Anthony Searle

Call 2016

Anthony Searle | Call 2016

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Overview

Anthony is an experienced and confident ‘junior junior’ with a busy practice in clinical negligence, inquests, Court of Protection and police law. Regularly instructed in complex cases, he combines first class analytical ability with strong advocacy skills and approachability to deliver the best possible results for his clients, whether they are patients or public bodies.

Anthony is clerked primarily by Tom O’Connor,  Joe Ralph and Joe Fletcher.

Brilliant … The family were very impressed with him, as was I. … A star in the making.”
Partner, leading solicitors’ firm

He has always been very approachable and responded very promptly to questions posed of him. It’s always a pleasure to instruct Anthony.”
Public body client

Overview of EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE

Praised for his skills of analysis and his helpful approach in all cases, Anthony has developed a busy practice comprising a number of different areas of law.

As a prize-winning graduate of the distinguished MA in Medical Law at King’s College London, Anthony is particularly well-placed to assist with complex legal and ethical issues arising in all aspects of clinical negligence and Court of Protection work, as well as healthcare-related inquests. He is as comfortable reading and analysing expert medical evidence as he is creating and unpicking intricate medico-legal arguments.

However, Anthony is versatile and enjoys grappling with many areas of law. This is demonstrated by his numerous appearances on behalf of police forces in the High Court, Crown Court, Family Court and Magistrates’ Courts, where he has succeeded in making submissions and cross-examining witnesses in a variety of civil/administrative applications and appeals.

In addition, Anthony has a growing practice in the field of professional discipline and regulatory law. He was recently a junior to Elliot Gold in high-profile police misconduct proceedings arising from the restraint of a person in custody. He has also successfully appeared on his own before a number of police misconduct panels. Given his experience assisting accomplished practitioners during pupillage and his having obtained the top mark in the country in BPP’s ‘Professional Discipline (Healthcare)’ BPTC module, Anthony is well-positioned to appear before professional disciplinary tribunals of all kinds.

Anthony’s experience as Junior Disclosure Counsel to the London Fire Brigade demonstrates that he is able to work well within teams in very large and sensitive cases or public inquiries. Anthony led a team of document reviewers for two out of the four months he spent in the General Counsel’s Department. He developed and improved on the procedure for reviewing documents, and assisted the London Fire Brigade in complying with requests from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Anthony is committed to helping others join the profession. He is chambers’ new Co-Head of Mini-Pupillage, alongside Jamie Mathieson. They aim to give mini-pupils the best experience possible, and they hope to develop the mini-pupillage scheme in such a way as to increase equality and diversity. So far, the mini-pupillages which Anthony and Jamie have overseen have been described as ‘fantastic’, ‘thoroughly enjoyable’, ‘useful’ and ‘very interesting’.

Clinical negligence and inquests

Anthony is an experienced clinical negligence practitioner. His interest in the field is clearly evident in all of his work and in his dedication to each of his cases. He happily acts for both claimants and defendants in a large variety of claims, including those involving delayed cancer diagnoses, failures to obtain informed consent, negligently performed surgery of all kinds (including cosmetic surgery), failures in radiological interpretation, dental negligence, psychiatric injuries (including secondary victim claims), and obstetric negligence. Solicitors regularly instruct him to advise on liability and quantum, draft particulars of claim and defences, and draft schedules and counter-schedules. His academic aptitude in medical law makes him particularly well-placed to assist in cases involving novel points or requiring careful legal research.

Within this field, Anthony appears in a wide variety of interim hearings in the High Court and County Court, including CCMCs, strike out and summary judgment applications, applications to set aside default judgment, applications to rely on expert evidence, and infant approval hearings. Judges have praised him for his logical and persuasive skeleton arguments and his helpful oral submissions. Of note, he recently succeeded in getting a purported secondary victim claim struck out on account of deficiencies in the pleaded case. He also succeeded in an application for permission to rely on a care expert’s report, thus allowing a claimant’s claim to increase in value from <£100,000 to around £1.6m. Anthony’s fast track trial experience in personal injury cases—including a recent win for a claimant in a hotly contested claim under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957—assists his clinical negligence practice.

