Michael Phillips

Michael has lived in Reading since 1989 and attended Reading School. He studied Law at Nottingham University and went on to study for the Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Trent. He qualified as a Solicitor in 2004, whilst working for Mark Williams Associates in Guildford.

Michael moved to Criminal Law Advocates in 2006 and obtained Higher Rights of Audience in the same year. Michael became a partner in 2008. In 2009 he was called to Bar, having obtained Higher Rights for all courts. In 2011 he became a consultant in 2011 to Andrew Storch Solicitors.

As an experienced trial advocate, Michael regularly appears before the Crown Court. He has successfully appeared before the High Court and Court of Appeal. A number of these judgments have been reported in the legal press.

Michael has been involved in a number of high profile criminal and Human Rights cases.

Michael has spoken about his cases on Radio 4 (Law In Action), Radio Live 5 and many regional radio stations.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-phillips-37209925


Human Rights cases

Keith Walters v the Active Learning Trust – 2022
Client won discrimination case against his former employer who disciplined him for Tweeting about Pride.

Mary Onuoha v Croydon Health Services – 2021
Nurse won discrimination case against her former employer for not letting her wear a cross.

BACP v G – 2021
Application to strike off counsellor registered with BACP. After a three-day trial, client acquitted of all charges.

David Mackereth v DWP – West Midlands Employment Tribunal 2019
RMP sued the DWP for unfair dismissal following a dispute concerning compelled speech. Currently on appeal to the EAT.

Richard Page v NHS – 2021
Former Magistrate sued the NHS and the Lord Chancellor for unfair dismissal and discrimination.

William Philip and others v the Scottish Ministers [2021] CSOH 32
Acted as a consultant to the Scottish lawyers, in their successful Judicial Review against Church Closures in Scotland.

Overd et al v Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police – 2021
Acted for four claimants in their civil action against the police. Currently on appeal to the Court of Appeal.

D v Metropolitan Police – 2021

Acted for charity in their criminal and injunction proceedings concerning alleged terrorist property. All charges dropped and all monies returned to the charity.

GMC v Dr Dermot Kearney – 2021
Acted for Dr Kearney and resisted GMC application for complete suspension pending the outcome of the GMC investigation. No further action taken against Dr Kearney.

Criminal Cases

R v RF – Sheffield Crown Court 2021
Suspended sentence for offence of possession of indecent images.

R v AC – Gloucester Crown Court 2021
Suspended sentence for offence of possession of indecent images.

R v DE – Newcastle Crown Court 2021
Suspended sentence for three offences of outraging public decency.

R v LR – Oxford Crown Court 2021
Allegation of historic sexual offences. Client received a concurrent sentence.

R v DP – Reading Crown Court Dec 2020
Suspended sentence for offence of possession of indecent images.

R v WM – Inner London Crown Court – 2019
Allegation of stranger rape by a trainee solicitor. Client pleaded guilty.

R v JP – Woolwich Crown Court 2019
Client in possession of a very large number of indecent images. Client received a suspended sentence.

R v MP – Southampton Crown Court 2019
Former criminal defence solicitor, who faced a number of historic sexual offences. The client pleaded guilty to all matters, however the Crown laid additional charges at the Crown Court. An application to dismiss was lodged. Following the hearing, the Crown discontinued the additional charges.

R v PS – Snaresbrook Crown Court 2018
High profile historic sexual offence, against the wife of the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral. Client acquitted of all charges after trial (counsel Ed Vickers QC instructed).

R v MC – Kingston Crown Court 2018
Four week trial, serious allegation of historic sexual offending of a mother against her son. Client was acquitted of some of the charges.

R v AS – Reading Crown Court 2018
Allegation of murder. Client acquitted of murder, convicted of manslaughter (leading counsel Ed Vickers QC instructed)

R v PS – Oxford Crown Court 2017
Allegation of distribution of indecent images. Following service of a helpful defence report, charge was reduced to simple possession. Client received a non-custodial sentence.

R v TA – Lewes Crown Court 2017
Allegation of attempted rape. Client acquitted of all charges after trial.

R v RG – Maidstone Crown Court 2017
Historic allegation of rape. Client was acquitted of all charges after trial.

R v JF – Swindon Crown Court 2017
Represented client accused of rape.

R v AE – Snaresbrook Crown Court 2016
Client faced an offence of failing to comply with planning notice from the Council, concerning an illegal church. Client acquitted after trial of all charges.

