Overview

Benjamin "Ben" Allen is a partner in Holland & Knight's New York Litigation Practice Group, based in the firm's Washington, D.C., office. Mr. Allen focuses his practice on a wide range of transportation accident investigation and litigation matters, including aviation, maritime, railroad, pipeline, highway, hazardous materials and commercial space.

Mr. Allen brings a distinct perspective built from more than 20 years of aviation experience, including more than a decade with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and involvement with federal investigations conducted by U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Office of Inspector General (OIG), and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), foreign civil accident investigation authorities, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and other military departments. Mr. Allen has extensive experience handling on-scene crisis coordination with federal, state and local authorities, as well as private companies.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Allen served as the senior Assistant General Counsel for the NTSB, engaging with numerous companies and their counsel to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and addressing issues related to public communications and release of information, civil litigation and discovery obligations, export control restrictions, protection of confidential business and commercial information, and participation in NTSB investigative hearings.

During his tenure at the NTSB, Mr. Allen served as agency counsel in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Coast Guard and DOT in numerous administrative actions, criminal prosecutions and civil cases. Mr. Allen also served as acting Special Assistant to the NTSB Chairman as well as acting Senior Advisor to the NTSB Managing Director, where he reviewed and edited draft accident investigation reports before final votes by the Board.

Prior to his government service, Mr. Allen worked as an attorney at a Virginia-based law firm, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and an aviation law firm in Washington, D.C., and Maryland. While in law school, he was a legal intern for the DOJ's Civil Division in the Aviation, Space and Admiralty Litigation Section.

Mr. Allen has been a pilot for more than 20 years and has flown high-performance jet and piston aircraft. He is also a certified drone pilot and has logged time in a hot air balloon. He previously held a top secret security clearance.

Representative Experience

  • Railway derailment and toxic release, 2023
  • Pipeline leak, 2021
  • Dive boat fire, 2019
  • Duck boat sinking, 2018
  • Pipeline rupture and explosion, 2018
  • Test spaceflight crash, 2014
  • Pipeline leak and building explosion, 2014
  • Airliner crash, 2013
  • Cargo plane crash, 2013
  • Railway derailment and explosion, 2013
  • Pipeline explosion; criminal litigation, 2010
  • Continuing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and civil litigation
  • Semi-autonomous vehicles, multiple investigations involving leading manufacturers

Credentials

Education
  • American University, Washington College of Law, J.D.
  • Trinity University, B.A., Communications
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • Supreme Court of Virginia
  • Supreme Court of Maryland
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Certifications
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 Remote Pilot
  • FAA Private Pilot
Memberships
  • International Transportation Safety Association (ITSA), Executive Secretary, 2017-2023
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Forum on Air and Space Law
  • Aviation Lawyers Association (formerly the International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association and the National Transportation Safety Board Bar Association)
  • Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, Sustaining Member
Honors & Awards
  • Excellence in Government Fellow, Partnership for Public Service, 2020

Speaking Engagements

News