Michael Collis

Year of call: 2004

Michael’s practise is split between crime and professional discipline. In crime, he 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 balances his defence practice with acting for a number of prosecutorial agencies. In addition to prosecuting for the CPS (Level 3), 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. Since July 2017, Michael has featured on the C Panel for the SFO List of Counsel.

Following the completion of a nine-month secondment with the Nursing & Midwifery Council in September 2013, Michael has established a reputation as a heavyweight Case Presenter, acting in the more complex and high profile cases on behalf of the NMC. These include the series of cases arising from the notorious Orchid View care home and the four-handed case arising from the now-defunct Liverpool Community Health Trust. Michael has also appeared on behalf of midwives at the NMC, as well as accepting instructions on behalf of optometrists at the GOC.

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

Michael has also represented applicants in Parole Board 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.

Michael is qualified to receive instructions on a direct access basis.

Michael is currently acting as a junior junior for the Undercover Policing Inquiry, chaired by Sir John Mitting.

Qualifications

MA (Law) Cantab.

Professional Associations

Criminal Bar Association
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
Inner Temple
South Eastern Circuit

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Notable Cases

Serious crime

R v WS – Acted for serial arsonist defendant charged with arson with intent to endanger life.

R v OA – Acted for a defendant accused of using his second-hand car business as a front for professional money laundering.

R v JE – Acted for the defendant identified as the head of a drugs’ supply network, uncovered following an undercover test purchase officer operation, relating to twelve months’ worth of supply of Class A drugs.

R v DV – Prosecuted a defendant accused of both a six-figure HMRC and investor fraud.

R v B and G – Prosecuted a two-handed conspiracy to commit money laundering, in which the defendants were accused of convincing students to agree to their bank accounts being used for the laundering.

R v B and H – Represented the main defendant in a 2-handed burglary conspiracy.

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

R v RM – 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 AS – Defended in a credit card fraud case, involving evidence seized from the defendant’s mobile telephone and computer.

R v MC – 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 DB – Defence junior in a case involving allegations against the defendant that he raped and physically abused his daughter over a two-year period.

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

R v KS – 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 RM – 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.

R v MB – Prosecuted the defendant charged following the theft of “SpongeBob”, the squirrel monkey, from Chessington World of Adventure.

 

Professional discipline

NMC v HL & others – Case Presenter in a 4-handed, 14-week case arising from serious allegations of misconduct within Liverpool Community Health Trust.

NMC v PM – Acted for the NMC in both the re-hearing and then second appeal in a case involving allegations that the midwife produced false documents at the High Court to win the first appeal that led to the re-hearing.

NMC v ED & others – Acted as Case Presenter for the NMC in a four-handed 13,000 page case, lasting four weeks, arising from a criminal investigation into the level of care provided in a care home.

NMC v HL – Represented the NMC in a baby-death case arising from allegations that the midwife had failed to identify, and then act accordingly, the new-born’s seriously compromised health.

NMC v SH & others – Acted as Case Presenter for the NMC in a five-handed case relating to a patient’s death following a nursing home’s failure to provide crucial medication.

NMC v AM & others – Acted for one of the midwives referred following baby deaths in Guernsey, culminating in an NMC Extraordinary Review of midwifery practices on the island.

NMC v KS – Presented a midwifery case involving allegations of inappropriate administration of a bolus dose of an oxytocic drug to twenty women in labour, leading to many of them needing emergency caesarean sections.

Orchid View – Acted as Case Presenter for the NMC in a multitude of referrals from the now-defunct care home Orchid View, including a case involving the Home Manager shredding MAR charts in an effort to hide her staff’s over-medicating of patients. Role included the marshalling of the substantial disclosure task faced by the regulator in light of the myriad of investigations into the care home.

 

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 offender 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.

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.

 

Reported Cases

R v JE [2017] EWCA Crim 1411 – Represented the appellant in attempt to persuade the Court of Appeal that the sentencing judge had reduced credit for the guilty plea too much following an unsuccessful Newton hearing.

R v SH [2014] EWCA Crim 1253 – Acted for the appellant in an appeal against sentence in a burglary conspiracy.

PM v NMC [2014] EWHC 1862 (Admin) – Acted for the NMC at the High Court in successfully resisting an appeal from a midwife, who had won her previous appeal through a submitting a falsified document.

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”.