“The private children and child abduction guru. Dispenses sage advice calmly and very persuasive in court. Always well-prepared.”
Legal 500 2021

Experience

Year of Call: 2010

Education

University of Bristol, History (BA Hons) (First Class, placed first in year overall)
City University, GDL (Distinction)
BPP Law School, BVC (Very Competent)
Exhibition Award and Poland Prize (Inner Temple)

Appointments

2016-21: Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown (the only family practitioner appointed to the C Panel)
2018: Special Advocate (this enables him to appear in the most serious cases involving issues of national security).
2021 onwards: Attorney General’s B Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.
2021: Deputy District Judge, South Eastern Circuit
2022: The FA Judicial Appeal Panel

Profile

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 many of the leading cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court (see full case list via the link above).

Michael is Co-Editor of International Family Law, the leading journal on international family justice.

He appears regularly in private law cases involving leave to remove applications (domestic and international), allegations of domestic and sexual abuse and parental alienation. He has appeared in a number of ‘intractable hostility’ cases and cases where one parent has made allegations of violence and/or sexual abuse against the other.

Michael has also appeared in a number of high profile inquests and inquiries, including:

  • The investigation by IICSA into sexual abuse allegations against Lord Janner
  • The inquest into the death of Ellie Butler
  • Inquests on behalf of the Government Legal Department

Michael also practices in sports law, particularly child protection in sport. He advises regulatory bodies and sits on judicial panels for The FA, British Swimming and Swim England.


Other experience

In 2014, Michael was awarded a Pegasus Scholarship from the Inner Temple to work in Sarajevo, Bosnia, for the human rights charity, TRIAL, on war crimes trials with a particular focus on sexual violence cases.

Michael previously worked in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Professional Memberships

Family Law Bar Association
Association of Lawyers for Children
Inner Temple
Resolution (Affiliate Member)

Directories

Children law junior with an international practice, who has handled a number of highly complex abduction cases in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. His practice spans a broad range of private and public law proceedings involving international issues.

Strengths: “He has an intellectual grasp of complex legal issues and a great manner with clients and opponents alike.” “Diligent and well organised with great forensic ability.” “Hugely knowledgeable, especially in the area of international law, he always knows the answer.”
Chambers & Partners, 2021

‘Michael’s calm and focused demeanour in court and his forensic cross-examination is a pleasure to watch.’
Legal 500, 2021


Children law junior with a growing international practice, who has handled a number of highly complex abduction cases in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. His practice spans a broad range of private and public law proceedings involving international issues.

Strengths: “Very pleasant to deal with and can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. He’s able to find positives in any case and he’s got a relaxed style that helps keep people calm and measured. Michael is good at keeping the temperature down and coming up with a constructive way forward. Clients always have confidence in him because he argues their cases as well.” “He’s intelligent and effective as an oral advocate.”

Recent work: Appeared before the Supreme Court in a case concerning the voluntary accommodation of children by local authorities.
Chambers & Partners 2020

‘An incredible advocate; his ability to analyse the evidence and present his client’s case in the most forensic way is outstanding.’
Legal 500, 2020

Children law junior with a growing international practice, who has handled a number of highly complex abduction cases in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. His practice spans a broad range of private and public law proceedings involving international issues.
Strengths: “A very persuasive advocate. He has an enormous breadth of experience for a barrister of his seniority, and puts that experience to extremely good use in a number of different cases.”
Recent work: Led by Alex Verdan QC for the London Borough of Sutton in the widely publicised inquest into the death of Ellie Butler.
Chambers & Partners 2019

‘A walking encyclopaedia.’
Legal 500, 2019

Children law junior with a growing international practice, who has handled a number of highly complex abduction cases in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. His practice spans a broad range of private and public law proceedings involving international issues.
Strengths: “He’s fabulous. His client care is brilliant for somebody of his call and his knowledge is outstanding.”
Recent work: Led by Alex Verdan QC in an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse on behalf of Leicestershire. The matters centred on allegations made against Lord Janner relating to care homes in Leicestershire in the 1970s.
Chambers & Partners 2018

Children law junior with a growing practice, who has handled a number of highly complex abduction cases in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. His public law practice consists of the most sensitive and severe cases concerning matters such as infant death and abuse.
Strengths:  “A rising star with a packed diary of complicated children cases. He’s a bright, well prepared and thoughtful advocate.”
Chambers & Partners 2017

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

10/05/18
[2018] EWCA Civ 1372
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