Anita undertakes work in a range of chambers’ specialisms and has a particular interest in public and private children law, welfare and property and financial affairs applications in Court of Protection, trusts of land in a family context and contentious probate matters.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Anita worked for several years at a leading legal aid law firm as a caseworker, in addition to undertaking legal work at several leading charities and non-governmental organisations in the UK and abroad. Following completion of her pupillage in September 2014, Anita spent two terms as Judicial Assistant to Lady Justice Arden at the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), returning to practice in April 2015.
Anita is able to undertake work on conditional fee or pro bono basis, where appropriate, and undertakes advocacy and advisory work for the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
If you would like any further information regarding Anita Rao’s practice, please contact her clerks or call +44 (0)20 7405 6114.
Public Children Law
Anita regularly appears in care and placement order proceedings and acts at all stages of such proceedings, from contested ICOs and EPOs to fact findings and multi-day final hearings. Anita advises and represents all parties, including local authorities, parents and children, and has particular experience of acting in complex cases involving issues of neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional harm, mental health difficulties and capacity.
Anita has a particular interest in cases involving complex medical evidence, in addition to cases with international and cross-jurisdicitional elements. Anita has recently advised and acted in a number of cases involving complex international relocations and placements, and has experience of advisory work in international surrogacy and adoption matters.
Anita practice in all aspects of divorce and matrimonial finance, including Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 and TOLATA 1996 proceedings. She represents clients at all stages of financial remedy proceedings, from first appointment to final hearing, and has experience of a wide range of financial remedies matters, from those with significant assets and company structures to those with more modest assets where entitlement to social security benefits and housing is in issue.
While a Judicial Assistant at the Court of Appeal, Anita assisted in the matter of Curran v Collins, in which the Court considered whether the lower court had erred in applying Stack v Dowden and Jones v Kernott in assessing the question of whether the Appellant’s contribution to the parties’ home and relationship had given rise to a constructive trust.
Private Law & Family Law Act 1996
Anita is regularly instructed to advise and act in proceedings under Part VI of the Family Law Act 1996 and has acted in several cases involving allegations of serious domestic violence, at each of the ex parte, on notice and fact finding stages.
Anita further acts in private children matters, including applications for Child Arrangement orders, Specific Issue orders and declarations of parentage. She has a particular interest in cases with an international dimension, in particular where relocation and removal from the jurisdiction is proposed.
Anita advises and appears in a wide range of civil law proceedings, including insolvency and bankruptcy matters, and property, personal injury and civil litigation claims, both at case management stage and at trial. Anita further advises in contentious probate matters, including where capacity disputes, undue influence and rectification are in issue, and in cases involving trusts of land in a family context.
- Public law & local government
Court of Protection
Anita practices in all aspects of Court of Protection work, and accepts instructions over a wide range of disputes over residence, care, depravation of liberty and property and financial affairs litigation. Anita brings the experience of a nine-month secondment dealing with both property and financial affairs litigation in the Court of Protection and general civil litigation for care fee recovery to her practice. She advises and represents all parties, including local authorities, the Official Solicitor, NHS bodies and care homes and has particular experience of acting in proceedings under section 21A of the of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Anita has a particular interest in cases involving children and young adults who lack capacity, and recently represented Birmingham City Council as junior counsel in the case of D and W concerning the role of parental consent in authorising deprivation of liberty of 16-17 year old young adults.
Anita accepts instructions on behalf of claimants and local authorities in the full range of community care disputes, both in relation to adults and children. Anita brings her considerable experience of judicial review work from her work to her practice, and has a particularly interest in proceedings concerning the provision of social services to vulnerable young adults and children leaving care.
Anita also regularly advises and acts in ordinary residence disputes. She has particular experience of this area having, under the tutelage of Tony Harrop-Griffiths in her third seat of pupillage, assisted in R (Cornwall Council) v Secretary of State for Health and Ors  EWCA Civ 12 and R (Wiltshire Council) v Hertfordshire County Council and SQ  EWCA Civ 712 before the Court of Appeal.
Anita regularly appears in the Employment Tribunal and has been instructed in a wide variety of unfair dismissal, discrimination and wrongful dismissal matters. Anita has acted in cases involving: direct discrimination on the basis of race and gender; pregnancy discrimination; disability discrimination; harassment and victimisation; and dismissals for whistleblowing and serious misconduct.
While a Judicial Assistant at the Court of Appeal, Anita assisted in the appeals of Benkharbourche and Janeh, in which the Court considered whether the State Immunity Act 1978 operated to prevent domestic workers employed in diplomatic households from bringing employment law claims in EU law to the Employment Tribunal for determination.
- Notable Cases
- Hubert Greenland Pupillage Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
- Marchant Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
- Lord Haldane Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
- Finalist, 11 KBW Human Rights Essay Prize
- BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Balliol College (University of Oxford)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Law, City University
- Bar Professional Training Course, City University
- Seminars & Publications
Anita regularly gives seminars and talks on issues relating to her practice, including: practice and procedure in public law children proceedings, trusts of land and division of assets in cohabitation cases and best practice in the Court of Protection. Anita is a regular contributor to Family Law Week.
- Professional Memberships
- Family Law Bar Association
- Administrative Law Bar Association
- Human Rights Lawyers Association
- Young Legal Aid Lawyers
- Bar Pro Bono Unit