Anita Rao

Called 2011

Anita practises in public and civil law, with a particular focus on mental capacity, healthcare and deprivation of liberty matters. She has particular expertise in those cases at the intersection of family, civil and public law.

From October-December 2018, Anita was the Pegasus Scholar at the European Court of Human Rights. She appeared as junior counsel for the respondent in the Supreme Court in October 2018 in the case of D (A Child) (UKSC 2018/0064), which was the first case to be heard by a majority female constitution of the Court.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Anita advised and represented vulnerable adults and minors in refugee and public law matters, and worked for a number of charitable organisations and NGOs, both in the UK and abroad. Post-pupillage, she spent two terms as Judicial Assistant to Lady Justice Arden in the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal, where she worked on a wide range of civil and family law matters.

If you would like any further information regarding Anita’s practice, please contact her clerks or call +44 (0)20 7405 6114.

Public Law and Local Government

Court of Protection

Anita regularly appears in the Court of Protection, acting on behalf of local authorities, protected parties (through the Official Solicitor), NHS bodies and care homes. In October 2018, Anita was instructed as junior counsel for the respondent in the Supreme Court in the matter of D (A Child) (UKSC 2018/0064), having previously appeared in the Court of Appeal and at first instance.

She has considerable experience of welfare applications, including those relating to residence, care and contact and disputes as to capacity. Anita has experience of, and takes a particular interest in, cases involving children and young people who lack capacity, and brings the benefits of her experience in family law to her practice in this area.

Anita is also regularly instructed in mixed welfare and property and financial affairs cases, and brings the experience of a nine-month in-house secondment in property and financial affairs litigation to this area of her practice. Anita also appears in the civil courts in applications concerning vulnerable adults, including applications to displace a nearest relative.

Community Care

Anita is regularly instructed to advise in ordinary residence disputes, both prior to a referral to the Secretary of State and during that process. She also has experience of contested litigation in this area having assisted Tony Harrop-Griffiths during pupillage in the Court of Appeal on two occasions, in R (Cornwall Council) v Secretary of State for Health and Ors [2014] EWCA Civ 12 and R (Wiltshire Council) v Hertfordshire County Council and SQ [2014] EWCA Civ 712.




Civil Law

Anita advises and appears in a range of civil law proceedings, particularly those with family law and public law aspects. Anita has a particular interest in, and experience of, contentious probate matters, including those where capacity disputes, undue influence and rectification are in issue.


Family Law

Anita has significant experience of public children law and appeared regularly at all levels of the Family Court (including the Family Division of the High Court). She has been instructed on several occasions as junior counsel before the Court of Appeal.

Through her practice, Anita has gained particular expertise of complex care cases involving issues of neglect, physical abuse, emotional harm, drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC), mental health difficulties, capacity and deprivation of liberty.

Anita has a developing practice in surrogacy, and has experience of advisory work in international surrogacy and adoption matters. She is a co-author of Surrogacy: Law Practice and Policy in England and Wales, published in 2018.

Notable Cases
  • BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), University of Oxford (Balliol)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Law (PgDL), City Law School: Commendation
  • Bar Professional Training Course, City Law School: Very Competent


  • Pegasus Scholar to the European Court of Human Rights, Pegasus Trust (Inner Temple)
  • Hubert Greenland Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Marchant Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Lord Haldane Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Hardwicke grant awardee, Lincoln’s Inn
  • 11 KBW Human Rights Essay Prize. Finalist
Professional Memberships
  • Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
  • Court of Protection Practitioners Association (COPPA)
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)
  • Family Law Bar Association (FLBA)
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit
Seminars and Articles

Anita regularly gives seminars, training and talks on issues within her areas of practice. She is a regular contributor to chambers’ public law & Court of Protection publications and to the Family Law Week site.