Anthony Searle

Call 2016


Anthony is an experienced and confident junior barrister who specialises exclusively in clinical negligence and healthcare-related inquests/inquiries. Highly sought-after and regularly instructed in complex cases, Anthony combines first-class analytical ability with strong advocacy skills and approachability to deliver the best possible results for his clients, whether they are patients, professionals or organisations.

Clinical Negligence & Healthcare

“Anthony is a formidable adversary, able to predict how the other side might respond and very thorough and diligent in his work.”The Legal 500

“Punchy, quick, attentive to detail and robust. Instils confidence and gets results.”The Legal 500

Experience and Expertise

Anthony is an accomplished junior in the field of clinical negligence, with a deep interest in all things healthcare. As a prize-winning graduate of the distinguished MA in Medical Law at King’s College London, he is well-placed to assist with complex issues arising in a wide range of cases. He is as comfortable analysing and challenging expert medical evidence as he is creating or unpicking intricate legal arguments. Anthony is usually instructed as sole counsel but has experience of being led by silks in chambers.

In this field, Anthony is currently ranked as a ‘Leading Junior’ (Tier 4) by The Legal 500. He was first ranked in the legal directories in 2021, at just five years’ call. At that point, he was the joint most junior barrister to be ranked as a ‘Rising Star’ in clinical negligence. Anthony’s decision to become a specialist at a very early stage of his career has meant that his expertise in this field is beyond his years of call. His opponents are often far more senior than him.

Anthony happily acts for both claimants and defendants in a wide variety of claims, including those involving delayed diagnoses of cancer and other conditions, failures to obtain informed consent, negligently performed surgery of all kinds (including cosmetic and ophthalmic surgery), failures in radiological interpretation, dental negligence, psychiatric injuries (including secondary victim claims), and obstetric negligence. He is experienced in fatal accident cases and claims involving children.

Solicitors from leading firms regularly instruct Anthony to advise on liability and quantum (both in writing and at conference), draft particulars of claim and defences, and draft schedules and counter-schedules. He stands out for his clear, thorough and strategic approach. Anthony’s academic aptitude in medical law makes him particularly well-placed to assist in cases involving novel points or requiring careful legal research. He particularly enjoys speaking to experts in conference to obtain a deep understanding of the medicine, challenge the experts’ opinions, and work as a team to find the best way forward for the client.

Anthony appears in a wide variety of interim hearings in the High Court and County Court, including CCMCs (often in multi-million-pound claims), strike out and summary judgment applications, applications to set aside default judgment, applications to rely on expert evidence, and approval hearings in cases involving children or protected parties. Anthony has also enjoyed great success at trials, RTMs/JSMs and mediations. Judges have praised Anthony for his logical and persuasive skeleton arguments and his helpful oral submissions. He is ‘a formidable adversary’ (The Legal 500).

Anthony’s significant experience in inquests, in which he regularly questions healthcare professionals/experts and navigates complex medical evidence, greatly complements his clinical negligence practice. He has experience of successfully settling civil cases following coronial proceedings.

cases & Work of note

A number of Anthony’s cases from the last few years are of particular note:

  • JH (2022): Anthony was instructed by the Defendant in this complex case involving a patient who alleged that a digital (i.e. finger) examination of her stoma was not clinically indicated and caused her bowel to perforate, leading to an abscess and fistula. After advising in conference, Anthony successfully defended the case at a 2-day trial before HHJ Bloom. Anthony’s skilful cross-examination of the Claimant’s Professor of Surgery exposed him as being ‘out of date’, ‘confused’ and ‘inconsistent’. This, together with Anthony’s compelling and ‘admirably straightforward’ submissions, led to the judge rejecting every single aspect of the Claimant’s case.
  • JA (2021-23): This complex claim involved the delayed diagnosis of a spinal epidural abscess and discitis, causing a serious spinal cord injury and ASIA A tetraplegia. Breach was admitted but causation was vehemently denied throughout. This was originally a multi-million-pound claim, but the Claimant died for unrelated reasons and hence the value decreased. Nevertheless, the Defendant continued to instruct a distinguished silk. At an RTM, Anthony emphasised the risks to the Defendant’s case and achieved an excellent settlement for the Deceased’s estate.
  • CY (2021-23): Anthony was instructed as a junior to Christopher Johnston KC in a case involving an attempted suicide by a vulnerable claimant, which led to life-changing injuries, including bilateral amputations. The case was legally, medically and factually complex. Anthony produced comprehensive legal research notes, contributed to the written advice on merits, advised in conference, and undertook detailed quantum calculations (including in relation to prosthetics and accommodation). Christopher and Anthony’s work led to a settlement of £1m for the lay client.
  • AD (2020-22): This was a complex psychiatric negligence case involving a woman who was detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983. The Claimant’s case was that she was misdiagnosed whilst in hospital, which prevented her psychiatric condition from being treated properly and led to significant relapses. Liability was initially denied in full. After receiving the Defence, Anthony identified numerous inconsistencies and fallacies in the Defendant’s case and sought to expose these by making a Part 18 Request for Further Information. Before responding to the Request, the Defendant made a very good Part 36 offer, which the Claimant accepted.
  • ET (2020): Anthony acted for the Defendant as junior counsel to Christopher Johnston KC. He appeared by himself against leading counsel at the CMC and then assisted Christopher to (a) prepare for a preliminary issue trial (including substantive input on the Defendant’s skeleton argument) and (b) advise on whether the Defendant should appeal. The case concerned the legally significant and complex issue of whether the claim was for ‘wrongful life’ and was thus precluded under Congenital Disabilities (Civil Liability) Act 1976 and/or contrary to McKay v Essex Area Health Authority. Anthony helped Christopher create and refine submissions and produced a note on the potential grounds of appeal. The case received considerable attention from legal commentators.
  • Whittington Hospital NHS Trust v XX [2020] UKSC 14: During his pupillage, Anthony assisted Claire Watson KC in this ground-breaking case involving an infertile woman’s claim for the costs of commercial surrogacy in California. He produced a comprehensive research note that helped to form the basis of Ms X’s submissions in the High Court. A few years later, Anthony assisted Claire and her leader, Christopher Johnston KC, prior to and during the Trust’s appeal to the Supreme Court. Anthony produced a number of research notes and contributed substantively to Christopher and Claire’s submissions. The Trust’s appeal was dismissed and Ms X’s claim for Californian commercial surrogacy was allowed. Anthony has written extensively about this case, including in blog posts and a journal article.
  • ABC (2019-20): This claim arose out of the mismanagement of ABC’s birth, which led to a severe brain injury and cerebral palsy. ABC has profound disabilities that require 24-hour, lifelong care. Following a compromise on liability, Anthony was brought in as junior counsel for the Claimant in order to draft the Schedule of Loss, with supervision from Michael Horne KC. This was pleaded at just over £5.1million (on a full liability basis), with 15 heads of loss and numerous complex calculations. Anthony also assisted Michael in advising on the expert reports. The claim settled a few months after Anthony’s involvement.