Ben Lewis is the Co-Chair of the Fiduciary Litigation Practice Group. He focuses his practice on complex business litigation matters, particularly disputes involving breach of fiduciary duty claims against trustees, executors, directors, officers and other key employees, as well as unfair business competition cases.
His courtroom experience includes several successful representations in some of the largest shareholder and trust and estate disputes in Kentucky over the past decade. Accordingly, Ben has been recognized as a “Kentucky Rising Star” by Kentucky Super Lawyers® in each of the last three years.
Representative Cases and Achievements
Trust / Estate / Fiduciary Litigation
- Represented lead plaintiff in family business and inheritance dispute concerning the disposition of commercial real estate and stock in Griffin Industries, Inc., leading to historic award of $584 million that was subsequently affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Osborn v. Griffin, 865 F.3d 417 (6th Cir. 2017)
- Represented trustee in suit to compel distribution of voting stock in the Al J. Schneider Company from other co-trustees, and secured restraining order and Court of Appeals decision pertaining to a proposed sale of the Galt House Hotel. In re: Alton John Schneider Trust, No. 05-P-2737 (Jefferson District Ct. 2016); Moseley v. Coe, 16-CI-1164 (Jefferson Circuit Ct. 2016); Coe v. Hon. Mary Shaw, No. 2016-CA-405 (Ky. App. May 10, 2016).
- Represented trustee in proceedings concerning the proper distribution of voting stock in an insurance holding company, and prevailed at trial court and appellate levels. Lampton v. Middleton, Nos. 15-P-2457, 15-XX-56 (Jefferson District/Circuit Cts. 2015-2016).
- Defended trustee in dispute over management of closely held stock, and secured summary finding of no liability. In re: Bird S. Owen Trust, No. 15-P-1551 (Jefferson District Ct. 2015-2016).
- Represented heir in will contest and dispute over distribution of estate assets and payment of legal fees. In re: Chatham Estate, No. 10-P-239 (Shelby District Ct., 2011-2013).
- Successfully defended numerous other executors and trustees against allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference and undue influence.
Commercial Litigation / Banking Defense
- Defended bank against class action allegations involving the Uniform Commercial Code, and prevailed at the federal and state trial court levels, and at the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Cole v. Warren Cnty., et al., 495 S.W.3d 712 (Ky. App. 2015); id., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74670.
- Defended real estate holding company against injunction proceedings concerning management rights at the Embassy Suites Downtown Louisville hotel. Le Centre on Fourth Master Tenant, LLC v. Moseley, et al., No. 16-CI-2470 (Jefferson Circuit Ct. 2016-2017)
- Defended bank against antitrust and tortious interference claims pertaining to commercial lending and interest-rate swap arrangement. Industrial Services of America, Inc. v. Branch Banking and Trust Company, No. 10-CI-6234 (W.D. Ky. 2010).
- Defended restaurant owner/operator in lease dispute at trial, and secured a finding of no liability and award of attorneys’ fees and costs. Wallace Property Management, LLC v. Bazos Grill, LLC, et al., No. 10-CI-001980 (Jefferson Circuit Ct. May 6, 2014).
- Defended manager of chain of rent-to-own stores against company dissolution proceedings. Mooser v. Brown, et al., No. 11-CI-1124 (Jefferson Circuit Ct. 2011-2013).
- Represented product manufacturers against numerous personal injury claims arising out of silica exposure. Farmer, et al. v. Air Liquide, et al., Nos. 10-CI-2990, 5309, and 7839 (Jefferson Circuit Ct. 2010-2013).
- Represented physician group in pursuit of claims against billing services vendor. TSSW v. SSC, No. 12-CV-240 (W.D. Ky. 2012).
- Defended theatre owner and operator against breach of contract and tort claim allegations. Double C Entertainment v. Palace Theatre Operating Group, No. 11-CV-98 (W.D. Ky. 2011).
- Defended property owner against negligent security allegations. Ray v. Live Nation, No. 13-CI-5176 (Jefferson Circuit Ct. 2013-14).
- Defended mining company against lease and reclamation claim allegations, and secured summary judgment finding of no liability. Solly v. Rogers Group, Inc., No. 09-CI-263 (Caldwell Circuit Ct. 2009-2011).
Non-Compete / Trade Secret / Breach of Fiduciary Duty Litigation
- Represented plaintiff in pursuit of trade secret and non-compete claims against former manager and competitor. Phoenix Quality v. First Call Temporary Services., No. 12-CV-26 (W.D. Ky. 2012).
- Defended employer against non-compete and tortious interference claims in injunction proceedings. Victory Senior Care d/b/a Home Instead v. Good Shepherd, No. 11-CI-7623 (Jefferson Circuit Ct. 2011).
