Michael Field is a specialist trial Barrister who has been appearing in the crown court for 15 years. He has been in legal practice for 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 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 is regularly instructed in very 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; robbery, including 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 appeared in a 3-month serious trial as junior Counsel alone directly against well-regarded Queens Counsel (who was 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 main 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, which raised hugely complex issues of parasitic secondary participation. The trial judge described it as the most complicated joint enterprise murder trial she had presided over. The case was pre 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 a multitude of disciplines and was unsurprisingly described as ‘extremely complex’ by LJ Dyson at the first appeal
In 2017 he concluded a murder trial as junior to Queens Counsel that was one of a tiny number that explores 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 being made after an assessment as to 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 also provided legal training to senior lawyers.
The following represents a selection of the cases in which Michael has been instructed as 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 significant learning disability, requiring 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 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 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 centered 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 defendant alleged to have bitten off 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 mother accused of child cruelty against her own twin babies who were less than a month old
- R v P and others – kidnap trial conducted throughout in the absence of 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 very well respected crown court judge to represent interests of 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 and separate rape of long-term partner (all historic), as well as child cruelty against all four children
- R v M and others – gang rape of 16-year-old girl
*led by QC
** led junior
In his spare time, Michael enjoys watching movies and football, particularly Arsenal, playing tennis and loves spending time with his family