Michael Goold

Year of Call: 2010

"His attention to detail is excellent and his written work is exceptional."

Chambers UK, 2024 (Crime)

"He's efficient, hardworking, intelligent and really good on the law."

Chambers UK, 2024 (Crime)

"Michael is known for his tireless work ethic and commitment to his clients. He approaches each case with unwavering dedication, leaving no stone unturned in his pursuit of justice.

Legal 500, 2024 (Crime)

"His genuine care for the well-being of those he represents is evident in his compassionate and attentive approach to their legal matters."

Legal 500, 2024 (Crime)

"Michael knows a lot when it comes to protest law."

Chambers UK, 2023 (Protest Law)

"He is razor sharp, very good on his feet and has a fantastic eye for detail. He is a force to be reckoned with."

Chambers UK, 2023 (Protest Law)

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Michael is a highly regarded criminal defence barrister. He has developed an impressive reputation with solicitors and lay clients, thanks to his sharp intellect and 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 no matter how challenging the case.

Criminal Defence

Overview

Michael is a specialist criminal defence barrister. He has dedicated his professional career to defending those most in need. He has particular expertise in homicide, serious violence and drug cases.

Michael is regularly led in serious and high-profile criminal trials, particularly homicides. He has defended in six murder and attempted murder trials in the last 18 months, and is currently instructed in three which are ongoing.

Michael is ranked in Chambers & Partners 2024 and Legal 500 2024 as a leading junior in crime, and is available for public access instructions.

Notable Cases

Acting as junior alone

R v AJ, 2023 (Harrow Crown Court)
Six-week trial for perverting the course of justice in relation to a murder investigation after defendant and others allegedly setting fire to a car used in the fatal shooting.

R v AN, 2023 (Croydon Crown Court)
Represented defendant in seven-week trial for robbery and conspiracy to burgle. Defendant allegedly part of a Romanian gang who targeted 13 betting shops, off licences and other commercial premises.

R v DM, 2023 (Reading Crown Court)
Defendant charged with attempting to possess prohibited firearms and ammunition over plan to import handguns from the USA. Trial involved covert probe recordings and PII application from the prosecution.

R v LC, 2022 (Harrow Crown Court)
Represented an alleged leading gang member charged with firearms offences. Prosecution dropped the case after Michael successfully opposed a bad character application involving highly complex gang-related material.

R v PP, 2022 (Oxford Crown Court)
Multi-kilo class A drugs supply trial. Defendant alleged to have played a key role in the preparation and wholesale supply of drugs.

R v DA, 2021 (Kingston Crown Court)
Represented the lead defendant in a multi-handed trial regarding an alleged conspiracy to supply over 100kg cocaine. The case arose from an extensive police investigation in which over £5m in cash was seized, alleged to be the proceeds of crime.

R v GW, 2021 (Guildford Crown Court)
Represented an elderly defendant charged with serious, historic sexual offences against the defendant’s stepdaughters. Allegations dated back to the 60s and 70s and involved complex disclosure requests and extensive cross-examination.

R v KA & others, 2020 (Canterbury Crown Court)
Eight-handed, four-week money laundering trial related to a complex cyber fraud carried out against London Capital & Finance PLC.

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

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 MT, 2015 (Kingston Crown Court)
Trial involving supply of class A drugs where disclosure requests revealed the involvement of a police informant in the defendant's arrest resulting in contested PII application.

Acting as led junior

R v YN & others, 2024 (Southwark Crown Court)
Represented the second defendant in a £26m money laundering trial. The defendants allegedly transferred vast quantities of criminal money to various locations around the world using a series of Foreign Exchange companies.

R v KG, 2024 (Central Criminal Court)
Defendant charged with murder over the gang related fatal shooting of a man in Enfield, north London in 2018. This was the third trial arising from the shooting which required detailed analysis of the transcripts and evidence from the previous trials. Led by Garry Green KC of Doughty Street Chambers.

R v MT, 2023 (Central Criminal Court)
Successfully defended a youth charged with murder over the fatal stabbing of another teenager in a park outside their college. Defendant had been sentenced earlier in the same day as the fatal stabbing for possession of a bladed article and had been involved in an affray later the same day, all of which went before the jury. Led by Garry Green KC of Doughty Street Chambers.

R v LG, 2022 (Central Criminal Court)
Multi-handed murder trial involving the allegedly gang-related stabbing of a 16-year-old in north London. Led by Peter Wilcock KC. Defendant was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

R v OC, 2022 (Central Criminal Court)
Successfully defended the lead defendant in alleged murder of a 15-year-old. Offence alleged to be a result of a conflict between rival gangs in N19 area of London. Led by Mel Simpson KC of Doughty Street Chambers.

