Michael is a specialist trial Barrister who has been appearing in the Crown Court for 20 years. He appears as Leading Counsel and has been in legal practice for over 20 years, firstly as a solicitor and subsequently, and presently, as a Barrister. He heads the Crime Department’s in-house advocacy team and is joint head of the Department. He set up Freemans Crime Department and has continued to lead/co-lead it since, ensuring that it has maintained a reputation for high-quality work.
He has been recognised for his advocacy in Legal 500 for a number of years, being described in various editions as an ‘outstanding trial advocate‘ a ‘very committed and competent trial advocate’, ‘very experienced ‘‘talented’ and an ‘excellent advocate’. He has also been ranked in Chambers and Partners, with previous editions stating, ‘He is excellent and knows the law back to front’. ‘Michael is outstanding – his grasp of the finer details is something to behold’. ‘A superb lawyer and an absolute pleasure to work with’. ‘Michael is very experienced, knowledgeable and thorough, with a calm yet confident manner which was very reassuring’. The 2024 edition indicates “Michael Field is a brilliant barrister and an expert in his field. He handled our case with the utmost care and diligence, and his patience and understanding carried the case to the closing line.”
He is regularly instructed in serious and complex cases and has substantial experience. His instructions have included allegations of murder, attempted murder, rape, indecent assault; sexual offences involving children, kidnap; very serious assaults, cases involving domestic violence, public order offences, armed robbery, aggravated (GBH) burglary, large-scale importation and supply of drugs, money laundering; and serious fraud.
He enjoys a very impressive record in winning jury trials that he prepares meticulously. He has received positive feedback from judges, clients, solicitors, and peers. He also has an admirable record of helping clients in road traffic and HMO cases.
He appeared in a 3-month serious trial as junior Counsel alone directly against well-regarded Queens Counsel (herself supported by two juniors) for the Crown. That QC was awarded ‘silk of the year’ by Legal 500. Mr. Field’s client was the only member of the central 4-member family not to be convicted of at least one count.
He was also involved in a 2-month murder trial at the Central Criminal Court, raising hugely complex parasitic secondary participation issues. The trial judge described it as the most complicated joint enterprise murder trial she had presided over. The case was before the Supreme Court decision in Jogee. His client was acquitted of murder.
He was appointed by the Court of Appeal as junior Counsel to a leading QC in a murder appeal (CCRC referral) where he has represented the client post-conviction. The case has very complex expert evidence across many disciplines and was unsurprisingly described as ‘extremely complex’ by LJ Dyson at the first appeal.
In 2017, he concluded a murder trial as a junior to Queens Counsel that was one of a tiny number that explored the interface between assisted suicide and murder. The High Court trial Judge allowed a no case to answer submission on murder at the conclusion of the crown’s case.
He has been appointed as a specialist advocate under s. 4 (A) (2) of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 to represent the interests of a Defendant found unfit to plead in the following GBH Trial. Such appointment is being made after an assessment of suitability by the experienced crown court judge, as per the guidance in (R v Norman  EWCA Crim 1810] to ensure that competent to fulfil that ‘‘‘difficult task’. He also has successfully appeared as an advocate in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).
He has provided legal training to senior lawyers and appeared as a guest university lecturer on criminal law. He is also an Independent Funding Adjudicator. This was an appointment made following a recommendation by an Advisory Assessment Panel to the Lord Chancellor.
The following represents a selection of the cases in which Michael has been instructed as an advocate: –
• R v R and ors –conspiracy to defraud where most defendants deaf
• R v S and ors – false imprisonment/ robbery at the Central Criminal Court involving extreme threat of violence/cut throat defence
• R v P & ors – allegation that planned a major disturbance at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre, resulting in over £5m of damage
• R v P and ors – large-scale money laundering case
• R v B – murder case where defendant highly vulnerable with long history of mental illness
• R v B – attempted murder where represented defendant with a significant learning disability, requiring the assistance of registered intermediary*;
• R v M – murder case where very complex contested psychiatric evidence*;
• R v O and others murder with complex parasitic joint enterprise issues (pre-Jogee)*
• R v W – CCRC murder appeal with extremely complex multi-faceted expert evidence*
• R v D murder where assisted suicide defence*
• R v C sexual assault, where the main prosecution witness was seven years old at trial
• R v D extremely violent aggravated burglary /possession of firearm case.
• R v R rape alleged at house holding birthday party of a well-known celebrity.
• R v Islam & ors – undercover police operation involving test purchases from Class A street drug dealers. Said at the time to have uncovered the most significant drug dealing operation seen in the east end of London for years;
• R v C & ors – represented defendant where proceedings arose out of an enormous enquiry into drug trafficking, and the prosecution case focussed on allegations made by a so-called ‘supergrass’**
• R v P and ors – lead defendant in a multi-handed conspiracy to traffic women for sexual exploitation case**
• R v H – undercover sting operation by Metropolitan police paedophile unit against 27-year-old male
• R v DO & ors – large-scale conspiracy to manufacture passports and other false documents case
• R v C S.18 OAPA 1861 (GBH), where the defendant alleged to have bitten off the complainant’s ear
• R v P – s.18 OAPA 1861 (GBH), where significant mental health issues
• R v K and others – represented defendant in 67-day trial charged following seizure by customs officers of twelve and a half tonnes of cannabis resin – described as one of the biggest seizures of cannabis in British Criminal History**.
• R v M and others – SFO Prosecution. £2m investment fraud alleged to have targeted ex-patriots. VHCC*
• R v F – represented a mother accused of child cruelty against her twin babies, who were less than a month old
• R v P and others – kidnap trial conducted throughout in the absence of the defendant.
• R v W and others – lead defendant and main director of safety deposit box company prosecuted as part of ‘Operation Rize’ said to be one of the largest operations in Metropolitan police history**
• R v L – appointed by a very well-respected crown court judge to represent the interests of an unfit defendant on s18 (wounding with intent) trial pursuant to s4(a)(2) of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964
• R v S –involved allegations of rape and other sexual offences against daughter, separate rape of a long-term partner (all historic), and child cruelty against all four children.
• R v M and others – gang rape of 16-year-old girl
*led by QC
** led junior
Michael provides specialist assistance in challenging investigations and prosecutions concerning Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). He has represented a number of landlords relating to alleged breaches of both the licensing regime and the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006. He can provide assistance where the local authority proposes a financial penalty for the offences set out in section 249A of the Housing Act 2004 and the matters set out in Part 2 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
In his spare time, Michael enjoys watching movies and football, particularly Arsenal, playing tennis, and loves spending time with his family.
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