Anthony Metzer QC, Head of Chambers, is a highly regarded silk known for his committed and forensically-detailed approach to his practice. He specialises in criminal defence, Claimant civil actions against the police and public authorities and inquests. Anthony has also been appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge for England and Wales.
Anthony, who has been described in Chambers and Partners as a “devastating cross-examiner”, is highly recommended as a leading silk again in the 2019 edition in the categories of Crime (Band 3 – Silk) and Police Law – mainly Claimant (Band 2 – Silk). Chambers & Partners notes that Anthony frequently acts in claims against the police for false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, misfeasance and assault. He offers particular experience in human rights cases and has been instructed to act against the police and local authorities. He is known for his skill in building a successful rapport with Claimants, he is also distinguished by his ability to achieve substantial settlements on a regular basis.
His strengths have variously been described as follows:
“He is very nice on a personal level, always willing to help and is very responsive”;
“He has impressive advocacy skills and is excellent with clients” [2018 edition] and
“An outstanding jury advocate with unmatched cross-examination skills. He comes across as friendly and committed to both clients and jury members, and easily wins their trust”;
“He is excellent at identifying the key evidential points and is exceptionally popular with clients.” [2019 edition]
Chambers & Partners has also referred to a recent claim that Anthony successfully acted in: Anthony represented the family of Habib Ullah, a man who died during an arrest by Thames Valley Police, bringing claims of assault and ECHR breaches. Anthony secured a substantial settlement and an apology from the police.
Anthony’s expertise has also been recognised by the Legal 500 2018 edition, where he is recommended as a Leading Silk in Band 3 in civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police) as “his ability to grasp the nuances and issues in a case quickly are second to none.” As a Leading Silk, Anthony is also ranked in the general crime category in Band 3 as “primarily defending in violent crime cases.” These recommendations add to Anthony’s successful entries from the 2017 edition where he is described as ‘a well-prepared, thorough and engaging advocate – his legal arguments are consistently impressive’ in crime and as being “well known in the field, especially in claims against the police” in the civil liberties and human rights category.
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Anthony Metzer QC is one of the leading silks in civil actions against the police, with cases appearing in the High Court, County Court and the Court of Appeal. He has also been instructed as leading counsel in two substantial misfeasance claims against police forces.
Anthony’s work encompasses claims for Claimants in professional negligence and contractual claims, in particular solicitor’s negligence, and libel and inquests.
Anthony was recently instructed as main leading counsel in what is believed to be the UK’s largest civil action against the police: Wayne Pugh & Others v Commissioner of Police of South Wales, which arose from the well-publicised and criticised prosecution of the ‘The Cardiff Three’, following the murder of a prostitute, Lynette White. Anthony represented 8 out of 15 Claimants in proceedings, which lasted three months and involved over one million documents.
- Habib v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2017) (Oxford CC)–Mr Ullah died during a forceful arrest made by the police. Anthony Metzer QC originally appeared in the inquest proceedings into his death concluded on 2 March 2015, in which the jury reached a narrative conclusion of misadventure and were highly critical of the police conduct both in respect of his initial control and restraint and then in respect of his after-care. Anthony Metzer QC ultimately appeared as leading counsel for Mrs Habib on behalf of Mr Ullah’s estate in a disputed action against the police for assault and breach of Articles 3 and 8 of theECHR, which was listed for a three-week trial. He was able to successfully secure a substantial settlement for the family, inclusive of an apology.
- B (anonymised) – Anthony represented the Claimant in an unusual claim for damages arising out of an incident whereby the Defendant breached confidentiality. The Claimant had entrusted the Defendant, her community psychiatric nurse, with highly personal and sensitive information about herself. The Defendant received an award for his work and he disclosed details of the Claimant’s personal life which were published in a Press Release, causing the exacerbation of her psychiatric condition. The claim was settled with Anthony’s assistance, on excellent terms for the Claimant.
- Makinde v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2017) (CLCC) –Anthony represented the Claimant at trial in a fully contested action against the police for assault and battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. It was argued that the police officers were not acting within their powers under the Road Traffic Act at the time they sought to seize the Claimant’s vehicle and therefore they were not acting in the execution of their duty when they arrested the Claimant for obstructing them in the execution of their duty.
- Serafin v Malkiewicz & Ors  EWHC 2992 (QB) (24 November 2017) (High Court). Anthony Metzer QC acted for the Defendant newspaper and proprietors in a fully-contested libel and misuse of private information trial which lasted for 8 days in the High Court. The case involved7 hours of cross-examination of the Claimant, which was described by Mr Justice Jay as a ‘skilful and patient’ cross-examination. He successfully defended the claim for damages and injunctive relief on the basis of truth, public interest and lack of privacy.
- Boyle v Chief Constable of Hampshire (2016) (Winchester CC): Fully contested claim for damages for assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution arising out of a football incident which will proceed as a probable three-week trial in early2018, pending an interlocutory appeal in the Court of Appeal.