- Represented company in enforcement of non-compete agreement against former employees and competitor, and secured injunctive relief. Thompson Industrial Services, LLC v. Talon, et al., No 11-CI-00569 (Oldham Circuit Ct. 2011).
- Represented healthcare provider in theft of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious interference claims against former employees and competitors. Community Ties of America, Inc. v. NDT Care Services, et al., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14990 (W.D. Ky. 2012).
Insurance Industry Litigation
- Represented plaintiff manufacturer in arbitration proceeding against insurance brokers in claims arising from selection and collapse of unlicensed insurance company. Louisville Bedding Company v. American Administrators, et al., No. 52-195-Y-122-13 (American Arbitration Association).
- Represented plaintiff manufacturer in civil action against insurance consultant and proponent of insolvent insurance company, and prevailed at the Kentucky Court of Appeals on issues of first impression concerning jurisdiction of state courts and definition of “insurance” under Kentucky Insurance Code. Louisville Bedding Company v. United Re, et al., No. 10-CI-4121 (Jefferson Circuit Ct.), 404 S.W.3d 870 (Ky. App. 2013).
- Defended manager of insurance adjustment company against partnership, conversion, defamation and tortious interference claims, and secured trial court judgment in favor of client. Floyd v. Insurance Claims Services, LLC, et al., No. 12-CI-4280 (Jefferson Circuit Ct. 2012-2013).
Employment Discrimination, Retaliation and Whistleblower Litigation
- Defended employer against discrimination and harassment allegations, and prevailed at trial and appellate court levels. Altenstadter v. Fibreworks, 2012 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 11 (Ky. App. Jan. 6, 2012).
- Defended employer/manufacturer against whistleblower retaliation claims pertaining to air emissions, and secured finding of no liability at trial court level. Corey v. Zeon Chemicals, No. 11-CI-4598 (Jefferson Circuit Ct. 2011).
- Defended regional law firm against allegations of unlawful retaliation.
- Defended university against claims of employment discrimination and defamation by former professors.
- Defended regional hospital against whistleblower retaliation claims pertaining to patient care procedures.
- Recognized as a "Under 40 Hot List," Benchmark Litigation, 2017-2018
- Recognized as one of the "Kentucky Rising Stars" in the Kentucky Super Lawyers® list (2015 - 2018)
Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law
- Ranked first in graduating class
- 2010 National Moot Court Competition, Quarter finalist, Houston, Texas
- 2009 New York Law School National Employment Law Moot Court Competition
» Second Place Team
- Law Review Associate Editor, 2008-2009
- 2008 New York Law School National Employment Law Moot Court Competition
» National Champion Team
» Best Brief Award
- 2007 Grosse Moot Court Competition
» Oral Argument Champion
» Best Brief Award
- Chase Excellence Scholarship (2007 - 2009) - Awarded to law student with highest grade point average in class
- Kentucky Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Executive Committee (2013 - 2014)
- Louisville Bar Association, Public Service Committee (2013 - 2014)
- Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court, Associate (2010 - 2012)
- Salmon P. Chase American Inn of Court, Pupil (2007 - 2009)
- American Bar Association
- Kentucky Bar Association
- Indiana Bar Association
- Louisville Bar Association
- Order of Barristers
- 2011 Louisville Bar Association Leadership Academy
Civic and Charitable Involvement
- Restorative Justice Louisville, Inc., Board Member
Contributions & Published Works
- Leverage New Case-Law to Protect Your Company from Employee and Customer Class Action Lawsuits, Greenebaum News Alert, May 2011
- Kentucky Employment Law Letter, M. Lee Smith Publishing Co., Contributing Editor, May 2010, May 2011
- Robert E. Altman and Benjamin J. Lewis, Cost-Shifting in ESI Discovery Disputes: A Five Factor Test to Promote Consistency and Set Party Expectations, 36 Northern Kentucky Law Review 569 (2009)
- I am the owner of a closely held family business. Why do I need both an estate plan and a succession plan?02.26.2016
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: How rewarding and promoting workplace safety may generate discrimination claims or OSHA record-keeping investigations07.20.2012
- Short-Lived Victory? Labor Board Rules Class Action Waivers Unenforceable for Both Union and Non-Union Employees02.28.2012
- The Supreme Court Refuses to Loosen the Courthouse Doors to Nationwide Employee Class Action Claims by Wal-Mart Employees06.24.2011
- Eastern District of Kentucky Court Awards More Than $500 Million in Compensatory Damages for the Fraud of Defendants in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Cases03.28.2016
University of Louisville, B.S., Finance, cum laude, 2003
Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 2009 (Graduated first in law school class)
Bar & Court Admissions
- Kentucky, 2010