Anthony’s experience in clinical negligence and his familiarity with medical issues has led him to be instructed in a number of healthcare-related inquests. Four recent cases are of note:

  •  JB (2019): Four-day jury inquest involving a sudden cardiac death, medically complex issues involving the effect of anti-psychotic medication, and failures in monitoring the deceased. Anthony’s instructing solicitor, a partner at a leading firm, commented that “he was brilliant in representing the family of [JB] at her Inquest. The family were very impressed with him, as was I. His manner with clients and the Coroner is commendable … [Y]ou have a star in the making there.”
  • FC (2019): Instructed by a partner at a leading firm, Anthony represented the family at a one-day inquest involving three NHS trusts and highly complex medical issues pertaining to an abnormal uterus which ruptured and caused a pregnant woman to go into a cardiac arrest. Anthony questioned paramedics, a consultant paediatric pathologist, a consultant obstetrician and a consultant obstetric physician. The Senior Coroner gave a narrative conclusion in which it was recorded that there was a “lost opportunity” to treat the Deceased earlier, and she also issued a PFD report against one of the Trusts. Anthony was praised by his instructing solicitors for doing an excellent job”.
  • SH (2019): Represented the family at this 2-day inquest. The deceased died from a rare complication arising from catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation. Anthony cross-examined consultants in the fields of cardiology, oesophageal surgery, emergency medicine, intensive care, and pathology.
  • AC (2019): Five-day jury inquest involving a death in prison. Anthony represented two healthcare companies involved in providing healthcare to the deceased.

In addition, Anthony was instructed as Junior Counsel to HH Brian Barker CBE QC who chaired an Article 2 Investigation into a near-death in prison, which involved numerous issues as to mental health and self-harm. Bridget Dolan QC was Counsel to the Investigation.

Court of protection

Anthony has a busy Court of Protection practice. The majority of his recent cases have been applications under section 21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. He has been instructed by the Official Solicitor, local authorities and CCGs. He is frequently praised by both judges and opponents for his helpful and reasonable approach, but he is not afraid to be robust when the circumstances require it. The knowledge which Anthony has acquired from his clinical negligence cases and inquests makes him well-placed to deal with a wide range of physical and mental health issues. He hopes that his experience in section 21A proceedings will allow him to become involved in other types of Court of Protection cases, particularly those involving medical treatment issues.

Of note, Anthony assisted Sir Robert Francis QC and Sophia Roper in a case involving a high-net-worth individual who potentially lacked mental capacity in relation to a number of decisions. Anthony conducted a detailed review of electronic correspondence and presented the key themes to his solicitor before joining Sir Robert at a consultation with the individual’s son and a consultant psychiatrist.

POLICE LAW

Anthony’s experience in the field of police law has been multifaceted. Much of his recent experience has been in police misconduct proceedings. Led by Elliot Gold, he spent over a year working on a large, high-profile misconduct case involving the restraint of a person in custody; he assisted Elliot with drafting the regulation 21 notices and various skeleton arguments, carrying out important legal research, reading a large volume of material to assess its relevance, and dealing with numerous disclosure issues. Additionally, Anthony has successfully appeared in his own right in misconduct proceedings involving police officers’ inappropriate behaviour towards victims (reported by the BBC, The Independent, and Bristol Live) and use of drugs (reported by Bristol Live).

Much of Anthony’s recent High Court experience has arisen in the context of applications for public interest immunity. On numerous occasions, he has appeared before High Court judges in the Family Division and made submissions on highly sensitive issues in order to secure public interest immunity for police forces and other law enforcement agencies. He is sought after for his diligent and logical approach to these applications. Anthony also has experience of applications for disclosure from family proceedings.

Anthony has been instructed in a number of civil actions against the police. He has drafted defences in claims for wrongful arrest/false imprisonment, assault/battery, misfeasance in public office, unlawful sex discrimination, trespass to land, and breaches of Article 8 ECHR. He was also recently instructed in a claim involving a police car that had collided with a child whilst responding to an emergency call. He regularly attends CCMCs and succeeds in strike out applications. Anthony’s versatility allows him to deal with a wide range of cases effectively and robustly.

Additionally, Anthony has acted for police forces across the country in a variety of civil/administrative applications and appeals in the Magistrates’, Crown and Family Courts. Having succeeded in resisting an appeal against a Sexual Offences Prevention Order in the Crown Court, a Circuit Judge thanked Anthony for arguing the case ‘succinctly and extremely well’ and also submitting ‘very helpful written submissions’. In a firearms appeal in the Crown Court, another Circuit Judge praised him for presenting his submissions ‘with such clarity’. As well as successfully obtaining many closure orders in the Magistrates’ Court (often in cases involving vulnerable respondents), Anthony has secured forced marriage protection orders in the Family Court. He also has significant experience of applications for the forfeiture of detained cash under POCA 2002.

