Ben is a specialist public law barrister with a broad practice across the areas of:
• Court of Protection, mental capacity and community care law
• Education law
• Planning law
• Prison law and actions against the police
Please see his specific CVs for further information about these areas.
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 recently appeared in the Divisional Court before Macur LJ and Foxton J (led by Philip Rule) in judicial review proceedings which challenged the decision of the Secretary of State for Justice to refuse their client, DK, compensation for a miscarriage of justice pursuant to section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1998. Judgment was reserved.
Ben also provides expert advice and representation in proceedings concerning data protection and information rights, safeguarding, and the laws of the Church of England. Further information about which can be found below.
Ben was supervised by Philip Rule and Ian Brownhill during pupillage.
Data and information rights
Recent work includes:
• advising an NHS Trust defending a civil claim brought under the Data Protection Act 2018 as to quantum in a claim for damages for admitted personal data breaches;
• 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 affects 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.
He is familiar with advising as to the correct approach to take when fielding requests by data subjects to enforce their rights under what is now known as the UK GDPR and the 2018 Act.
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, the DBS reviewed their decision, conceded the appeal, and removed his client’s name from the Children’s Barred List.
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 Assistant 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)
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.
Before coming to the Bar
Ben read law at Pembroke College, Cambridge and graduated with a First-class degree in 2015.
He is a Gray’s Inn Scholar, and past winner of the Brick Court Team moot competition, as well as a finalist in the Quadrant Chambers’ mooting competition (both held at the University of Cambridge).
Ben worked for two years as a Paralegal and Compliance Officer at another leading set of barristers’ Chambers. During his time as a Paralegal, Ben assisted with legal research and drafting in the fields of administrative, criminal, employment, trusts, property, civil procedure and human rights law. He continues to draw on this wide experience when acting in his current practice areas.
Assistant 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)
The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn
Ecclesiastical Law Society
Law: M.A. (Cantab.) (First Class)
Ecclesiastical Law (OUP, 4th ed.)
“Ecclesiastical Law”, 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).
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.
No5’s Philip Rule and Benjamin Harrison appeared in a claim seeking judicial review
1 June 2021
On 26 and 27 May 2021, No5’s Philip Rule and Benjamin Harrison appeared in the Divisional Court in a claim seeking judicial review of the decision of the Secretary of State for Justice to refuse their client, DK, compensation for a miscarriage of justice pursuant to section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. They were instructed by Martin Bridger, of Instalaw.