R v FR, 2022 (Central Criminal Court)
Multi-handed attempted murder trial involving the drive-by shooting of three victims in a gang related attack. Led by Bill Evans.

R v DR, 2022 (Reading Crown Court)
Historic murder and rape allegations dating back to the 1980s. Case involved enormous amounts of unused material due to multiple previous police investigations and an inquest which had been unable to conclude on a cause of death. Complex expert evidence regarding DNA, ropes and bindings, fibre analysis and pathology. Led by Michael Ivers KC.

R v DT, 2021 (Wood Green Crown Court)
Represented the lead defendant in a multi-kilo conspiracy to import and supply class A drugs. The central prosecution evidence was foreign phone intercept evidence provided by Dutch authorities. The case involves complex arguments regarding the admissibility of such evidence. Led by Anya Lewis KC.

R v EL, 2021 (Warwick Crown Court)
Instructed for the first defendant in five-handed, two-month murder and robbery trial, said to be a retaliatory attack between rival post-code gangs. Acquitted of murder. Led by Jonathan Higgs KC of 5KBW.

R v RD, 2020 (Kingston Crown Court)
Defendant charged with murder after killing another patient whilst sectioned at a mental health hospital. Involved complex expert evidence regarding the defendant’s mental state. Successfully argued for prosecution to accept plea to manslaughter by diminished responsibility and for the court to impose a hospital order. Led by Peter Wilcock KC

R v BA, 2019 (Snaresbrook Crown Court)
An alleged 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 KC of Doughty Street Chambers.

Poland v KW & others, 2016 (High Court) [2016] 1 WLR 3750
Led by Alun Jones KC in a 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 IM & others, 2014 (Blackfriars Crown Court, Court of Appeal) [2014] QB 745
Led by Di Middleton KC in a multi-handed trial arising out of a joint operation conducted by the NCA, 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

Overview

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 advice for “out of time” appeals.

Notable Cases

Acting as junior alone

R v AS, 2023 (Court of Appeal)
Appeal against conviction for two criminal damage offences. Appeal raised complex issues regarding admissibility of psychiatric evidence and the effects of the prosecution choosing to invite convictions only on the basis of intentional, and not reckless, damage.

R v DA, 2022 (Court of Appeal)
Leave to appeal against conviction granted on the basis of prosecution evidence adduced after the close of the prosecution case incorrectly being admitted as rebuttal evidence.

R v RFS, 2021 (Court of Appeal) [2021] EWCA Crim 1579
Successfully appealed against a custodial sentence imposed on a vulnerable woman for an offence of assault. Defendant was herself the victim of serious domestic violence. Appeal was expedited due to defence submissions on vulnerability.

R v DG, 2020 (Court of Appeal) [2021] 2 Cr App R (S) 7
Attorney-General’s reference of a suspended sentence for a defendant convicted of perverting the course of justice. The Court upheld the sentence and refused the prosecution’s appeal.

R v SJ, 2020 (Court of Appeal) [2020] EWCA Crim 1393
Appeal against sentence in relation to an offence of section 20 wounding committed in a domestic setting. Appeal involved detailed submissions on the applicability and effects of the Overarching Guidelines on domestic violence offences.

R v ML, 2019 (Court of Appeal)
Provided secondary advice on appeal against conviction and sentence for defendant convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and conspiracy to transfer criminal property. Defendant had received a 13-year sentence for his alleged part in a multi-kilo drugs supply network and efforts to launder the proceeds.

R v RB, 2019 (Court of Appeal) [2019] EWCA Crim 98
Successfully appealed a 20-year extended sentence imposed for a serious offence of s.18 GBH. Michael was instructed for 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) [2018] EWCA Crim 352
Successfully appealed 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, 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

Overview

Michael has particular expertise in cases involving police witnesses and protest law. He has in-depth knowledge of police powers and public order law, developed during his time in the Criminal Justice team at JUSTICE. He is ranked for Protest Law in Chambers & Partners 2024.

Michael has represented defendants in trials arising out of many high-profile protest actions in recent years including Extinction Rebellion, anti-fracking protests, animal rights actions, the “Cops Off Campus” demonstration at the University of London, and trials involving controversial offences specific to demonstrations in Parliament Square.

Michael is currently acting for individuals facing trials arising from protests by Palestine Action.

Notable Cases

R v VB & others, 2023 (Isleworth Crown Court)
Michael successfully defended one of three defendants in a four-week trial for conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. The defendants – part of the “Heathrow Pause” climate action group – had allegedly tried to shut Heathrow by flying drones in a Flight Restriction Zone in protest at the proposed third runway.

