In a career spanning 40 years, Mike has specialised in criminal law. Ever since they were first compiled both the Legal 500 and Chambers Directory have recognised him as a Leader in his Field – “one of the most experienced criminal lawyers in the country” (Chambers Directory).
His experience has covered the whole criminal law spectrum from serious organised crime (including major “super grass” trials), gangland murder and international drug conspiracies, through to fraud and so called “white collar crime”. In short, at one time or another he reckons to have defended in cases involving “every offence known apart from treason and arson in the Queen’s dockyards”.
Mike has developed a particular specialism in cases involving complex medical and forensic issues with particular reference to so called “shaken baby syndrome”, medical malpractice and gross negligence manslaughter.
In the regulatory field, he has been instructed by the Health and Safety Executive in a number of prosecutions, including a case involving a major international construction company following a fatal industrial accident and has defended in cases brought by BIS (formerly DTI), Trading Standards Authorities and the Medicines Control Agency.
In addition to his criminal practice, he also has defended in cases involving professional disciplinary proceedings and has undertaken inquests on behalf of police officers and major corporate clients.
He is recognised as an authority on criminal litigation and has appeared on national and local media arising from his involvement in many high profile cases. He is a Past President of Manchester Law Society and was responsible for spearheading the successful resistance to 2010 proposals for the reform of legal aid. He is one of few practitioners with whom, from time to time, the Ministry of Justice have consulted regarding criminal practice.
Cases Involving Infant Injury or Death
These cases are almost entirely dependent on the examination and presentation of expert medical evidence. Extensive involvement in these cases has allowed us to access a wide range of expertise both nationally and internationally.
R v Sally Clark : Solicitor acquitted of the murder of her two infant sons.
R v L : Murder of infant daughter who suffered multiple fractures and brain damage. Acquitted following critical examination of medical evidence for the Crown.
R v K : Child neglect – death of one of two infant twins. Defendants allegedly hid identity of twins by “swapping them” and presenting the healthy child to social workers and carers.
R v M : So called “Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy”. Young mother accused of fabricating/inducing illness in four year old child, which resulted in child undergoing over 20 surgical procedures, all of which were allegedly unnecessary. Crown dropped two counts on the indictment following receipt of defence letter exposing errors in the reports filed by prosecution medical experts. Defendant acquitted on third count.
Murder Cases Dependent on Forensic/Medical Issues
R v B : Defendant acquitted of murder following death of a pensioner who had been in a coma for 4 years. The case was dependent on the evidence of pathologists, who differed as to the actual cause of death, which could have been the result of naturally occurring stroke.
R v G : Defendant acquitted of murder of her lover by bludgeoning him to death. Case turned on discrete forensic issues including the identification of the source of blood stains found on the defendant’s clothing and legal submissions as to the method of police questioning.
R V T : Ex Chair of county council prosecuted for election fraud. Defendant acquitted – case dependent on forensic examination of handwriting.
R v L : Senior banking lawyer acquitted after trial of murder of his wife, who was stabbed 28 times. Defendant convicted on his plea to manslaughter.
R v R : Liverpool murder of army cadet defendant acquitted of murder, convicted of violent disorder.
R v Ra : Defendant in Bradford murder of PC Beshenevski. Convicted of robbery.
R v M : Youth accused of murder of a toddler left in his care.
R V S : Nursing sister accused of multiple attempted murders of elderly hospital in-patients who were said to be “bed blocking” the system.
Operation Karnak : Importation of cannabis with street value of £78m.
Operation Lumpfish : Internet based fraud on I Tunes netting over £4m.
Operation Tudor: Major conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs in northern England.
R v PML : “Triad” based fatal shooting.
R V W : Gang related fatal shooting at major street carnival.
R v C : Terrorism prosecution of Ulster Loyalists responsible for planting explosive device on vehicle owned by a political rival.
R v Re and R v K : Advised suspects in investigations into acts of terrorism on UK mainland.
Re L : Advised custody sergeant in relation to inquest into death in police custody.
Re AL : Advised police tactical adviser in relation to inquest into death occurring during a police pursuit.
Re IT : Advised officers involved in police firearms training, which resulted in death.
Health and Safety
R v A Ltd, S Ltd : Advised HSE in prosecution of leading construction company following fatal accident on one of its construction sites.
Re B and T : Advising major international engineering company during investigation of double fatality which occurred during routine maintenance operations.
R V T Ltd and T : Advised HSE in prosecution of a company director following fatal injury to employee when a mobile tower collapsed.