R v KM – Turro Crown Court 2016
Allegation of rape discontinued on the day of trial following service of a number of defence exhibits and new medical evidence on the Crown.

R v N – Chester Crown Court 2015
Breach of sexual harm prevention order. After representations made to the Crown, case was discontinued.

R v JT – Ipswich Crown Court 2015
Allegation of arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered. Helpful defence report served on the Crown and this allegation was discontinued.

R v BH – Old Bailey 2015
The client faced serious allegations contrary to the Terrorism Act and Explosives Act. Following evidence obtained by the defence, and strong representations to the Crown, the Crown (following consultation with the Secretary of State) discontinue the terrorism offences, which ultimately resulted in the client receiving a suspended sentence (Counsel Kieran Vaughan QC instructed).

R v P – Birmingham Magistrates Court 2015
Client was a Medical Doctor who pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of indecent images. He received a community order.

R v JB – Crawley Youth Court 2015
The client (14) faced an allegation of sexual assault against a 3 year old. Following cross-examination of the complainant, the client was acquitted.

R v MA – Reading Crown Court 2015
The client faced multiple allegations of historic sexual assault and attempted rape against his daughters. Judge stayed the trial and the client acquitted of all allegations.

R v P and P – Reading Crown Court 2014
The clients faced allegations of possession of indecent images of children and images of an extreme nature. Following committal to the Crown Court, the CPS dropped all the charges against both clients.

R v EH – Reading Crown Court 2014
The client pleaded guilty to a number of allegations of voyeurism and observation of a person doing a private act. He had in his possession over 30,000 images. He received a suspended sentence and surprisingly he did not receive a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

R v WL – Southwick Crown Court 2014
Represented the defendant who faced two multi-handed trials. The first set of allegations arose out of the defendant’s obtaining and attempting to obtain a number of mortgages fraudulently (total value £1.5 m). The second allegation arose from a fraudulent property transaction. The client received a very lenient sentence for the first allegation and the sentence received for the second allegation resulted in a concurrent (no extra time) sentence.

R v MB – Reading Crown Court 2013
The client faced a charge of supply of class A drugs. Very surprisingly he received a suspended prison sentence.

R v MH – Ipswich Crown Court 2013
The client was accused of assisting with the production of cannabis. Following the submission of expert evidence in support of the client’s case, the CPS reduced the charges. The client received a suspended sentence and the Crown agreed not pursue Proceeds of Crime Proceedings.

R v AU – Bristol Crown Court 2013
The client was accused of sexual assault on a 16-year old, who had been previously unknown to him. He was acquitted of all charges after trial.

R v B – Reading Crown Court 2013
Despite being in possession of nearly 3,000 indecent images (including level A and B images), the client received a suspended sentence and did not receive a SOPO.

R v NR – Aylesbury Crown Court 2013
The client faced an allegation of voyeurism, and gross indecency made by a number of complainants. Following extensive trial preparation, the client was acquitted of all charges (leading Counsel James Scobie QC instructed).

R v ZJ – Lewis Crown Court 2012
The client was accused of hacking into her employer’s computer system and deleting a large number of sensitive emails. She received a suspended prison sentence.

R v AW – Bristol Crown Court 2012
The client faced allegations of child cruelty and assault arising out of her use of corporal punishment of her children. The CPS discontinued the case.

R v MT – Bradford Crown Court 2012
The client faced allegations of historic sexual assault. The CPS discontinued the case against the client.

R v Sister Ruth Augustus – Harrow Crown Court 2012
The client faced offences under the Terrorism Act having sent white powder to a number of politicians including Nick Clegg (the then Deputy Prime Minister). The client received a suspended sentence. (Leading Counsel James Scobie QC instructed).

R v S – Reading Crown Court 2012
The defendant and his family faced allegations of false imprisonment and assault. The client received a community order (the other defendants went to prison).

R v AR – Reading Crown Court 2012
The defendant faced allegations of benefit and insurance fraud arising from a failure to disclose a change in circumstances, having obtained in excess of £70,000 from an insurance company. The client received a suspended sentence following the mitigation that was advanced.

R v Andy Stephenson – Brighton Magistrates Court 2012
The client faced allegations arising out of his group’s display of abortion images outside an abortion clinic. Following legal submissions and a 4-day trial, the client was acquitted of all charges.

R v MA – Reading Crown Court 2011
The client pleaded guilty to an offence of assault occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm arising from events in a nightclub. He received a suspended sentence.

