Anita Rao



Anita specialises in inquests, public and healthcare advisory law, with a particular interest in mental capacity.
She is an experienced advocate, at first instance and at appellate level, and is adept at handling legally and factually difficult cases. She regularly appears in the Coroner’s courts and in the civil courts, including the Court of Protection. Her experience of public children law has equipped her to tackle complex cases at the intersection of children and adult law.
While practising at the independent Bar, Anita was instructed as 2nd junior counsel before the Supreme Court in D (A Child) (UKSC 2018/0064). Anita has extensive experience of the human rights issues arising in her practice areas, and was selected by the European Court of Human Rights to undertake a traineeship in October-December 2018.


Anita has experience in a range of inquest matters, including both Article 2 and jury inquests. In the course of her practice, Anita has been involved in a number of inquests of significant public interest and has experience of the unique challenges such inquests pose.
Anita also has a particular expertise in cases at the intersection of public, civil and family law, and a developed knowledge of complex MCA cases where the protected party has capacity to make particular decisions (but not others), cases involving fluctuating capacity, and cases where medical decisions fall to be made.

Notable projects

Anita appeared in the Supreme Court in October 2018 as 2nd junior counsel for the respondent in the case of D (A Child) (UKSC 2018/0064).

In the last two years, Anita has acted for:
• London Ambulance Service in the inquest into the death of Edson Da Costa, a case of significant public interest
• A local authority in Court of Protection proceedings concerning a young person vulnerable to sexual exploitation, with capacity to make decisions about whether to have sexual intercourse, but not about the safety of potential partners.
• Several hospital Trusts in inquests into the deaths of patients admitted to hospital with complex medical and care needs
• A protected party with HIV-related encephalitis and mental impairment, in litigation raising complex questions including in relation to covert medical treatment and placement out of the jurisdiction.
• Various clients in inquests into the death of young persons presenting with suspected acute behavioural disorder
• Several Trusts and CCGs in Court of Protection proceedings concerning the residence and care arrangements for protected parties receiving Continuing Healthcare Services from the NHS due to their complex healthcare needs

    In addition to being the 2018 Pegasus Scholar at the European Court of Human Rights, Anita was also selected as the Judicial Assistant to Lady Justice (now Lady) Arden in 2014-2015.


    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)
    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)  


    • Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA) 
    • Court of Protection Practitioners Association (COPPA)
    • Young Legal Aid Lawyers Bar Pro Bono Unit

    Contact Anita Rao