Michael is a barrister in No5’s Public Law Group.
He practises in a wide range of public law matters and related areas. He frequently appears in the High Court (Administrative Court), County Court, the Upper Tribunal and First-tier Tribunal as well as the Parole Board, among other tribunals. Michael specialises in the following areas:
Prison law: Judicial review of decisions taken by governors, the Prison Service or Secretary of State; Human Rights Act claims and negligence claims relating to incidents and injuries in custody; Unlawful imprisonment claims.
Parole law: Advocacy at complex parole hearings (including TACT and mental health cases), Judicial Review of substantive and procedural decisions, Reconsideration applications and submissions in response.
Asylum support: Judicial Review of failures to provide adequate accommodation and support for destitute asylum seekers and their dependents; challenges to age assessment decisions by local authorities. Where necessary, Michael is able to draft interim relief applications and attend interim relief hearings at short notice.
Inquests: Michael has experience of a variety of inquests (including multi-day jury inquests), acting for both families and other interested parties, in particular inquests involving custodial settings and/or mental health provision.
Education law: Advocacy at Special Educational Needs appeal hearings and disability discrimination in schools hearings, judicial review of education decisions or omissions, advice on education law generally.
Mental health: e.g. Displacement applications (s29 MHA), advice on local authority aftercare responsibilities (s117 MHA).
Data protection: Advice on data protection considerations in various contexts.
Michael is happy to accept instructions in other areas of public law if he is competent to do so.
Michael is particularly interested in human rights and public international law and, as a pupil, was a member of the Human Rights Lawyers Association’s Young Lawyers Committee. Furthermore, he has considerable experience with information rights issues, in particular those relating to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
During his pupillage, Michael additionally gained experience of a wide variety of challenges to central and local government decisions and policies, often of a sensitive political nature and with a complex evidential background. He was also involved in a range of education law, social care law and professional discipline cases.
As a fluent German and French speaker, Michael is also happy to work on any cases with a European (EU law / ECHR) or transnational dimension.
Before coming to the Bar, Michael worked in the fields of international relations and international criminal justice in several countries.
At Justice Rapid Response in Geneva (2014-2017), he supported investigations and prosecutions of international crimes and serious human rights violations in project management, policy and external relations roles, working together with international organizations, global NGOs and national justice institutions. He is familiar with international human rights mechanisms and UN procedures as well as transitional justice processes in countries as diverse as Iraq, Gambia and Guatemala.
Michael has also previously worked for the European Union’s Delegation to Switzerland, for a Brussels-based foreign policy thinktank, for a human security research institute in Vancouver and for a humanitarian organization in Geneva.
Michael is an experienced public speaker, including at international conferences, and welcomes requests to act as a panel moderator. He has been on the board of several charities as a Trustee-equivalent and enjoys giving pro bono legal and strategic advice to non-profit organizations.
German (native), French (fluent), Turkish (elementary)
R (Newson) v Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 2836 (Admin)
Although the Parole Board had directed his release in February 2022, the Claimant (an IPP prisoner) remained in custody by November 2022 due to delays to arranging supported accommodation. The Court (Ritchie J), following an expedited rolled up hearing, held that the Claimant’s imprisonment was unlawful after 1 August 2022 and in violation of Article 5 ECHR, granting judgment for damages to be assessed. Michael acted for the Claimant.
R (Coulter) v Secretary of State for Justice CO/1739/2022 (23 September 2022)
The Secretary of State for Justice had refused an oral hearing in the context of the review of the Claimant’s Category A status. The Court (HHJ Stephen Davies) held that this refusal was wrong, as fairness required a hearing to obtain the psychologists’ views on a point of importance and to allow the Claimant to respond to allegations made against him. The decision was quashed and an oral hearing ordered. Michael acted for the Claimant.
R (Farid) v Parole Board CO/2030/2022 (9 August 2022)
The Claimant sought expedited judicial review of a decision of the Parole Board not to order his release following his recall to custody. The Court (HHJ Bird) held that the Parole Board panel had failed to give adequate reasons for rejecting expert evidence and that an important part of its reasoning was irrational. The panel’s decision was quashed and a priority re-hearing before a different panel ordered. Michael acted for the Claimant.
R (Kane) v Independent Adjudicator and Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 1376 (Admin)
The Claimant had asked the Independent Adjudicator to dismiss the charges against him as they had not been properly referred to her. Permission for judicial review of the Independent Adjudicator’s refusal to do so was granted by the Court of Appeal. In the substantive hearing, the Administrative Court (Hugh Mercer QC) allowed the claim and quashed the Independent Adjudicator’s finding and punishment. The Court of Appeal has now granted permission to appeal to the Secretary of State, with the appeal to be heard in 2023. Michael acts for the Claimant.
R (Ali) v Parole Board CO/3545/2021 (5 May 2022)
The Claimant applied for judicial review of a decision of the Parole Board not to recommend his transfer to open conditions, on the grounds of a failure to comply with directions and of irrationality. The Court (Matthew Gullick QC) allowed the claim and quashed the decision. Michael acted for the Claimant.
R (Greene) v Parole Board CO/3120/2021 (8 March 2022)
The Claimant challenged a decision of the Parole Board to conclude his parole review without a hearing. The Court (Foster J), applying Osborn, Booth and Reilly  UKSC 61 held that fairness clearly required an oral hearing in the circumstances, quashed the Parole Board’s decision and directed an oral hearing. Michael acted for the Claimant.
R (Farmer) v Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 3487 (Admin)
A successful challenge to a decision refusing the Claimant’s downgrade from Category A to Category B, taken without an oral hearing. The Court (Steven Kovats QC) held that the decision was unfair at common law and granted a quashing order. Michael acted for the Claimant.
R (Pierpoint) v Parole Board for England and Wales  EWHC 2705 (Admin)
A successful challenge to a refusal by the Parole Board to grant an oral hearing in a recall case. The Parole Board had failed to comply with the Osborn guidelines and failed to give adequate reasons. The Court (HHJ Saffman) made a mandatory order for an oral hearing. Michael acted for the Claimant.
Member of the Advisory Board, SINGA Switzerland (charity supporting refugee and migrant entrepreneurs)
Assessor, Swiss Study Foundation (interviewing and selecting scholarship candidates)
Phoenicia Scholarship, Bar European Group (2020)
Buchanan Prize, Lincoln’s Inn (2019)
BPTC Scholarship for pro bono achievements, BPP (2018-2019)
Lord Brougham Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2017-2018)
Scholar of the Swiss Study Foundation (2009-2015)
Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)
Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC)
Bar European Group
BPTC – BPP University – Outstanding
GDL – University of Law – Distinction
Master in International Affairs – Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva – First equivalent
Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics – University of Oxford
German (native), French (fluent), Turkish (elementary)