Michael practises in criminal law and related areas of civil law. Since joining Garden Court Chambers in 2014 he has developed an impressive practice thanks to his formidable advocacy skills.
Michael has a strong ability to build a personal rapport with his clients, and fights tirelessly to secure the best results for them. Solicitors know they can trust him with difficult and vulnerable clients and still be assured positive results.
Michael is a specialist criminal defence barrister. He has particular expertise in cases involving serious violence, drugs and protest law. He has experience of appellate work in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal.
Michael has a particular interest in cases involving police complainants and protest cases. He has in-depth knowledge of police powers and public order law, developed during his time as a Criminal Justice Intern at JUSTICE, and has contributed to Westlaw’s legal encyclopaedia Insight on the issue of police use of force. He has represented defendants in trials arising out of the high-profile police operations surrounding anti-fracking protests at Balcombe in West Sussex and Brockham in Surrey, the “Cops Off Campus” demonstration at University of London in 2013, and trials involving controversial offences specific to demonstrations in Parliament Square.
Michael has an exclusively defence practice in extradition law, in which he has appeared in both the magistrates’ court and High Court. He has defended extradition requests under the Extradition Act 2003 from both EU and non-EU countries, and under the rarely used Extradition Act 1989.
Michael has been instructed in Parole Board hearings for prisoners serving both indeterminate sentences and recall under licence. He also has experience in adjudication hearings. He has expert knowledge of prison law and procedure.
Acting as junior alone
R v U, 2018 (Court of Appeal)
Successfully appealed against a sentence of 50 months’ custody for a 16 year old who had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob. The offence involved a series of moped-enabled robberies of mobile phones in central London in the summer of 2017, and had attracted a great deal of attention from the mainstream media at the time.
R v AA & others, 2018 (Court of Appeal)  EWCA Crim 134
Secured imminent release from custody for 18 year old man (17 at time of conviction). Originally sentenced to two years custody’ for an offence of robbery, Michael successfully appealed the sentence which was reduced to 10 months’ custody, amounting to time served.
R v U & others, 2017 (Southwark Crown Court)
Represented a vulnerable youth defendant with significant learning difficulties charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. The case involved over 100 “moped enabled robberies” of mobile phones in central London and drew significant media attention.
R v TH & others, 2017 (Staines Magistrates’ Court)
Three day, multi-handed trial for offences of obstructing the highway and obstructing a police officer arising from “slow-walking” protests at Brockham fracking site.
R v JH & another, 2017 (Oxford Crown Court)
Represented youth defendant in two handed trial of violent robbery offence.
R v AA, 2017 (Birmingham Crown Court)
Represented vulnerable defendant charged with s.18 GBH on a prison officer whilst the defendant was a serving prisoner. Defendant had significant physical and cognitive disabilities and required an intermediary throughout the trial proceedings.
R v HW & another, 2016 (Cardiff Crown Court)
Two day appeal against convictions for assaulting and obstructing a police constable at a demonstration against an arms fair held at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena in March 2016. Involved extensive submissions on police powers and the right to protest. Both convictions were quashed.
R v SH, 2016 (Court of Appeal)  EWCA Crim 1701
Successful appeal against sentence of 18 months’ custody for an offence of dangerous driving. Reduced to nine months.
R v OK & others, 2016 (Blackfriars Crown Court)
Defendant and four co-defendants charged with violent disorder arising out of a fight between two rival groups of football fans at Baker Street station. Successful application to dismiss on the basis of poor quality CCTV evidence.
R v RD & others, 2016 (Birmingham Crown Court)
16 year old defendant in a multi-handed violent robbery allegation. Prosecution offered no evidence on day one of trial after a successful application to exclude the entirety of the ID evidence on the grounds that the complainants’ viewing of the defendant on Facebook had contaminated the subsequent ID procedures.
R v LA, 2016 (Southwark Crown Court)
Robbery and ABH allegation. Trial involved complex issues regarding identification evidence, as the victim had inadvertently been given personal information regarding the defendant, and potentially seen images of the defendant on Facebook, prior to carrying out an identification procedure.
