The secure CJSM email is:

michael.sprack@1mcb.cjsm.net

Michael Sprack has “an excellent work ethic, good legal analysis and clarity of thought”.

Senior Housing Solicitor, South London

‘A junior whose advocacy is clear and to the point, and a skillful cross-examiner.’

Legal 500 UK Bar 2024

“I am grateful to both [Mr Sprack and his opponent] for their thoughtful analysis and clear presentation.”

Employment Appeal Tribunal in Stroud RFC v Monkman UKEAT/0143/13/SM

“Michael’s advocacy skills are excellent and his style understated but extremely effective. He handles vulnerable and unpredictable defendants with skill and intelligence.”

Legal 500 UK Bar 2023

Michael has a busy junior practice, combining housing, employment law and criminal defence. He joined 1MCB in February 2016, having completed pupillage at Garden Court Chambers.

Prior to joining the Bar, Michael worked at law centres in South London, Bristol and Surrey. He provided advice and representation in housing law, especially homelessness and possession, as well as employment law and general public law. He has extensive experience of assisting vulnerable clients under legal aid contracts, including county court duty advice.

Michael regularly accepts instructions in the County Court for tenants defending possession claims, as well as tenants alleging disrepair, unlawful eviction/harassment or discrimination. Michael has also represented vulnerable clients in urgently securing interim relief from the High Court, as well as in homelessness appeals, including final hearings.

Michael also has extensive experience over many years of providing advice and advocacy in relation to employment tribunal claims, having represented in claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing, wages and breach of contract. He has been thanked by the Employment Appeal Tribunal EAT for his “thoughtful analysis and clear presentation” (Stroud RFC v Monkman UKEAT/0143/13).

Michael also advises and represents employees, former employees and others in resisting applications for injunctive relief and damages in the High Court and County Court regarding alleged breach of confidence, restrictive covenants and/or inducement.

Michael has extensive experience of providing expert, practical advice to employees about settlement agreements on a public access basis, and has experience of conducting internal investigations, including in relation to complex issues of data protection within the legal sector.

Employment & discrimination

Michael has gained extensive experience over many years of providing advice and advocacy to claimants in the employment tribunal, having represented in dozens of claims involving unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing, wages and breach of contract.

