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Benjamin Tankel

“A most impressive lawyer with a penetrating and subtle mind” The Legal 500, 2022 

Benjamin Tankel practises in public law, regulatory law, professional discipline, financial services, and procurement.

Ben always strives to understand the needs and wishes of his clients, to give pragmatic and practical advice, and to achieve the best possible outcome in the most cost-effective way. He enjoys working collaboratively as part of a team. 

He represents central government, local authorities, NHS bodies, regulators, education bodies, and claimants. He has been involved in some of the most significant public law cases of recent times, including the Charlie Gard case and challenges to the prohibition against assisted dying.  

He regularly appears in all levels of court and tribunal, including six appearances in the Supreme Court.

Ben graduated with a double first in History from Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge University, where he came top of his year in a number of papers and won several prizes and scholarships.

Areas of expertise

Administrative and Public

Ben is ranked as a leading junior in Administrative and Public Law in both The Legal 500 and Chambers. 

He has a wide public law practice covering healthcare, community care, freedom of information, education and higher education, immigration, mental health and mental capacity, medical treatment, housing, and human rights.  He also frequently appears in commercial judicial review matters.  Ben is on the Attorney General’s B-Panel of Counsel.  He is “Developed” vetted, the highest level of government security clearance

Ben acts for both claimants and defendants.  On the defendant side, his clients include local authorities, NHS bodies, regulators, and central government departments.  For claimants, he has acted for aggrieved individuals, commercial entities, and public bodies.

Cases of note:


Ben is ranked as a leading junior in professional disciplinary and regulatory law by The Legal 500 and Chambers. 
He frequently acts for the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Bar Standards Board, General Medical Council, other healthcare regulators, NHS England, and Professional Standards Authority, in all matters relating to professional discipline. He also acts for local authorities on standards issues, and for those who are facing disciplinary proceedings or investigations. 
Ben is equally comfortable acting at first instance, on appeals, and in claims for judicial review. 
He is a contributor to the latest edition of Disciplinary and Regulatory Proceedings (ed. Gregory Treverton-Jones KC). 

Cases of note:

  • Guise v Solicitors Regulation Authority [2022] EWHC 124 (Admin) - Ben represented the SRA in an appeal brought by a well-known City solicitor, who had been struck for dishonesty. 
  • Professional Standards Authority v General Dental Council [2021] EWHC 3230 (Admin) - Advising the General Dental Council (“GDC”) regarding an orthodontist who offered “jaw realignment” treatment in the genuine belief that it could cure a wide range of serious physical and mental conditions, but without a reasonable body of medical opinion to support his claims. 
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority v Claire Matthews [2021] - Ben represented the SRA in this dishonesty claim against a solicitor who left a briefcase with confidential case papers on a train, and then lied to her supervisor about it. The claim became a widely reported example of SRA prosecutions of junior solicitors suffering with mental health difficulties. 
  • R(Simon Bramhall) v General Medical Council [2019] EWHC 3525 (Admin) - Simon Bramhall was a renowned and well-respected surgeon, who “branded” his initials on the livers of a number of his patients. Ben advised the GMC in his judicial review of the GMC’s decision to prosecute him for a second time following his criminal conviction. 
  • SRA v Vay Sui Ip [2018] EWHC 957 (Admin) - This was the first in a wave of cases in which the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (“SDT”) considered the conduct of immigration solicitors referred to the SRA by the court following Hamid hearings. Mr Ip was found to have abused the process of the court and brought serial totally without merit (“TWM”) claims. Ben acted for the SRA, at first instance and on appeal. 


Ben advises a wide range of bodies on compliance and regulatory issues, in both non-contentious and contentious matters. 

His clients include law firms, ombudsmen, independent financial advisers, healthcare bodies, local authorities, care homes, and educational institutions. 

In the last twelve months, he has acted for a diverse range of regulators including the SRA, GMC, the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, the Office of Rail and Road, and the Financial Services Complaints Commissioner. 

