Michael Collis

Year of call: 2004

Michael has extensive experience of acting for defendants in serious criminal cases, both instructed as a junior alone and a led junior. His trial history includes section 18 GBH cases, kidnapping, a conspiracy to defraud, robberies, rapes, sexual assaults, possession of indecent images, burglaries, drugs supply, escape from lawful custody and dishonesty offences.

Expertise

Michael has developed a particular experience in road traffic cases, having successfully advanced technical arguments in alcohol-related driving offences e.g. the “hip flask” case, having won a number of special reasons cases and having regularly succeeded in “exceptional hardship” arguments.

In addition to prosecuting for the CPS (Level 2), Michael’s prosecution experience also includes acting for the Probation Service, the Youth Offending Team, the Department of Work and Pensions, Revenue and Customs, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and numerous local authorities. As a result, he has built a particular body of experience of dealing with advancing and resisting legal arguments in respect of both benefit frauds and Probation breach matters.

Following the completion of a nine-month secondment with the Nursing & Midwifery Council in September 2013, Michael continues to receive regular instructions from this organisation as external counsel. He is currently briefed in an appeal to the High Court by a midwife who was struck-off (see NMC v M below) and in a case involving allegations that a midwife inappropriately administered an oxytocic drug to 20 women in labour over a three-year period.

In addition to his criminal practice, Michael also regularly acts for defendants in extradition cases. In addition to appearing at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Michael has also advised and appeared in judicial reviews arising from extradition matters.

Michael has also represented applicants in Parole Board and military hearings. His Parole Board experience includes successfully arguing, contrary to the recommendations of the Probation Service, that an individual serving an IPP sentence should be down-graded to an open prison.

Michael also sits as a clerk to schools’ admission appeal panels.

Qualifications

MA (Law) Cantab.

Professional Associations

Criminal Bar Association
Extradition Lawyers’ Association
South Eastern Circuit

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Notable Cases

Serious crime

R v B and H – Represented defendant in a 2-handed conspiracy to burgle case covering 14 dwelling-house burglaries

R v B – Successfully defended in an aggravated dangerous dogs case at Leeds Crown Court, with the jury returning a not guilty verdict within twenty-five minutes. News article

R v M – defended in a possession of indecent images case involving a defendant who was sectioned under the Mental Health Act whilst on bail pending the trial

R v S – defended in a credit card fraud case, involving evidence seized from the defendant’s mobile telephone and computer

R v C – Prosecuted a s.18 wounding that was a revenge attack following the complainant’s previous arrest for the alleged rape of the defendant

R v B – defence junior in a case involving allegations against the defendant that he physically and sexually abused his daughter over a two-year period

R v D – defence junior in a multi-million pound VAT fraud. The case was dropped as a result of inadequate disclosure by the prosecution

R v S – defence junior in a case involving a 14-year old defendant charged with false imprisonment and blackmail

DEFRA v ST Ltd – prosecuted the first case brought for obstructing a compliance officer of Gangmasters Licensing Authority, under legislation brought in as a direct result of the cockle-picking disaster in Morecambe. The defendant pleaded guilty before trial and, as part of his sentence, was ordered to pay over £10,000 towards the prosecution costs

R v M – acted as defence junior in a 7-week s.18 GBH and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs trial in which the defence of duress was advanced

R v B and H – Prosecuted a 2-handed conspiracy to defraud, involving an “inside man” at a bookmakers authorising bets being placed on stolen credit cards

 

Road traffic

R v B – acquittal following advance of “hip flask” defence

R v K – successfully advanced “special reasons” argument based on shortness of distance driven

R v M – successfully advanced “special reasons” argument based on duress of circumstances

 

Extradition

Poland v W – successfully resisted a request from Poland to the UK for consent to prosecute the defendant for further offences, after his earlier extradition in 2011

Lithuania v M – represented the man reputed to be Lithuania’s most-wanted man following an extradition request for him to stand trial for a number of murders, attempted murders and armed robberies

Lithuania v D – appeared in the High Court following the prosecution’s appeal against a decision to grant bail in an extradition case involving an international conspiracy to supply firearms

Poland v T – advanced arguments under Article 8 of the ECHR and abuse of process arising from the defendant’s assertions that the accusation warrant was in fact seeking his return for a re-trial (his original conviction having been quashed on appeal) and he had already served the entirety of the sentence following his original conviction

Turkey v D – advanced arguments under section 81 of the 2003 Act, namely that the defendant’s extradition was sought in order to punish him for his political activities

Holland v C – advised in relation to claim for judicial review of a District Judge’s refusal to adjourn an extradition hearing

Poland v G – advanced arguments relating to passage of time and section 20 of the Extradition Act 2003

Czech Republic v T – advanced human rights arguments based on the poor record of treatment of Roma within the Czech Republic

 

Parole hearings

Application of WC – represented an applicant whose parole was strongly opposed by the police on the basis that there was intelligence suggesting that he had been involved in an armed robbery whilst on day release from prison

Application of PR – successfully argued that a prisoner serving an IPP sentence should be transferred to an open prison

 

Regulatory

NMC v M – Presented a re-hearing of a case involving allegations that the midwife produced false documents at the High Court to win the appeal that led to the re-hearing. Daily Mail article.

Reported Cases

R v M [2013] EWCA Crim 850 – Represented appellant in challenge to sentence imposed for two street robberies

A-G’s Ref No. 51 of 2011 [2011] EWCA Crim 2297 – acted for respondent in a challenge to the imposition of a community penalty for a Level 2 robbery

R (on the application of Arunthavaraja) v Administrative Court Office [2009] EWHC 18921 (Admin) – claim for judicial review dealing with the time limits for filing and serving notice of appeal

R v T [2008] EWCA Crim 1389 – appeared for the Crown in a defence appeal against sentence based on failure to award time on remand

R v P [2006] EWCA Crim 2740 – acted for appellant in a challenge to the sentencing judge’s finding of “dangerousness”