“Michael is brilliant in trials, gives excellent written advice, is very approachable and willing to help.”
The Legal 500 2023
Michael practises across the full range of chambers’ civil liability and commercial work with a particular interest in cases where fraud is alleged or suspected.
He undertakes work in insurance fraud; personal injury; clinical negligence; sports law; commercial and financial services; costs; and regulatory and disciplinary matters. He represents claimants and defendants in trials, JSMs and all interim hearings. He has a substantial paperwork practice.
He regularly acts, as sole counsel, in significant brain and spinal cord injury cases with a value pleaded in excess of £1 million, as well as being led in higher value cases.
He has substantial experience of working as part of a larger team on high-profile and sensitive investigations, particularly involving financial institutions.
Michael graduated with First Class Honours in Law, and the prize for the top student pursuing a career at the Bar. He was previously employed by a leading city boutique law firm in the Business Crime and Commercial Litigation departments. He also spent time working on policy development for a human rights NGO, campaigning for fairer justice systems.
Michael undertakes the full range of Defendant Insurance Fraud work. He is regularly instructed at the outset of claims where fraud is suspected, to advise on tactics and strategy. Early in his career, Michael gained significant experience prosecuting and defending criminal matters in the Crown Court. Accordingly, he is well accustomed to allegations of the most serious dishonesty, and skilled at cross-examination to expose inconstancy, exaggeration and untruthfulness.
He has achieved numerous findings of fundamental dishonestly in cases involving:
He is experienced in the full range of costs argument involving the disapplication of QOCS, and where appropriate, wasted costs applications and/or third-party costs orders.
He has achieved multiple findings of fundamental dishonesty following discontinuance by Claimants.
He regularly gives presentations to both defendant solicitors and insurers on litigation strategy and case tactics.
Michael appears in the County Courts High Court and Court of Appeal, dealing with all aspects of personal injury and associated costs matters.
He has extensive experience across the full range complex and catastrophic injury work, including serious brain and spinal cord injuries, as well as complex regional pain syndrome, often with life altering consequences. He is regularly asked to advise on tactics and expert evidence in conference and writing. . He is particularly sought after for cases involving allegations of fraud and fundamental dishonesty as well as cases involving complex medical evidence.
Much of his work is pleaded in excess of £1 million.
He frequently acts in cases with multiple defendants involving complex issues of indemnity and contribution.
Examples of recent cases include:
Junior counsel to Derek O’Sullivan QC, acting for the successful Fourth Defendant in an 8-day liability and causation trial before Mr Justice Linden. The case concerned catastrophic brain injuries suffered by the Claimant during four phases of road traffic collisions involving two vehicles. The court was required to determine complex issues of medical causation, specifically in relation to diffuse axonal brain injury, as well as issues as to the identity of one driver. Case summary here.
Sole counsel for the Claimant, who sustained a traumatic brain injury, fractured right temporal bone and an extradural haematoma requiring craniotomy after striking a pothole when cycling along a country road. Liability was denied by the Defendant. A two-day liability only trial, resulted in judgment in the Claimant’s favour, with no reduction for contributory negligence. The matter was listed for a 5-day quantum trial, but subsequently settled at JSM for in excess of £438k.
Acting as sole counsel for the successful Defendant in two-day multitrack trial, having advised from the outset. The Claimant sustained a Lisfranc type fracture of his right foot when exiting his frozen food van. He alleged this was caused by a faulty door seal, resulting in an excess of ice build-up over the step plate. Following robust cross examination of the Claimant, the claim was dismissed, with the judge finding the Claimant to have not been a credible witness. The Defendant rightly rejected multiple Part 36 offers at a significantly reduced value.
Acting for the Defendant in an application for a finding of fundamental dishonestly, post-discontinuance of the claim. The Claimant attended the hearing and elected to give evidence and be cross examined. The judge found that the Claimant had been fundamentally dishonest in substantially exaggerating his claim. An enforceable cost order was made.