Anthony has enjoyed providing advice to police forces on discrete legal and policy-related matters, including:

  • The legal and practical implications of a police force’s new stop and search recording process;
  • The retention of many different types of seized property;
  • The retention of DNA samples/profiles;
  • The police’s duty of care to detainees’ animals;
  • GPs’ disclosure of medical records to the police;
  • The exercise of police powers by civilians;
  • The retention of Police Information Notices following R (T) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2015] UKSC 9, [2015] AC 1065;
  • Applications for the disclosure of documents from Family Court proceedings;
  • The seizure of mobile phones in prison; and
  • The implications of incorrect information on a charge sheet.

‘Law governs everything from the embryo to exhumation.’ Professor Gary Slapper
As a barrister at Serjeants’ Inn, it is a privilege to be in a position to help people and organisations deal with issues relating to both the beginning and end of life, as well as countless challenges arising in between. We are involved in areas of law which really do affect people in the most significant ways.

‘In law context is everything.’ Lord Steyn (Daly [2001] 2 AC 532)
My view is that we cannot look at law in a vacuum. In order to get the best results for my clients, I must consider how the law can be used in a practical way to solve the medical, ethical, social and other issues which they are facing.

‘Two reasonable persons can perfectly reasonably come to opposite conclusions on the same set of facts without forfeiting their right to be regarded as reasonable.’ Anne Whyte QC (JF [2017] EWHC 1519 (Admin))
Consequently, I place importance on quickly identifying the arguments which can be made on both sides of a case. Doing this will allow us to be well prepared, to be realistic about how we proceed, and ultimately to persuade a court or opponent that our conclusion is the most reasonable.

“We are involved in areas of law which really do affect people in the
most significant ways.”

‘Certainty is the mother of quiet and repose, and uncertainty the cause of variance and contentions.’ Sir Edward Coke, Serjeant-at-Law
We all aim to achieve certainty for our clients, insofar as it is possible. However, the inherent uncertainty of litigation is daunting. Consequently, I develop a strong team mentality with my clients and solicitors in order to overcome obstacles in a creative and effective way. Sometimes uncertainty can be used to a client’s advantage.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), University of Warwick – First Class
  • MA in Medical Law, King’s College London – Distinction (top of the year)
  • BPTC, BPP University Law School – Outstanding

PRIZES, SCHOLARSHIPS & ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Inner Temple Prize for Outstanding BPTC Results
  • Top of the Year in ‘Professional Discipline (Healthcare)’ (BPP)
  • 2nd in the Year in ‘Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence’ (BPP)
  • Major Scholar of the Inner Temple (2015-16)
  • BPTC Excellence Scholar of BPP University Law School (2015-16)
  • The Eleanor Betsy Scowen Prize for Best Dissertation (KCL)
  • Runner-up, Graveson Cup Moot Tournament (KCL; judged by Foskett J)
  • Winner, Lord Justice McFarlane Essay Competition 2014
  • Winner, Irwin Mitchell National Medical Law Mooting Competition 2013
  • Top of the Year in ‘Medicine and the Law’ (Warwick)
  • Top of the Year in Dissertation (Warwick)
  • Founder and President, Warwick Bar Society (2012-14)
  • Choral Scholar of the University of Warwick (2011-13)

Publications

Anthony has a strong academic interest in medical law and is happy to take part in interviews and write articles on important legal developments. He is a contributor to the UK Healthcare Law Blog, which is run by Serjeants’ Inn and was recently asked to write a law journal article with a solicitor from a leading firm which analysed the decision of the Court of Appeal XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2018] EWCA Civ 2832, [2019] PIQR Q4. LexisNexis interviewed him in relation to the same judgment.

Anthony has also contributed to the UK Police Law Blog. Following his success in obtaining numerous closure orders, he was pleased to be able to write a blog post on the Court of Appeal’s decision in R (Qin) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2017] EWHC 2750 (Admin), the focus of which was compensation and costs in closure order applications. Additionally, he has written on the application of QOCS to ‘mixed’ police claims and the new POCA 2002 codes of practice.

MEMBERSHIPS

PNBA

Privacy

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

FURTHER INFORMATION

For further details of Anthony’s practice please contact a member of the clerking or client service team.

Bar Council Membership No: 68176
Registered Name: Anthony Searle
VAT Registration No: 311 1509 59