“It is unusual for such a young advocate to be instructed in cases so complex. He is instructed because he can be trusted, has a very strong intellect, and has a capacity for compassion.”
Chambers and Partners 2016
Year of Call: 2010
University of Bristol, History (BA Hons) (First Class, placed first in year overall)
Awarded the Gardenhurst Prize and Graham Robertson Scholarship
City University, GDL (Distinction)
BPP Law School, BVC (Very Competent)
Exhibition Award and Poland Prize (Inner Temple)
Michael is a specialist in international children law, particularly child abduction, leave to remove and jurisdictional disputes. He regularly appears in the High Court and has appeared in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Michael also acts in complex child protection cases. He is currently instructed with Alex Verdan QC to represent a local authority in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (‘the Goddard Inquiry’).
In February 2016, Michael was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown. He is the only family practitioner to be appointed to the C Panel.
Michael also has a niche specialism in child protection in sport.
Michael has appeared as junior counsel in a number of international cases in the Supreme Court, including:
- Re KL (A Child)   UKSC 75
- Re J (A Child)  UKSC 70
- Re B (A Child)  UKSC 4
- Re N (Children)  UKSC 15  1 FLR 170
And in the Court of Appeal:
- Re LC (Children)  EWCA Civ 1058
- Re KP (A Child)  EWCA Civ 554
He appears on a daily basis in the High Court. He successfully represented the father in an application to take his children to Jordan against the mother’s objections in AB v TB (Temporary Removal to Jordan)  EWHC 4663 (Fam), and appeared in ‘stranded spouse’ proceedings in NN v ZZ & Ors   EWHC 2261 (Fam).
Michael has particular expertise in care proceedings with an international element, particularly Article 15 transfers, habitual residence disputes and placements abroad under Article 56 (BIIa).
Michael has appeared in a number of high profile child protection cases, including:
The Goddard Inquiry – representing a local authority with Alex Verdan QC in the investigation into allegations against Lord Greville Janner
Ben Butler case – representing the local authority with Alex Verdan QC following the death of Ellie Butler. The case generated significant media interest:
Re A (Death of a Baby)  EWHC 2754 (Fam) (with Alison Grief QC)
A Local Authority v DB & Others   EWHC 4066 (Fam) (with Alison Grief QC)
Michael advises and appears on behalf of parents and children in disputes about children’s upbringing, especially relocation cases. He has appeared in a number of ‘intractable hostility’ cases and where one parent has made allegations of violence and sexual abuse against the other.
Michael is developing a strong financial practice, covering the full range of applications including finance for children under Schedule 1, disputes between former cohabitants, and all financial applications on divorce, whether domestic or with an international aspect.
Michael has expertise in child protection in sport. He holds BASL post-graduate certificate in sports law from the British Association for Sport and Law (BASL) and lectures in child protection on the BASL course.
In 2014, Michael was awarded a Pegasus Scholarship from the Inner Temple to work in Sarajevo, Bosnia, for a human rights charity, TRIAL. He spent three months working on war crimes trials with a particular focus on sexual violence cases. He continues to assist TRIAL from London.
Michael previously worked in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
Michael represented the Bar of England and Wales in the Lawyers’ Cricket World Cup in Delhi in October 2013.
Family Law Bar Association
Resolution (Affiliate Member)
Draws glowing reports from peers, who regard him as someone with “a bright future.” He has a broad-based practice that takes in private and public children law proceedings, including those with an international element.
Strengths: “It is unusual for such a young advocate to be instructed in cases so complex. He is instructed because he can be trusted, has a very strong intellect, and has a capacity for compassion.”
Chambers & Partners 2016