Benjamin Harrison

Call 2016


Ben has a broad public law practice which spans: Court of Protection (health and welfare and property and affairs), education law, information rights and data protection law, inquests, prison law and ecclesiastical law.  He has a reputation for handling large volumes of both advocacy and advisory work efficiently and to the highest quality. He is ranked as a Leading Junior for Court of Protection and Community Care work in The Legal 500.

“Benjamin is a passionate advocate and extremely skilled at cutting through complex issues without over-complication. He is compassionate and ensures the rights of vulnerable clients are protected. His knowledge in this area is exemplary, with a willingness to spend time researching where necessary.”
The Legal 500, 2024

Aberdeenshire Council v SF, EF and Sunderland City Council [2024] EWCOP 10, Poole J.
Ben, led by Sophia Roper KC, successfully acted for the Official Solicitor in resisting an application under Schedule 3 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for recognition of a foreign protective measure. This case is the only reported example of the Court of Protection exercising its discretion to refuse to recognise a foreign protective measure which was made in another jurisdiction within the UK. The judgment can be found here.

Experience  and Expertise


Ben is acknowledged as having a particular specialism and expertise in the Court of Protection, and is ranked as a ‘Leading Junior’ in this field by The Legal 500. He undertook pupillage under the supervision of Ian Brownhill and is experienced in both property and affairs, and complex health and welfare matters. Ben is instructed by the Official Solicitor, the Public Guardian, RPRs, local authorities, Integrated Care Boards, Welsh Health Boards, and family members in section 21A and section 16 proceedings under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

He is experienced in handling contentious fact-finding trials; advising on complex issues concerning mental capacity; considering linked safeguarding duties and obligations arising under the Care Act 2014; applications for recognition of foreign protective measures under Schedule 3 of the 2005 Act; making urgent applications for interim relief under section 48 of the 2005 Act and/or the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court (Family Division); and is regularly instructed when proceedings between the family court and the Court of Protection meet – especially in the context of Forced Marriage Protection Orders.

He is frequently instructed by the Public Guardian where concerns over the operation/execution of Lasting Powers of Attorney have been raised, and has experience acting in proceedings concerning applications for statutory wills, and displacing Nearest Relatives under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Public and administrative law

Ben acts and advises in judicial review proceedings, both for and against public bodies, especially in the context of community care, prison, and education law. He also has experience successfully challenging the decisions of the Disclosure Barring Service to add names to the “barred lists” in appeals before the Upper Tribunal (AAC). Ben has experience of bringing claims before the European Court of Human Rights, and is presently acting as junior to Philip Rule KC in two such claims.

Judicial review proceedings of note include R (Kay) v Secretary of State for Justice [2021] EWHC 2125 (Admin), Macur L.J. and Foxton J. This was a claim for judicial review against the decision of the Secretary of State for Justice to refuse compensation for a miscarriage of justice pursuant to section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1998. Ben was led by Philip Rule KC. Please see here for the judgment.


Ben has a niche expertise and interest in the law governing the Church of England. He is a co-author of the leading textbook in this area, now in its fourth edition (principally authored by Mark Hill KC). In 2020, he was appointed the Editor of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal—a leading academic journal published by the Ecclesiastical Law Society and Cambridge University Press three times a year. Ben is available to provide expert advice and representation in the following areas:

  • Faculty proceedings before Consistory Courts;
  • Disciplinary matters arising under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003;
  • Safeguarding issues;
  • Pastoral reorganisation;
  • The law of burials and exhumation;
  • Chancel repair liability;
  • The obligations of Parochial Church Councils in respect of their powers and duties, including those arising under charity law and data protection law;
  • Advice and representation in claims concerning breaches of Art. 9 ECHR (right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion).