Cases

  • Hemdan v Healys LLP (22 February 2023, UK Employment Appeal Tribunal): representing the Claimant (employee) in his appeal to the EAT against a decision of the Employment Tribunal striking out his claim on the basis that he was not employed by the Respondent.The case involved complex legal issues of employment status, international contracts and jurisdiction, employment tribunal procedure and evidence.
  • Iyasawmy v A M L Benson Ltd (30 March 2023, London South Employment Tribunal): representing the Claimant, an accountant, in relation to this claim for unfair dismissal. Michael successfully argued that the Respondent had not shown that there had, as a matter of fact and law, been a redundancy situation, and that the procedure adopted to dismiss the Claimant had lacked consultation and was unfair. The Respondent then agreed to judgment for substantial damages and, exceptionally, provision for legal costs.
  • Pryce v Choice Support (14 October 2022, 20 March 2023): represented a care worker in successful claims for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and unlawful deduction of wages.
  • Herbert v Eden Foods (22 to 26 August 2022): successfully represented the Claimant on a public access basis throughout this claim, culminating in a 5-day full-merits hearing. The Claimant was successful in relation to his claims of discrimination and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation, as well as whistleblowing detriment.
  • Pekacar v LB Islington (August 2022, Watford Employment Tribunal): represented the Claimant in his application for interim relief in a case where the Claimant had alleged automatic unfair dismissal. The Claimant had issued his claim as a self-representing litigant, alleging whistleblowing detriment and automatic unfair dismissal. The case raised complex issues of how the ET is required to approach an application for interim relief, and the scope of the whistleblowing provisions, data protection and the use of employer’s documents.
  • Matolia & Tammineni v SAI Engineering Services Pvt Ltd (26 to 27 May 2022, East London ET): represented both Claimants in their successful claims for over £40,000 in unpaid and unlawfully deducted wages.
  • Grazioli v Charles Gregory Solicitors (1 to 4 November 2021 and 14 July 2022, London Central Employment Tribunal): represented the former employee of a law firm in claims for constructive unfair dismissal, failure to consult on TUPE transfer and unpaid wages. The client was successful in establishing these claims and was awarded £32,000.  The case raised important issues of the extent of the duties to inform and consult applicable to smaller firms, and solicitors as specialists, as well as whether a claimant must give credit for sums received in respect of private unemployment insurance. The case was covered in the press.
  • Pryce v Choice Support (14 October 2022, 20 March 2023): representing this care worker in successful claims for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and unlawful deduction of wages.
  • GD v CCH (3rd June, 10th June and 19th December 2019,Watford Employment Tribunal):  successfully represented former care home worker in claim for wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal.
  • (24th June 2019, Central London Employment Tribunal): preliminary hearing in discrimination and victimisation claim.  Settled before trial after some media coverage.
  • SC v RHUC (26th March to 4th April 2019 and 27th January 2020, East London Employment Tribunal): successfully represented former employee in a claim for discrimination, victimisation and unlawfully deducted wages.
  • DW et al v OSL et al (8th January 2019, Central London Employment Tribunal): successfully resisted application for strike out of a claim for trade union detriment.
  • SL v FMCL (6th July 2018, Bury St Edmund’s Employment Tribunal): successfully argued at a preliminary hearing that an employee who did not show any outward signs of mental illness at work was nevertheless disabled.
  • (February 2018, Bristol Employment Tribunal): successful claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination in relation to a medical capability dismissal, with five-figure sum in damages after three-day full merits hearing (including remedy)
  • (October 2017, London South Employment Tribunal): after prolonged negotiations on the first day of hearing, secured a five-figure sum in settlement of claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
  • (October 2017, Newcastle Employment Tribunal): full merits hearing, including remedy, of claims of unfair dismissal and notice pay by three former employees of a care home (total damages in five figures).
  • SM v VD et al (2017): 5 day discrimination and victimisation claim. The client recovered a five-figure award in compensation after 2 of 4 claims upheld.
  • AJ v VS (2016): pregnancy discrimination claim where the respondent settled after a preliminary hearing.
  • British Airways v Carlos Valencia (UKEAT/0056/14/DM) – represented the employee in an employer’s appeal against an order for re-engagement, despite a finding of 80% contributory fault on the employee’s part.
  • Stroud RFC v Pamela Monkman (UKEAT/0143/13/SM) – successfully represented an employee in the employer’s appeal against a favourable remedy award in her unfair dismissal claim.

Housing

Michael regularly accepts instructions to advise and act for occupiers defending possession claims, as well as occupiers alleging disrepair, unlawful eviction, harassment or discrimination. Michael also represents clients in urgently securing interim relief from the High Court, as well as in homelessness appeals, including at final hearing.

