Michael was called to the Bar in September 2004 but deferred commencing his pupillage until September 2005, opting to spend a term as an intern at the Supreme Court of the United States from September to December 2004. Michael entered into private practice after completing pupillage and rapidly developed a wide and varied practice. Since his Call, he has appeared for a wide variety of private, corporate and professional clients before each and every tier of the legal system in Northern Ireland. Michael also spent a period with the firm of Clendenen & Shea LL.C. in New Haven Connecticut and was selected by the US International Academy of Trial Lawyers to attend its annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009. In 2012, Michael was also selected to join the Attorney General for Northern Ireland on the Attorney’s inaugural official visit to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
In 2014, he qualified as a mediator and has a particular interest in the mediation of commercial and construction disputes. He is also actively involved with charitable work in the community and is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of L’Arche Belfast.
2002; LL.B., Queen’s University, Belfast
2003; LL.M. (Human Rights Law), Queen’s University, Belfast
2004; Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland
2009; Called to the Bar of England & Wales (Middle Temple)
2011; Called to the Bar of Ireland
2008 - 2011; Served on the Public Prosecution Service (Belfast Magistrates’ Court) Panel
2012; Appointed to Government Legal Service for Northern Ireland Civil Panel
2014; Accredited Mediator (accreditation recognised by both the Bar of NI Mediation Service and the NI Law Society’s Dispute Resolution Service)
Actively involved with the co-ordination in Northern Ireland of the annual Four Jurisdictions Conference, held in May each year.
Michael speaks near fluent German and has good conversational French.
Michael maintains a wide practice across various fields in civil litigation but has a particular interest in Chancery Practice, Human Rights, Land Law, Construction and Contract Law and Personal Injury litigation. He also maintains practice in Insolvency Law for both personal and corporate clients. Michael also has a Criminal Law practice before both the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.
As an accredited mediator, he has a keen interest in both facilitating mediation and dispute resolution processes for third parties and also in representing his own clients’ interests in mediation and ADR processes.