Benjamin Harrison

Call 2016

Benjamin Harrison | Call 2016

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Overview

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 has a growing data protection and information rights practice. Drawing on his Court of Protection work, Ben is increasingly called on to advise as to safeguarding obligations arising under the Care Act 2014 and 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). He has a niche specialism in ecclesiastical law, with particular interest in the laws regulating the Church of England. He accepts instructions to appear before the Consistory Courts and Clergy Disciplinary Tribunals.

DATA PROTECTION AND INFORMATION RIGHTS

Recent work includes:

  • instructed by NHS Resolution advising several NHS Trusts defending civil claims brought under the Data Protection Act 2018, especially in the context of claims founded on the actions of rogue employees;
  • advising a local authority at pre-action stage where alleged breaches of the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 in the context of childcare proceedings had taken place;
  • acting for a number of prisoners in civil claims concerning misuse of private information and breach of Art. 8 ECHR;
  • advising a company, with a base in Switzerland, as to how Brexit affected their duties and ability to process data;
  • advising individuals as to their rights under Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (law enforcement processing by prisons and the police);
  • retained by a large charity to advise and review their ongoing compliance with data protection laws;
  • advising a legal professional faced with a subject access request for material which is protected by legal professional privilege.

Before coming to the Bar, Ben was employed as a Data Protection Officer at 7 Bedford Row—another leading barristers’ Chambers in London. He oversaw the implementation of measures designed to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation and undertook private consultancy work to assist other firms, chambers and charities to comply with the new Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.

This included drafting suitable privacy notices, Art. 28 GDPR data processor agreements, and joint controller arrangements. He also devised frameworks for transferring personal data to third countries outside of the EEA.

Ben has in the past 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.

Ben is able to provide training to companies, institutions and public authorities in all these areas.

SAFEGUARDING AND APPEALS AGAINST DECISIONS OF THE DISCLOSURE BARRING SERVICE (DBS)

Ben has a growing practice linked to safeguarding issues, which stems largely from his extensive Court of Protection work, where he regularly advises on safeguarding obligations as they apply to local authorities under the Care Act 2014.

Ben accepts instructions appealing decisions of the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) to include the names of individuals on the Children and Adults Barred Lists under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

Recent work includes successfully representing 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.

ECCLESIASTICAL LAW

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 QC). 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); and
  • Ben is well-placed to advise secular bodies who find themselves needing to grapple unexpectedly with the jurisdiction of Consistory Courts in the context of planning applications and appeals.

PUBLICATIONS

  • 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 and North America. 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 QC, 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.
  • The Jackson Reforms and the future of access to justice: an examination (LexisNexis Future of Law Blog), 13 June 2018
    An article examining the current climate of access to justice in light of the Jackson reforms, and analyses what the future holds when it comes to extending the rule of law. Read here.

APPOINTMENTS

Editor of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal.

AWARDS

  • 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)

QUALIFICATIONS

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

MEMBERSHIPS

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

FURTHER INFORMATION

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

Privacy

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