Max Melsa

Call: 2015

Having practised in common law from pupillage onwards, Max now maintains a mixed practice of family and civil work.

Despite his relatively recent Call, Max has already appeared twice in the Court of Appeal, both in the Criminal and Family Division. His most recent appearance in Re: B was a case that set an enduring precedent for how family proceedings have taken place at interim hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to being called to the Bar he worked as a County Court Advocate, as well as working with Gerard McDermott QC on all aspects of high-value cases of catastrophic personal injury, in particular involving elements of travel law, cross-border or jurisdictional issues.

Expertise

Max appears in Public Law care proceedings, acting for Local Authorities in complex matters from initial to final hearings.

Max was instructed by the Local Authority in the appeal case of Re B (Children) (Remote Hearing: Interim Care Order) [2020] EWCA Civ 584 which set out guidance nationally as to the approach the courts should have to urgent hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also appears regularly for interveners and the Police and has a keen interest in matters involving disclosure between the criminal and family courts. Max was recently Junior Counsel in Re: I (a Child) which triggered a full review by the Police into disclosure processes in family proceedings involving significant Police investigation. The case involved complex matters that required multiple applications for Public Interest Immunity.

Notable Family Law cases


Acting for Local Authorities in cases with the following issues:

o Re: B – regarding issues in re-assessing a special guardian in the second proceedings brought within a short period of time.
o Re: N-S – proceedings involving a mother who was herself only a child, who had suffered long-term abuse within her own family.
o Re: B – successfully opposing the discharge of a Care Order, the application being made by the mother who had killed the children’s father.
o cross-allegations of domestic abuse.
o Re: M-R – mental health deterioration and self-harm.
o Re: B – case involving particularly complex needs of a child that resulted in the Local Authority making significant adaptations to the family home.
o Re: N – expert evidence on non-accidental injury.
o Re: C – use of the Advocates’ Toolkit and ground rules in proceedings involving a highly vulnerable mother.
o Re: M – proceedings involving three different fathers involving contentious issues regarding contact.

Acting for Respondents

o for the mother of a child that it was agreed was beyond parental control, arguing for the Local Authority to amend their care plan to a therapeutic residential unit.
o for a parent of a child whose mother was convicted of murdering her new partner.
o on behalf of a convicted sexual offender in care proceedings.
o for a client suffering from multiple personality disorder.
o acting for the Guardian in proceedings involving complex arguments regarding the mother’s capacity.

Max has a strong civil practice, advising and representing both Claimants and Defendants.

He was recently published in PI Focus Magazine (October 2021) following his success in a claim made under the Montreal Convention, which governs accidents that occur in the process of travelling via air carriage.

Max regularly advises and appears in fast-track personal injury claims, including where issues of fundamental dishonesty are raised. He has also represented clients at multi-track trials. Recent cases include:

  • advising as to contributory negligence and dependency of the family members of the deceased Claimant following a fatal motorcycle accident.
  • assisting in settling a claim where the Defendant had obtained evidence of the Claimant’s social media of her undertaking sporting activities during the prognosis period of her injuries.
  • successfully arguing for primary liability to be found in favour of a Claimant involved in a high-speed collision on a motorway.
  • obtaining damages for a Claimant who suffered multiple spinal fractures.
  • representing a fireman who suffered from heat exposure during training exercises.

Max is very capable of advising on issues involving:

  • Occupiers Liability Act
  • Highways Act
  • Road Traffic Act
  • Employers’ liability
  • Vicarious liability
  • Claims against public authorities

He has a great experience in Portal Claims, having previously worked as a Claims Handler in the insurance team at a global law firm. He is highly knowledgeable in representing parties in Stage 3 and disposal hearings, as well as drafting Advices on Quantum.

Notable Personal Injury cases


advising on behalf of a child Claimant in regards to quantum following a road traffic accident that caused the child to lose her hearing in one ear and partly her sense of smell.

obtaining damages for a Claimant who suffered multiple spinal fractures.

advising as to contributory negligence and dependency of the family members of the deceased Claimant following a serious motorcycle accident.

Max is able to bring his common law experience to representing clients at Inquests.

Recent cases:

  • Representing the family of the deceased following a motorcycle accident, whereby the Coroner made significant criticisms of Police’s conduct of their investigation.
  • Representing the Police following the murder of a young child by a father who had previous convictions for violent offences.
  • Representing the family of the deceased where the driver at fault had suffered from a medical episode, with expert evidence being called in regards to the effects of antidepressant medication on a driver diagnosed with lupus, and potential arguments of automatism.
  • Representing the Police following the death of a new-born baby, involving complex expert reports as to asphyxiation.

Representing the Police where the Deceased had been restrained for a prolonged period of time whilst under the influence of illicit substances.

Notable Inquests cases


Representing the family of the deceased following a motorcycle accident, whereby the Coroner made significant criticisms of Police’s conduct of their investigation.

Representing the family of the deceased where the driver at fault had suffered from a medical episode, with expert evidence being called in regards to the effects of antidepressant medication on a driver diagnosed with lupus, and potential arguments of automatism.

Representing the Police following the death of a new-born baby, involving complex expert reports as to asphyxiation.

Recent News

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. To see my privacy notice click here.

  • 2015: BPTC, BPP Law School Manchester
  • 2014: LLB (Hons) Law with Politics, University of Manchester

  • Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
  • Criminal Bar Association

  • Clerk to Bar Tribunal Adjudication Service

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