Barrister Profile


Year of Call: 2005

Main Areas of Practice

Commercial Law


Michael McCracken has a broad civil litigation practice involving a particular focus on the Chancery Court. He is also an accredited mediator with the Dispute Resolution Service of the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

Before being called to the Bar, Michael spent thirteen years (1991 - 2004) as a solicitor (including four years as a partner) at Johnsons, a leading Belfast legal practice with recognised expertise in defence and commercial litigation, defamation and media related law.



1979 - 1986; Methodist College Belfast

1986 - 1989; University of Leeds - LL.B (Hons)

1991; IPLS, QUB - Certificate of Professional Legal Studies

1999; University of Leeds - M.A.(by research)

2005; IPLS, QUB - Additional Bar trainee courses for Call

Other professional credentials:

1991; Admitted as a Solicitor in Northern Ireland

2008; Certificate in Chancery Practice – programme delivered by SLS on behalf of the Bar Council of Northern Ireland

2011; Accredited Mediator - completed certified mediation course delivered by Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon

2012; Certificate in Commercial Court Practice - programme delivered by SLS in partnership with the Bar CPD Committee

2013; Advanced Advocacy Training Course completed - delivered by Advocacy Training Board

Professional memberships:

Mediator with the Dispute Resolution Service of the Law Society of Northern Ireland

Member of the Personal Injury Bar Association of Northern Ireland

Member of the Commercial Bar Association of Northern Ireland

Part-time tutor:

Michael regularly acts as a part-time tutor and marker at the IPLS, QUB, in respect of various solicitor and bar trainee courses (including County Court, High Court, Chancery, Legal Research, and the Full Trial Programme) forming part of the syllabus for the Certificate of Professional Legal Studies.


Examples of recent cases:

Northern Bank Limited v Allen, Nigel Stuart Patrick [2012] NIMaster 5 - concerned whether the Bank had a mortgage or charge over premises by reason of a solicitor’s undertaking or an alleged contract to execute a mortgage - successful in part - established that there was no intention at the time of the giving of the solicitor’s undertaking that any interest in the premises should be transferred to or charged in favour of the plaintiff - not possible to construe the undertaking as appropriating the defendant’s estate in the premises, or as making it answerable for the payment of the relevant indebtedness.

McKenzies (NI) Limited & another v David Graham Structures [2013] NIQB 17 - (with Senior Counsel) - successful dismissal of an application under section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 challenging part of an Arbitrator’s award.

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd (formerly Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Ltd) v Dolan, Jacqueline [2014] NIMaster 12 - successful application for default judgment for £31,659,571 on foot of a joint personal guarantee, to be set aside and obtained leave to defend on the basis of an arguable defence based on undue influence.

Savarese, Luigi v Fraser Houses (NI) Ltd [2015] NICh 2 - concerned the exercise of judicial discretion to grant an interlocutory injunction where essential facts not in dispute - tenant deprived of possession of commercial premises before the date of delivery up ordered by the Master in an earlier Order for Possession - while possession to be returned forthwith with occupation to continue to a certain date, the tenant was nevertheless ordered to pay the landlord a sum by way of part payment towards rent arrears.

Previous professional experience:

In the course of Michael’s thirteen years with Johnsons, litigation conducted by him included:

  1. High Court and County Court actions on behalf of various insurers (including Norwich Union (now Aviva), and Groupama (now Ageas)), arising out of employers’ and public liability incidents, and road traffic accidents.
  2. Intellectual Property Rights Infringement litigation – representing Microsoft Corporation (through its UK Department of Law & Corporate Affairs) between 2002 and 2004 in pursuing legal redress (injunctions, damages and/or account of profits) against distributors and retailers of infringing Microsoft software in Northern Ireland.
  3. Holiday litigation – representing a number of major tour operators (including Panorama, Budget Travel, MyTravel, and Thomson Holidays) and/or their insurers in relation to personal injury and other claims brought by holiday makers (including class actions).
  4. Consumer/Sale of Goods litigation – acting for the Isaac Agnew Group (since acquired by the Sytner Group) of companies (including Bavarian Garages, Isaac Agnew Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, and Audi, and SMW Volvo and Suzuki) comprising one of the largest car dealerships in Northern Ireland, in relation to consumer disputes and litigation arising out of the sale and purchase of new and used motor vehicles.
  5. Sports litigation – acting in Northern Ireland for various Insurers covering the British Parachute Association risk, and handling a number of significant personal injury claims.