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Michael Goodwin QC

Michael Goodwin QC

Call: 1996     Silk: 2019

T: 0207 520 6000    E: chambers@18rlc.co.uk

Michael Goodwin QC is highly regarded as an expert in business and financial crime, and serious crime cases.

The Legal 500 describe Michael as “clever, organised, calm and a class act in the courtroom,” and as being a “serious heavy-hitter in criminal fraud. He combines a powerful intellect with a measured and effective advocacy style.

According to Chambers UK, Michael “…has amazing flair in court and outstanding knowledge.” He is “…a great court advocate who charms juries and judges. He is also very technically skilled” and “…a well-respected barrister with notable expertise in prosecuting and defending high-value financial crime cases.

Michael has extensive experience defending and prosecuting in high profile and complex criminal litigation. Michael represents corporate and professional clients. He provides strategic advice during the investigative stages of a case, and court representation throughout the life of a case. He conducts cases fearlessly and with tactical precision. He is a meticulous and extremely persuasive advocate.

Michael also has particular expertise of regulatory and disciplinary proceedings, and represents professional clients in concurrent criminal and non-criminal proceedings if required.

Business & Financial Crime

He is extremely clever and takes a pragmatic approach. He has a great reputation with the prosecution agencies and the court” and “he is a great court advocate who charms juries and judges. He is also very technically skilled. Chambers UK (2022) [View Here]

Michael is first class. He is an obvious choice when dealing with high profile and complex fraud cases. He is exceptionally clever, and is very compelling both on his feet and in his written submissions.Legal 500 (2022) [View Here]

He has amazing flair in court and outstanding knowledge.Chambers UK (2021).

Incredibly thorough in his preparation and leaves no stone unturned.Chambers UK (2021).

A well-respected barrister with notable expertise in prosecuting and defending high-value financial crime cases. He has experience in bribery, corruption and tax fraud matters.Chambers UK (2020).

Superb. Responsive, a pleasure to deal with, and liked by clients, he’s an all-round excellent advocate.Chambers UK(2020).

His work ethic is tireless.Legal 500 (2020).

Michael is a serious heavy-hitter in criminal fraud. He combines a powerful intellect with a measured and effective advocacy style.Legal 500 (2019).

His calm and measured advocacy style carries authority.Legal 500 (2019).

Clever, organised, calm and a class act in the courtroom.Legal 500: Business & Regulatory Crime (including Global Investigations) (2019).

He is excellent at organising detailed evidence and has a charming persona with the jury.Legal 500 (2017).

Michael Goodwin QC’s practice includes the full range of business and financial crime, and white-collar criminal cases. Michael is ranked as a Leading Barrister in Financial Crime by Chambers UK and by the Legal 500. He provides strategic advice to individuals (including directors and company officers) and corporate clients, from an early stage of any investigation.

Michael defends and prosecutes the most serious and complex high-profile business and financial crime cases. He has been instructed in some of the largest serious fraud litigation to be investigated and brought before the Courts. Michael prosecutes regularly for the Serious Fraud Office, and has been appointed to the SFO QC Panel (2020 to date). He was recently instructed by the Serious Fraud Office to prosecute two former senior managers of Serco Ltd. In 2019 he was instructed by the Serious Fraud Office in the fifth Deferred Prosecution Agreement, approved by Mr Justice William Davis on 4th July 2019: SFO v Serco Geografix Ltd.

Michael has particular expertise in tax related criminal proceedings and represents company directors and corporates before the criminal courts and Tax Tribunal. He advises companies on compliance issues, and internal investigations.

