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“Michael’s cross examination of the witness was exceptional.”North Ford solicitors
“Michael was relentless in representing our Client and gave a very convincing submission to the Judge.”North Ford solicitors
Michael has a mixed general criminal and civil practice.
His criminal practice covers all areas of crime including gang related serious violence, public order disturbances and drug related allegations; fraud, including benefit fraud; domestic violence and sexual offences including rape and serious sexual assault.
His civil advice draws upon his 15 years’ experience of working in the commercial sector, before retraining as a barrister in 2003. He has advised and represented clients in defamation suits, applications for injunctions and several breach of contract cases.
He also has a rapidly developing family practice including private children law, financial orders and confiscation proceedings.
He is a witness and case preparation trainer for the UK’s leading legal training company where he has run numerous courses for professionals involved in the legal system as witnesses and/or investigators.
Before qualifying as a barrister Michael spent over 20 years in advertising in London and New York where he was responsible for the negotiating, planning and buying of multi-million pound television advertising campaigns for major companies including Fiat, Twentieth Century Fox Films, Procter and Gamble and Nationwide Building Society.
He also undertakes public access work.
With 15+ years’ experience in advertising in London and New York before retraining as a barrister, Michael provides a commercially astute approach to civil work and situations in which commercial organisations and directors have become criminally liable.
His commercial experience includes generating revenue streams for major UK retailers and venture capitalists; increasing a radio station’s share of UK advertising revenue; managing and driving sales targets; and managing television advertising budgets for large organisations including Proctor and Gamble, Fiat Auto, Nationwide Building Society and the National Dairy Council. This exposure to front end commercial matters gives Michael a first hand knowledge of areas likely to result in litigious actions.
Recent instructions include:
Defamation, malicious falsehood and harassment
L v M: Represented a claimant who ran a financially successful pet breeding business which suffered significant economic damage following statements made by commercial rivals on Facebook and website chatrooms.
Successfully represented a consultant HR expert accused of making defamatory statements whilst investigating alleged gross misconduct by a partner in a law firm.
Breach of licence
I, who runs a successful bar, has been accused of multiple breaches of allowing unauthorised licencable activities.
Represented the sole director of a law firm accused of negligence which resulted in services and advice being given by unqualified lawyers on a large scale, to vulnerable clients who paid tens of thousands of pounds in fees. The director was exposed to the risk of two years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.
D v J: Represented a multiple-property landlord who sought an injunction to prevent a previous landlord making numerous defamatory and financially devastating approaches to tenants.
Michael defends and prosecutes across a wide range of cases including offences of serious violence, firearms offences, violent disorder, fraud and sex offences.
- Instructed in a multi-handed murder in which the defendants were accused of fatally shooting the deceased following his objection to their continued efforts to deal drugs in his neighbourhood. Led by John Benson QC.
- R v T: T and three others were accused of involvement in a drive by shooting in Croydon;
- R v A: Violent disorder/affray involving rival gangs at busy south London station;
- R v K: Appealed the imposition of imprisonment for public protection imposed on a young man who had pleaded guilty to carrying a gun and ammunition into a college of further education in 2010;
- R v P: Section 18 wounding by glassing. P, a 35-year-old single parent, was accused of smashing a glass bottle across the face of her victim during a heated argument about her promiscuity after a night out clubbing in East London. Following her acquittal of all charges P said “thanks Michael, I feel like I can now get my life back”;
- R v T: Racist attacks. T, a white working class disabled defendant with numerous previous convictions was accused of attacking his daughter’s Caribbean partner with a samurai sword in a racially motivated assault, followed later by more racially motivated violent behaviour. During the trial recordings of T using ‘racially offensive language’ were played. T did not give evidence. T was acquitted of all offences.
- R v A: A was accused of cruelty against his three-year-old son. The child’s mother was also charged with causing serious life threatening injuries in a further incident ten days later;
- R v H: H was charged with child neglect against his three-week old daughter in which the mother had pleaded guilty to life changing offences which included section 18 and section 20 assaults.
- R v D: D was coerced by the vigilante group ‘Dark Justice’ to engage in sexually explicit conversations with ‘Marco’ whose Grndr profile suggested that he was a 14 year old student. When D went to meet ‘Marco’ at a South London Railway station for sex, he was confronted by the vigilante group, who through intimidating and threatening questioning extracted a confession which was recorded on a mobile phone. The police were called and D was arrested. Following a one week trial at Blackfriars Crown Court, D a 32 year old man with no previous convictions, wept in the dock when he heard the unanimous not guilty verdict;
- R v Y: Three counts of stranger rape in which the complainant was a heavily intoxicated 18-year-old;
- R v W: Michael represented a 17-year-old defendant who, along with his elder sister and another young woman, were convicted of the revenge rape of a 15-year-old girl. The defendant’s sister taunted the victim that “snitches get stitches” after the girl had told others that the defendant had been involved in an assault and that his co-defendants had themselves been raped;
- R v G: G charged with grooming of a young neighbour and possession of indecent images;
- R v K: K charged with a late night stranger rape in which the heavily intoxicated complainant was assaulted on her way home whilst walking through a park in Plymouth close to where K lived;
- R v D: D was acquitted of three allegations of serious sexual assault in which he made incriminating and extensive admissions on Facebook.
