Deans Court Chambers

Expert legal advice and advocacy, delivered by an outstanding team of Queen’s Counsel and barristers.

Education

  • Audenshaw Sixth Form
  • Prince of Wales Scholarship - Gray’s Inn
  • Leeds University LLB - 1st Class
  • Salford University LLM - Health, Safety and Environmental Law - Distinction

Appointments

  • CPS Advocates Panel - Cat 2
  • Approved Counsel for the Falkland Islands
  • Attorney General's Unified List of Prosecution Counsel - Cat C

Professional Associations

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Health and Safety Lawyers' Association
  • Northern Circuit

Profile

Michelle completed a criminal pupillage at Deans Court in 2006, with Lisa Judge as her pupil supervisor. Her practice has been exclusively crime and regulatory from its inception split between Legal Aid, insurance funded and private client work. Whilst Michelle predominately acts for the Defence, she has secured valuable experience prosecuting regulatory work for Local Authorities in both the Magistrates and Crown Court. In addition, Michelle is listed on the current CPS Panel. Michelle has a keen interest in Health and Safety and Environmental Law, as demonstrated by the Masters she was awarded in these disciplines last year. Over the last two years her defence work has extended to GMC FTP, IOP, and Review, hearings. Michelle also has appeared in the Court of Appeal on her own cases, all to successful resolution.

Specialist Crime

Michelle has considerable experience in conducting road traffic cases ranging from trials involving fatalities and life-changing injuries through to ancillary sentencing matters such as Special Reasons and Exceptional Hardship arguments. The majority of this work has been insurance funded where there are civil claims looming and private client work for directors, senior management and high profile sporting figures. Michelle is often instructed at an early stage for preliminary advice, attending inquests, subsequent criminal proceedings and with civil claims then being passed within chambers to our highly renowned personal injury team. Michelle also has significant experience in respect of work under the Dangerous Dogs Act, applications for SOPO’s and Proceeds of Crime hearings.


Regulatory

Michelle successfully completed her Masters in Health and Safety and Environmental Law in 2011 from Salford University obtaining a Distinction and an award for Best Student in Class. She regularly advises and represents large national companies in respect of breaches of the HSWA and secondary legislation, offences under the Water Resources Act 1991 and Environmental Protection Act 1990, and appeals against improvement and prohibition notices. She has worked with a number of local authorities prosecuting housing law, statutory nuisances and appeals against abatement notices, in particular noise, in addition to a number of high profile cases in respect of food hygiene. Licensing law has become a growth area of work for Michelle, especially in respect of taxi and premises licences, with her attending at both Council level hearings and appeals to the Magistrates for both the Local Authority and Applicants/ Appellants. Michelle has represented doctors at disciplinary appeals, students appealing against dismissal from University and a range of GMC hearings. Michelle also has experience in NMC work after an 8 week secondment in which she provided advice on whether there was a case to answer.

Court of Protection and Mental Health Law

Michelle has developed an interest and experience in this area primarily through her practice in the coronial and criminal justice system to date. During the latter this has taken the form of fitness to plead hearings and applications for interim and final hospital orders, as well as representation of clients suffering from ADHD and Aspergers Syndrome. As part of her inquest work, she has had to become increasingly familiar with issues of capacity and deprivation of liberty, having represented private companies (care homes and private hospitals) where issues as to standards of care have arisen. Michelle has attended seminars organised by Peter Edwards, touching upon the MHA, MCA and DOLS in order to aid continuing professional development in this area.

Notable Cases

  • Road Traffic 

    R v. B 

    Defendant acquitted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving on the basis of self-defence.

  • Professional Discipline

    University of the City of London -v- A

    NMC Defence case - It was an appeal against the removal of a student from her midwifery course with respect to criminal convictions. It was an appeal which went through the University Appeals Process.

  • Motoring Offences

    R v. R

    Successful Appeal Against Sentence to the Court of Appeal on a charge of Dangerous Driving.

  • Court of Appeal

    R v. G

    Successful Appeal Against Sentence to the Court of Appeal Against sentence imposed contrary to agreed basis of plea and Crown Opening.

  • Health and Safety

    R v F

    Acquittal of two defendants on indictment for charges under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

  • Health and Safety

    Bradford MDC v Retail Stores

    Led Junior in a fatal health and safety case (fall from height).

  • Health and Safety

    Leicester BC v Card Retailer

    Defence Counsel in respect of substantive breaches of HSWA and associated regulations, plus breaches of improvement notices.

  • Health and Safety

    Bradford MDC v The Restaurant Group Plc

    Health & Safety Prosecution of Frankie and Benney's following second degree burn injuries to employee by a deep fat fryer.

  • Health and Safety

    Bradford MDC v Ayub and Ghafour

    Food Hygiene Prosecution following the poisoning of 64 customers with the rare Giadia Lamblia parasite.

  • Crime

    Regina v Crossley

    Defending Pub Landlord who faked a robbery at his own premises.

  • Crime

    Regina v Walker

    Prosecution of 21 year old man suffering from Aspergers Syndrome charged with Arson.

  • Health and Safety

    Environmental Agency v. A Company

    Absolute discharges for Company Director and Company prosecuted under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2007. No costs awarded to EA.

  • Crime

    R v. JM

    Defence of 17 year old charged with multiple counts of arson.

  • Crime

    R v. M

    Successful defence of professional athlete on a charge of s.20.

  • Motoring Offences

    R. v H

    Successful defence of death by careless driving charge.

  • R vs. JM

    Successful reduction in notional determinate term.

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