Barrister Profile


Year of Call: 2005

KC: 2024

Main Areas of Practice

Criminal Law
Human Rights


Michael Chambers KC specialises in criminal law appearing for both the prosecution and defence. He is regularly instructed in high-profile and complex criminal cases with a particular specialism in murder, terrorism, serious sexual offending and complex fraud.

Michael is often instructed to advise prosecutorial authorities, companies, government bodies, local councils and individuals on criminal matters prior to charge.

Michael also regularly appears in inquests, instructed as counsel to the Coroner, for the next of kin or for State Parties. He has a particular specialism in inquests involving the State, Article 2 issues and deaths in custody.

He regularly appears as a Special Advocate in cases involving Closed Material Procedure Hearings on behalf of Plaintiffs/Applicants. He holds Developed Vetting (DV) clearance.

He is a member of the PPS Panel of Counsel, the NI Coroner’s Panel of Counsel, the Government Legal Services Panel of Counsel, the Advocate General’s Special Advocate Panel for Northern Ireland.


LL.B, Queen’s University, Belfast

Certificate in Professional Legal Studies (with distinction), Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast

Member of Bar Council 2008-2010 & 2020-2024




R v Ferguson, Roger and another [2010] NICA 9; [2010] NIJB 341 Appeal against conviction for murder. Successfully opposed. (Prosecution)

R v Crymble, Jacqueline & others [2007] NICC 54; Major murder trial involving five defendants. Two defendants convicted of murder (Prosecution)

R v David Lyness [2018] NICC 14- Prosecution for murder of defendant’s partner. Defendant convicted of murder after trial. (Prosecution)

R v Richard Dalzell [2018] NICC 4- Defendant convicted of murder. Complex issues regarding causation.

R v Alan Norman Foster [2016] NICC 23- Prosecution for murder of defendant’s step-mother. Defendant convicted of murder. Defendant suffering from psychiatric issues arising from military service. Issues regarding whether the defendant’s mental condition at the time of the murder amounted to diminished responsibility (Prosecution)

R v McKinney and Another [2014] NICC 15- Prosecution for murder. Pleas accepted to manslaughter. (Prosecution)

R v Christopher Keenan [2018] NICC 6- Defendant convicted of murder. Case involved complex examination of whether the defendant could avail of the defence of diminished responsibility. (Prosecution)

R v Stephen McKinney [2023] NICA 84- Defendant convicted of murdering his wife by drowning her jury a family boat trip on Lough Erne. Complex issues relating to circumstantial evidence and bad character. (Prosecution)

R v David Lyness [2022] NICA 40- Defendant convicted of murdering his partner. Issue on appeal related to his entitlement to make a closing speech and whether an unfair trial ought to automatically lead to the quashing of his conviction. Appeal refused and conviction upheld. (Prosecution)

R v Gill and others- Multi-handed murder case in which Gill murdered his victim and then disposed of his body in a wheelie bin in a lake. Body not found for several months. (Prosecution)

R v Alan Gingles [2022] NICC 12. Defendant killed his grandmother. Plea to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility accepted on the basis of psychiatric evidence. (Prosecution)


R v Massey, Michael & another [2008] NICC 2 - Prosecution for attempted murder in the circumstances of a terrorist feud. Case involved extensive abuse of process litigation surrounding covert surveillance of Defendants’ legally professionally privileged consultations. Prosecution accepted a plea to conspiracy to commit s.20 assault. (Defence)

R v Murney, Stephen [2014] NICC 4 - Prosecution for possession of materials likely to be of use to terrorists (Prosecution).

R v Francis, Taggart and Ferguson [2015] NICA 60- Failure of disclosure process rendering historical convictions unsafe. (Prosecution)

R v Seamus Daly (2016) (Unreported)- Prosecution for 29 counts of murder arising from the Omagh Bomb in 1998. (Prosecution)

R v James Fox [2023] NICC 23- Prosecution for historial PIRA murder in 1994. (Prosecution)

Sexual Offending

R v EB [2010] NICA 40- Serious sexual offending committed by a grandfather against his grandson. This case is now the guideline authority in Northern Ireland for the approach the Court should adopt in determining whether an offender is “dangerous” under the Criminal Justice (NI) Order 2008. (Prosecution)

R v James Hutchinson [2014]NICA 75- Prosecution for serious sexual offences. The accused was convicted and sentenced to twenty years imprisonment. This judgment is the guideline authority on how juries should be directed on the cross-admissibility of allegations from multiple complainants. (Prosecution)

R v JW (2018) (Unreported)- Successful appeal against a sentence of 8 months imprisonment for possession of indecent images. Reduced to Combination Order- Probation and Community Service. (Defence)


R v McDonnell, James Francis & another [2013] NICC 16 -Multi-million pound cigarette smuggling trial. After three trials both Defendants convicted of all counts. (Prosecution)

R v O’Kane, Kevin; in re sentencing remarks [2012] NICC 7- Multi-million pound international property fraud lasting over three months. The Defendant was convicted of all counts. (Prosecution)


In the matter of an inquest into the death of Caragh Walsh [2017] NICoroner 5- The deceased in this inquest was a three month old baby. Her father was tried and acquitted of her murder. An inquest took place to determine the cause of her death which the Coroner concluded was as a result of violent shaking which led to cardio-respiratory arrest, cerebral oedema, subdural and retinal haemorrhage and hypoxic ischaemic necrosis. (Counsel to the Coroner)

In the matter of an inquest touching the death of Raychel Ferguson [2023] NICoroner 20. Inquest into one of the children whose death was examined by the Northern Ireland Hyponatraemia Inquiry. (Counsel to the Coroner)

Other Notable Cases

R v Christopher Hughes [2022] NICA 12- The leading judgment in Northern Ireland in sentencing in cases of domestic violence (Defence)

Moat Lodge v Commissions of HM Revenue and Customs [2022] NICA 53- Complex case relating to the statutory interpretation of fuel testing. (Appellant)

Application by Suzanne Bunting for Judicial Review [2023] NIKB 43. Appeared as a Special Advocate for the Applicant. Successfully argued against the issuing of a s.6 declaration. (Applicant)