In addition to the cases noted below, please also refer to the Disciplinary part of Ben’s CV. 

Cases of note

  • Heathrow Express Operating Company Limited v Heathrow Airport Limited [2022] - Advising the Office of Rail and Road in its adjudication of a dispute between Heathrow Express, TfL, CrossRail, and Heathrow Airport, as to the timetabling of connecting services between Heathrow Airport and Central London.
  • London Capital & Finance complainants v Financial Conduct Authority [2022] - Advising the Financial Services Complaints Commissioner in a group complaint by victims of the London Capital & Finance scandal about the absence of compensation by the Financial Conduct Authority. 
  • Rishi v NHS England [2021] - Representing NHS England in regulatory proceedings in the First-Tier Tribunal concerning a pharmacist alleged to have been dishonest in their registration application. 
  • R(Ideal Care Homes) v Care Quality Commission [2018] EWHC 886 (Admin) - Representing a care home company in its application for an injunction to prevent the publication of an adverse CQC inspection report. 
  • R(Morris) v Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman [2014] EWHC 4364 (Admin) - Representing the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in judicial review proceedings concerning the way it had investigated a complaint about Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. 

Banking and Financial Services

Ben has a wide-ranging financial services practice acting for the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Financial Services Complaints Commissioner, central government, and individual claimants. 
In 2014, Ben undertook two full-time secondments in financial services, one in the general counsel’s department of the Financial Conduct Authority and one in house with MacFarlanes LLP concerning the mis-selling of Interest Rate Hedging Products. In 2017, Ben spent several months on secondment to King & Wood Mallesons, dealing with a claim in negligence against Standard & Poor’s for giving an AAA credit rating to junk derivatives.
Ben is also currently advising the UK government on sanctions issues relating to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Cases of Note 


Ben regularly acts in procurement claims for both claimants and defendants, with particular experience in the healthcare sector. 

Ben represents the defendant health authority in Braceurself v NHS England [2022] EWHC 1532 (TCC), a seminal case on the meaning of “sufficiently serious” in Francovich damages.  

In the last twelve months, he has also acted in procurement claims for:

  • NHS England concerning a national pharmaceuticals contract
  • Government Property Agency concerning the crossover of employment and procurement law in its nationwide facility management services contract
  • Werfen, an international manufacturer of blood tests, against a consortium of NHS trusts. 


Much of Ben’s work – be it in public law, disciplinary, regulatory, procurement, or the Court of Protection – arises in the healthcare context. Ben has very extensive experience working with all kinds of local and national NHS bodies and has an excellent understanding of the culture of the NHS and of the types of issues which arise. 

Cases of Note

  • Please refer to the Public and Administrative section of Ben’s CV for examples of healthcare work including hospital reorganisations, infected blood, determination of the level of funded nursing care fees, access to drug treatments, and the junior doctors’ contract. 
  • Please refer to the Medical Treatment section of Ben’s CV for examples of serious medical treatment cases including the Charlie Gard case. 
  • Please refer to the Disciplinary section of Ben’s CV for examples of Ben’s work on behalf of healthcare regulators including the GMC, GDC, and PSA. 
  • Please refer to the Regulatory section of Ben’s CV for examples of Ben’s work in respect of healthcare regulatory and registration issues. 
  • Please refer to the Court of Protection – Welfare section of Ben’s CV for examples of Ben’s work on behalf of Integrated Care Systems (“ICS”), Health Boards (in Wales), and NHS Trusts, in the Court of Protection in welfare cases. 

Court of Protection - Welfare

Ben acts regularly for the Official Solicitor, local authorities, health trusts, and Integrated Care Systems in all manner of health and welfare cases in the Court of Protection including serious medical treatment, section 16 welfare decisions, and s.21A challenges. 

Ben aims to take a pragmatic and balanced approach to Court of Protection proceedings. 

Ben’s diverse experience in the related areas of public law, healthcare, medical treatment, education and community care mean that he is able to provide full-service advice and representation in complex cases with cross-cutting issues. 

