Michael specialises in all areas of criminal work. He has particular expertise defending in serious cases such as armed robberies, manslaughter, murder, public order disturbances and large scale importation of drugs. Michael also has experience of defending in complex fraud, including banking frauds involving international agencies, mortgage frauds and DSS frauds in which he has defended both professional and lay clients.
Michael has a special interest in all issues affecting human rights. He has particular expertise in those issues affecting minority communities. His experience to date means that he is well versed to undertake cases using the Human Rights Act 1998.
Michael has led in many of the serious cases that he has been instructed in.
R v Michael Laidlaw, Woolwich Crown Court
Case involved significant quantity of drugs found in defendant’s room, he was arrested with co-defendant in local park. Drugs were recovered from a waste bin where they had both been standing by. The co-defendant pleaded guilty. Client was found not guilty by the jury last week.
“My son was charged with 4 counts of intent to supply A & B class joint enterprise, on all 4 counts my son was found not guilty. The service my son received from Michael hall was first class – he was on point every step of the way, I felt his passion and professionalism in the court room. I would highly recommend him. Thank you for your passionate service inside the court room, your professional attitude and your excellent service. 5 stars.”
R v Odunsi, Southwark Crown Court
Cyber gang conspiracy to commit fraud using stolen credit cards. Extent of the conspiracy £1.25 million. Client’s role was to use stolen credit card details to purchase expensive rolex watches passed the custody threshold however, persuaded judge to impose community sentence.
R v Osborn, Sheffield Crown Court
Conspiracy to supply heroin in Sheffield area. Client had a trial was convicted case was overwhelming. However, got him a very good sentence.
R v Sharma, Isleworth Crown Court
Client sort to kidnap female off the street. Evidence was overwhelming, however, got client a lenient sentence.
R v Williams, Blackfriars Crown Court
Allegation of rape. Complainant unreliable detailed DSC requesting disclosure of previous allegations complainant had made. As a result prosecution reviewed the case and offered no evidence judge ordered not guilty verdict. Client very happy with outcome as if convicted looking at 5-7 years.
R v Khara, Woolwich Crown Court
Possession of Crack cocaine with intent to supply. Drugs all over flat with money and scales. Client’s case was that he was there to smoke cannabis and not involved in Class A drugs supply gave evidence to that effect. Jury found him not guilty. Great result against the odds.
R v Stewart, Blackfriars Crown Court
Prison mutiny case as Highdow prison. Prisoners protesting against Government cuts that meant 24 hour “bang up” no association no education and no hot meals. Barracaded themselves into a cell to have “ peaceful protest” against new prison regime. After 2 week trial client did not give evidence, however found not guilty.
Somali national charged with “neglect” of elderly pensioner in her care. CCT footage was the main evidence. As a result of disclosure requests prosecution reviewed the case and offered o evidence against her. Judge directed not guilty verdict.
R v Stewart, Inner London Crown Court (2015)
Possession of gun prohibited weapon. Client’s case was that she did not know that her friends had brought Gun to her flat. Three co- defendants found guilty sentenced to 5/6 and 7 years. My client gave evidence and was acquitted. Client and her family were delighted with the result.
“I first met Michael Hall on the 5 December 2014. He was representing me. On the 25 July 2014 Trident Officers executed a Firearms warrant at my address. I was in my house with three other male friends. Trident Officers found a firearm in my living room concealed in a man’s bag. We were arrested and charged with Possession of a Fireman under the Firearm’s Act. All four of us pleaded not guilty and were sent to jail on remand.
It was a real eye opener for me. I was taken away from my daughter who was seven months at the time. My mind was all over the place. I was granted bail from prison on the 4 August 2014. I was placed on electronic curfew (TAG) as part of my bail conditions.
We all went to trial in January 2015. Two days into the trial two of the males plead guilty. I was still on trial along with the other male. I had to give evidence. I was nervous, emotional and just wanting this nightmare to end. Michael was calm and confident in me taking the stand. He spoke to me before I took the stand reassuring me that justice will prevail, I was innocent the whole time but it is another thing when the jury decides if you get a guilty or not. I went on the stand and gave my evidence. The next day Michael told me he was proud of me. He was proud at how I handled myself on the stand. My response to all questions asked, I was under pressure because I knew in my heart how serious the offence was.
