Viewing: Silk for Michelle Heeley QC

Michelle read Law and German at University, studying not only English law but also German and European legislation. Whilst at Nottingham Law School, Michelle was awarded the Ropewalk Prize for Mooting.
Michelle has extensive experience in the Crown court conducting trials and mitigations. She has dealt with a panoply of cases as both a prosecutor and defender ranging from Murder to rape to large scale drug smuggling and VAT fraud.
Michelle undertakes private Magistrates court work and specialises in careless driving cases that have resulted in death or serious injury.
Michelle is a Grade 4 Prosecutor and is also on the Attorney General’s prosecuting list. She 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 is the Junior of choice for many senior members of chambers and is renowned for her team player attitude, taking responsibility for the case as a whole when required.
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.
“She is methodical, meticulous and effective.”
Chambers UK 2019
‘Prosecutes and defends in cases involving drugs conspiracies, sexual offences and homicide.’
Legal 500 2019
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
Notable Cases
Operation Springtime
Michelle was Leading Prosecution Counsel in a category 1 drugs supply conspiracy. A total of 21 defendants were prosecuted with for events spanning a 14 month period. The case involved the analysis of dozens of phones, as well as use of cell site evidence. Experts were called as to drugs valuation and terminology. In all, 20 defendants were convicted, receiving over 150 yrs imprisonment. The case led to the recovery of hundreds of thousands of pounds under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Operation Camper
Michelle was Leading Prosecution Counsel in a category 1 drugs supply conspiracy. A total of 42 defendants were prosecuted in a series of 6 different prosecutions. The case involved a UCO, and witness anonymity orders to show the breadth of a Birmingham wide drug dealing network. The evidence uncovered all ranks of the conspiracy, with the Leading roles receiving 15 yrs imprisonment each. There were hundreds of phones analysed, with phone attribution at the heart of the case. The jury accepted the Crown’s case in full.
Operation Fry
Michelle was Prosecution Junior in a gang related conspiracy to murder. The case dealt with 6 separate shootings, with numerous people seriously injured. Evidence of gang involvement came from songs uploaded onto You Tube, as well as use of Police intelligence. The case involved complex disclosure issues, particularly in respect of suspicion of ongoing parallel investigations. The main defendant received a sentence of 27 years imprisonment.
Operation Falkenbach
Michelle was Prosecution Junior on a 10 handed multi million pound money laundering trial. Michelle drafted 63 pages of agreed facts, reducing complex issues to a manageable format. There was evidence from Money laundering experts as to the complexities involved in laundering such large sums of cash. The case involved surveillance, analysis of telephones, and use of complex schedules to demonstrate a worldwide money laundering network.
Stephen Walters
Michelle advised pre charge on allegations of sexual assault by serving Police officer during the course of his duty. There were a number of vulnerable witnesses, which prompted a thorough review of potentially undermining material. Consideration had to be given to witnesses of bad character and how that would affect the outcome of the trial. Ultimately the officer pleaded and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment.
Operation Track
Michelle prosecuted a gang related shooting outside a nightclub. The case hinged upon expert facial mapping evidence, and frame by frame analysis of dozens of separate CCTV cameras. Michelle called the expert to present a technically intricate report, but was able to present it to the jury in an understandable, clear format. The jury convicted and the defendant received a total of 8 yrs imprisonment.
Roger Smith
Michelle prosecuted the defendant for terrorism related offences. The defendant was in possession of weapons, explosives, and also terrorism related material. The case turned upon the defendant’s intent and whether he had an innocent explanation for the possession of such material. A chemical expert gave evidence as to the various potential uses of the explosive material. The defendant was convicted, and found to have a terrorist ideology by the Judge.
Operation Commission
Michelle was the lead Prosecutor in a 8 handed conspiracy to burgle and commit arson. The defendants were part of a Romanian gang, who targeted high end jewellers within shopping centres. The gang set fires to distract the emergency services, then raided jewellers, stealing over 3m. The case involved 11 separate burglaries, covering offences Nationwide, 8 separate Police forces had to be co-ordinated to ensure a composite picture was put forward. All defendants pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 8 yrs imprisonment, with orders for their deportation made.
Zaid Malik
Michelle defended a serving Police Officer on charges of Perverting the Course of Justice. Michelle successfully argued against the inclusion of alleged bad character evidence. She had to cross examine several serving Police Officers and suggest collusion against her client. The case involved careful analysis of CCTV and cell site evidence.
Operation Kata/3365
Linked cases involving a corrupt police officer accessing police databases to obtain intelligence about his drug dealing friends. He subsequently fed his friends the information which enabled them to avoid detection for a significant period. Officer pleaded guilty, his associates were jailed for 10 years for drug dealing.
