Profile

Michael is a skillful and dedicated advocate, with a compelling attention to detail. Professional and hardworking in his approach, and rigorous in his preparation, he is equally comfortable as Sole Counsel or as a led Junior. Michael has a mixed criminal and regulatory practice and is experienced in both prosecuting and defending.

Expertise

Criminal Litigation

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Acting for both the Defence and the Prosecution, Michael’s experience of criminal litigation includes fraud, drug offences, sexual offences and violence. In the field of illicit trade, he has represented clients accused of large-scale drug importation and organised customs duty evasion, as well as drug production and distribution. Michael’s experience of violent crime ranges from domestic common assaults, through public disorder and brawls, to serious planned group attacks.

In addition to Crown Court matters, Michael is regularly instructed to represent those accused of driving offences. He is adept at analysing scientific expert evidence and is familiar with the myriad complexities of regulatory road traffic law.

Michael advises on appeals against conviction and against sentence, both on behalf of those who he has represented at first instance and on behalf of those who seek a second opinion on appeal. He has advised individuals convicted of murder and firearms offences, and represented those sentenced for drug trafficking.

Fraud

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Michael is experienced in fraud, commercial crime and regulation. He has been involved in substantial fraud trials and in commercial regulatory offences. He has represented clients charged with corruption, conspiracy to commit fraud and substantive Fraud Act offences. Michael has also acted in confiscation hearings and has considerable experience of cash forfeiture proceedings.

Corporate Crime and Investigation

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As well as post-charge fraud work, Michael has been instructed to advise companies in the early stages of potential Serious Fraud Office investigations both where the company is at risk of prosecution and where the company has detected possible criminal behaviour by others.

International Criminal Work

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Michael has spent time in off-shore jurisdictions reporting on the compliance of certain listed companies with market regulations. He has also advised clients in overseas jurisdictions on the law of England and Wales.

Restraint, Confiscation and Asset Forfeiture

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Michael has substantial experience of cash forfeiture proceedings both at first instance and on appeal. He is also conversant with confiscation proceedings stemming from criminal allegations and is proficient in negotiating and in contesting confiscation orders.

Regulatory

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Michael acts in civil and criminal regulatory matters. He has been instructed in local council matters including noise abatement prosecutions, trading standards prosecutions, fraud and health and safety matters. He is regularly instructed to act on behalf of regulatory bodies in the criminal courts and in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals. He also defends those charged with commercial or personal regulatory offences.

Public and Administrative Law

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Michael regularly advises and acts in judicial review proceedings, principally arising from criminal or regulatory decisions.

Publications

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  • Author, “Deferred Prosecution Agreements: a practical consideration” Crim L.R. 2014, 6, 416-438
  • Author, “The use and abuse of conspiracy” Crim L.R. 2014, 4, 261-277
  • Author, “Judges as tribunals of fact: to what extent do the provisions for a defendant to be tried on indictment by a judge sitting without a jury conflict with the defendant’s right to a fair trial where issues of PII are present?” Crim L.R. 2010, 9, 702-710.
  • Contributor, EU Law in Criminal Practice, (Oxford University Press)

Other

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  • Security Cleared
  • Appointed to the Serious Fraud Office list of prosecutors

Education

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Downing College, Cambridge, MA (Hons), Neuroscience.

Notable cases

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Karsten v Wood Green Crown Court 01 July 2014

Conviction quashed on the basis that the Court had erred in their interpretation of the word “menacing” under the Communications Act 2003.

Nicholls v DPP (2014) 178 J.P. 100

Consideration as to the extent of the need to make findings of fact in a Newton Hearing.

R v Siaulys [ 2013] EWCA Crim 2083

A confiscation order quashed on appeal on the basis that revenue obtained through controlling an unlicensed house in multiple occupation did not amount to ‘benefit from criminal conduct’.

R v Szmyt

A sentence of six years’ imprisonment for attempted importation of ecstasy reduced to four and a half years on appeal.

R v Burrows

A sentence for two counts of supply of heroin and two counts of supply of cocaine reduced from three years’ imprisonment to two years’ imprisonment on appeal.

R v Mahmet

The consideration on appeal of the costs to be awarded against a defendant where the Crown accepts a lesser plea on the day of trial.

R v Baldwin

A sentence of two years’ imprisonment for supply of heroin reduced to 15 months on appeal.

R v W and H

Junior Counsel in a conspiracy to defraud and false accounting trial. Senior individuals in a listed company were accused of manipulating the published interim accounts and creating sham contracts so...

R v B and Others

B was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud in relation to tax credit claims. He was said to have defrauded the Revenue of more than £1million.

Chief Constable of Kent v T

A successful review of the decision of magistrates to order forfeiture of £35,000 cash, on the basis that the Magistrates’ Court had erred in their analysis of the law.

R v K and I

I was a businessman who dealt mainly in cash. Cash was seized by customs officers who subsequently sought forfeiture of it. Forfeiture was successfully opposed at first instance.

R v J

J had previously pleaded guilty to burglary. He wished to change his plea to one of not guilty. His plea was successfully vacated and he was subsequently acquitted of the offence.

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