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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.

Criminal Defence


Michael Goold is a specialist criminal defence barrister. He has particular expertise in cases involving serious violence, drugs and protest law. He has a strong appellate practice in the Court of Appeal and Crown Court.

He has a particular interest in cases involving police witnesses 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. 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, 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.

Notable Cases

Acting as junior alone

R v EG & others, 2019 (Wood Green Crown Court)
Represented defendant in a trial alleging multi-kilo supply of cannabis and cocaine.

R v TS & others, 2019 (Lewes Crown Court)
Multi-handed trial involving an alleged, vast enterprise of supplying “Spice” in prisons and laundering the proceeds.

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 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 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 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 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 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 BA, 2019 (Snaresbrook Crown Court)
Represented a defendant charged in a vast, multi-kilo conspiracy to supply class A drugs. The trial involved multiple evidential sources including cell-site, covert probe recordings, police surveillance and expert drug analysis. Led by Garry Green of Doughty Street Chambers.

R v CW & others, 2018 (Oxford Crown Court)
Represented a defendant charged with murder in a 10-handed trial involving allegations of inter-gang violence and the use of anonymous witnesses. Led by David Hislop QC of Doughty Street Chambers.

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) [2016] 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 BK & 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 IM & others, 2014 (Blackfriars Crown Court, Court of Appeal) [2014] 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.

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Criminal Appeals


Michael has built a strong practice in the Court of Appeal covering appeals against sentence, conviction and confiscation orders. He also acts in complex Crown Court appeals from the magistrates’ court.

His impressive legal knowledge and his ability to analyse the fundamental principles involved in a case mean he can be relied on to identify any arguable grounds of appeal. He is available to provide secondary advices for “out of time” appeals.

Notable Cases

Acting as junior alone

R v RB, 2019 (Court of Appeal)
Successfully appealed a 20-year extended sentence imposed for an extremely serious offence of s.18 GBH. Michael was instructed for a secondary advice nearly two years out of time. The extended sentence was quashed and replaced with a 15-year determinate sentence.

R v GG, 2018 (Court of Appeal) [2018] EWCA Crim 1061
Appeal against a £2.4m confiscation order, imposed after Appellant's conviction in a vast drugs conspiracy. The appeal considered the issue of proportionality, arising out of the Supreme Court case of Waya and subsequent authorities.

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) [2018] 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 SH, 2016 (Court of Appeal) [2016] EWCA Crim 1701
Successful appeal against sentence of 18 months' custody for an offence of dangerous driving. Reduced to nine months.

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Protest Rights


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. 

Michael is currently acting for individuals charged with offences arising out of the recent Extinction Rebellion protests in central London.

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, and trials involving controversial offences specific to demonstrations in Parliament Square.

Notable Cases

R v MO & others, 2019 (Snaresbrook Crown Court)
Represented a Kurdish political activist charged with affray and possession of an offensive weapon after attending a demonstration against a meeting of Turkish Government supporters. Defendant was acquitted after extensive cross-examination of police officers demonstrated that attendees of the meeting had attacked the demonstration.

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 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 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 KS & others, 2014 (Brighton Magistrates' Court)
Multi-handed, three-day trial arising out of the Balcombe anti-fracking protests involving 10 police witnesses.

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Michael joined Garden Court Chambers in May 2014 after completing a third six pupillage. Prior to joining the Bar, he 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 [2013] EWHC 1695 (Admin).


  • MA (Hons) Philosophy and Mathematics (First); University of Edinburgh
  • BVC (Outstanding); College of Law
  • GDL (Distinction); College of Law

Professional Membership

  • Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers (Vice Chair)
  • Criminal Bar Association (CBA)

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