Acting for the Claimant who suffered an acute subdural haematoma in the pafalcine region; a right humeral fracture requiring open reduction and internal fixation; recurrence of benign paroxymanl positional vertigo; pituitary dysfunction causing secondary adrenal dysfunction as well as other orthopaedic injuries when knocked from his scooter. Matter settled for £350k.
Acting for the Defendant in a liability admitted quantum matter. The claimant valued the Claim in excess of £100k. The matter settled shortly after service of detailed counter schedule for just £36k.
Michael is experienced in high value and complex clinical negligence cases, acting for both Claimants and Defendants.
He has significant experience of cases involving:
He is currently instructed in a number of ongoing and high value claims, both for Claimants and Defendants, involving complex loss of earnings claims.
Michael is instructed by both regulators and professionals.
Between 2017 and 2019 he has completed secondments to the Bank of England’s Regulatory Action Division, and the Litigation and Enforcement Team acting in four complex and large-scale financial investigations into global banks.
Michael is regularly sought to act on behalf of healthcare and legal regulators. He has recently acted for or advised: The GMC, The HCPC, The GDC, The PSA, and The CLC.
He has acted in numerous substantive hearings before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) He recently represented a nurse, charged with fraud.. No findings of current impairment were made and she was able to continue her practice, without restriction.
He appears frequently before the High Court acting both for regulators and registrants.
Examples of recent cases include:
Acting for the PSA, before Mr Justice Chamberlain, successfully appealing a decision of the GMC’s MPTS that a doctors should not be struck from the record, for committing acts which would amount to sexual assaults. The Court allowed the appeal in full, and imposed the sanction of erasure.
Acting for the Respondent nurse, before Mrs Justice Steyn, having also appeared at first-instance, The Registrant was charged with dishonestly providing a training certificate to a colleague, before that colleague had undertaken the training.
Acting for the CLC in a three-day hearing regarding breaches of code stemming from the downturn in business and subsequent closure of the practice. Sanctions of suspension and conditions of practice were imposed.
Michael undertakes a wide range of commercial work. He regularly advises and advocates in high value cases concerning: breach of contract; interpretation of contracts; insurance indemnity disputes; loan agreements; misrepresentation and commercial debt.
Between 2017 and 2019 he has completed secondments to the Bank of England’s Regulatory Action Division, and the Litigation and Enforcement Team acting in four complex and large-scale financial investigations into global banks. Of particular note, he worked on the investigation into Citigroup’s UK operations, which resulted in a fine of £44 million being imposed for failures in regulatory reporting governance and controls.
He is currently instructed as a Legal Advisor to the Foskett Panel, chaired by Sir David Foskett, dealing with the direct and consequential losses stemming from the HBOS Reading Fraud.
Michael has a specialist costs practice, and is increasingly instructed in discrete costs disputes. He has extensive knowledge of all elements of Qualified One-Way Cost Shifting (QOCS) and fundamental dishonesty.
He regularly acts and advises in the full range of cost disputes, both between opposing parties and solicitor client cost disputes.
He regularly provides training and seminars on costs disputes.
Michael has broad experience of alternative dispute resolution, building on his practice of personal injury, clinical negligence, commercial and costs disputes. He is regularly instructed by both Claimant and Defendant insurers to act as sole counsel at settlement meetings. He received training from a number of the country’s leading Arbitrators prior to joining 39 Essex Chambers’ fixed-fee arbitration and adjudication panel.
Michael has growing practice in sports law. His experience of personal injury work means he is particularly suited to undertaking sports injury work, especially those cases involving brain injury
Michael has represented a number of sports clubs in respect of occupier’s liability claims for injuries sustained on their premises.
Michael acted for the prosecution in criminal proceedings against a football supporter who subjected a Championship footballer to racist abuse during an FA Cup Quarter Final replay. The Defendant was found guilty after a trial, and made subject to a three-year Football Banning Order and a six-week custodial sentence, suspended for a year,
“Michael is brilliant in trials, gives excellent written advice, is very approachable and willing to help.” The Legal 500 2023