Michael J Knowles

Year of Call:
Practice Areas:
  • Crime
  • Regulatory Law
    • Profile

      Although Michael Knowles was called to the bar in the year 2000, he has been representing clients for over 30 years having been admitted as a solicitor in 1977.

      He trained in a mixed practice but after qualifying specialised in criminal advocacy.

      Between 1983 and 1990 he was employed as a prosecutor, initially by the Greater Manchester Prosecution Service and subsequently by the Crown Prosecution Service attaining the position of Principal Crown Prosecutor.

      During that time he gained further experience in criminal procedure and dealt with many difficult and complex cases.

      Following his return to private practice in 1990 he used his experience to act for clients in cases ranging from Road Traffic Offences to Murder; advising at police stations, appearing in the Magistrates’ Courts and instructing Counsel in the Crown Court.

      In 1994 he was one of the first solicitors in the country to obtain rights of audience in the Crown Court where he regularly appeared for the firm's clients.

      In 2000 he decided that his management responsibilities as a partner in a busy criminal practice were reducing the time that he could spend dealing with clients and presenting their cases in Court. As a result he made the decision to transfer to the bar.

      From the time when he joined chambers in September of 2000 to the present he has maintained a full and successful practice which consists almost exclusively of defence work.

      He is instructed in all types of criminal cases including the most serious such as Murder, Manslaughter, Causing Death by Dangerous Driving, Serious Assaults, Robbery, Rape, Drug Supply, Money Laundering and Fraud. Many of his cases have involved large amounts of paperwork and complex legal issues.

      In addition to his criminal practice, Michael has also undertaken inquest work both with and without juries. He is familiar with advocacy and procedure in relation to the Coroners Court, including "Article 2" inquests.

      He has recently dealt with cases involving the death of a lorry driver in a motorway accident and of an employee crushed to death in a factory accident.

      Other cases involve matters which are of a less serious nature but which are just as important to clients such as Motoring Offences, Theft and Assault.

      As a result of his background he has the skill to deal effectively and sympathetically with all clients in every type of case.

      That background has also provided him with the experience of advising and representing clients directly from the very start of their case at the police station interview or summons all the way through to trial.

      He is qualified to operate under the Direct Access Scheme.