Anna’s practice focuses on criminal justice and civil liberties and encompasses criminal justice and appellate advice, inquests into deaths in custody, civil actions against the police and public law. A human rights specialist, Anna has extensive experience of successfully representing clients whose cases challenge public policy and promote civil liberties.
Ranked in Chambers UK 2017 for both Civil Liberties and Human Rights and Police Law, it is said that Anna “is one of the few people who can combine huge intellectual prowess with very practical skills.” “She has a good advocacy style. “She is thorough, helpful, diligent and has a specialist knowledge of protest law.”
Anna is ranked in the Legal 500 2016 for her Inquests and Inquiries work: “The empathy and compassion that she has for bereaved families is second to none.”
Anna is ranked in Chambers UK 2016 for both Civil Liberties and Human Rights and Police Law (Claimant) where she is described as “Very sensible, good with the client and accessible.” “She is brilliant. She does heavy duty inquests and is relied on as a senior barrister. She is one of my first choices for counsel who have an expertise in human rights and specifically freedom of assembly and association.”
Anna frequently represents bereaved families whose loved ones have died in state custody, she has a particular expertise in deaths of those with complex mental and physical health needs. Anna is currently instructed in the inquest into the death of Vikki Thompson, a transgender woman who died whilst in the male prison estate at HMP Leeds. In 2016, Anna represented the mother of Darren Lyons a vulnerable man who was known to suffer with alcoholism and mental health problems, who died whilst in police custody. At the inquest the jury identified a number of failings in police and health care’s assessment and treatment of Darren’s needs.
Anna also advises bereaved families before and after the inquest process in respect of civil claims in damages under Article 2 ECHR and the Fatal Accidents Act. Anna is also experienced in Judicial Review proceedings arising from the inquest process.
Anna represented 14 bereaved families at the inquest into the Hillsborough Stadium disaster on 15 April 1989. During the inquests, Anna was instructed alongside Michael Mansfield QC and Peter Wilcock QC during the Coroner’s investigation into South Yorkshire Police’s controversial “evidence gathering” process following the disaster
Anna has been appointed as an Assistant Coroner for Greater Manchester South.
Anna specialises in claims against the Police and Public Authorities arising from political demonstrations and incursions on the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. Anna is frequently asked to advise and represent Claimants in both civil claims for damages and public law remedies.
Anna is currently instructed on behalf of 7 Claimants who were arrested as part of the Occupy Democracy movement in Parliament Square Gardens in 2014. She has also been instructed in respect of a number of claims under the Human Rights Act against Police Forces for their failure to investigate serious allegations. She is currently instructed on behalf of a Claimant that was the victim of inappropriate ‘sexting’ by an officer on duty. Anna was instructed in respect of the multi-Claimant litigation arising from the ‘Critical Mass’ cycle ride on the day of the 2012 Olympic Ceremony in London.
Anna also advises a number of campaigning organisations and NGOs on legal strategy. She is currently instructed to advise in respect of a claim in damages for a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay.
Criminal Defence and Appellate Work
Anna is an experienced appellate advocate and is currently instructed on behalf of the family of Susan May who died in 2013 after serving a life sentence for the murder of her aunt, in respect of her pending application before the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Susan has always maintained her innocence. Anna is a member of the legal Advisory Group for the Centre for Criminal Appeals.
Anna’s criminal practice includes cases of terrorism, serious violence, public order and political protest.
Anna is the co-author of The Protest Handbook (2012) Bloomsbury Professional. Described by Shami Chakrabati of Liberty as a text that, “compendiously sets out the law relevant to protest. It will no doubt become a standard resource for campaigners and their advisers.” (Read reviews for The Protest Handbook) Or follow on Twitter: @ProtestHandbook.
In addition, Anna regularly contributes to Westlaw Insight and Lexis Nexis updates on police powers and protest law.
In 2012/2013 Anna was an Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London and convened the Criminal Justice Process module on the BSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Anna holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Law and Human Rights from the University of Nottingham. Her specialist dissertation was a critical analysis of the UK’s compliance with the international legal obligations to protect the victims of trafficking.
In 2009 Anna was appointed by Reprieve to represent Samantha Orobator a pregnant British national who was facing the death penalty in Laos for drug offences. Anna was able to secure the swift release and repatriation of Samantha back to the UK. Anna was then involved in the habeas corpus and judicial review proceedings that brought to light the failings of the Laos legal system and tested the UK’s ability to detain an individual following a foreign trial that may have breached Article 6 ECHR; Orobator v HMP Holloway & Anor EWHC 28 (Admin).
Anna has also advised and delivered training on behalf of a number of International organisations including the OSCE and Amnesty International.
Whilst studying for the BVC, Anna worked as legal research assistant to Keir Starmer QC and worked on a number of high profile cases including the High Court litigation in Austin and Saxby v Chief Commissioner for Metropolitan Police EWHC 480 (QB) and the Privy Council case of R v Rowe and Davis UK PC 10 (Constitutionality of the Death Penalty in the Bahamas).