Michael Holland QC

Areas of practice

A criminal specialist as a junior, having conducted the full range of criminal work.

In silk developed a diverse practice including fraud, murder, civil VAT appeal tribunal work, Proceeds of Crime Act work and specialist advisory work with regard to third party involvement in both criminal and civil cases.

Tenacious and direct, both in legal argument and as a jury advocate,  experienced in both defending and prosecuting, giving an informed view of the other side’s likely tactics and the issues likely to occupy them. An accomplished jury advocate with a detailed knowledge of the law.

Recent cases
  • R v David Downes, Defence (Byrne and partners – Mike Potts).
    City of London / National Fraud Investigation prosecuted at Kingston Crown Court. Allegation of systematic boiler room fraud on international basis. The scheme involved ‘ramping’ ‘Regulation S’ US shares and carbon credits to the value of more than US$15 million using Spanish based ‘boiler rooms’.. The defendant was said to be the controlling financial figure laundering proceeds through US, Switzerland and Far East.  8 week contested trial, re-trial concluded March 2013, POCA ongoing. 30,000 pages of used evidence, electronic / ‘Drop Box’ service. Subject of TV documentary ‘Fraud Squad’. Against Alexandra Healy QC.
  • R v Phillip Hammond: Defence (Byrne and partners – Andrew Benso, Gillian Bradbury).
    Serious Fraud Office prosecution at Southwark Crown Court. Allegation of international procurement corruption in large national engineering projects involving multi-national corporations and payments of commissions. Defendant financial director of procurement agent company, charged with managing director various recipients of payments. 4 month trial, concluded March 2012, appeal and POCA ongoing.  Against Mukul Chawla QC (prosecuting), Trevor Burke QC, David Etherington QC (co-defending).
  • R v Woolf and others; Prosecution (Serious and Economic Crime division).
    Special casework prosecution at Southwark Crown Court of three company directors involves in use of substantial Safe Depository Business enabling money laundering on large scale. ‘the biggest disruption of organised crime in the history of the Metropolitan Police’. Over £36 million recovered and subject to ongoing proceedings re seizure and POCA confiscation. Main proceedings concluded Jan 2011. Associated financial proceedings ongoing throughout 2012 and 2013. Against Andrew Mitchell QC, Paul Bogan QC.

VAT Appeal Tribunal cases

  • Connect Global v HMRC Carousel MTIC case successfully concluded at Lower Tier , appeal in Upper Tier rejected, concluded Dec 2010.
  • Current instructions in two more substantial VAT appeals.



  • R v Damien Divine; Defence (Wainwright and Cummins).
    Operation Trident prosecution at Kingston Crown Court. Attempted murder of uniform police officer by use of firearm to shoot officer during the course of arrest. Three week trial concluded November 2012.
  • R v Ferdinand; Defence (Needham Poulier).
    Gang related murder by stabbing at Central Criminal Court. Six week trial, concluded May 2012.
  • R v Nana Oppong and others; Defence (Attichi Hill and Croques).
    Treasury counsel prosecution at Central Criminal Court, Operation Trident. Allegation of triple shooting at night club (two murders an done attempted murder. Allegation of serious organised crime  background. Defendant said to be organising and directing figure. Two trials each six ,months long, one in 2011 one 2012. Concluded September 2012 with acquittal on main charges against William Boyce QC, co-defending Tony Glass QC, Ike Peat QC and others.
  • R v Stokes; Defence (GEC Law Hereford).
    One month murder at Worcester Crown Court. Represented the first defendant in cut throat allegation of murder relating to the drug related killing of a man for financial gain, with co-defendant wife alleging his guilt Concluded December 2010.
  • R v Henry Buahin; Defence (Lound Mulrenan Jefferies). Murder at Central Criminal court.
    Successfully represented the alleged shooter of a professional criminal. Concluded  March 2010.
  • R v Mark Osbourne; Defence (PATTICHI HILL & CROQUES – Richard Hill).
    Three month murder at Central Criminal court. Represented the alleged organiser of drug related machine gun assassination Concluded February 2009 – Appeal in March  2011.
  • R v Greenland; Prosecution (Cps Special casework)
    Murder at Old Bailey, successful prosecution of a man who shot a rival and then systematically intimidated witnesses, June 2008.
  • R v Khan; Defence (Lound Mulrenan Jefferies).
    Longest running murder at Old Bailey, successful defence of man charged with double murder. One of only two acquitted from 8 – successfully represented convicted co-defendant on appeal concluded 2007.