Poland v KK, 2016 (Westminster Magistrates’ Court)
Extradition request from Poland which proceeded under the rarely used Extradition 1989 due to the requested person being resident on the Isle of Man. Involved various technical, legal issues unique to the 1989 Act.
R v PR & others, 2015 (Westminster Magistrates’ Court)
Multi-handed, three day trial arising out of a protest on Parliament Square involving offences under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. The case involved complicated issues under the Human Rights Act and regarding the lawfulness of police officers’ actions.
R v JM & another, 2015 (Kingston Crown Court)
Defendant charged with s.18 GBH and possession of bladed article over alleged retaliatory attack involving a targeted stabbing.
R v MM, 2015 (Inner London Crown Court)
Defendant charged with drugs importation after being detained at Heathrow Airport carrying 4.25kg of cocaine.
R v MT, 2015 (Kingston Crown Court)
Defendant charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs. Disclosure requests resulted in the prosecution disclosing the involvement of a police informant in the defendant’s arrest. The trial proceedings involved a contested PII application.
R v BP, 2014 (Bromley Youth Court)
14 year old defendant of good character charged with sexual assault, common assault and public order offence. Required lengthy and careful cross-examination of juvenile complainant.
R v KS & others, 2014 (Brighton Magistrates’ Court)
Multi-handed, three-day trial arising out of the Balcombe anti-fracking protests involving 10 police witnesses.
R v MH, 2013 (Willesden Magistrates’ Court)
Burglary allegation against a defendant with severe mental health issues. Successfully argued that the defendant acted under duress.
Acting as led junior
R v CW & others, 2018 (Oxford Crown Court)
Currently representing a defendant charged with murder in a 10 handed trial at Oxford Crown Court. Led by David Hislop QC.
R v KI & others, 2017 (Oxford Crown Court)
Led by Nerida Harford-Bell in 11 handed, five month trial arising out of Operation Silk; a substantial investigation by Thames Valley Police into historic sex offences.
Poland v KW & others, 2016 (High Court)  1 WLR 3750
Led by Alun Jones QC in three handed extradition appeal before the Divisional Court. The appeal considered the circumstances in which a defendant subject to a suspended sentence who leaves the jurisdiction is to be considered a “fugitive”, and therefore unable to rely on the passage of time bar under s.14 Extradition Act 2003.
R v Kamal & others, 2015 (Southwark Crown Court)
Led by Marguerite Russell in a seven handed, two month trial arising out of Op. Herschel – an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Kidnap and Trafficking Unit into people trafficking into the UK.
R v Mezals & others, 2014 (Blackfriars Crown Court, Court of Appeal)  QB 745
Led by Di Middleton QC in multi-handed trial arising out of Op.Pheasant / Op.Endeavour – a joint operation conducted by the National Crime Agency, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and Cambridgeshire Constabulary. At the time it was the largest prosecution ever mounted in relation to unlicensed gangmaster activity under the Gangmasters Licensing Act 2004. Involved interlocutory appeal by Crown against a successful submission of no case to answer which resulted in new law regarding fraud by abuse of position under s.4 Fraud Act 2006.
Michael joined Garden Court Chambers in May 2014 after completing a third six pupillage.
Prior to joining the Bar, Michael spent 15 months as a paralegal at the well-known criminal defence firm Sonn Macmillan Walker. As well as providing him with valuable experience in criminal law and practice, he also developed an insight into the work and needs of professional clients. He also spent two months at JUSTICE as a Criminal Justice Intern.
Michael is passionate about social justice and is a committed activist for legal and non-legal campaigns. He is Vice Chair of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers.
Before starting his professional career, Michael excelled throughout his academic studies, attaining a first class degree at undergraduate level and achieving the highest grade in his year during his BVC.
- Westlaw Insight (2014), “Demonstrations: police use of reasonable force”.
- Socialist Lawyer journal (2009+), several articles and book reviews including an analysis of Mengesha v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  EWHC 1695 (Admin).
Awards and Prizes
- Top Student (2010): College of Law
- Buchannan Award (2010): Lincoln’s Inn
- Lord Denning Scholarship (2009): Lincoln’s Inn
- Lord Haldane Scholarship (2008): Lincoln’s Inn