R v DB, 2023 (Southwark Crown Court)
Michael represented one of six defendants in a four-week trial for conspiracy to cause criminal damage arising from an Extinction Rebellion action in October 2019 when a fire engine was used to spray fake blood on the Treasury. Defendant was acquitted after Michael successfully argued that his beliefs that anyone who knew the full scale of the climate crisis would have allowed the damage amounted to a lawful excuse.

R v JH, 2023 (Wood Green Crown Court)
Defendant charged with violent disorder and assaulting an emergency worker over an allegedly violent altercation that broke out at a protest against immigration enforcement officers in Dalston, Hackney. Michael successfully applied to dismiss both charges prior to trial.

R v JM, 2022 (Inner London Crown Court)
Represented the lead defendant in a two-handed trial for obstructing a train, arising out of an Extinction Rebellion protest at Canning Town tube station in 2019. The trial involved complex submissions on proportionality defences under Articles 10 and 11 of the ECHR in light of the Supreme Court case of R v Ziegler and the Court of Appeal case of R v Brown.

R v SW, 2020 (Southwark Crown Court)
Defendant charged with breaching a High Court injunction obtained by Canada Goose to prevent protests outside their London store. Michael successfully applied to dismiss the case relying on High Court and Court of Appeal decisions which were adverse to the injunction. The submissions involved complex elements of civil procedure.

R v XR, 2019 (Westminster, City of London and Hendon Magistrates’ Courts)
Michael acted in numerous cases arising out of the 2019 Extinction Rebellion protests in London. The cases involved complex arguments regarding the defences of necessity and the legitimate exercise of human rights. Michael ran novel arguments on how the proportionality defence applied to offences of obstructing a constable in the execution of their duty.

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.

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Notable Cases & News

Garden Court Chambers revises policy on Stratford Magistrates' Court

23 May 2024

Garden Court Chambers statement on security searches at Stratford Magistrates' Court

8 May 2024

Climate campaigner acquitted of conspiring to shut down Heathrow Airport

Michael Goold of the Garden Court Protest Law Team acted for the client, instructed by Raj Chada of Hodge, Jones & Allen Solicitors.

5 January 2024

Extinction Rebellion protestors cleared of criminal damage to Treasury building

Michael Goold, of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Rights Team, was instructed by Jenny Winter of Birds Solicitors.

17 November 2023

Defendant acquitted of perverting the course of a murder investigation

Michael Goold of the Garden Court Crime Team represented the defendant, instructed by Sophie Lalaoui of Stuart Miller Solicitors.

11 August 2023

Defendant acquitted of armed robbery of cash and carry

Michael Goold of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team represented the defendant, instructed by Pan Symeou of Faradays Solicitors.

23 June 2023

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North remember Ian Macdonald QC

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North were honoured to host a memorial event for Ian Macdonald QC 1939-2019 at Middle Temple Hall on Tuesday 7 February 2023.

17 February 2023

Michael Goold defends 17 year old found not guilty of murder at the Old Bailey

Michael Goold of Garden Court Chambers was led by Garry Green of Doughty Street Chambers. Counsel were instructed by Shila Keshvari of Edward Fail, Bradshaw & Waterson.

26 January 2023

Defendant not guilty of gang related killing of teenager

Peter Wilcock KC and Michael Goold of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team represented the defendant instructed by Lindsey Blizzard of Needham Poulier Solicitors.

2 December 2022

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 2023

Garden Court Chambers is proud to be recognised as a Top Tier set again in the Legal 500.

30 September 2022

Members of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team support escalating proposed CBA action to include days of action

17 June 2022

Stephanie Harrison QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, comments on the Nationality and Borders Bill receiving Royal Assent

29 April 2022

Garden Court Crime Team statement on no returns action

30 March 2022

Garden Court secures number one rankings in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022

21 October 2021

Garden Court Chambers Crime Team shortlisted for Crime Set of the Year by Chambers Bar Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce that the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team has been shortlisted by the Chambers Bar Awards 2021 for Crime Set of the Year.

27 August 2021

Court of Appeal upholds suspended sentence for animal rights activist

Michael Goold of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team represented the defendant.

9 December 2020

Kurdish protesters found not guilty of affray

The defendants were represented by Michael Goold and Russell Fraser, both of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Sevim Tonbul of Morgan Has Solicitors.

3 May 2019

Successful appeal against sentence secures imminent release from custody for 18 year old

Michael Goold represented the young man at his appeal against a sentence of two years’ custody.

7 February 2018

Two defendants acquitted of stabbing

Sam Parham and Michael Goold of Garden Court Chambers represented the defendants.

10 September 2015

All related news

Background

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 the Treasurer 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.

Publications

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).

Education

  • 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 (Treasurer)
  • Criminal Bar Association (CBA)

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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