Anita Rao

Principal Associate, Barrister


Anita is a Principal Associate and Barrister in the Inquests and Clinical Advisory team.  Anita has practised as a barrister for over 7 years, and is an experienced advocate at first instance and at appellate level. At the independent Bar, she was instructed as junior counsel before the Supreme Court, and also selected by the European Court of Human Rights to undertake a traineeship in 2018. Anita is adept at handling legally and factually difficult cases, and presently regularly appears in the Coroner’s courts, the Court of Protection and in the Family Court.

Anita has extensive experience on a range of healthcare law matters including:

  • Mental Capacity Act - applications to the Court of Protection for acute and mental health trusts and commissioners.  Anita has been involved in several long running and complex healthcare cases and applications for serious medical treatment. She regularly advises on deprivation of liberty and best interests matters, capacity assessments, advance decision making and lasting powers of attorney, including on urgent matters.
  • Inquests - advising on and representing clients at complex Article 2/ jury inquests. Anita provides high quality, understanding support to professionals called to give evidence at all stages, from preparation to hearing.  She has been instructed in many long-running and complex inquests, including the Da Costa and Turay Thomas inquests. 
  • Human rights and Equality Act matters – regularly advising on issues arising under the Human Right Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010 in healthcare contexts, including on discrimination issues and damages under the HRA 1998.
  • Children & young adults – regularly advising organisations on decision making by and for young persons, Gillick competence, and parental responsibility. Anita has specialist experience of complex cases at the intersection of children and adult law, and appeared as junior counsel in the Supreme Court in D (A Child), a key authority in this area.
  • General healthcare law – advising on healthcare policy matters, DNARs and DNACPRs, on surrogacy, and on assisted conception and fertility matters.

Notable cases & projects

  • In the matter of D (A Child) [2019] UKSC 42
  • VE v AO & Ors [2020] EWCOP 23
  • Inquest touching on the death of Edson Da Costa, Shante Turay Thomas
  • Y (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 1091


Anita is a co-author of Surrogacy – Current Law, Practice and Policy in England and Wales (2018, Jordans Publishing). 

Legal awards

  • 2018 Pegasus Scholar to the European Court of Human Rights, Pegasus Trust (Inner Temple)
  • 2014 Judicial Assistant to Lady Justice (now Lady) Arden
  • 2013 Hubert Greenland Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • 2010 Marchant Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • 2009 Lord Haldane Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • 2009 Hardwicke Award recipient (Lincoln’s Inn)

Admitted as a Barrister  



  • Bar Professional Training Course (Very Competent)  
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Commendation)  
  • BA Hons Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), University of Oxford (Balliol College)  

Contact Anita Rao