Data Protection and Information Rights

Ben has a growing reputation in the field of data protection and information rights and acts for arms-length government bodies, NHS Trusts, charities, prisoners, companies, and other individuals in bringing or defending claims brought under the Data Protection Act 2018, the Human Rights Act 1998, or the common law. He also has a busy advisory practice assisting the same range of clients to ensure that they comply with various data protection legislation, including the 1998 Act and the UK GDPR. This has included drafting suitable privacy notices, Art. 28 GDPR data processor agreements, and joint controller arrangements. He has also devised legal frameworks for transferring personal data to third countries outside of the EEA. Ben has successfully coordinated the response to a number of serious personal data breaches where the ICO ultimately concluded that no further enforcement action was necessary against his client.

Education law

Ben is instructed by local authorities and parents in appeals concerning Education Health Care Plans and discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010. He has extensive experience before the FTT and challenging those decisions by way of appeals to the Upper Tribunal. Before coming to the Bar, Ben volunteered for an educational charity and represented students who had been permanently excluded from their schools before Governing Body appeal panels and Independent Review Panels (IRPs). He has appeared on a number of occasions before IRPs and has successfully persuaded the panel to quash the decision to permanently exclude students from school. He continues to accept instructions in this area, from both parents and schools.

Inquests & Inquiries

Ben has considerable experience appearing in inquests where mental health treatment, mental capacity, and Art. 2 ECHR are in issue. He is sensitive to the strain that these proceedings can place on both the family of the deceased, clinicians, and other expert witnesses.

Prison law

Ben is familiar with advising on the merits of challenging parole board decisions by way of judicial review, having been supervised by Philip Rule during his pupillage. He accepts instructions to represent prisoners at hearings before Independent Adjudicators, and welcomes instructions from prisoners who consider that their rights are not being upheld in custody. In particular, Ben’s data privacy specialism complements his ability to advise prisoners regarding breaches of rule 39 of the Prison Rules, misuse of their private information, and breaches of Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018. Ben also advises prisoners and represents them in proceedings concerning alleged breaches of their Art. 8 ECHR right to respect of family and private life and Art. 9 EHCR right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