Operation Quaver
Multimillion pound car ringing case involving an OCG operating nationally, stealing high value cars to order then using their parts to give Cat D write off cars a new identity. Involved surveillance, sell site and CMP material.
R v Tom Wells
Junior for Home Affairs correspondent for the Sun charged as part of the Operation Elveden enquiry into Phone hacking. Trial is still ongoing.
R v Nicola Coleman
Defence Junior for woman charged with murder of her partner. Case raised issues of fitness to plead/diminished responsibility/manslaughter by provocation.
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 Karl Hansford
Successful prosecution of a rape involving the defendant’s step daughter. Case involved numerous child witnesses and special measures applications. Case also involved successful cross examination of three purported alibi witnesses all of whom were proven to have lied.
R v Aaron Josephs
Led junior in the prosecution of a gang related shooting. The case involved reluctant witnesses as well as technical ballistics evidence.
R v Terry Gardner and others (Operation Variation)
Led Junior in the successful prosecution of twenty defendants involved in a countrywide conspiracy to supply cannabis and cocaine. The case involved covert surveillance and undercover officers. The case also led to multi million pound POCA applications.
R v Dominic Stone
Successful prosecution of a vicar charged with downloading images of child pornography. The case generated nationwide media coverage and also involved the presentation of complex technical evidence to a lay jury.
R v Jason King Jones
Successful defence of an historical rape charge dealing with numerous vulnerable witnesses. The case also involved defence expert evidence as to expected medical repercussions of such an allegation.
R v W
Successful prosecution of historical abuse against the defendant’s adopted daughter. The allegations dated back over twenty years. The case also involved sensitive photographs that had to be dealt with in an appropriate manner so as to protect the dignity of the complainant whilst achieving maximum impact before the jury.
R v Westwood
Led Junior for the protaganist in the second largest prison riot in English history. A 3month cases involving difficult issues of disclosure and identification evidence.
R v Patel
A large scale people smuggling operation that involved analysis of American law and its application under a conspiracy in this jurisdiction. A particularly vulnerable client who required careful handling. Dealt with the subsequent multi million pound confiscation hearing reducing a Prosecution claim of 3.2 million to 75,000.
R v Webster
Successful defence of an alleged cannabis smuggler. This was a SOCA prosecution involving Dutch intercept evidence and large scale probe material. A 3 month case resulting from a 2 year operation.
R v Collett et al
Single handed prosecution of a three handed kidnapping case resulting from a drugs debt. The victims were known drug users and therefore potentially unreliable before a jury however the case resulted in successful convictions of all defendants with the main defendant receiving an IPP.
R v Ali
Reported case from the Court of Appeal involving submissions of an unsafe conviction for armed robbery. The Court of Appeal not only quashed the conviction but also ordered that there should be no re trial.
R v Carty
Led Junior for the successful prosecution of the leader of the Johnston Crew for attempted murder. The victim was a University student who was shot 3 times yet survived. The case involved witnesses from all over the world which required careful planning and preparation and ultimately led to a minimum 14 year IPP.
R v Hussain et al
Led Junior in the prosecution of a family dispute which led to charges of arson and attempted murder. The case was particularly difficult due to the victims of the attempted murder also being in the dock for the same offences. All five defendants were successfully prosecuted leading to 14 year terms of imprisonment.
R v Robinson
Defence of a woman of good character charged with 500,000 money laundering offences. The case required detailed analysis of many accounts and financial documentation. An in depth knowledge of money laundering law was also required, ultimately the case was successful.
R v Dad and Others
Led Junior in Operation Segmen, one of SOCA’s most important operations designed to snare the main drug dealers in Bristol. Regular security briefings were necessary and the Home Secretary received weekly updates. All of the main defendants were successfully convicted after a 2 month trial.
R v Roger Smith
Successful prosecution of a self proclaimed survivalist for offences under the Explosive Act and the Terrorism Act. The case involved detailed expert evidence about potential usage of chemicals.
Appointments
Recorder - North Eastern Circuit
Memberships
Criminal Bar Association
Health and Safety Lawyers Association
Member of Midlands Circuit
Qualifications
LLB (Europe) (Hons)

Latest News & Publications

Michelle Heeley QC is leading the prosecution in an £11m money laundering trial....

Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2019
Queen’s Counsel at No5 Barristers’ Chambers sees juvenile client acquitted in murder trial...

Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2019
A new group has been launched in the Midlands to support women who work in the criminal law as concerns grow over the number of women who are leaving the profession....

Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2019