"He is a thorough and effective advocate."
The Legal 500 UK Bar
Michael originally studied Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge and pursued a career in business before becoming a barrister. He combines a practice in Financial Remedies (Matrimonial Finance / Schedule 1 Children Act 1989); with Trusts of Land (ToLATA) disputes arising between cohabiting couples, family members and friends.
Michael is known for his meticulous preparation and robust advocacy. He is a skilled negotiator whose creative approach is informed by his mediation practice and commercial experience.
Michael has represented clients at all levels from the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), the Family and County Court, to the High Court and Court of Appeal. He is used to remote hearings/multi-party conferencing via Skype, Teams or Zoom.
Michael has two young children – when he has time he enjoys wine, Irish History and Romance Philology. He speaks Spanish, Catalan and French.
Michael’s Financial Remedies practise often involves overseas assets, companies and family trusts. He regularly acts for intervenors including family members seeking to exclude assets from the matrimonial pot, or Trustees in bankruptcy.
Michael’s Trust of Land practice often encompasses proprietary estoppel claims together with other claims such as Probate and Inheritance Act (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 disputes. Michael accepts instructions on a direct public access basis in appropriate cases in both financial remedies and Trusts of Land matters and has received praise from his direct access clients: “Michael has been a strategic leader in my divorce with outstanding interpersonal skills. He intelligently navigated many complexities whilst keeping the end goal in sight and did not let interferences take the upper hand or distract but always looking to find practicable solutions.”
At the Central Family Court, Michael successfully concluded by negotiation a substantial financial remedies case where the assets – some £11m – were partly held in overseas trusts and pensions and where specialist international tax advice was required.
Michael represents Defendant siblings in cross claims for Possession and Trusts of Land / Inheritance Act.
At the Family Court at Oxford, a farm case with a complex factual history, Michael successfully argued at trial that W’s capital claims could properly be met by a single lump sum from H without the court specifying how the funds might be raised.
Michael represented the Applicant Wife at the Central Family Court – where both sets of parents intervened in matrimonial proceedings – and obtained a favourable settlement for his client by way of round-table negotiations.
At the Central London County Court, Michael’s client firedthe first salvo in a Trusts of Land case by seeking without notice Freezing Orders (CPR25 ‘Mareva Injunctions’). This was an unusual case where a young man, allegedly as a victim of undue influence transferred property to a person he viewed as a spiritual adviser. Despite considerable delay – usually fatal in such cases – the application was successful, and the Freezing Order was continued by agreement in advance of the return date, securing the arena for negotiations.
Michael successfully represented as junior the intervening respondent husband’s father and sisters who sought a declaration of their beneficial interest in significant London real estate.
Michael was accredited as a civil mediator in 2005 at Regents Park College and has mediated a wide range of subject matters. His work as a mediator now focuses on Trusts of Land, Inheritance Act and Probate and other property disputes. In Financial Remedy matters, Michael accepts instructions as a private FDR ‘judge’.
Michael is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public under the Direct Access Scheme in appropriate circumstances.
"Prepares meticulously and works incredibly hard."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2020