Chambers USA states, “Benjamin Bailey is exalted by market commentators as ‘fantastic’...”
Ben Bailey, co-founder of Bailey Glasser, is a lawyer’s lawyer. He plays a leading role in the firm’s nationwide auto defects litigation cases, in complex commercial and antitrust litigation, in high-stakes appeals, and in advising and representing public officials, lawyers, and other professionals.
Ben’s favorite legal habitat is the courtroom. He began his trial career as a federal prosecutor, focusing on a series of fraudulent coal tax shelter cases which recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for the U.S. Treasury. He spent the next four years as counsel to the Governor of West Virginia, and 10 years in a prominent West Virginia-based defense firm.
With Brian Glasser, Ben founded Bailey Glasser in 1999. The firm almost immediately took on the representation of the State of West Virginia, in groundbreaking environmental and constitutional litigation over mountaintop removal mining, which Ben ultimately argued and won on appeal in the Fourth Circuit.
As the firm grew, his practice expanded to include cases as diverse as representing hundreds of rural residents of West Virginia who lost their water wells to coal mining, and defending white-collar criminal cases and accused murderers. Ben and the firm also handled scores of complicated commercial litigations for plaintiffs and defendants, and advised and represented numerous lawyers and public officials in sensitive and confidential cases.
Ben’s work for a family in Flint, Michigan, whose mother died after her Toyota accelerated out of control, culminated in his selection to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Toyota Sudden Acceleration MDLs in Orange County, California. That successful work was followed, in short order, by Ben’s selection to the leadership of the Volkswagen Dieselgate MDL, in San Francisco, California, the largest automobile products class action in history, which settled for more than $10 billion. Simultaneously, Ben served as one of the coordinating lawyers in the Freedom Industries Chemical Spill case, which has a settlement process underway to provide up to $150 million to 300,000 residents and businesses in West Virginia whose water was contaminated by the spill. More recently, Ben successfully prosecuted for the State of West Virginia, the largest antitrust case in the State’s history, against the world’s largest asphalt and paving company, its West Virginia subsidiary, and others. The case settled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than $100 million.
In addition to the automotive work, Ben – with, as always, the help of his colleagues at Bailey Glasser - has successfully defended white-collar criminal cases, undertaken appeals, and orchestrated subsequent trial strategies for small and large business clients who had lost substantial trial verdicts, and continued to represent public officials and lawyers in matters both public and private. That work includes his representation of the Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court in the unprecedented investigations and/or impeachment of all five justices on that court.
Awards & Accolades
Chambers USA, West Virginia; General Commercial (2011 - 2022)
Best Lawyers in America, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs (2005 - 2023)
“Top 100 Trial Lawyers,” National Trial Lawyers
Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2023)
Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2011)
Super Lawyers, West Virginia, General Litigation, Criminal Defense: White Collar, and Environmental Litigation (2007 - 2022)
- Law Clerk, Hon. John T. Copenhaver, Jr., US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (1980 - 1982)
Government Service / Previous Employment
- Counsel to the Governor of West Virginia (1984 - 1988)
- Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia (1982 - 1984)
J.D., Harvard Law School, 1980
B.A., Washington and Lee University, 1975, magna cum laude
- West Virginia
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia
- Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
- Prosecuted and settled, for the State of West Virginia, an antitrust case against several asphalt paving contractors, including the world’s largest. The case alleged that the state was a victim of an asphalt monopolization scheme over years. The case settled in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than $100 million dollars, resources desperately needed for the state’s extensive highway system.
- Represented more than 300,000 residents and businesses in and around Kanawha County, West Virginia, whose drinking water was contaminated by a chemical spill in the Elk River. The settlement in the case provided up to $150 million in compensation to those individuals and businesses who lost their water during that crisis.
- Leads a team of Bailey Glasser lawyers who represent plaintiffs nationwide in automotive class actions involving defects in autonomous driving technologies, airbag control units, and engines which catch fire, among others.
- Served on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the owners of more than 500,000 Volkswagens whose diesel engines contained a cheat/defeat device which hid the cars’ excessive NOx emissions from federal and state regulators. The complicated overall settlements, worth more than $10 billion, involved the cars’ owners, the federal government, and various state governments. The ultimate resolution removed the polluting cars from the road or fixed them, compensated the owners (and lessors) generously for their vehicles, assessed billions of dollars in fines and environmental penalties and – in related actions – resulted in the conviction and incarceration of VW officials.
- Represented a family-owned business in Maryland in a substantial coverage dispute with its insurer, and a family-owned business in West Virginia in a dispute over title to natural gas-producing land.
- Recently concluded the successful representation, on appeal, of a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in a fee dispute with dissenting law firms in one of the largest MDLs in the United States; the appellate court’s quick dismissal of the appeals enforced provisions of the trial court’s underlying orders designed to prevent such disputes and hasten the resolution of these long-running cases.
News & Insights
News & Insights
- Bailey Glasser Achieves First Ever Midsize Mansfield Rule Certification Recognizing a Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion05.05.2022
- “Glaring Flaws”: U.S. District Court Rejects Proposed Class Action Settlement of Future Roundup Claims05.26.2021
- National Trial Lawyers and President Lisa Blue Join in Brief of 93 Law Firms, 167 Lawyers Opposing Proposed Settlement of Future Roundup Claims03.09.2021
- Justice Prevails for A Fourth Time: Bailey Glasser Secures Another Win for Governor’s Pandemic Response12.03.2020
- WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Governor Jim Justice Announce $101.3M Settlement in Paving Antitrust Case10.30.2020
- Justice Prevails Again: Bailey Glasser Secures Another Dismissal on Behalf of Governor and WV Department of Health and Human Resources10.23.2020
- Justice Prevails: Bailey Glasser Wins One for Governor and WV Department of Health and Human Resources09.25.2020
- Innocence Project Client Joseph Buffey To Be Released on Bond After Serving Nearly 14 Years in Prison02.22.2016
Community & Professional
Community and Professional Activities
Hon. John A. Field, Jr., Inn of Court
Permanent Member, Judicial Conference for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Fellow, American Bar Association
Fellow, West Virginia Bar Foundation
Board Member and Executive Committee, Public Justice Foundation
Vice President and Board Member of the Mountaineer Montessori School
Former Member, West Virginia Republican Party State Executive Committee