R v GW – Reading Crown Court 2011
The defendant was acquitted of all charges of benefit fraud following a week-long trial. The client did not declare her change in circumstances to the DWP.

R v DB – Oxford Crown Court 2011
The defendant was an RAF sergeant faced historic allegations that concerned giving a 13-year-old girl alcopops and sexually assaulting her at an Oxfordshire airbase. The defendant was given a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years.

R v SG – Reading Crown Court 2009
Despite stealing nearly £600,000 from her former employers (Pepsi), the client received a lenient sentence of 3 years 9 months.

R v Chris Constantine – St Albans Crown Court 2008
A former market stallholder who made thousands of pounds selling illegal copies of films was given a suspended prison sentence.

R v A – Reading Crown Court 2008
The client faced an allegation of benefit fraud amounting to tens of thousands of pounds. She had attended the police station interview by herself and made a number of admissions in interview, however she was adamant that she was not guilty of the offence. Matter proceeded to trial at the Crown Court, the first jury were unable to reach a verdict despite her admissions interview. Eventually the prosecutor discontinued proceedings.

R v KB – Reading Crown 2007
Allegation of s18 GBH. Client was acquitted of s 18 GBH offence.

Licensing Cases

Tariq Ali v Wellingborough Council – Wellingborough Magistrates Court 2018
The client’s licence was revoked and he was not permitted to work pending appeal. Suspension pending trial was overturned. At trial he faced 6 allegations. Most of the allegations were not proved. The revocation was overturned and the client was given a short suspension.

Paul Bruere v Northampton County Council – Corby Magistrates Court 2015
The client had his taxi licence revoked for a number of allegedly very serious incidents. After a 2-day trial at the magistrates court (which was fully and strongly contested by the council) the court overturned the revocation and imposed a short suspension instead. In addition the court did not award costs against the client (as they normally do).

West Berks Council v Ali – Reading Magistrates Court 2013
The client who faced an allegation that he plying for hire. Representations were made to the council that they had failed to disclose documentation. Having considered the representations, the council dropped the case.

Lap dancing club – Maidstone Town Council 2012
The clients successfully resisted the application for an application of a Sex Entertainment Venue Licence.

DVLA licence appeals

R. (on the application of Georgina Hitchen) v Oxford Magistrates Court [2015] EWHC 271 (Admin)
Successful challenge to the decision of the DVLA to revoke the claimant’s licence. Although the Magistrates Court upheld the DVLA’s decision, the High Court overturned the decision, and she had her licence returned to her. The client had her licence revoked on the basis that she was a danger either because of her COPD (a respiratory condition) or because of cognitive decline. Strong evidence was gathered to refute the DVLA’s case and eventually won the case in the High Court. The matter reported on in the Daily Telegraph and The Times. [Hugh Tomlinson QC instructed].

SR – 2015
The client had his licence revoked on the basis that the DVLA had destroyed the papers to confirm his entitlement to drive from Canada, as had the Canadian authorities. Following our assistance, his licence was restored.

JL v DVLA – Highbury Corner Magistrates Court 2015
The client suffered from uveitis and had his Group 2 licence revoked. Having commenced court proceedings and following submission of an expert report from an ophthalmologist, his licence was returned to him.

SB v DVLA – Wolverhampton Magistrates Court 2015
Following a serious accident involving the client’s lorry because of a hypoglycaemic episode, the client had both licences revoked. Having obtained strong evidence from our endocrinologist, the DVLA agreed to the return of his group one licence. This report also assisted in the subsequent prosecution by the CPS for dangerous driving. The CPS agreed to reduce the charge to driving without due care and attention.

Driving cases

R v SE – Reading Magistrates Court 2015
The client pleaded guilty to drink driving and had a very high reading (125 micro-grams) and after mitigation received a non-custodial sentence.

R v MH – Ipswich Magistrates Court 2015
The client pleaded guilty to one offence of driving without insurance but pleaded special reasons, that being that his wife was charged with obtaining insurance but did not. She then inadvertently misled him into believing that he had insurance. The court accepted the evidence and he did not receive any penalty points for the offence.

R v MA – Reading Crown Court 2015
The client pleaded guilty to drink drive and pleaded special reasons. She won her appeal at the crown court, the court having accepted that there was a genuine emergency and therefore she was not disqualified from driving.

R v Lee Tyler – Guildford Crown Court 2014
The client was a self-employed property developer/builder who won his appeal at the Crown Court, the court finding that should he be banned from driving he would suffer exceptional hardship. The court also agreed that some of his legal fees should be met from public funds.

