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Michael Turner QC

  • Call: 1981
  • Silk: 2002
Michael Turner QC
Legal 500 UK Awards 2015: Winner
  "A proper devil's advocate."
Legal 500 UK

What others say

“He defends in murder and protest cases.”
Legal 500 2017

“Dedicated, incredibly hard-working and robust in court.”
Chambers UK 2017

“His work ranges from baby-shaking deaths to protest matters.”
Legal 500 2016

“He is an extremely astute operator in court. He has a very good brain, is immensely hard-working and is very thorough.”
Chambers UK 2016

“A proper devil’s advocate.”
Legal 500 2015

“He is a tenacious lawyer, who is dedicated and incredibly hard-working.”
Chambers UK 2015

“A hugely experienced trial and appellate advocate.”
Legal 500 2014

Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association in 2012-13, Michael Turner QC has been very active in voicing the profession’s concerns. He maintains a formidable reputation for criminal defence work, and is especially good on appellate matters and baby shaking cases.
Chambers UK 2014

A “heavyweight QC” with a “brilliant, intellectual legal brain” and “a lot of gravitas.” He has extensive experience of both trial and appellate work and his expertise is often sought for referrals from the Criminal Cases Review Commission. He is also a noted specialist when it comes to allegations of baby shaking, his appearance in R v Chana Al-Alas being an example of his efforts in this direction.
Chambers UK 2013


Michael Turner has been described by his peers “as a barrister who can secure a result no others could”. He has a reputation for extreme hard work, extraordinary commitment to a case and for his inventiveness and tenacity. He is a hugely experienced trial and appellate advocate. In addition to pursuing his own 1st instance cases to appeal he is sought after on referrals from the Criminal Cases Review Commission. He has specialised in complex and difficult criminal cases throughout his career as a barrister ranging from multi-million pound fraud to multiple murder. His ability to master intricate and diffuse scientific expertise has been amply demonstrated in his success in a number of recent cases of alleged “baby shaking”. He has appeared in the English and Northern Irish Court of Appeal in some of their biggest cases both as a silk and a junior. He has been brought into in civil cases where difficult and robust cross-examination has been required.


Michael was brought up in the law centre movement working at both North Kensington Law centre and Harlesden Advice centre before coming to the Bar. Those early experiences of assisting both individuals and communities to secure the justice denied them fuelled a passion in Michael to fight against injustice in whatever form and he has always sought Chambers with a similar ethos. Michael was a tenant at both Cloisters (the chambers of John Platts-Mills QC, David Turner-Samuels QC and Laura Cox QC), and 14 Tooks Court (the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC), before joining Garden Court Chambers in July 2003.

Other activities

Michael’s passion for justice has led him to become a leading advocate for the Bar. He is a former Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, having been elected as it’s vice-chair in 2011. His strident views on behalf of those reliant on the publicly funded Bar have received considerable press coverage and you can access his media coverage on the links below. His pursuit of justice doers not end with the Bar and he has supported just community campaigns in Dorset, a county close to his heart (see link below). Michael was a keen and successful sportsman in his youth playing both rugby, tennis and squash at county level. In later years he coached both rugby and tennis only recently hanging up his boots as a rugby coach. He is an avid Arsenal supporter and passionate family man with three successful children. Michael is a founder member and co-ordinator of the Edward Quist-Arcton Trust, which provides an annual scholarship for black South African lawyers.

Notable cases

1st Instance

  • R v Carter & Cox (Guildford Crown Court – alleged child abuse – widely reported in the media)
  • R v Miah (CCC alleged baby shaking murder)
  • R v Shripka (CCC alleged baby shaking murder)
  • R v Lindo (Bristol CC multiple murder and attempted murder)
  • R v Joof (Leicester CC Alleged gang associated murder)
  • R v Jovetic (CCC Pink Panther Diamond robbery and attempted murder)
  • R v Labastide (CCC Alleged gang associated murder )
  • R v Richmond (CCC Alleged gang associated murder )
  • R v Santharatnam (CCC Alleged gang associated murder )
  • R v Esprit (CCC Alleged gang associated murder )
  • R v Vujovic (CCC Murder and kidnap )
  • R v Mehmet Goren (CCC alleged honour killing of daughter )
  • R v Al-alas & Wray (ground-breaking allegation of child murder, which has led to a wider appreciation of rickets in both the criminal and family courts)
  • R v Graham (allegation of triple murder arising out of the Birmingham riots)
  • R v Akbar CCC (murder)
  • R v Sivanesam CCC (murder)
  • R v Yiannakas (VAT fraud and confiscation)

Court of Appeal

  • R v Fulton (appeal from Northern Irelands longest running murder trial involving multiple terrorist offences)
  • R v Jeremy Bamber (appeal against wrongful conviction on multiple murder)
  • R v Hagans (West Midlands Serious Crime Squad)
  • R v Wilson (West Midlands Serious Crime Squad)
  • R v Browning (M 50 Murder)
  • R v Hickery and others (murder of Carl Bridgewater)
  • R v Twitchell (murder confession arising from torture by the West Midlands serious crime squad)
  • R v Hoshan and others (the Iraqi Hijack case)
  • R v Brown (West Midlands Serious Crime Squad)
  • R v Joof (gang related murder appeal on grounds of non-disclosure)
  • R v Santharatnam (appeal on grounds of non-disclosure)

Divisional Court

Connolly v Dale [1996] 1 Cr App R 200DC (only known case of a police officer being found to be in contempt for seeking to prevent a solicitor from interviewing witnesses prior to the police conduct of an identification parade)

Privy Council

R v Marvin Murphy Case No. 40701 (Appeal from Bahamas, instructed as leading counsel)