Cases and work of note

  • An ICB v G and Ors [2024] EWCOP 13, Hayden J.
    Ben, led by Sophia Roper KC, acted for the Official Solicitor in fact-finding proceedings where P’s parents had been accused of tampering with her ventilation equipment and P’s carers had been accused of negligence in providing care for P. These proceedings have been reported widely in the national press. The judgment can be found here.
  • Aberdeenshire Council v SF, EF and Sunderland City Council [2024] EWCOP 10, Poole J.
    Ben, led by Sophia Roper KC, successfully acted for the Official Solicitor in resisting an application under Schedule 3 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 which sought the recognition of a foreign protective measure. The court declined to recognise a Scottish Guardianship order on the basis that it was made in a manner which (i) did not give P an opportunity to be heard in circumstances which (ii) breached of the principles of natural justice, and (iii) breached P’s fundamental human rights under Articles 5, 6 and 8 ECHR. The judgment can be found here.
  • Re CP [2023], Theis V-P
    Ben was instructed by the Official Solicitor in a succession of urgent hearings before the Vice-President of the Court of Protection addressing the best interests of a young woman due to be discharged from her detention under the Mental Health Act 1983. P was diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder who had been assessed as being a high risk to herself and members of the public.
  • Re XS [2023], HHJ Hilder
    Ben acted on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hospital and successfully obtained orders authorising the deprivation of a 16-year-old boy’s liberty as part of a medical procedure to treat his eyes.
  • Re EM [2022-2023], Mostyn J.
    Ben acted on behalf of a Local Authority in an urgent, out of hours, ex parte hearing in the Court of Protection and successfully obtained orders authorising the conveyance of EM—an elderly lady with dementia and hoarding disorder—from a hospital to a care home in her best interests where there was a serious and imminent risk posed to her life. Necessary and proportionate restraint was authorised as part of the conveyance.
  • Re G (Court of Protection: Injunction) [2022] EWCA Civ 1312, Baker, Phillips and Nugee L.JJ.
    Ben, led by Sophia Roper KC, acted for the Official Solicitor on behalf of G in the Court of Appeal. This is the leading case on the proper test for the grant of injunctions in the Court of Protection, as well as the procedural approach to be adopted in respect of such applications. See here for the judgment.
  • South Gloucestershire County Council v DN and S Residential School [2022] EWCOP 35, Judd J.
    Ben acted for the Official Solicitor in a sequence of urgent hearings within the Court of Protection and under the inherent jurisdiction where P’s residential school placement broke down and the local authority had been unable to identify an alternative placement to meet his needs, other than the ‘sub-optimal’ solution of a return to the family home. See here for judgment.
  • Re JI [2022-2024], Theis V-P.
    Ben, led by Sophia Roper KC, is instructed on behalf of the Official Solicitor in proceedings where there has been a serious breakdown in the care arrangements for JI in the community, necessitating urgent hearings and applications to authorise the deprivation of liberty arising. Issues include the lawfulness of JI accessing sexual exertainment services following Re C [2021] EWCA Civ 1527. .
  • H v A University Hospital Trust [2022]
    Ben advised an NHS Trust defending a significant multi-track civil claim arising out of an alleged breach of the Data Protection Act 2018, loss of control of personal data, and misuse of private information inter alia.
  • Re E [2022], Judd J.
    Ben successfully obtained urgent ex parte welfare orders on behalf of a local authority under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 where there were concerns about P being the subject of abuse and coercion from her partner.
  • R (Kay) v Secretary of State for Justice [2021] EWHC 2125 (Admin), Macur L.J. and Foxton J.
    Judicial review against the decision of the Secretary of State for Justice to refuse compensation for a miscarriage of justice pursuant to section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1998 (led by Philip Rule KC). Please see here for the judgment. Ben has been retained as junior counsel in two claims arising out of this judgment which are before the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Re T [2021]
    Represented a teacher before the Upper Tribunal whose name had been included on the Children’s Barred List. After considering the written representations Ben drafted – which raised arguments that the DBS had made mistakes in respect of both points of law and findings of facts on the basis of previous criminal proceedings – the DBS reviewed their decision, conceded the appeal, and removed his client’s name from the Children’s Barred List.
  • Re C [2020-2021], HHJ Edwards
    Ben was instructed by a Local Authority in health and welfare proceedings in the Court of Protection where very serious safeguarding allegations were in issue between father and daughter. Ben was retained throughout and successfully represented the local authority at a five-day fact-finding hearing in January 2021, and a two-day final welfare hearing in June 2021 (which considered C’s best interests in respect of her residence, care and contact with others).
  • An inquest touching upon the death of Victoria Bates [2020], HM Senior Coroner for Worcestershire
    Ben represented an NHS Trust in a four-day inquest. Issues included the risk assessments performed by clinicians before the deceased took her own life. The integrity of those assessments were affirmed by the Coroner in his findings of fact.
  • Re DA [2020] EWCOP 74, HHJ Clayton
    Long running welfare application in the Court of Protection which culminated in a five-day trial to determine P’s best interests. Issues included P’s care and support, residence and contact with others. Other issues included the appointment and powers of a professional health and welfare deputy (a solicitor) to make decisions on behalf of P. The Official Solicitor instructed Leading Counsel. Please see here for the judgment.
  • Re GA (challenge to standard authorisation) [2020] EWFC B67, HHJ Pemberton
    Court of Protection proceedings which involved issues including a risk of P being unlawfully moved out of the jurisdiction and being overmedicated in her previous placement. Art. 8 ECHR rights to family life also in issue. A bespoke placement was ordered to be in P’s best interests in terms of her residence and care. A complex transition was overseen by the court. The CCG instructed Leading Counsel. Please see here for the judgment.