R v Joanna Monckton – Carlisle Crown Court 2013
The client had represented herself before the magistrates court and had been convicted of an allegation of provide information of a driver contrary to section 172 of the 1988 Road Traffic Act. She won her appeal.

R v RO – Reading Crown Court 2013
The client had driven at a number of police officers whilst over the drink drive limit. He therefore fell to be sentenced for allegations of dangerous driving and criminal damage. Medical reports dealing with his mental health difficulties were obtained and served on the CPS and the Court. He was given a suspended sentence.

Appellate and Reported Cases

R v MT – Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) 2015
A successful appeal to the Court of Appeal reducing the client’s prison sentence from 2 years and 3 months to 12 months; the client having pleading guilty to one offence of incitement of a minor (he sent text messages to his step daughter). [James Scobie QC instructed].

R v PB [unreported] 26 April 2013.
Successful appeal against conviction from Bristol Crown Court for offences of sexual assault. The judge failed to allow the admission of evidence relevant to an alleged confession by the defendant’s wife. [James Scobie QC instructed].

R. (on the application of Monckton) v Carlisle Crown Court [2015] EWHC 304 (Admin);
Judicial Review of a Crown Court’s wrong application of the test for costs, following a successful appeal.

R. (on the application of Gibson) v Environment Agency [2009] EWHC 886 (Admin).
Judicial Review of magistrates’ decision to award £4,000 costs against G.

R. (on the application of Ahmed) v Parole Board for England and Wales [2008] EWHC 3111 (Admin).
Successful Judicial Review of Parole Board decision concerning the failure to admit evidence probative to the board’s considerations. The was matter remitted for a fresh hearing before a different board. [Paul Diamond of Counsel instructed].

R (on the application of Green) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2007] EWHC 2785 (Admin).
Judicial Review of District Judge’s decision not to refuse to issue summons against Director General of the BBC concerning the BBC decision to broadcast Jerry Springer the Opera. [Michael Gledhill QC and Mark Mullins instrcuted]

Defazio v DPP [2007] EWHC 3530 (Admin).

Appeal allowed against decision of Magistrates Court as there was insufficient evidence to entitle the magistrates to draw an inference that D was acting dishonestly and that he was guilty of receiving stolen goods. The conviction was therefore unsafe.

Family law

KD v NC – Norwich Family Court 2019
After not seeing his four children for three years, following a conviction for possession of indecent images, and CAFCASS opposing all contact, court order direct contact for father.

TF v DA – Reading Family Court 2019
Having not seen his child for nearly 2 years, following a conviction for possession of indecent images, the court ordered direct contact for the father.

LA v M – Cambridge Family Court 2015
Represented parents of two boys who had been taken into care following allegations of excessive use of corporal punishment.

M v M – Oxford County Court 2014
Represented the father in private law proceedings. We successfully resisted contempt of court proceedings and helped him to gain contact access to his children.

L v O – Reading County Court 2013
Represented mother in private law proceedings, who successfully obtained a prohibited steps and residence order in her favour.

A v A – Reading County Court 2013
Represented the father. At the start of custody proceedings did not have custody of any of his four children and only had contact with one of his children. At the end of proceedings, he had sole custody of all of three of his children and joint custody of the youngest.

Civil Litigation

A v A – Reading County Court 2015
The client was sued for damages for a horse that died whilst in her care. Out of court settlement reached between the parties.a

A v B – Exeter County Court 2015
The client was sued for non-payment of an invoice, and he counter claimed for defective building works. Strong expert evidence was gathered in the client’s favour and an out of court settlement was reached between the parties.

Health and Safety Prosecutions

Reading Borough Council v Kebbabish – Reading Magistrates Court 2014

The clients faced serious allegations concerning events over a significant period of time. Having agreed a plea bargain with the Council in advance of sentencing, the clients were fined £6,000.

Media Experience


Commented on GB News concerning the US Supreme Court case of Thomas Dobbs et al


Comment on Sunday morning live concerning drug rehabilitation


Asked to comment on Radio 5 Live on Rolf Harris’ early release on licence.


Invited to appear on BBC one’s ‘the Big Questions’.

Spoke on BBC radio concerning the Olive Jones case.

Spoke on Radio 4 ‘Law in Action’ programme.


Asked to comment on the Baltic Arts Centre Case on BBC radio

Asked to comment on Law Society Gazette Article – Faith Under Fire