Who? Ben Rose, partner at Hickman & Rose, London.

Ben Rose

Why is he in the news? Successfully represented Auriol Grey in the Court of Appeal, which last week overturned her conviction for the manslaughter of cyclist Celia Ward.

Thoughts on the case: ‘This was one of the most shocking miscarriages of justice I have known. It was a tragedy that Celia Ward died, but Auriol Grey should never have been charged, let alone tried and convicted. Auriol was sentenced to three years for an unlawful act of manslaughter. To prove this offence the prosecution needed to show she had committed an underlying criminal offence: in this case common assault. The police, CPS, prosecuting counsel, Auriol’s defence lawyers, the trial judge, and the single judge at the Court of Appeal all failed to realise this. Fortunately, the full CoA did, and it gave short shrift to the prosecution’s argument that Auriol’s panicked gesticulation amounted to common assault. It held that Auriol should never have been charged.’

A CPS spokesperson said: ‘The death of Celia Ward was a tragedy, and we reviewed the facts of this case carefully. Our duty is to ensure the law is properly considered and applied when making difficult charging decisions – we note the court’s decision and will reflect on its judgment.’

Dealing with the media: ‘The media were generally respectful and understanding. I suspect they were shocked at seeing a disabled, autistic and partially sighted woman given such a long sentence for what was clearly a tragic accident. Beyond this case, there have been significant changes in the way the media engages with the criminal cases.’

Why become a lawyer? ‘I was a wild teenager. My mum used to joke that while she knew I would end up in the criminal justice system, she was unclear in what capacity. In my early twenties I volunteered at the Institute of Race Relations, where I met the inspiring solicitors and barristers defending the “Bradford 12” victims of racist policing. From that moment I knew what I wanted to do.’

Career high: ‘There have been many. Having the Court of Appeal quash the murder conviction of Andrew Adams; acting for News Corp during some of the phone-hacking crisis; securing the acquittal of Tulisa who was set up by Mazher Mahmood; representing David Hockney at inquest; and representing Hans Rausing after the death of his wife.’

Career low: ‘I was very young when, together with Jane Hickman, we set up Hickman & Rose in 1991. Within a few weeks of opening, I was paying our business rates and I made the cheque out for £10,000 instead of the £1,000 actually due. It took Jane 20 years to agree I could ever sign another cheque.’