Recent instructions since 2013 include the following:

  • SFO: Instructed by the Serious Fraud Office to advise in relation to an investigation into complex fraud and money laundering.
  • SFO v B: Prosecuted on behalf of the Serious Fraud Office two former employees of Serco Ltd for allegations of fraud.
  • Re D: Represented a corporation being investigated for multimillion-pound tax fraud related to offshore tax avoidance planning.
  • Re G: Represented a company director being investigated for multimillion-pound tax fraud
  • R v A: Defended a partner of a top-flight accountancy firm charged in a professional capacity with a multi-million pound corporate tax fraud.
  • Re B: Represented a company director being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office into multi-jurisdictional corruption and bribery associated with the trading of Unaoil, and securing international petrochemical contracts.
  • Re C: Represented a corporation being investigated for multimillion-pound tax fraud related to player transfers in the premier league.
  • R v X: Defended a company director in a multi-million pound local government bribery, corruption and money laundering case relating to fire regulation compliance within a London borough’s local council tower blocks.
  • SFO v Serco Geografix Ltd: Represented the Serious Fraud Office in proceedings in which the fifth Deferred Prosecution Agreement that was applied for and approved on 4th July 2019 at Southwark Crown Court by Mr Justice William Davis. [PRESS REPORTS [SFO][JUDICIARY][BBC][ITV]]
  • Op Solitude: Defended a company director in a £35m conspiracy to launder monies for organised crime groups through a network of Money Service Bureaus.
  • Op Bronze: Prosecuted 18 defendants for misconduct in public office, fraud and money laundering in 3 trials, arising from one of the largest local authority private prosecutions ever brought. Press Links: Evening Standard | ITV | Daily Mail.
  • R v V: Defended a company director in a large scale international immigration fraud and multimillion-pound money laundering conspiracy.
  • R v E: Defended in a multi-million pound duty evasion case.
  • R v M: Defended a NHS senior manager charged with fraud committed in the course of their employment.
  • R v D: Defended an international immigration fraud conspiracy facilitating 70 asylum seekers being smuggled across UK boarders.
  • R v S: Defended a senior Metropolitan Police Officer charged with multi-million pound fraud.
  • R v L: Prosecuted a 7 month trial on behalf of the Serious Fraud Office for a £100m multi-handed banking syndicate fraud described at the time as the “biggest ever banking fraud of its kind”. Press Links: Telegraph |  Manchester Evening | SFO

Notable cases pre 2013 include:

  • R v I: Defended a £170m MTIC / VAT Fraud representing a company director. Press Links: The Guardian
  • R v Q: Defended a pharmacist in a multimillion-pound regulatory fraud case arising from an international conspiracy to distribute and manufacture counterfeit life-saving medicines. The prosecution (brought by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) centred on the regulation and control of medicine licensing within the EU.
  • SFO v Balfour Beatty: Instructed by the Serious Fraud Office in the first civil recovery order being made relating to unlawful conduct arising from inaccurate accounting records. Press Links: Telegraph
  • SFO v F: Instructed by the Serious Fraud Office in the prosecution of a global computer supplier company chairman for fraudulent trading

Serious Crime

He is a great court advocate who charms juries and judges. He is also very technically skilled” and “…he is extremely hard-working and is an outstanding advocate.Chambers UK (2022)

He has amazing flair in court and outstanding knowledge.Chambers UK (2021).

Incredibly thorough in his preparation and leaves no stone unturned.Chambers UK (2021).

Superb. Responsive, a pleasure to deal with, and liked by clients, he’s an all-round excellent advocate.Chambers UK (2020).

His work ethic is tireless.Legal 500 (2020)

His calm and measured advocacy style carries authority.Legal 500 (2019).

He is excellent at organising detailed evidence and has a charming persona with the juryLegal 500 (2017)

Michael is a specialist in high profile serious and organised crime cases. He defends and prosecutes, with particular expertise in offences of homicide, large scale drugs conspiracies, people exploitation and human trafficking.

Michael is available to advise from an early stage of an investigation. He conducts private client cases and appeals, and is available to work nationally and abroad.

