“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

Experience

Year of Call: 2010

Education

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)

Profile

Michael has a broad family law practice concentrating on parental disputes about arrangements for children after separation, international children law including child abduction, care proceedings and financial matters on divorce.  He regularly appears in the High Court and has appeared in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

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.


International:
Michael has a particular specialism in children cases with an international element, including child abduction, leave to remove, jurisdiction disputes and cases under the 1996 Hague Convention.

He has appeared as junior counsel in a number of cases in the Supreme Court, including:

Re KL (A Child) [2013] [2013] UKSC 75 – the inherent jurisdiction in Hague Convention cases
Re J (A Child) [2015] UKSC 70 – Article 11 (1996 Hague convention)
Re B (A Child) [2016] UKSC 4 – Habitual residence; parens patriae

and in the Court of Appeal:

Re KL (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 554
Re LC (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 1058

He appears on a daily basis in the High Court. He successfully represented the father in an application to take children on holiday to Jordan against the mother’s objections in AB v TB (Temporary Removal to Jordan) [2014] EWHC 4663 (Fam), and appeared in ‘stranded spouse’ proceedings on behalf of family members in NN v ZZ & Ors [2013] [2013] EWHC 2261 (Fam).

Private law:
Michael advises and appears on behalf of parents and children in disputes about children’s upbringing, including where children should live and whether they should move abroad. He has represented clients in a number of ‘intractable hostility’ cases and cases in which one parent has made allegations of violence and sexual abuse against the other.

Financial:
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.  He was recently involved in a long-running, complex financial remedies case involving allegations of fraud and conspiracy, as junior to Charles Hale QC.

Care proceedings:
Michael has particular expertise in care proceedings with an international element, particularly Article 15 transfers, habitual residence and placements abroad under Article 56 (BIIa).

Michael has been instructed on a number of cases involving the death of a child, including representing the local authority successfully at first instance and subsequently on appeal in A (Death of a Baby), Re [2011] EWHC 2754 (Fam) (with Alison Grief, now QC) and in A Local Authority v DB & Others [2013] [2013] EWHC 4066 (Fam) (also with Alison Grief). He was led over the course of 2014 by Alex Verdan QC in a long running case, again involving the death of a child.

Other experience:
Michael has an interest in child protection issues is sport. He completed the BASL post-graduate certificate in sports law and now lectures on  the BASL course on child protection.

In 2014, Michael was awarded a Pegasus Scholarship from the Inner Temple to work in Sarajevo, Bosnia, for the human rights charity, TRIAL (Track Impunity Always). He spent three months working on war crimes trials with a particular focus on sexual violence cases. He continues to assist TRIAL from London.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Michael worked in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Michael enjoys watching and playing cricket. He represented the Bar of England and Wales in the Lawyers’ Cricket World Cup in Delhi in October 2013.

Professional Memberships

Family Law Bar Association
Inner Temple
Resolution (Affiliate Member)

Directories

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

26/07/13
[2013] EWHC 2261 (Fam)
13/10/11
[2012] 2 FCR 325; [2011] EWCA Civ 1774
14/07/11
[2011] EWCA Civ 1230