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“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 Sprack has “an excellent work ethic, good legal analysis and clarity of thought”.Senior Housing Solicitor, South London
“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 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).
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.
- 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
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.
- 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  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.
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.
- 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.
- BA Classics and Arabic
- LLM Law
Hobbies & Interests
Michael enjoys music, sports, travel, history and learning languages in his free time.
- Contributor to ‘A Practical Approach to Criminal Procedure’ (OUP, 2016)
- Research Assistant, ‘Blackstone’s Employment Tribunals Handbook’ (OUP, 2014)
- French (advanced)
- Arabic (advanced)