- Pugh & Others v Chief Constable of South Wales Police (2015): Acting as leading counsel with two junior counsels for 8 of 15 Claimants in the UK’s largest action against the police, arising from the collapsed prosecution of the ‘Cardiff Three’.
- Christmas Island, War Pensions Appeal (2015) Supreme Court: Leading counsel in a substantial claim brought against the Ministry of Defence. The veterans were exposed to extremely harmful nuclear testing on Christmas Island during the 1950s; the case involved complex evidence from experts of different fields, including nuclear physics and meteorology.
- M (anonymised) & Others v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2015): A heavily contested, complex action against the police concerning widespread corruption and police connections with a notorious criminal gang.
- Mr Lea Leighton v Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary  High Court (QB): Civil action relating to social services records in respect of unproven sexual allegations.
- McDonnell v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2014)  EWCA Civ 573: Considered excessive force by police as invariably “grossly disproportionate”, involving novel Article 3 and 6 ECHR submissions.
- Walker v Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis  EWCA Civ 897 UPDATE – Following a successful application for leave to appeal at Central London County Court, Anthony appeared in the Court of Appeal and won the appeal in respect of damages for false imprisonment. The complex legal arguments, which flowed from the first instance Judge’s findings of fact, have resulted in Walker becoming now one of the leading cases in this area of the law.
- Bailey v Commission of Police for the Metropolis (2012) Central London County Court: Successful recent trial for assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
- R v HM Court Service ex parte Hunter (2012) Upper Tier Tribunal: Successful Judicial Review concerning a CICA Claim rejection which had denied a claim as the Claimant was too slow to bring an allegation of rape.
- D v Marriot, Virgin Active, Commission of Police (2012) Central London County Court: A trial for sexual assault and failure to protect the Claimant.
- Buckley v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police & Ollivierre & Ors v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police & Another (2010 / 2011) Oxford County Court; CLCC; Court of Appeal  EWCA Civ 356: Instructed in two of the leading cases in the Court of Appeal determining what constitutes objective reasonable grounds to arrest.
- Ryder-Large v King (2010)  EWHC 3404 (QB): Acted for Claimant in an unprecedented multiple malicious prosecution claims (29 separate allegations).
- Hunt v AB  EWHC 2724 [QB];  EWCA Civ 1092 (CA): Successful leading counsel in the High Court for a Defendant in a malicious prosecution claim brought against a woman who claimed to be a rape victim, who was subject to an unprecedented claim by her alleged rapist. The Judgment was upheld in the Court of Appeal. The case had huge potential ramifications for rape victims in the future and received national publicity in the press and media.
- Morton Insurance v Sidhu (2008) Courts of Justice  EWHC 417: Civil claim involving an allegation of insurance fraud by an ex-employee.
Anthony Metzer QC is a highly distinguished and established silk in criminal defence work with considerable appellate and Privy Council experience. He has a substantial criminal practice, principally in murder and manslaughter, serious offences of a sexual nature and drug offences. He also specialises in fraud and money laundering allegations and has extensive experience in health and safety prosecutions.
Prior to obtaining silk, Anthony had been listed as a leading junior in every edition of the Legal 500 since 2007 and is presently listed under the headings of general crime and criminal fraud.
His criminal practice includes high-profile cases such as the ‘Nigella Lawson Case’, where he successfully represented the first of two sisters charged with defrauding their employers, Ms Lawson and Charles Saatchi.
- R v P (Anonymised) (2017) (Snaresbrook Crown Court)– Anthony, instructed by the RASSO unit, has prosecuted a police officer accused of historic indecent assault. He will be prosecuting the Defendant in July separately on two counts of rape.
- R v Procter (2017) Liverpool Crown Court–Anthony was leading counsel defending in a murder trial involving the shocking and particularly violent death of a young woman when the Defendant was under the influence of cocaine. Upon advice, the Defendant changed his plea at trial and he received a substantially reduced tariff sentence.
- R v Ledesma (2016) Southward Crown Court – Anthony was leading counsel representing a nurse who faced two trials for gross negligence manslaughter for a fatal blood transfusion error. The case raised complex issues as to whether the events amounted to gross negligence, and relating to causation. Ultimately, he was able to successfully ensure that his client did not receive a custodial sentence despite the general guidelines for offences of this type.
- R v Beadman (2016) Nottingham Crown Court: Leading counsel in defending the murder, rape and false imprisonment of a school girl. Highly publicised case.
- R v Dalli (2016) Manchester Crown Court: 17-year old boy successfully defended on allegation of conspiracy to murder.
- R v Khan (2016) Manchester Crown Court: Leading counsel defending a husband accused of the murder of his wife.
- R v Jason Podesta (2016) Chichester Crown Court: Allegation of historic rape.