Michael gave his closing arguments and I can say he fought my corner 100%. He used all prosecution evidence and turned it back on them. He went the extra mile for me. It wasn’t just about winning another case it was about justice to him. He taught me how to handle myself under pressure and for that I am forever grateful.
I can never thank him enough for all the hard work and dedication he put into building my case and helping prove my innocence. On the 16 January 2015, I was found not guilty and it was all over. The odds were against me the whole time because it was my address but Michael built a very strong case, which backfired on the prosecution.
I am now studying Business Law at University and focusing on my daughter and it is all down to Michael and God. He is a great guy and a serious barrister. Anyone who is represented by him, just know he is putting his whole being into working for you and getting that ‘Not Guilty’ result.”
Crown Court cases
Murder and violent offences
R v Ali, Central Criminal Court (2012)
Assisted in the conduct of the defence. The defendant was charged with murder. The defendant had a dispute with the victim over the theft and destruction of the defendant’s car. A month after the theft of the car the victim was seen in a bookmakers in Old Kent. A group of about 10 youths entered the bookmakers their faces covered and he was stabbed to death in the shop. The whole incident was captured on CCTV. It was both the prosecution and one co-defendant’s case, that the defendant could be seen on CCTV with the knife and had inflicted the fatal wound. The defendant was convicted. It was a very strong prosecution case.
R v Dadd, Harrow Crown Court (2012)
The defendant had been protecting his son who had been the victim of bullying by a local gang. His case was that he had called the police who had ignored his concerns; when his son was again attacked he confronted the gang and was attacked but he defended himself. He was charged with robbery and GBH. After a short retirement the jury found him not guilty.
R v Garroway
Young woman charged with grievous bodily harm (GBH) of her racist violent neighbour. Her case was that she acted in self defence. Jury did not take long to find the accused not guilty.
R v Wright, Norwich Crown Court
Conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent. Represented a defendant who was charged with setting up the victim to get a serious beating as a result of a local feud.
R v Fletcher, Birmingham Crown Court
Murder and a series of armed robberies. High profile case. Defendant engaged in a series of armed robberies in the Midlands that culminated in the death of a young man who was merely passing at the time of the robbery. He had witnessed the armed robbery and was shot outside a building society in Birmingham City Centre.
R v Brown, Central Criminal Court
Murder. Drug-related incident, the defendant had been set up by his friend who organised an attack upon him where he had to use a knife to defend himself which led to the death of one of his attackers.
R v Lubango, Central Criminal Court
Murder. Argument on the bus that led to the stabbing to death of a youth.
R v Watson, Birmingham Crown Court
Birmingham race riot case, between members of the Afro-Caribbean and Asian community. Represented one of the main defendants a prominent member of a local gang. He was charged with attempted murder, GBH, riot and robbery.
R v Chan, Snaresbrook Crown Court
S18 stabbing. Stabbing in the streets in broad day light witnessed by many distressed members of the public, incident between rival gang members.
R v Baptiste, Harrow Crown Court
S18 assault: the defendant was charged with stabbing the victim several times in the chest.
R v Nasir
A Somalian mother charged with child cruelty against two young children. The defence was reasonable chastisement. Michael made disclosure requests of the prosecution for medical, school and social service records. Those requests put the prosecution on the back foot and they eventually offered no evidence. Defendant was found not guilty on all counts. Michael warned her as to her future conduct outlining that acceptable punishment in Somalia is not acceptable behaviour in the UK; a very happy client.
R v Wallace
18-year-old defendant charged and convicted of raping a 14 year old. The issue was consent. It was a difficult case as the defendant’s mother asked the girl how old she was as she was entering the defendant’s bedroom. Convicted after a trial; the defendant gave evidence denying that he forced her to have sexual intercourse. He was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.
R v Nembar, Wood Green Crown Court
Allegation of rape: The defendant had seen the victim in the North London area and had tried to chat her up. She rebuffed his advances. It was the prosecution case that the defendant kidnapped her and took her to his friend’s house where he raped her. The issue was consent. The jury found the defendant not guilty of kidnap but guilty of rape. Sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. A very strong case as the victim had reported the incident to the police several years before the defendant was arrested. On a “cold case review” by the police his DNA, having been taken when he was arrested, matched the sample found on the complainant years earlier. The defendant had no answer to a reason as to why she would make a false complaint.
