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Barrister - michelle heeley

Year of Call:  2001

Year of Silk:  2017

Michelle Heeley Crime CV

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Senior Practice Manager
Andrew Trotter

Practice Group Clerks
Craig Nicholls
Michael Powell 
Drew Platt
James Harte
Daniel Lillis
Marc Forrest-Thomas

Chief Executive & Director of Clerking
Tony McDaid

Tel: +44 (0) 845 210 5555
Fax: +44 (0) 121 606 1501
[email protected]

Michelle Heeley QC - Crime

Michelle took Silk in 2017 and is currently the youngest criminal Silk in the country. Michelle is Deputy Head of the Crime Group, and also the Head of Advocacy Training for the Midland Circuit. Michelle sits as a Recorder and holds a Serious Sexual Offences Certificate.

Michelle is regularly instructed by the Complex Casework Unit and prosecuting division for the Serious Organised Crime Agency to prosecute large scale, multi handed cases involving complex legal issues. 

Michelle undertakes private defence work, and is noted for her particular expertise in rape cases and in dealing with Vulnerable witnesses. As part of her Circuit responsibilities Michelle trains other Advocates in the questioning of vulnerable witnesses.

Michelle is regularly instructed in murder cases, both prosecution and defence, particularly those involving youths, she is noted for her ability to deal with young and vulnerable clients and witnesses.

Michelle has dealt with many confiscation hearings for both Prosecution and defence, often in cases involving multi million pound claims. She is experienced at drafting skeleton arguments and researching new areas of law in order to achieve the best outcome for her clients. 

Michelle is also instructed in cases defending Police officers charged with criminal offences. She is renowned for her client care skills and ability to relate to people from all walks of life.

Michelle often deals with inquests from which criminal proceedings could or do arise. She is well versed in the best manner to protect clients from potential criminal liability.


Well-regarded silk who provides experienced prosecution and defence counsel across a broad range of high-profile matters. She has expert knowledge of criminal fraud, drug trafficking, rape, murder and other serious criminal offences.
Strengths: "She has a really strong presence is court and is very knowledgeable. She also inspires a lot of confidence in clients."

Acts on cases pertaining to the most serious categories of offences that a person can be charged with, from murder and rape to major drug smuggling cases. She is renowned as an expert in rape cases, and often provides pre-charge advice to the CPS on particularly grave and sensitive cases.
Chambers UK, 2016







‘She is not afraid to confront an issue if and when required.’
Legal 500, 2015

Defends and prosecutes in both the Magistrates' and Crown Courts. As a Grade 4 CPS prosecutor, she takes on complex frauds, cases of sexual abuse and large drugs supply cases.  "She is very bright, extremely enthusiastic and clearly dedicated to getting a good result for the client."
Chambers UK 2015

'Has an increasingly busy practice across all areas of the criminal law. Her practice encompasses drug supply and fraud-related cases.'
Chambers UK 2014

As a Grade 4 prosecutor, Michelle Heeley has worked for the Complex Casework Unit in the prosecution of a multimillion-pound drug supply ring, involving complex surveillance evidence and consequent PII (public interest immunity) applications. Market sources comment that "her technical ability and paper practice are excellent. She is extremely conscientious about keeping instructing solicitors updated." 
Chambers UK 2013

NOTABLE CASES                                                                   

Operation Canvas
The first prosecution of people using drones to fly contraband into prisons. Over 20 people were prosecuted and the case resulted in Nationwide headlines. The case also featured in BBC2s The Prosecutors

R v LK
Instructed to defend a 15 year old boy accused of murder. Case resolved with a plea to manslaughter.

R v Cooke
Instructed to defend a man accused of joint enterprise murder. After cross examination of the pathologist the Judge threw the case out at half time

R v Mehta
Prosecution of a Doctor accused of sexually assaulting patients. The case made headlines nationwide and resulted in a conviction

Operation Commission
Prosecution of a nationwide conspiracy by a Romanian gang to steal millions of pounds from jewellers. Case involved co-ordination of 8 Police forces. Convictions were achieved against all defendants

Operation Canvas
Prosecution of 42 defendants controlling the supply of class A drugs across Birmingham. The case involved 10 separate indictments and resulted in convictions and POCA orders against all defendants.

R v  Tom Wells
Junior for Home Affairs correspondent for the Sun charged as part of the Operation Elveden enquiry into Phone hacking. The trial was ongoing at the time of the Court of Appeal authority on Misconduct in Public Office being handed down. Application of the new law led to the acquittal of Mr Wells

Operation 1026
Prosecution of 30 members of a linked OCG supplying guns and drugs into the West Midlands are. Case involved under cover operatives and difficult disclosure issues. 

R v Pinney
Prosecution of a paedophile grooming young boys over the internet. Dealt with 30 complainants, many of whom required intermediaries. The case resulted in convictions on 42 counts

R v Roger Smith
Prosecution of a white supremacist terrorist for possession of explosives and terror material.

R v Fry
Led Junior in the prosecution of a conspiracy to commit murder. This involved a dispute between two notorious Birmingham gangs with 8 shootings forming the basis of the prosecution. The main defendant was sentenced to a total of 27 years.

R v Mark Hodge
Prosecution of a solicitor for raping a vulnerable 18 year old. The case made headlines due to the defendant being a Partner in a Commercial law firm


LLB (Europe) (Hons)


Criminal Bar Association


Recorder - North Eastern Circuit