Cases of note

  • WA v North Bristol NHS Trust [2021] - Ben acted for the ICS in the latest instalment of this ongoing case about the mental capacity of a Palestinian refugee on prolonged hunger strike because of a refusal by the UK government to accept his claimed date of birth. 
  • Re NRA [2015] EWCOP 59 - Acted (with Sir Robert Francis KC) for the Official Solicitor in ten joined cases concerning the procedural requirements of s.21A deprivation of liberty challenges.
  • Re X (Deprivation of Liberty) [2015] EWCA Civ 599 - Acted (with Alex Ruck Keene and Richard Gordon KC) for the Official Solicitor in litigation in the Court of Protection and Court of Appeal about the Court’s attempt to create a streamlined procedure for managing applications to the court to deprive mentally incapacitated adults of their liberty.
  • P&Q v Cheshire West and Chester District Council [2014] UKSC 19 - Acted (with Richard Gordon KC, Brick Court Chambers, and Fenella Morris KC) for the Official Solicitor in this leading case on the definition of “deprivation of liberty” in the case of mentally incapacitated adults.

Community Care and Mental Health

Ben advises local authorities, ICSs, and claimants, on community care issues including:

  • Children’s Services
  • Adult Social Care
  • Judicial review
  • The social care/healthcare interface
  • The interaction of community care with housing and with special educational needs 
  • Those with no recourse to public funds 
  • Ordinary residence disputes. Ben regularly decides ordinary residence disputes on behalf of the Secretary of State and so has extensive experience in this area. 
  • Financial assessment, charging, and deprivation of asserts, including where there are property law issues.
  • Court of Protection 

Cases of Note

Medical Treatment Cases

Ben acts for NHS Trusts, the Official Solicitor, and family members in serious medical treatment cases. He has acted in some of the biggest cases in recent years, including the Charlie Gard case. 

Subject to availability, Ben is happy to accept last-minute instructions in serious medical treatment cases. 

Please see the Healthcare and Court of Protection sections of Ben’s CV for other relevant experience. 


Ben acts for universities, students, local authorities, and the Department for Education, in all areas of education law. 

This has included claims for breach of contract and educational negligence (in relation to universities); special educational needs claims; equalities and discrimination; compliance/registration issues; and matters concerning freedom of speech and academic freedom. 

He has also acted for schools, and for the Department for Education, in respect of Ofsted reports and decisions. 

Cases of note:

  • R(Article 39) v Secretary of State for Education [2022] 1 WLR 4240 - Ben represented the Secretary of State in this high-level judicial review challenge to the introduction of a prohibition on unregulated care homes for those aged 16 or under.
  • Da Silva v Kings College London [2021] EWHC 1421 (QB) - Ben represented Kings College London (“KCL”) in a breach of contract claim brought by a student withdrawn from his medical course for failure to present for an academic exam whilst he was caring for his grandmother. The claimant claimed that KCL had wrongly exercised its discretion in deciding to withdraw him form the course, and that this was a breach of its contract with the student. 
  • Orbis Education and Care Limited v Secretary of State for Education [2020] - Representing the Department for Education in an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal by a school against a decision to de-register it following a number of critical Ofsted reports. 
  • R(Devon Buchanan) v Kings College London [2018] - Ben represented Kings College London (“KCL”) in a judicial review claim by a medical student who claimed that social communication difficulties arising from his Asperger’s syndrome made it more difficult for him to pass his practical exams (“OSCEs”), and that reasonable adjustments ought therefore to have been made. 


  • “A most impressive lawyer with a penetrating and subtle mind” (The Legal 500, Administrative Law and Human Rights, 2023)
  • “balances clear legal advice with thoughtfulness about the impact of a case” (The Legal 500, Professional Disciplinary and Regulatory Law, 2023)
  • “demonstrates a strong level of commercial vision” (Chambers, Administrative & Public Law 2023)