Ben is ranked as a Leading Junior in The Legal 500 (Court of Protection and Community Care). Recent editorial includes the following:

  • a passionate advocate;
  • extremely skilled at cutting through complex issues without over-complication;
  • he is compassionate and ensures the rights of vulnerable clients are protected;
  • his knowledge in this area is exemplary, with a willingness to spend time researching where necessary;
  • works in a very collaborative way with solicitors;
  • he has very good drafting skills;
  • excellent when dealing with emotional and difficult parties and clients;
  • adept at taking the heat out of the situation and enabling productive inter-party discussions;
  • very responsive and he is able to respond to queries and questions in short order; and
  • pays attention to the detail, doesn’t miss anything and his drafting is excellent;


  • The Ecclesiastical Law Journal (Cambridge University Press)
    Ben is the editor of this international journal for the comparative study of law and religion. Published three times a year in association with the Ecclesiastical Law Society, the journal publishes articles on all aspects of ecclesiastical law. Particular emphasis is given to the regulation of the Church of England and worldwide Anglican Communion, but the range of coverage includes comparative studies of the laws of other faiths and of the interface between law and religion in a global perspective. Through its regular comment section, the Ecclesiastical Law Journal provides a critical analysis of emergent trends written by distinguished scholars and practitioners in Europe, North America and Australia. The journal also includes book reviews and summaries of recent ecclesiastical cases determined by both secular and church courts, together with a parliamentary report, a brief summary of the proceedings of national Synods, and resumés of major international conferences.
  • Ecclesiastical Law (Oxford University Press, 4th ed.) March 2018
    This textbook, by Mark Hill KC, has established itself as the leading authority on the laws of the Church of England. In this fourth edition, Ben co-authored two chapters: chapter 3 (“The Parish”) and chapter 6 (“Clergy Discipline”). Other co-authors for this volume include Professor Norman Doe and Matthew Chinery. See here.


I pride myself in acting both for and against public bodies, in equal measure. It is a privilege to act on behalf of both the most vulnerable people in our society, and those who are trying to safeguard and care for them. This balance ensures that I’m always mindful of the argument from the other side’s perspective. This is important when providing clear and realistic advice to clients, setting out the issues that can be safely conceded on the one hand, and the issues that should be fought to the end on the other.

The breadth of my practice allows me to bring to bear different areas of law to complex issues, and find creative solutions to the problems facing my clients.

All litigation has real-life consequences at the end of it. Across all my practice areas I encounter men, women and children who are either suffering from severe mental health difficulties, have spent time in prison, or are at risk of spending time prison if they are left without the support they are entitled to. The stakes are high, and decisions are made as to where people live, what care they receive, what education they have, or what medical treatment they should be subjected to (sometimes against their wishes). Every day I find it to be a humbling experience.

People can disagree fundamentally about what the right answer is. Even when I win a case at the end of a long and contentious trial, the victory can be bitter-sweet when relationships between the parties have irreparably broken down along the way. I go the extra mile to foster consensus, if at all possible.

It is vital not to lose sight of the issues. We should never ignore the stark human and ethical dilemmas at the centre of each case. Emotions can run high. But it is important for an advocate to stay above the fray and focus on the legal issues in the case: this makes an agreed way forward much easier to find, which is almost always the best outcome for everyone.

Being instructed before the application is issued can impact the trajectory of the proceedings that follow.  I relish working as part of a team with my instructing solicitors, paralegals, social workers and clinicians. I find that I can add the most value to a case when I’m brought into the team from the very beginning. This provides the opportunity to map out the case from start to finish, ensure everyone is on board with the approach, make the best application we can, and ultimately maximise the chances of success.


Editor of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal.


  • BPTC Scholarship: The William Shakespeare Memorial Award, Gray’s Inn
  • BPTC Scholarship, BBP University
  • Foundation Scholarship, Pembroke College, Cambridge
  • College Prize, Pembroke College, Cambridge
  • Winner of the Brick Court Team Moot, University of Cambridge (2015)
  • Finalist in the Quadrant Chambers Fledglings Moot Competition, University of Cambridge (2015)


Law: M.A. (Cantab.), First Class


  • The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn
  • Ecclesiastical Law Society


For further details of Ben’s practice please click on the links to the left or contact a member of the clerking or client service teams.

Bar Council Membership No: 67611
Registered Name: Benjamin Harrison
VAT Registration No: 314361140


Ben adopts and adheres to the provisions of his privacy notice which can be accessed here.