Anthony was Junior Disclosure Counsel to the London Fire Brigade between February and May 2018. He assisted senior lawyers from the General Counsel’s Department with the Brigade’s disclosure obligations to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE
Anthony successfully completed his pupillage at Serjeants’ Inn and joined as a tenant in October 2017. Since then, he 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. 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 Crown Court, Family Court and Magistrates’ Court, where he has succeeded in making submissions and cross-examining witnesses in a variety of civil/administrative applications and appeals. He also has experience in education law, having appeared in the First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability).
In addition, Anthony is looking to develop a busy practice in the field of professional discipline and regulatory law. He is currently a junior to Elliot Gold in a large police misconduct case. Moreover, 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.
Given his recent experience leading a team of document reviewers as Junior Disclosure Counsel to the London Fire Brigade, Anthony is well-placed to work within teams in very large and sensitive cases or public inquiries.
CASES AND WORK OF NOTE
Recent notable work:
- Succeeded in an application for permission to rely on a care expert’s report, thus allowing the Claimant’s clinical negligence claim to increase in value from <£100,000 to around £1.6m.
- Currently instructed to act as Junior Counsel to Elliot Gold in a large police misconduct case. Anthony has assisted Elliot in drafting the charges against four police officers and has reviewed hundreds of documents to assess their relevance.
- Currently instructed as Junior Counsel to John de Bono QC in a case involving a child who drowned as a result of his neglectful mother. Other members of the child’s family seek to make a claim against the local authority to recover damages under the common law for psychiatric injury and under the Human Rights Act 1998 for a breach of the child’s right to life under Article 2 ECHR. Anthony drafted an extensive research note and was given the opportunity to advise in conference.
- Junior Disclosure Counsel to the London Fire Brigade (February to May 2018). 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.
- Assisted Sir Robert Francis QC and Sophia Roper in a Court of Protection case involving a high net worth individual who potentially lacked mental capacity. 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.
- Instructed as Junior Counsel to HH Brian Barker CBE QC who chaired an Article 2 Investigation into a near-death in prison. Bridget Dolan QC was Counsel to the Investigation.
- Instructed to appear on behalf of a local authority in the First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) in an appeal concerning the type of college at which a young adult should be placed. Anthony was required to cross-examine the Deputy Principal of a college.
Anthony appears in a wide variety of interim hearings in the County Court, including CCMCs, strike out and summary judgment applications, applications to set aside default judgment, applications to rely on expert evidence, and infant approvals. District Judges have praised him for his clear skeleton arguments and helpful oral submissions. Anthony has also had fast track trial experience in personal injury cases.
In the field of clinical negligence, Anthony has drafted pleadings in a variety of claims, including those involving delayed cancer diagnoses; alleged failures to obtained informed consent; double outlet right ventricle (a congenital heart disease) and corrective biventricular surgery; ankle fusion and bone grafting procedures; and bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (‘BRONJ’). He has also advised on the prospects of striking out a claim for psychiatric injury and on the viability of a care home claim. He welcomes instructions from Claimants and Defendants alike.
Anthony’s experience in the field of police law has been multifaceted. He has recently been instructed in a number of civil actions against the police. In February 2018, he drafted a defence to particulars of claim (which were settled by a QC) in an action for wrongful arrest/false imprisonment, unlawful sex discrimination, misfeasance in public office and a breach of Article 8 ECHR. He was also recently instructed to draft a defence in a claim involving a police car that had collided with a child whilst responding to an emergency call. 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  UKSC 9,  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.
EXPERIENCE DURING PUPILLAGE
Anthony’s pupil supervisors were Claire Watson, Richard Partridge and Conrad Hallin. He gained experience in all areas of Chambers’ work, with a particular focus on clinical negligence, professional discipline and regulatory law, and Court of Protection.
During pupillage, Anthony was fortunate to be given the opportunity to draft pleadings, advices and research notes on complex and/or esoteric points of law, including:
- A substantial research note on the viability of distinguishing or arguing against the decision in Briody v St Helen’s and Knowsley Area Health Authority  EWCA Civ 1010 in order to claim for the cost of California-based commercial surrogacy. This was to assist Claire Watson in representing the Claimant in XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust  EWHC 2318 (QB), the first case in which the court awarded damages for the cost of surrogacy;
- An advice on the deprivation of liberty of a 17-year-old in hospital and whether he was entitled to damages for a breach of his rights under Article 5 ECHR;
- An advice on the viability of distinguishing or modifying the current legal position on claiming for the costs of future care and assistance in a wrongful birth claim;
- Grounds for judicial review in a case involving the publication of an Ofsted inspection report;
- Various research notes and questions for experts on both legal and medical issues in a clinical negligence case involving a patient who attempted to commit suicide. Anthony was as comfortable reading literature on drug interactions and the effectiveness of antidepressant medication as he was analysing case law following Reeves v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  1 AC 360;
- A research note and advice on complex issues relating to employment, vicarious liability, data protection and damages in a multi-party action involving dental care;
- A research note on the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal’s approach to solicitors who instruct medical experts on CFAs.
‘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  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  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.
- 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)
Anthony has a strong academic interest in medical law and is a contributor to the UK Healthcare Law Blog, which is run by Serjeants’ Inn. He has recently written blog posts on two ground-breaking High Court judgments:
- Meadows v Khan  EWHC 2990 (QB), in which the Claimant was awarded damages for the costs associated with a disability which was unrelated to the Defendant’s admitted negligence; and
- XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust  EWHC 2318 (QB), the first case in which a claimant successfully recovered damages for the cost of surrogacy.
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 recent Court of Appeal decision in R (Qin) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  EWHC 2750 (Admin), the focus of which was compensation and costs in closure order applications.
Anthony adopts and adheres to the provisions of the privacy notice which can be accessed here.
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
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