R v Newcombe
Defendant with a long history of sexual assaults on women pleaded guilty to s18 assault on female victim who sustained horrific injuries during the attack. Broken jaw, fractured eye socket and fractured vertebra. Sentenced to a 15-year extended sentence. The evidence was overwhelming as he was seen walking with the victim shortly before she was attacked and he had the victim’s blood on his training shoe.
R v Sharpe, Isleworth Crown Court (2010)
Instructed as leading junior. An historic sexual abuse allegation. The defendant faced a 22 count indictment including, rape, false imprisonment, grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
R v Lancaster, Inner London Crown Court
R v Thanabalasingham, Portsmouth Crown Court
Rape. The defendant and his co-accused’s case was that the complainant had consented to sexual intercourse.
R v Cooper, Kingston Crown Court
Rape: the defendant was accused of anal rape upon a young woman that he had a casual relationship with.
R v Henderson, Salisbury Crown Court
High profile case that had occurred in 2001 and appeared on Crime Watch BBC. Two young people had been returning from a night out in Salisbury and had been walking down a footpath in the early hours of the morning. They were assaulted by a man who produced a gun hit the boyfriend over the head with the butt of the gun and ordered the female to perform oral sex on him. When he ejaculated she managed to retain some of the semen. The officers were doing a cold case review and found a DNA match. The defendant was arrested as a result of his DNA being found in semen which the complainant had retained. The defendant was charged with robbery, indecent assault, false imprisonment and possession of an imitation firearm. After a trial the defendant was convicted. It was a very strong prosecution case as the likelihood that it was not the defendant’s DNA was one in a billion.
R v Jesus, Blackfriars Crown Court (2012)
The defendant and three co-defendants charged with conspiracy to supply £2 million worth of cocaine from Rio de Janeiro Brazil, into the United Kingdom. The plan was for the courier to take a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, where they would be met by the defendant and the principal defendant. The plan was to take the Euro Star to Kings Cross. The prosecution eventually offered no evidence against the defendant and a not guilty verdict was recorded.
R v Sagir, Wolverhampton Crown Court (2012)
The defendant and co-defendant charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine with a street value of over £1.3 million. After many disclosure requests and PII hearing the judge ordered that the prosecution meet all the defence’s requests. The prosecution appealed the judge’s ruling to the Court of Appeal, who upheld the judge’s ruling. On the first day of trial the prosecution offered no evidence and not guilty verdicts were entered.
R v Ali Preston, Crown Court
Four-week targeted police operation on Michael’s client for the street dealing of Class A drugs over several years. The evidence involved an informant who gave evidence for the prosecution, seizure of drugs and covert police surveillance. The defendant gave evidence and called evidence to explain his lifestyle. However, the prosecution case was very strong. Defendant convicted sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment, based on the recent Court of Appeal case of R v Khan 2013.
R v Hysenlika
Operation Ninjask: Albanian defendant case concerned the importation of over 100 kilograms of cocaine from the continent into the UK with an estimated street value of £30 to £40 million. The investigation was conducted over a two year period by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). The evidence against the defendant was observation of drug transaction involving kilograms of cocaine, £7,000 found on him when arrested, incriminating text messages and three kilograms of high-grade cocaine found at his home address when he was arrested. Michael persuaded the judge that he played a significant rather than a leading role and was not the main man and that therefore there should be a significant difference in sentence. Main man sentenced to 15 years on a plea. The defendant was sentenced to 10 years and nine months.
R v Thomas, Williams Harrow Crown Court
Case before HHJ Aaron and jury January 2013. The defendant was charged with possession with intent to supply heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis, total street value £20,000. Territorial Support Group (TSG) officers acting under a warrant raided a flat on the Stonebridge Estate. When they gained forced entry one man jumped out of a window on to a ledge leaving a money trail. The defendant was in the living room with another. Police found drugs scales and £8,000 cash in the flat. It was the defendant’s case that it was not his flat, that he was there to purchase drugs and that he was a user not a supplier of drugs. The jury deliberated for four hours and found the defendant not guilty on all counts.
R v Hamilton, Liverpool Crown Court (2010)
“Operation Greenage” Instructed as a leading junior. Multi-handed case split into several trials. Prosecution case was that it was the largest detected conspiracy to import Class A drugs and firearms into the United Kingdom from Holland to the north west of England.
“Operation Tartrate” Southwark Crown Court (2010 )
Multi-handed case split into two trials. Large scale conspiracy to import cigarettes from Eastern Europe into United Kingdom leading to the evasion of £9 million of duty.