- R v O: Prison officer charged with bringing class A drugs into prison for prisoners;
- R v M: M accused of being concerned in the supply of cocaine after surveillance officers intercepted a shipment of drugs at a DHL depot in Croydon;
- R v I: I was the main defendant in a nine defendant conspiracy to supply £3million of cocaine. The case consisted of 85,000 pages of evidence and involved the analysis of 1,500 pages of mobile phone evidence, global business assets, covert surveillance transcripts and evidence from the surveillance from a supposedly inadvertent recording from one of D’s ten mobile phones;
- R v L: Large-scale cannabis cultivation at a residential address;
- R v T: T accused of commuting up the M40 to obtain a cheaper supply of drugs from a known crack house in Bicester, Oxfordshire.
- R v S: Attempted rape in a public park in Croydon, witnessed by schoolchildren. Both the defendant and the complainant had mental health issues and were under the influence of drugs and alcohol;
- R v M: M, a man of good character with serious physical health problems, was charged with an affray which occurred in his bedroom when police officers were called because he was self-harming.
- M v D: Fraud. The complainant, ‘M’, a wealthy international trader living in South Buckinghamshire was contacted by someone in South Africa asking him to take receipt of a large amount of money in the UK that was being sent over. At M’s house the defendant said that he had £1million that had been dyed black for safer transportation. To remove the black dye and ‘reveal’ the true money, he needed real £50 notes which could only be used once, as a result about £30k in £50 notes would ‘reveal’ the majority of the one million pounds. The process involved other chemicals and after a short amount of time the black dye could be washed off the money. At a follow up meeting the defendant arrived with a safe inside which was the black money. M had £30k in £50 notes and after the ‘reveal process’ started M went to get a glass of water at which point the defendant left, along with M’s money.
- R v G: G and her three co-defendants were accused of a conveyancing fraud in which the email account of the purchaser’s solicitor was spoofed and funds for the purchase were transferred from the purchaser to a bank account controlled by the fraudsters and rapidly dissipated to other accounts and later and rapidly withdrawn. G was the only defendant to be acquitted in a three-week trial at Woolwich Crown Court.
- R v S (and others): Successfully defended S who was involved in a ‘nasty and mean’ internet fraud in which V, a vulnerable and lonely 72-year-old Australian widower was stripped of over 100,000 $AUS of assets in a ‘psychologically sophisticated operation’ over just a few weeks following his enrolment on a dating website.
- R v K: K and his four criminal associates booked two rooms and brazenly ordered expensive drinks and hors d’oeuvres in the bar of a luxury hotel near Regents Park, London using a plethora of cloned and stolen credit and debit cards in an evening out all of which was captured on broadcast quality CCTV. Following a guilty plea on the first day of trial, the defendant an unemployed cannabis user described by the judge as a ‘significant scale fraudster’ who ‘tends to minimise previous offending’ received a suspended sentence;
- R v D: D ran a storage and removal company and was charged with offences associated with disposing of £200k+ of his customers’ property whilst continuing to take storage payments for over four years;
- R v M: Confiscation proceedings in which the crown sought to identify realisable assets in UK, US and Nigeria in connection with a conspiracy to supply £3 million of cocaine;
- R v K: Six handed sophisticated fraud against DWP in which stolen and manipulated cheques and separately acquired debit cards were presented at post offices to defraud £350,000+;
- R v G: Breach of trust in which the defendant breached his power of attorney responsibilities across a three-year period and stole £100k+;
- R v A: A was charged with seven counts of benefit fraud resulting from undeclared loss making business ‘assets’ funded by loans taken out by her;
- R v AW: AW was acquitted of benefit fraud in which Southend Council alleged that she had failed to disclose a holiday home in North Wales. Members of the Council’s planning department were successfully cross-examined as to their knowledge of the benefits system.
Court of Appeal
Michael is regularly instructed to advise and represent clients at the Court of Appeal.
Michael is regularly instructed in road traffic related cases.
- R V M: in a seven-day trial at the Old Bailey M was charged with dangerous driving following an incident in which a three litre Range Rover lost control, flipped onto its side and ploughed into a couple who had been out for dinner. They sustained life changing injuries;
- R V G: G was the subject of covert surveillance at around 1am by DVSA officers at the MOT testing station that he ran. He entered MOT test passes for numerous vehicles that were not at the site. He was acquitted of all charges in a two-week trial at Harrow Crown Court. The trial judge commented “it has been a depressing scene to have witness after witness with no obvious reason to lie and many, such as a current MOT tester, every reason not to lie, being accused of lying about their evidence”.
Michael is qualified to undertake regulatory work for the Nursing & Midwifery Council.
Michael has a rapidly developing family practice which stemmed from his interest in criminal cases with a ‘family dynamic’. Recent experience includes the following.
Private children law
Instructed in cases involving:
- Allegations of domestic violence, including successfully represented the respondent in a fact-finding hearing who faced multiple allegations of domestic violence;
- Cultural and religious concerns;
- Education concerns;
- Parental responsibility agreements;
- Child arrangements orders including prohibited steps orders and specific issues orders.
Instructed in cases involving:
- Financial Orders including negotiations in relation to the matrimonial home at FDR;
- Represented respondent in late instructed FDR case in which parties disputed the accuracy of the schedule of assets.
- Representing third party interests in the former matrimonial home that the prosecution seeks to confiscate as part of the ex- husbands proceeds of crime.
Michael is public access qualified and can take instructions from members of the public direct.
- University of Sheffield BA(Hons) Economics
- College of Law/BPP – PgDL and BVC
Speaking events, training & seminars
Michael is a witness and case preparation trainer for the UK’s leading legal training company where he has run numerous courses for professionals involved in the legal system as witnesses and/or investigators.
Michael has run a number of seminars for solicitors.