Court of Protection
“Benjamin works in a very collaborative way with solicitors, is always highly responsive and excellent with lay clients and always willing to engage in meetings with the client to advise. He has very good drafting skills.”
The Legal 500, 2023
“Ben is excellent when dealing with emotional and difficult parties and clients and is adept at taking the heat out of the situation and enabling productive inter-party discussions. I find Ben very responsive and he is able to respond to queries and questions in short order. He pays attention to the detail, doesn’t miss anything and his drafting is excellent.”
The Legal 500, 2022
Experience and Expertise
Ben is acknowledged as having a particular specialism and expertise in the Court of Protection. He undertook pupillage under the supervision of Ian Brownhill and is experienced in both property and affairs, and 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 has been involved in complex proceedings, including:
- Fact finding hearings involving allegations of sexual assault, coercive control and physical abuse;
- Cases concerning serious medical treatment;
- Proceedings under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court (Family Division) appearing on behalf of the Official Solicitor and local authorities in applications to safeguard vulnerable adults who are incapacitated by the influence of third parties;
- Proceedings where the interface between the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Health Act 1983 are in issue;
- Proceedings where the jurisdiction of the Family Court and the Court of Protection meet – especially in the context of Forced Marriage Protection Orders; and
- Proceedings where issues include the placement of young adults at schools following the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (HESC) which amount to a deprivation of liberty.
Ben 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.
Ben is also experienced in providing advice and representation in proceedings brought under the Mental Health Act 1983 in order to displace Nearest Relatives.
Ben has a growing advisory practice concerning mental capacity and community care law. He accepts instructions advising on: the powers and duties of property and affairs deputies, care funding disputes under the Care Act 2014, equivalent Welsh legislation, and section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in particular.
Cases and work of Note
Health & Welfare
- Re G (Court of Protection: Injunction)  EWCA Civ 1312, Baker, Phillips and Nugee LJJ.
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.
- Re AH and MH , HHJ Rowland
Ben acted for the Official Solicitor on behalf of two protected parties in a five-day trial in respect of a local authority’s linked applications for (1) Forced Marriage Protection Orders and passport orders and (2) welfare orders in the Court of Protection, authorising their deprivation of liberty in the family home in the community.
- South Gloucestershire County Council v DN and S Residential School  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. Proceedings are ongoing.
- Re JI , Moor J.
Ben 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. The public bodies charged with overseeing P’s care and support arrangements have each instructed Leading Counsel.
- 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.
- Re JP [2021-2022], HHJ Harris (Tier 3)
Ben is instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of JP in linked proceedings in the Court of Protection and in the Family Division of the High Court. An application has been brought by the local authority to safeguard JP, who they say is under the influence of an abusive third party. Restraint was authorised by the court under the inherent jurisdiction as part of interim arrangements to return JP to her placement and attempt to assess her capacity. Proceedings are ongoing.
- Re B [2021-2022], Leiven J.
Ben is instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of B in ongoing proceedings concerning proposed serious medical treatment, and what is in B’s best interests in respect of the cutting of his toenails. The court previously authorised the use of general anaesthetic and the use of physical restraint as part of the procedure.
- Re PB [2021-2022], DCJ Marston (Tier 3)
Ben is instructed by a local authority in complex health and welfare proceedings where very serious safeguarding allegations are in issue between a husband and wife.
- Re C [2020-2021], HHJ Edwards
Ben was instructed by a local authority in health and welfare proceedings 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).
- Re GA (challenge to standard authorisation)  EWFC B67, HHJ Pemberton
Ben was instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of P. Issues included a previous risk of P being unlawfully moved out of the jurisdiction and being overmedicated. Ben appeared at the final three day contested hearing, where 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. See here for judgment.
- Re DA  EWCOP 74, HHJ Clayton
Ben was instructed in a long running welfare application on behalf of a local authority which culminated in a five-day trial to determine P’s best interests in February 2020. See here for judgment. 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 matter was returned to court in 2021 when the February 2020 order could not be put into effect due to a deterioration in P’s condition. The proceedings were summarily determined; An NHS Trust v AF and SJ  EWCOP 55 applied. P was represented by the Official Solicitor, who instructed Leading Counsel.
- Re AHM [2020-2022], HHJ Rowland (Tier 3)
Ben is instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of P in linked proceedings before the Court of Protection and the Family Court arising out of a Forced Marriage Protection Order. Capacity to marry and consent to sexual relations in issue. Declaration of non-recognition made under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court (Family Division).
- Re KRH [2020-2022], DJ Britton
Ben is instructed by the Official Solicitor in ongoing section 16 proceedings where P’s tenancy is at risk due to his hoarding behaviour. A care plan has been authorised by the court, including as a last resort the use of mechanical restraint and conveyance to a residential placement in KRH’s best interests, to attempt to assess his capacity and eligible needs under the Care Act 2014.
- Re GSB [2020-2021], HHJ Marston
Ben was instructed by a local authority in complex health, welfare and property and affairs proceedings, where P was removed from her residence in breach of section 16 orders that it was in her best interests to remain at her home.
- Re PJ, SJ and GJ [2020-2022], DJ Gibson
Ben is instructed on behalf of a local authority in proceedings where three sets of section 21A challenges have been consolidated into one. Issues include whether trial period homes are in each P’s best interests, with bespoke transition plans (informed by multi-disciplinary teams) considered by the court.
- Re DL [2019-2020], HHJ Clayton
Ben was instructed in a long running set of section 21A proceedings on behalf of a local authority. Issues included an urgent application to authorise the use of proportionate restraint and the interface between the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Health Act 1983. Ben was ultimately successful in resisting the section 21A challenge.
PROPERTY AND AFFAIRS
- Re CAM , DJ Reeves
Ben is instructed in ongoing proceedings where the conduct of a lay deputy is in issue, along with the appropriate valuation of gratuitous care payments to be made to P’s family. P’s estate comprises a large settlement arising out of a clinical negligence claim in the region of £2.6 million.
- Re CP , DJ Bailey
Ben was instructed by the Public Guardian in proceedings which concerned (i) whether or not P had capacity to transfer her property and other gifts to one of her attorneys; (ii) if P lacked capacity to do so, whether that decision was in her best interests; and (iii) whether the LPAs should be revoked. Ben was instructed to appear at a two-day trial dealing with retrospective capacity.
- Re CMS , HHJ Lopez
Ben was instructed by the Public Guardian in proceedings which concerned whether or not P had capacity to execute LPAs for property and affairs and health and welfare. The Public Guardian was successful in having the LPAs revoked, and P’s daughter appointed deputy to manage P’s property and affairs.
- Re BAB , HHJ Godwin
Ben was instructed by the Public Guardian in proceedings which concerned, among other things, allegations as to the mismanagement of P’s funds.
- Re HC , HHJ Evans-Gordan
Ben was instructed by the Public Guardian in proceedings where P’s estate was the subject of three trusts. There were issues pertaining to the validity of an LPA, and allegations that the certificate provider was an employee of the donor.
- Re PMM , HHJ Rowland
Ben was instructed to represent the daughter of P in resisting an application to displace a panel deputy and appoint her sister as deputy to manage P’s property and affairs. Ben succeeded in resisting the application.
- Re MEH , DJ Glassbrook
Ben was instructed by the daughter of P in a final hearing where there was a dispute as to who should be appointed deputy in order to manage P’s property and affairs. Ben successfully negotiated an agreed way forward where both siblings were appointed joint and several deputies according to the terms of a bespoke deputyship order.
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.