R v Wilson, Central Criminal Court
Murder and conspiracy to supply heroin. Represented principal defendant of a Jamaican gang involved in supplying heroin in west London. Case investigated by officers from Operation Trident.
R v Reid, Birmingham Crown Court
Largest organised importation of cannabis from Holland into the West Midlands (Birmingham).
R v Foa, Snaresbrook and Portsmouth Crown Court
Organised supplying of Class A drugs heroin and crack cocaine, in London and Portsmouth.
Fraud and blackmail
R v Drewe, Norwich Crown Court (2012)
The defendant was charged with money laundering; after a three-month trial she was acquitted. The prosecution case was that the defendant’s husband a notorious fraudster had conned an elderly woman out of a significant amount of money telling her that he would invest it for her. A £35,000 cheque had been paid into the defendant’s account, which was the basis of the case against her.
R v Lahuoag, Reading Crown Court (2012)
Defendant charged with money laundering. There were four co-defendants, the trial lasted three weeks. The defendant allowed a £45000 cheque to be paid into his bank. The prosecution case was that the principal defendant defrauded an elderly couple out of their life savings of £360,000. The money by way of cheques and banker’s drafts were then paid into individual accounts. It was a strong prosecution case. All defendants either pleaded guilty or were found guilty by the jury.
R v Purwaiz, Southwark Crown Court (2012)
The defendant was charged with mortgage fraud. The prosecution case being that he supplied false financial details to obtain a mortgage. The defence was that all the information had been filled out by the mortgage broker and that he had not supplied false financial information. The jury found him not guilty.
R v Pun, Ipswich Crown Court (2010)
Instructed as a leading junior. Multi-handed trial, large scale conspiracy to breach Trade Mark and Copyright of the owner without consent. The prosecution case was that the defendant was involved in the importation of counterfeit goods from the Far East into the United Kingdom.
R v Gunduz, Woolwich Crown Court
Blackmail: represented a defendant who was involved in criminal activity in the Kurdish/Turkish community in Green Lanes North London. The defendant was alleged to be a member of organised crime in the Turkish/Kurdish community.
R v Braha, Wood Green Court
Conspiracy to sell counterfeit goods in breach of Trade Mark value over £300,000.
R v Short, Snaresbrook Crown Court
Conspiracy to produce counterfeit Bank of England bank notes value over £8 million the largest in the UK. Represented the principal defendant.
R v Riatt, Kingston Crown Court
Money laundering, mortgage fraud and benefit fraud.
R v Acato Ayok, Woolwich Crown Court
Armed robbery and possession of firearms. The victim was lured to a secluded car park in south London, attacked at gunpoint and forced into the boot of his car. The victim managed to escape to raise the alarm. The case turned on mobile phone and cell site evidence placing the defendant at the scene. Stolen property of the victim was found at the defendant’s address. A very strong prosecution case: defendant convicted after trial and sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment.
R v Urbanek, Isleworth Crown Court
Polish defendant charged with aggravated burglary, s18 assault, GBH and possession of firearm. Allegation was that he broke into a former flat mate’s house and attacked him with a gun and hammer. Defence’s case was that the alleged victim owed the defendant £3000 which he had previously stolen and that the defendant was there to buy cocaine. When the defendant asked for the money he was attacked and, at all times, was acting in self-defence. Found not guilty: the judge said he was very lucky because if he had been convicted he was looking at between nine and 12 years’ imprisonment. A very good result.
R v Wilkinson, Kingston Crown Court
A series of Securicor cash-in-transit robberies in south east England, that were investigated by the Flying Squad.
R v Mypia, Harrow Crown Court
Possession of firearm to commit robbery.
“My son was charged with four counts of intent to supply A & B class joint enterprise, on all four counts my son was found not guilty. The service my son received from Michael Hall was first class, he was on point every step of the way, I felt his passion and professionalism in the court room. I would highly recommend him. Thank you for your passionate service inside the court room, your professional attitude and your excellent service. Five stars.” – Lay Client
Before joining Garden Court Chambers, Michael lectured at South Bank University in criminal procedure and evidence and taught law at Erith College.
Michael is involved in the Jamaica Basic Schools Foundation, a UK registered charity. The main objective of the Foundation is to raise funds to provide school equipment for early year’s education.