Cases

  • AB v LB Tower Hamlets (ongoing, High Court): representing the Claimant in ongoing judicial review proceedings, challenging the Defendant’s provision of unsuitable accommodation in an allegedly illegal and discriminatory manner.  The Claimant was successful in securing interim relief in the form of an order requiring the Defendant to provide accommodation suitable (of a specified description and geographic area), and the Defendant was ordered to pay the Claimant’s legal costs. The Court granted permission for judicial review and is due to be determined in 2024.
  • UY v LB Redbridge (June 2023, Clerkenwell & Shoreditch County Court): successfully represented the Claimant in this disability discrimination claim in respect of the Defendant’s homelessness provision. In particular, the claim established that the Defendant’s policy of ‘not helping with storage’ was indirectly discriminatory against disabled homeless applicants. The Claimant was awarded over £43,949 in respect of special damages, injury to feelings and interest.  Michael also secured an order for costs on an indemnity basis.
  • Jordan OSSERMAN et al v SIMPSON HOUSE 3 LIMITED [2022] UKUT 164 (LC) : represented the tenants successfully, both at first instance and on their cross appeal in the Upper Tribunal, in this rent repayment order case.  The Deputy President of the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) accepted Michael’s submission that the first-instance judge erred by failing to take into account various factors, and increased the award accordingly. The tribunal also exercised the exceptional costs jurisdiction in favour of Michael’s clients. The case received media coverage in The Times and Novara Media.
  • GM v LB Hackney (July 2022): This was a judicial review in the High Court against LB Hackney’s failure to make a decision under s. 184 of the Housing Act 1996 within a reasonable time. After the claim was issued, the Defendant capitulated and agreed to an order that they would make the decision within a reasonable time and pay the Claimant’s legal costs.
  • NA v LB Barnet (27 January 2023, Central London County Court): represented the Appellant in this successful appeal against the local authority’s decision to refuse to provide accommodation to a homeless Applicant. The Court accepted Michael’s central ground of appeal, that the local authority had taken into account irrelevant considerations, including the availability of housing, in considering whether or not the applicant was disabled.
  • MM v LBH (14th January 2020, Central London County Court):  successful appeal (with costs), under section 204 of the Housing Act 1996, against a decision that the appellant had become homeless intentionally as a result of rent arrears.
  • RBG v SD (22nd August 2019): successfully defended a local authority’s possession claim (and won costs) solely on public law grounds, in particular untenable findings and improper application of its unlawful occupiers’ policy
  • AO v RR (7th March 2019): successfully defeated a possession claim, and won substantial damages on the tenant’s counterclaim, having successfully raised the invalidity of the notice at trial after being instructed late
  • Metropolitan Police v RB (30th January 2019): esisted an application (successfully in part) for a closure order against a vulnerable tenant who had been subjected to cuckooing
  • R (on the application of SB) v Camden LBC [2018] EWHC 2275: application for permission for judicial review in a case seeking to challenge the decision by the local authority to refuse to provide accommodation and assistance to a disabled asylum seeker
  • MH v LC (2017): the claimant housing co-operative settled its claim for possession after Michael raised a defence and counterclaim under the Equality Act 2010
  • DS v LBL (2017): Michael represented at a full hearing of an appeal under s. 204 of the Housing Act 1996, addressing questions of vulnerability in the light of Hotak and Haque
  • SM v PAA (2016): after securing interim relief from the High Court, out of hours, Michael drafted and represented in relation to the claim for unlawful eviction.

Michael regularly provides training, advice and supervision to organisations, much of it pro bono.

Crime

Michael accepts instructions to defend in a range of matters, including violent and sexual offences, and offences involving weapons, drugs, fraud, dishonesty and driving. He has also advised and acted in appeals against conviction.

Cases

  • R v NW (2018,  Isleworth Crown Court) – in a case of alleged importation of firearms, the Crown offered no evidence in relation to the charge of importation and Court disapplied the mandatory minimum sentence after extensive written and oral argument;
  • Conservators of Epping Forest v PH (2018, Chelmsford Crown Court) – acquittal after three-day trial for fly-tipping;
  • R v HY (2018, Blackfriars Crown Court) – six-day child cruelty trial;
  • R v PS (2018, Bradford Crown Court)  two-week appeal against conviction for animal cruelty, successful in part, involving four expert witnesses and two defendants;
  • R v RT (2017) – s. 20 OAPA  trial. Client convicted after Crown relied on his admissions in interview (without advice of solicitor). Client was sentenced to a suspended sentence;
  • R v AH et al (2016) – client and co-defendant both unanimously acquitted by jury of joint enterprise theft;
  • R v LC (2016) – Vulnerable client was acquitted of charges of firearms and violence after 5 day trial. Complainant accepted inaccuracy of account in cross-examination. Client declined to give evidence.

Education

  • BA Classics and Arabic
  • LLM Law

Publications

  • Contributor to ‘A Practical Approach to Criminal Procedure’ (OUP, 2016)
  • Research Assistant, ‘Blackstone’s Employment Tribunals Handbook’ (OUP, 2014)

Languages

  • French (advanced)
  • Arabic (advanced)
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