East Anglia:
01245 280 880
020 7520 6000
Michael Goodwin QC

Michael Goodwin QC

Call: 1996     Silk: 2019

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

Michael specialises in high profile fraud, business crime and serious crime cases, often with an international dimension.

Ranked by Legal 500 (2019) as a Tier 1 Leading Silk in Criminal Fraud, Michael tackles cases fearlessly with tactical precision. He has a meticulous, analytical and highly persuasive approach. He provides exceptional client focused representation at all times.

Michael was recently instructed by the Serious Fraud Office in the fifth Deferred Prosecution Agreement, approved by Mr Justice William Davis on 4th July 2019.

With extensive experience of the most complex cases, Michael offers strategic advice throughout the life of a case.

He represents both private individuals and companies, catering to their business and personal requirements.

Business & Financial Crime

Michael is this year once again ranked as a Leading Barrister in Financial Crime (Legal 500, 2019). [Legal 500]

Michael defends and prosecutes the most serious and complex high profile financial crime cases.

Michael is available to advise individual and corporate clients from an early stage of an investigation. Many of his clients are company directors and officers.

He has been instructed in some of the largest serious fraud litigation to be investigated and brought before the Courts. He has particular experience of bribery, corruption, tax evasion , false accounting, money laundering, misconduct in public office and accounting fraud cases.

Current instructionsNotable cases

  • Bribery & Corruption: acting for the defence in the current SFO multi-jurisdictional investigation into alleged corruption and bribery associated with the trading of Unaoil. Press links: The Guardian | SFO.
  • Tax Evasion: instructed by the defence to advise a corporation being investigated for multimillion pound tax fraud related to player transfers in the premier league.
  • Tax Evasion:Tax Evasion: instructed by the defence to advise a corporation being investigated for multimillion pound tax fraud related to tax avoidance planning.
  • Money laundering: instructed by the defence in a Local Government bribery, corruption and money laundering case arising from fire regulation and subcontracting in local council properties.
  • R v G: Junior Defence Counsel. Represented a company director in a large scale international immigration fraud and multi-million pound money laundering conspiracy.
  • R v S: Junior Defence Counsel in multi million pound mortgage fraud and money laundering case.
  • R v T: Defence counsel. £26m duty evasion and money laundering conspiracy.

  • SFO v Serco Geografix Ltd: Instructed by the Serious Fraud Office in relation to the fifth Deferred Prosecution Agreement that was approved on 4th July 2019 at Southwark Crown Court by Mr Justice William Davis. [PRESS REPORTS [SFO][JUDICIARY][BBC][ITV]]
  • Op Solitude: Represented a company director in a £35m conspiracy to launder monies for organised crime groups through a network of Money Service Bureaus.
  • Op Bronze: Over 4 years headed a team of prosecutors in an internal audit led operation concerning Local Authority corruption, money laundering and housing fraud on a massive scale. Prosecuted as leading counsel 3 trials each lasting 3 months for offences of misconduct in public office, fraud and money laundering. Press Links: Evening Standard | ITV | Daily Mail.
  • Op Diviner: Defence counsel. Large scale immigration fraud conspiracy facilitating 70 asylum seekers being smuggled across UK boarders.
  • 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
  • Op Discharge: Defence Counsel. 8 handed importation of 3m contraband cigarettes case.
  • Op Inertia: Defence Counsel. £170m MTIC / VAT Fraud representing a company director. Press Links: The Guardian
  • R v G -: Represented a company director in a large scale international immigration fraud and multi-million pound money laundering conspiracy.
  • SFO v V: Prosecution counsel for the SFO. The first civil recovery order being made relating to unlawful conduct arising from inaccurate accounting records. Press Links: Telegraph
  • R v B: Defended a pharmacist in a multi-million pound regulatory fraud case arising from global 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.
  • R v Forsyth: Instructed by the Serious Fraud Office. The prosecution of a global computer supplier company chairman for fraudulent trading.

Serious Crime

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 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.

Notable cases include:

  • R v T: Prosecution counsel. 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
  • Op Mime: Leading prosecution counsel: international people smuggling 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 
  • R v A: Defence counsel representing an Abellio Surrey Buses driver charged with Health and Safety breaches associated with a fatality at a Transport for London bus garage.
  • Op Sorell: 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: Prosecution counsel. £3m nationwide cannabis cultivation conspiracy involving 25 properties. Press Link: BBC
  • Op Karnack: Defence counsel. 12 handed £65m international drugs importation and distribution conspiracy
  • Op Diviner: Defence counsel. Large scale international immigration smuggling conspiracy facilitating 70 asylum seekers across UK boarders.
  • Op Discharge: Defence Counsel. 8 handed importation of 3m contraband cigarettes case.

Professional Disciplinary & Regulatory

Michael provides rigorous and strategic legal representation for clients facing investigation by Regulators and Law Enforcement Authorities.

He provides advice and support for compliance matters, all aspects of Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and money laundering regulations.

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.

He provides cross-jurisdictional representation for individuals and companies in linked regulatory and criminal litigation.

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

Michael represents public officials charged with misconduct in public office. The cases often involve concurrent internal/disciplinary investigations and criminal proceedings.

Michael represents interested parties at inquests and in public enquiries.


Legal 500: Tier 1 QC

  • “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 jury”Legal 500 2017

Publications, Lectures & Training

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]


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University of Leeds

University of London

Inns of Court School of Law


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South Eastern Circuit

Financial Services Lawyers Association

Proceeds of Crime Association of Lawyers

Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyer

Health & Safety Lawyers Association

Criminal Bar Association



Professional Appointments

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Deputy District Judge

Serious Fraud Office Panel A Counsel (2013, 2017)

CPS Grade 4 (Highest Grade) (2013 to date)

CPS Specialist Fraud Panel (2013 to date)

CPS Serious Crime Panel (2013 to date)
Former appointment: Attorney General B Panel

Advocacy Trainer (Inner Temple).

Ethics Trainer (Inner Temple)

Criminal Bar Association Social Mobility Committee Member (since 2017)

South Eastern Circuit Committee Member (since 2017)

Pupil Supervisor.

Barrister Mentor (Inner Temple).

Direct Access Accredited

Other Appointments:

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 – 2019).