Michael was educated at the University of Warwick where he graduated with an honours degree in Law in 2007. Prior to enrolling on the Bar Vocational Course (as it was) he received both a Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Scholarship and Exhibition Award from the Inner Temple. Michael completed the Bar Vocational Course at the University of the West of England in 2008 and received a Very Competent classification in addition to being the recipient of the Western Circuit Advocacy Prize.
Michael developed his skills as a self-employed advocate for the market leading provider of agency services to firms of Solicitors nationwide before commencing practice in 2013. Michael quickly developed a broad general practice which now encompasses civil litigation, criminal law and immigration and asylum cases. Michael is very well liked by his instructing Solicitors and is regularly praised for his ability to put clients at ease in very difficult situations and for his diligence in case preparation which is reflected in the excellent results he obtains on a regular basis. Michael is also pleased to accept instructions on a direct access basis in appropriate cases.
Michael has years of experience, both before and after commencing his career at the Bar, in civil litigation. He regularly attends the County Court in both small claims and fast track matters and is building a practice in multi track cases. He is frequently instructed by both Claimants and Defendants in credit hire litigation, personal injury cases and contractual disputes for both companies and individuals.
Drawing on his experience of the Civil Procedure Rules and case law Michael is able to effectively identify the key points in a dispute and provide effective advice from an early stage. He accepts instructions to draft pleadings and provide written opinions on liability and quantum to ensure that his client’s case is best put from the outset. In Court Michael is a clear and efficient advocate who often secures excellent results at the conclusion of a dispute.
IRR Finance U.K Ltd v Harris – Michael was instructed on behalf of the Claimant in this multi track Consumer Credit Act case. The Defendant was represented by specialist Solicitors and Counsel who pleaded a wide range of issues regarding alleged non-compliance with the Act including execution of the agreement, invalidity of the default and termination notices, ineffective assignment of the debt, failure to comply with a section 78 request and that the Claimant was not validly authorised to recover the debt as it was not validly authorised under section 26A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The case is also notable for a preliminary decision by the Judge that posts made on an online consumer rights forum were not protected by privilege as alleged by the Defendant.
Ghei v Enterprise Insurance – Acting for the Defendant in a multi track credit hire dispute where liability was admitted. Michael was successful in reducing the Claimant’s damages from a claimed sum of over £29,000 to less than £5,500.
Ahmed v Yakoob – Michael was instructed on behalf of the Defendant in this fast track trial arising from a road traffic accident in which damages for personal injury were claimed. Michael was so effective in cross-examination of the Claimant that the claim was dismissed in its entirety at the close of the Claimant’s case and the Defendant was not required to give oral evidence. Michael was also successful in securing a considerable costs order in favour of the Defendant.
Sunkissed Toning v Pall Mall Investments Limited – Michael was instructed in this small claims track matter which centred on a dispute regarding a lease entered into by the parties. The main allegations in the case were that there had been an oral variation of the lease and/or an assignment of the lease to a third party. Michael defeated the arguments raised through a combination of effective cross-examination and persuasive submissions.
Sheppard v Odell – Acting for a trainer of race horses in this unusual claim for damages made by the owner of one race horse. It was alleged that the horse had developed a condition known as azoturia due to the negligent care provided by the Defendant which led to it being unable to compete in various races including the Grand National. Michael succeeded in defeating the claim and securing a costs order in favour of the successful Defendant.
Michael’s criminal law practice has grown so rapidly that he now only accepts instructions in legally aided cases in exceptional circumstances. In addition, Michael used to regularly act for the prosecuting authorities in a range of criminal matters but now only accepts instructions on behalf of Defendants.
In his private client work he is an expert in road traffic matters, particularly allegations of drink driving or speeding, and regularly attends Magistrates’ Courts in both England and Wales for trials, sentencing hearings, special reasons applications and to argue exceptional hardship issues arising from road traffic offences. In addition, Michael accepts instructions in a range of criminal cases with a particular emphasis on cases involving sexual or violent offences.
Michael is known for the practical and effective advice which he provides to his clients both at Court and in conference when required. In Court Michael is a powerful advocate and is able to pursue each possible argument with a passion and authority. He is also effective in cross-examination of prosecution witnesses and often uses inventive approaches to secure the most favourable evidence to assist with obtaining an acquittal.
R v B (a child) – Michael represented a 14 year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome who was accused of sexually assaulting his 5 year old step-sister. The case involved difficult practical issues about how to ensure a fair trial for the Defendant whilst allowing the Complainant, who Michael was required to cross-examine without an intermediary, to give her best evidence. Through a combination of tactful questioning and effective advocacy Michael was able to secure an acquittal for his client.
R v Boyd – Michael successfully represented a Defendant charged with failing to provide driver information following a section 172 request. The Defendant accepted that she had never completed or returned the paperwork but was nonetheless acquitted. Michael was successful in persuading the Magistrates that the leading authority of DPP V Broomfield was distinguishable and therefore the Defendant’s failure to return the paperwork did not prevent her acquittal. Michael also obtained a costs order in the Defendant’s favour.
R v Green – In this case Michael was successful in representing a Defendant charged with a variety of offences arising from the allegedly defective condition of his vehicle. Michael was able to persuade the Magistrates at the close of the prosecution case that the Defendant had no case to answer. The Defendant was acquitted without being required to give evidence and a costs order was made in his favour.
Michael is well known in the First-tier and Upper Tribunal as a knowledgeable and persuasive advocate. His immigration and asylum practice encompasses the full range of matters before the Tribunal including EEA cases, human rights appeals, appeals against deportation and more. Michael previously accepted instructions on behalf of the Secretary of State but now exclusively represents Appellants although he is able to bring his detailed knowledge of Home Office policies and procedures to bear in appropriate cases. Michael is effective in bringing together the issues in an appeal and synthesising the most powerful arguments by utilising a range of sources including the Immigration Rules, country guidance and expert evidence. He is known for his ability to present and explain extremely complex legal issues to lay clients in clear and friendly terms, often where there is a language barrier.
In addition to appearing before the Tribunal, Michael regularly produces written work on difficult or obscure aspects of immigration and asylum law. For example Michael has advised on the ability of a Kenyan national to derive British citizenship from his grandfather, an Indian national born during the colonial era, which required an analysis of the British Nationality Act from 1948 onwards and an understanding of both domestic and Indian national law from the date of independence.
Away from his work at the Bar, Michael has recently undertaken a series of guest lectures to undergraduate law students at the University of Derby covering the main aspects of immigration law with a particular focus on asylum and human rights.
TC v SSHD – Michael represented a Zimbabwean asylum seeker who was an active member of the MDC. The Appellant’s case had previously been dismissed by the First-tier Tribunal but, following Michael’s instruction, the Appellant succeeded at a fresh hearing before the First-teir Tribunal.
AB v SSHD – Michael represented a national of the DRC who was seeking to resist his deportation on human rights grounds. The Appellant was a self-styled Christian prophet and television personality who had been convicted of serious sexual assaults on members of his congregation. The case had gained national coverage in the press.
SS v SSHD – Michael represented an Afghan diplomat and close confidant of President Karzai who sought asylum on the basis that he had been the subject of a political purge in Afghanistan and would be killed on return.
GK v SSHD – Michael successfully represented an Afghan Sikh who, the Respondent alleged, had a right of residence in India as a result of his wife’s claimed Indian nationality. Michael persuaded the Tribunal that there was no such right of residence in the case and the appeal was granted.