his clients.
A significant part of Ben’s work involves establishing innovative financial arrangements (such as target cost incentive mechanisms) and appropriate governance mechanisms—in contract and in procurement processes—to ensure speedy and transparent decision-making.
Who he works with
Ben works with Government clients primarily providing strategic advice on project and contract structures and models, including developing and market-testing models. He also participates in evaluation and negotiation activities, and manages contractors' performance problems as well as disputes. The projects he advises on are typically high in value, involve complex issues and receive significant public scrutiny.
Ben has a Bachelor of Commerce, a Bachelor of Laws and a Masters of Law from the Australian National University.
Life before Sparkes
Ben has been an accountant, practised in general commercial law and spent several years at Ashurst Australia. He was also in the Army Reserve. Before joining Sparke Helmore, Ben was a consultant working on the commercial aspects of major projects.
Life outside of Sparkes
Ben grew up on a farm near Walcha in NSW. He is a keen scuba diver, an enthusiastic (but very average) snow skier and has played football (soccer) for ANU for many years without once making a tackle.