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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 homicide, serious violence, drugs and protest law cases. He has a strong appellate practice in the Court of Appeal and complex appeals in the Crown Court.

Michael is regularly instructed as junior counsel for serious and high-profile crimes, particularly murder and complex drug conspiracies.

Michael is available for direct access instructions.

Notable Cases

Acting as junior alone

R v RR, 2021 (Oxford Crown Court)
Multi-handed trial for attempted armed robbery of a business owner at his home. Case involved complex arguments regarding admissibility of non-expert cell-site evidence.

R v RS, 2020 (Oxford Crown Court)
Trial for an alleged sexual assault by penetration by a great-grandfather against his 5-year-old great-grandson. Involved one of the first section 28 pre-recorded cross-examinations conducted at Oxford Crown Court. Defendant unanimously acquitted.

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 RT, 2020 (Isleworth Crown Court)
Trial for section 18 wounding with intent arising from a fight at Notting Hill Carnival in 2019.

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 OK & others, 2016 (Blackfriars Crown Court)
Successful application to dismiss a violent disorder between two rival groups of football fans at Baker Street station.

R v LA, 2016 (Southwark Crown Court)
Robbery and ABH allegation. Trial involved complex issues regarding identification over Facebook.

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)
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 OC, 2021 (Central Criminal Court)
Currently instructed for 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 QC of 25 Bedford Row.

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

R v EL, 2021 (Warwick Crown Court)
Instructed for first defendant in five-handed murder and robbery trial, said to be a retaliatory attack between rival post-code gangs. Two-month trial which was the largest trial undertaken at the court since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Acquitted of murder. Led by Jonathan Higgs QC of 5KBW.

R v RD, 2020 (Kingston Crown Court)
Defendant charged with murder after killing another patient whilst the defendant was sectioned at a mental health hospital. Case involved complex expert evidence regarding the defendant’s mental state. After the defendant pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter, defence succeeded in obtaining a hospital order rather than sentence of imprisonment. Led by Peter Wilcock QC

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 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 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 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


Michael 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.

Michael has represented defendants in trials arising out of many high-profile protest actions in recent years including Extinction Rebellion, anti-fracking protests at Balcombe in West Sussex and Brockham in Surrey, 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 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 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.

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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Notable Cases & News

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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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