What led you to Pritchetts Law?

I chose law because it would give me the chance to work in many different areas – I didn’t want to be limited – and because I enjoy talking to people and helping them find good solutions to tricky problems.

I trained with Pinsent Masons, an international law firm, before moving to Burges Salmon to specialise in commercial & technology law . I met Stephanie there on my very first phone call as a qualified solicitor, and we have been great friends and colleagues ever since. I left Burges Salmon to be closer to family in London, and worked in the Technology & Outsourcing team at Addleshaw Goddard, which included some time at Barclaycard.

I went on to take in-house roles for the next five years. First, I headed up the legal support for the IT team at Heathrow Airport, including their huge IT outsourcing project. Next, I relocated to my wife’s native New Zealand to lead the legal support for the alliances, loyalty programme and IT teams at Air New Zealand. However, after three years away, home was calling, so the family and I returned to the UK.

By this time, Stephanie had built up a formidable reputation at Pritchetts Law, with a particular specialism in data protection law . She was looking to expand the practice and we had always worked together brilliantly. We became a close, complementary and supportive team, and when Stephanie suggested that we become partners, I jumped at the chance.

Recently, as the use of AI has exploded, I've relished the chance to expand what we can offer clients. By capitalising on our firm's agile way of working, we now advise on the legal considerations around AI and other emerging technologies too, recognising that our strength in data protection can really add value to clients in this area.

What do you think your clients like about you?

I think clients appreciate my commercial understanding, collaborative approach and patience . That’s come from my years of working in-house – it always pays to keep your eye on the commercial and operational realities and work together, not against each other. It's no use getting too stressed!

I think clients appreciate having a bit of fun too, especially as data protection and contracts can be somewhat dry at times. I was particularly pleased by a testimonial that a client supplied to The Legal 500 UK , a market-leading legal directory, which said:
Ben Wootton … adds his commercial experience and savoir-faire. [The] advice surpasses that of others I know for its precision, simplification of complex issues and value. It makes [Pritchetts Law] trusted advisers beyond compare.

My focus on clients’ requirements means that I can highlight legal risks in the context of commercial and operational reality. That way, I can deliver workable solutions that clients can implement confidently and swiftly.

I enjoy working collaboratively – not just telling clients the law, but working with them to find the right solution. That way, I can help them to learn and not be intimidated by the law or contracts, so they can put their best foot forward.

Having supported IT teams at Heathrow Airport and Air New Zealand, my technology background helps me to support my clients where they use cutting-edge technology or outsourced services.

At Air New Zealand, I supported the international alliance team, which required some nimble political management with internal and external stakeholders – including government discussions and bridging cultural divides – so I understand the complex environments that clients can exist in.

Tell us about some of your career highlights.

Obviously, becoming a partner at Pritchetts Law ! We have an incredible reputation, which is supported by fantastic clients. I’ve been delighted to support a huge range of clients at Pritchetts, from high-street names, financial services and cutting-edge technology providers to the small but mighty players. The flexible structure of the firm means that I can support clients when they need it, while also making time to support the other important people in my life.

Before Pritchetts, I was a commercial lawyer, always dealing with data and IT. There were some great projects that I’m particularly proud of:

  • At Heathrow Airport, I managed the legal team of a multimillion-pound outsourcing project that lasted 18 months. Our work involved supporting multiple negotiating teams, working at times around the clock.
  • At Air New Zealand, I helped the alliance team to change their strategic focus and grow their global network through partnerships with some of the big global airlines: United, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia. The work involved intense negotiations, navigating a sensitive and complex operational as well as political environment.
  • Again at Air New Zealand, I supported the loyalty team to deliver their own branded credit card and pre-paid payment card. We had to educate this aviation business in how to deal with a financial services business and deliver a product that worked for all sides, as well as the customers.

What do you like to do outside work?

I’m very into my sport, particularly rugby . The body doesn’t like so much of the rough stuff any more, so I play touch rugby and try to run as much as I can. I also run the local rugby club’s first aid team – that’s a great lesson in how bad it can really get, and how to plan for and handle stressful situations.

Family life means that I now focus more on the whims of my kids. I support my kids from wherever I can, whether as part of the team supporting the school, on the touchline or from the sides of the dance hall.

The flexible structure that we have at Pritchetts Law has enabled me to plot plenty of adventures with the kids, exposing them to culture in London, across Europe and around the world, and spending time with their family over in New Zealand.

Having put time and effort into supporting my kids at school, I’ve also become a governor of a local primary school . That provides a window into the inner workings of a complex organisation . . . that doesn’t just need to worry about its personal data and contracts!

Expertise and accreditations

LOCS:23 Approved Implementor

LLB (Hons) University of Exeter

LPC, University of the West of England, Bristol

“[Ben] has extensive commercial experience and clearly understands how the sector works . . . He couples his knowledge of data protection with a strong feel for the commercial realities that companies face, which makes his advice far more valuable.”

The Legal 500 UK

The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms

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35 Westbury Hill
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+44 (0) 117 307 0266

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Pritchetts Law LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales (company no. OC413975) and authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA no. 647155). "Partner" refers to a member of Pritchetts Law LLP.
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