Recent instructions since 2010 include the following:

  • R v T: Prosecuted a manslaughter and arson case in which a high-rise local authority tower block of flats was set on fire on the 9th floor following a neighbour dispute. The victim, who was 8 months pregnant, had died whilst trying to escape. Press Link: ITV
  • R v A Defended an Abellio Surrey Buses driver charged with Health and Safety breaches associated with a fatality at a Transport for London bus garage.
  • Op Mime: Prosecuted an international people smuggling case involving 35 asylum seekers (including families with children) smuggled from Calais, via Belgium and into Tilbury Docks concealed as freight cargo. One of the immigrants died during the ferry crossing to Dover. Press Links: ITV | BBC |  Evening Standard 
  • Op Diviner Defended a large scale international immigration smuggling conspiracy facilitating 70 asylum seekers across UK boarders.
  • Op Discharge Defended in an 8 handed importation of 3m contraband cigarettes case.
  • Op Sorell: Defended an international conspiracy to steal and export to the UAE high performance vehicles, by a professional organised crime gang using sophisticated cloning devices to replicate contactless keys at airport valet parking services.
  • Op Lambda: Prosecuted a £3m nationwide cannabis cultivation conspiracy involving 25 properties. Press Link: BBC
  • Op Karnack: Defended in a 12 handed £65m international drugs importation and distribution conspiracy

Regulatory & Professional Discipline

Eye for detail and always fully prepared. Legal 500: Business & Regulatory Crime (including Global Investigations) (2022).

He is a great court advocate who charms juries and judges. He is also very technically skilled” and “…he is extremely hard-working and is an outstanding advocate.Chambers UK (2022)

He has amazing flair in court and outstanding knowledge.Chambers UK (2021).

Incredibly thorough in his preparation and leaves no stone unturned.Chambers UK (2021).

Superb. Responsive, a pleasure to deal with, and liked by clients, he’s an all-round excellent advocate.Chambers UK (2020).

His work ethic is tireless.Legal 500 (2020)

His calm and measured advocacy style carries authority.Legal 500 (2019).

Clever, organised, calm and a class act in the courtroom.Legal 500: Business & Regulatory Crime (including Global Investigations) (2019).

Michael Goodwin QC is ranked as a Leading Barrister by Legal 500 in Business & Regulatory Crime (including Global Investigations). He has particular expertise representing clients in regulatory and disciplinary proceedings, and provides representation in concurrent criminal and non-criminal proceedings if required. Michael was instructed by the Serious Fraud Office in the fifth Deferred Prosecution Agreement, approved by Mr Justice William Davis on 4th July 2019: [SFO v Serco Geografix Ltd] . Michael has recently been appointed by the President of the Council of the Inns of Court to sit as a Chairman on disciplinary tribunals and other panels including fitness to practice hearings conducted by the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service (BTAS).

Michael provides strategic advice and legal representation for professional clients facing investigation by Regulators and Law Enforcement Authorities. Michael represents clients before the General Medical Council (including its Fitness to Practise Panel), the General Dental Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and Police Disciplinary Tribunal in complex cases of misconduct.
Michael provides cross-jurisdictional representation for company directors, individuals and companies, and advises and represents clients before the First Tier Tax Tribunal (Tax Chamber) in HMRC related litigation and tax disputes. He has considerable experience of multimillion-pound VAT appeals involving Missing Trader Intra-Community Fraud investigations. He also conducts HMRC and excise related litigation before the Tax Tribunal and criminal courts.

Michael advises companies on compliance issues, and internal investigations. These often relate to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and money laundering regulations.

Michael represents individual and corporate clients in Health and Safety prosecutions, including serious fatality at work cases.

Michael is a member of the Red Lion Chambers Fire Law team.

Michael represents interested parties at inquests and in public inquiries.

Publications, Lectures & Training

Michael will be providing a webinar on Private Prosecutions together with Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP in December 2021. He will also be providing a webinar on Disclosure Law & Practice in January 2022.

“Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod’s Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law” 13th Edition by David Ormerod and Karl Laird, reviewed by Michael Goodwin QC for the Law Gazette [View here]

Co-author: RPC report on the topical issue of whether it is now time for a failure to prevent fraud offence to be introduced – Is the law on corporate criminal liability about to take a new turn [LAW GAZETTE] [Download PDF]

Criminal Finances Update (2018)

COMBAR: Legal profession Brexit Working Group paper on Criminal Law (2017)

Brexit & Money Laundering Regulation (2017)

Criminal Law – 5th Edition by Nicola Monaghan, reviewed by Micheal Goodwin QC [View Here]

Recommendations

Legal 500 (2022): Fraud Crime
Michael is first class. He is an obvious choice when dealing with high profile and complex fraud cases. He is exceptionally clever, and is very compelling both on his feet and in his written submissions.
[View Here]

Legal 500 (2022): Ranked as a Leading Silk in Business & Regulatory Crime (including Global Investigations):
Eye for detail and always fully prepared.
[View Here]

Chambers UK (2022): Ranked as a Leading Silk in Financial Crime:
He is extremely clever and takes a pragmatic approach. He has a great reputation with the prosecution agencies and the court.
He is a great court advocate who charms juries and judges. He is also very technically skilled.
He is extremely hard-working and is an outstanding advocate.
[View Here]

Chambers UK (2021): Ranked as a Leading Silk in Financial Crime:
“Incredibly thorough in his preparation and leaves no stone unturned.”
[View Here]

Legal 500 (2021):
Ranked as a Leading Silk in Criminal Fraud: 

“Michael is a serious heavy-hitter in criminal fraud. He combines a powerful intellect with a measured and effective advocacy style.”
[View Here]

Ranked as a Leading Silk in Business/Regulatory Crime: 
“Clever, organised, calm and a class act in the courtroom.”

Chambers UK (2020): Ranked as a Leading Silk in Financial Crime:
“A well-respected barrister with notable expertise in prosecuting and defending high-value financial crime cases. He has experience in bribery, corruption and tax fraud matters.”

“Superb. Responsive, a pleasure to deal with, and liked by clients, he’s an all-round excellent advocate.” “He has amazing flair in court and outstanding knowledge.”

Legal 500 (2020): Ranked as a Leading Silk in Criminal Fraud: 
“His work ethic is tireless.”

Legal 500 (2019)
“His calm and measured advocacy style carries authority.”

Legal 500 (2017)
“He is excellent at organising detailed evidence and has a charming persona with the jury”


Education

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University of Leeds

University of London

Inns of Court School of Law

Memberships

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South Eastern Circuit

Criminal Bar Association

Fraud Lawyers Association

Private Prosecutors’ Association

Financial Services Lawyers Association

Proceeds of Crime Association of Lawyers

Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyer

Health & Safety Lawyers Association

 

 

Professional Appointments

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Current Appointments:

Serious Fraud Office QC Panel (2020 to date).

Chairman of Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service (BTAS) (2020 to date).

Deputy District Judge

Advocacy Trainer (Inner Temple)

Ethics Trainer (Inner Temple)

Barrister Mentor (Inner Temple)

Head of Pupillage, Education & Training at Red Lion Chambers (2017 – date)

Previous Appointments:

Serious Fraud Office Panel A Counsel (2013-2020)

CPS Grade 4 (Highest Grade) (2013- 2020)

CPS Specialist Fraud Panel (2013 -2020)

CPS Serious Crime Panel (2013 – 2020)

Former appointment: Attorney General B Panel

Criminal Bar Association Social Mobility Committee Member (2017-date)

South Eastern Circuit Committee Member (2017-2020)

Independent Reviewer for the Surrey Police Crime Commissioner’s Community Safety Fund (2013 – 2016)

Regional Coordinator for the National Citizenship Foundation Mock Trial Competition (2011 – 2020)

Awards

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Leading Silk in the Legal 500 and Chambers UK Bar directories (see Recommendations)