Ben is a seasoned litigator with extensive experience representing clients in both federal and state courtrooms. He focuses his practice in representing clients in products liability and class actions, with a particular emphasis on food and beverage labeling claims.
Ben’s trial and litigation experience includes product liability, personal injury, premises liability, transportation, higher education, and CERCLA cases. He has substantial experience “on his feet,” having successfully tried cases to verdict and argued a wide array of motions. Ben has also taken and defended party, witness, and expert depositions under federal and various states’ rules of practice.
Much of Ben’s practice is devoted to advising and defending food and beverage clients in food-related litigation, especially labeling claims. Ben regularly advises manufacturers, distributors and retailers on matters related to Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Tax and Trade Bureau compliance. In this capacity, Ben has defended manufacturers and retailers in a series of lawsuits concerning the labeling of vanilla-flavored products, as well as suits involving various other labeling and marketing claims.
As part of this work, Ben also serves as a frequent voice in the media, having written extensively and been quoted on food and beverage topics. Ben’s work has appeared in a number of industry publications, including Food Dive, QSR, and Food Manufacturing.
Ben also devotes a substantial portion of his practice to pro bono efforts and serves as the Charlottesville office’s contact with the Volunteer Lawyer Project. Ben’s past pro bono successes include representing a § 1983 plaintiff in a prisoner abuse suit to a favorable settlement, as well as securing Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for two minor children fleeing abuse and gang violence in their home country. Currently, Ben’s pro bono work includes representing a class of Virginia drivers challenging the Commonwealth’s license suspension scheme for failure to pay court debt, which resulted in the General Assembly’s repeal of the statute, as well as representing a habeas petitioner challenging his conviction as a minor by a since convicted police detective.
During law school, Ben externed with the Honorable David J. Novak of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and interned with the Honorable Karen J. Burrell of the Norfolk Circuit Court. Prior to law school, Ben taught middle school for two years in Phoenix, Arizona.
Member, Webinar Committee, Food & Drug Law Institute, 2020, 2022
Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2022
Oklahoma NPR Affiliate Quotes McGuireWoods’ Ben Abel on Plant-Based Food Labeling
January 6, 2022
Jim Neale and Benjamin Abel Contribute Two Chapters to ABA’s Guide to Food Law
September 23, 2021
More Than 100 McGuireWoods Attorneys Recognized as ‘Ones to Watch’ By Best Lawyers
August 19, 2021
Benjamin Abel Discusses Lawsuits Against Quick-Service Restaurants in QSR
November 26, 2019