Michael Stradling


Michael is an experienced leading junior who has a strong practice in heavyweight criminal defence. He also accepts instructions in divorce work, property litigation and general common law. He is a persuasive and versatile advocate.

Michael regularly defends in major criminal trials. He has defended in cases of homicide (both led and alone), major fraud, serious violence, sexual offending, and all manner of criminal cases. He has considerable experience of dealing with issues of mental health as they relate to criminal cases.

In criminal cases, he has successfully run the defence of duress on numerous occasions; has defended in a case of double cut-throat between two defendants where both were acquitted; and has cross examined in rape cases to the extent that the complainant admitted that the defendant had not committed the offence.

He has represented and advised on all elements of confiscation and forfeiture proceedings in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal.

He has represented clients in the High Court and County Courts in a range of civil and family matters. He has experience in financial elements of divorce and has litigated multi-million pound divorce cases. Additionally he has dealt with family protective orders. He has experience of care proceedings, usually private care proceedings, although will accept instructions in public matters. He has represented in civil fraud cases and has a general common law and commercial practice. He has advised in planning cases where there has been a Human Rights element, successfully obtaining retrospective planning permission based on the right to life.

Michael has taught advocacy at university level and is regularly asked to judge the National Criminal Advocacy Competition Finals. He has even appeared (albeit very briefly) in a Radio 4 programme when he was judging at the University of Law.

Michael is qualified to receive instructions directly from the public.

Notable Cases

R v H & others (2016-2017) - Three month fraud a Southwark Crown Court which involved SRA intervention in a civil solicitor's practice where around £1 million was stolen from the client account and consideration of three commercial transactions that spanned the course of several years. Michael had to consider the course of the civil litigation as it related to offences under the Fraud Act.

R v Ashrafi (2015) - Faith healer at Leicester Crown Court. A large confidence fraud that attracted national and international media interest. The defendant was a faith healer who faced trial for defrauding a large number of people out of significant sums of money on the promise that they would go on to win the jackpot in the EuroMillions lottery. This case led to Michael having his first court artist sketch drawn by the BBC.

R v L (2015) - Led junior in a multi-million pound money laundering conspiracy that centred on money exchange bureaux.

R v P & others  - Defence of one of fourteen alleged cocaine suppliers in an eight-week trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.

A v S  - Multi-million pound divorce case (acting for the wife) in the Central Family Court involving multiple business interests and properties.

R v B - Leading junior in a six-handed people trafficking case and multiple rape trial.

R v H - 'Operation Tobin' - Leading junior in a nine-handed immigration fraud.

R v K - 'Operation Dosterville' - Led junior in a six-handed drug related murder at the Central Criminal Court.

R v T - Junior alone in an attempted murder trial

Fraud and Money Laundering

R v A - Lead junior in a major fraud by a carer on elderly clients

R v T - 'Operation Boyne' - Junior alone in a £3.5 million bureau de change money laundering conspiracy.

R v Sanchez - Life insurance fraud (fake death) attracting international media attention.

R v H - 'Operation Bluejay' - Leading junior in a multi-million pound bureau de change money laundering conspiracy leading to withdrawal of the 500 euro note

R v O - 'Operation Birkaheim' - Leading junior in the largest ever fraud on a single NHS trust.

R v K - £250k banking fraud and money laundering case where the defendant successfully ran duress.

R v E  - Election fraud involving a Liberal Democrat councillor.

R v A - Election fraud and possession of indecent images by a Bristol City Councillor.

R v F - Employee theft involving a City solicitors firm.

R v K - Tobacco smuggling case involving a shipping container of cigarettes.


R v S - Operation Tilgate - Regional drug supply in Wales - DHL importation of cocaine and Operation Tarvin - regional drug supply in North East England

R v A - £250k cocaine importation into Gatwick from Jamaica. The defendant was acquitted on the defence of duress.

R v T - Conspiracy to supply cocaine

R v J - Supply of approximately 100kg of cocaine to North West England from the South East.

Sexual Crime

R v W - Successful defence of a twelve-year-old boy accused of anally raping a six-year-old boy.

R v W - Fifteen-year old boy accused of oral rape of stranger.

R v O - Rape.

R v P - Rape.

R v M - Rape of a five-year-old boy by a fifteen-year-old defendant.

R v B - Multiple rape over a four-month period.

R v P - Familial sexual abuse.

R v I - Rape.

R v C - Historic sexual abuse and rape.

General Crime

R v T - Series of robberies of mobile phone shops by law students.

R v Hussain - Firearms case with a successful defence of duress.

R v Bello - Robbery, kidnap and false imprisonment case.

R v Rafiq - Successful defence of duress of circumstances/necessity.

R v B - Successful defence of a bus driver accused of causing death by careless driving.

R v O - Death by dangerous driving.

R v P - Death by dangerous driving.

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Nurse B - Successful submission of insufficient evidence where proceedings were brought following the death of a patient in a nurse's care.

Direct Access

Various -

Advising an international banker on employment rights.

Advising on pre-litigation issues relating to advice given on a failed investment scheme.

Representing a future Olympic rower in criminal proceedings for an alleged assault on an associate solicitor from Clifford Chance in Mahiki nightclub. National media attention.

Representation in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) of interested part in confiscation enforcement proceedings.

Appellate and Reported Cases

R. (on the application of Heron) v Serious Organised Crime Agency, 2013 - court of Appeal (Civil Division), EWCA Civ 1106 instructed under the direct access scheme for an interested party in confiscation enforcement proceedings.

R v Flack, 2013 - Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), 16th January 2013 [2013] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 56, [2013]; Crim, L. R. 521

R v Degg, 2008

Demkowski v Poland, 2012 - EWCH 2589 (Admin); [2012] A.C.D 116. Extradition case on extension of time limits.

R v Payton, 2006 - EWCA Crim 1226; [2006] Crim LR 997; (2006) 150 S.J 741, CA. Concurrent civil and criminal proceedings and good character direction. Conviction overturned.

R v Ahmati, 2006  - EWCA Crim 818. Successful appeal again recommendation for deportation which also led to the Court of Appeal ordering wasted costs against the Home Office.

Other Activities and Interests

A keen cyclist and aspiring comedy writer.

















MA Philosophy, Pembroke College, Cambridge

Memberships & Associations

Criminal Bar Association
Gray's Inn

Areas of work

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Michael Stradling

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