- R v Ledesma (2016) Southwark Crown Court: Leading counsel defending a nurse accused of unlawful killing after she transferred the wrong type of blood to the deceased. Re-trial in November 2016.
- R v Hoyle (2015) Chester Crown Court: Leading counsel defending in a brutal murder trial, known as the ‘Facebook Reunion Murder’, featuring in the BBC documentary, ‘The Prosecutors’.
- R v Jordan Daley (2015) Central Criminal Court: Leading counsel in murder trial.
- R v Purkins & Others (2014) Central Criminal Court: Leading counsel defending in a case involving the death a private gym user after consuming ‘DNP’, a toxic pesticide.
- R v Grillo & Grillo (2013) Isleworth Crown Court: Successfully defending one of two sisters charged with defrauding Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson.
- R v Zinkevicius (2013) Central Criminal Court: Leading counsel in murder trial.
- R v Konigshofer (2012) Wood Green Crown Court: Conspiracy to rape in the Haredi community.
- R v McGrath (2009) Manchester Crown Court: Vast money-laundering allegation. The client was a former Deputy Chairman of Preston Borough Council.
- R v Etchu-Abangma (2009) Wood Green Crown Court: Health and safety prosecution concerning death of vulnerable young person in care home.
- R v Gomulu (2008 / 2009) Central Criminal Court and Court of Appeal: Murder.
Anthony Metzer QC practises primarily at appellate level. Since 2002, he has also been sitting part-time as an Immigration Judge at the First Tier Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber, which gives him unparalleled expertise.
- Secretary of State for the Home Department v Banger – C-89/17 – Judgment of the CJEU
- Anthony was also interviewed by Lexis Nexis on the Banger CJEU judgment.
- Secretary of State for the Home Department v Banger – C-89/17 – Opinion of the Advocate-General of the CJEU
- Banger (Unmarried Partner of British National : South Africa)  UKUT 125 (IAC) (30 March 2017) – Led Sanaz Saifolahi, also of Goldsmith Chambers. The questions included in the Reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union include whether the rationale in Surinder Singh applies to the unmarried partner of a British National. Furthermore, following the case of Sala the jurisdiction of the Tribunal in appeals by Extended Family Members and whether the Regulations are consistent with the Citizen’s Directive in this regard.
- KE (Nigeria) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 1382 – Anthony, leading Alexis Slatter, also of Goldsmith Chambers, appeared in an appeal from the Secretary of State for the Home Department against a decision of the Upper Tribunal (‘UT’) to revoke a deportation order made against the Respondent. Anthony successfully resisted the SSHD’s submissions that, inter alia, the UT erred in holding that a person who is sentenced to a hospital order combined with a restriction order for an indefinite period does not fall within the provisions of section 117D (4) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act (‘NIAA’) 2002 which defines “a period of imprisonment”.
- RK (Burundi) v SSHD (2014) (Court of Appeal) – Anthony acted as leading counsel on behalf of the Appellant in an appeal against a refusal of a declaration of unlawful detention. RK had continued to be detained following a refusal for his return by the only country ascertained for the purpose of carrying out a deportation order, and for a period of time which was no longer justified under the Hardial Singh Principles (R v Governor of Durham Prison, ex parte Hardial Singh  1 WLR 704)
- S (2016) (FTT) – Anthony acted on behalf of the Appellant in an interesting and legally complex appeal relying upon Treaty provisions against a refusal to grant her a Residence Card as an Extended Family Member and as a primary carer. The decision is awaited.
Anthony Metzer QC was instructed on three major inquests in 2015. One of these inquests became the subject of a BBC Panorama programme, exploring issues including the death of an Asian man where excessive police force was used upon arrest. The other inquests were regarding the tragic death of a 13-year old girl following a high-speed police chase and a suspicious death in Germany possibly involving anti-Semitism which attracted international media attention.
- Shestopal (2017) (WLCC) – Anthony, acting pro bono, represented the widow of Mr Shestopal, a retired solicitor and was able following questioning to make successful submissions to the Coroner who concluded in a narrative finding that Mr Shestopal’s nurse’s improper removal of a vascath (a flexible plastic tube inserted into a vein) led directly to his heart attack and his subsequent death.
- Abiona (2017) (Maidstone CC) – Acting for the family in an inquest, Anthony was able to demonstrate to the Assistant Coroner serious issues about the training and care provided in an emergency tracheotomy replacement. The Assistant Coroner concluded in a narrative finding that the death was accidental but contributed to by neglect, having made, inter alia, a finding of gross failure on the part of the carer in her actions after the deceased had his tracheotomy dislodged.
- Ullah (2015): Acting for the family in a highly charged inquest into the death of a man during a routine stop-and-search, which later featured on Panorama.
- Was (2015): Acting for the family of a 13-year-old killed in a collision arising from a high-speed police pursuit.
- Duggan (2015): This high-profile inquest explored the suspicious death of Mr Duggan after attending a conference by the anti-Semitic La Rouche movement.