Michael regularly acts for claimants and defendants in a range of complex matters, including catastrophic injury claims and has achieved of the largest known settlements He is frequently instructed in group actions and to argue points of law of general application (and he advises on costs sharing orders under GLOs and on third party costs orders).
He has many years’ experience of acting for claimants and defendants in head injury cases including those in which more subtle damage is said to have long-term consequences (e.g Crofts v Murton  EWHC 3538 (QB) where senior police officer suffering, inter alia, brain damage causing cognitive deficits, disruption of memory and executive dysfunction sought and was awarded damages for loss of the chance of promotion to the rank of Commander or Assistant Chief Constable. In addition, he has considerable experience of forensic psychiatric evidence directed to causation: e.g., the Christian Brothers cases (group litigation arising out of historic sex abuse in a children’s homes: see e.g., CD v Catholic Child Welfare Society  EWCA Cave 2342;  E.L.R. 1).
Nominated as PI silk of the year 2017 by Chambers & Partners.
Recent work includes:
- He has recently acted on the instructions of insurers for several Premier League football clubs facing multiple allegations of historic racial and sexual abuse. There are numerous claimants and trials are pending this year and next. These raise questions of vicarious liability for those not directly employed by the clubs as well as limitation issues. They also raise complex issues of causation in relation to alleged failed or incomplete professional careers in football resulting from the psychological sequelae of abuse.
- Acting in group action by 250 former residents of an approved school alleging historic physical and sexual abuse; limitation issues; credibility of recollection over many decades; psychiatric issues.
- Acting for a claimant in a brain damage case which was listed for trial on the day the reduction in the discount rate to -0.75% came into effect: as a result a very substantially increased settlement was achieved and approved by the court).
- Instructed for defendants in group action (17,000 plus claimants) seeking damages for alleged effects of smoke and toxic emissions from factory fire in a suburb of Liverpool which burned for two weeks or so in June/July 2011: issues of causation and toxicity of smoke tried as preliminary issues. Meteorological, medical, toxicological and plume modelling expert evidence.
- Instructed in a claim against an Immigration Detention Centre operator for failure to prevent suicide attempt resulting in tetraplegia he acted for G4S.
- Acting for claimant in a claim for negligence of a NHS Trust in failing to warn local authority social worker of threats to her life by voluntary mental patient. Issues: whether necessary to show an assumption of responsibility for victim’s safety; whether Art.2 ECHR engaged.
- Acting for appellant in CA: whether duty of care owed by local authority to seriously injured bystander by a runaway horse at the Appleby Horse Fair.
- Acting for Home Office in settling claim by prisoner who suffered catastrophic brain damage following epileptic seizure; novel approach to accommodation award approved by HC: see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/7589895/Brain-damaged-prisoner-wins-4.7m-compensation-package-to-cover-his-rent.html
- Acting for a claimant in assessment of damages in respect of serious brain injuries sustained in a road accident – amongst other things, the case involved a further review of the correct approach to the determination of the life multiplier in cases involving reduced life expectancy and the deductibility of injury pensions.
- Various v Catholic Child Welfare Society  EWHC 3334, 5, 6 and 7 (QB);  EWHC 1 (QB);  E.L.R. 136:
- Saunderson v Sonae Industria (UK) Ltd  EWHC 2264 (QB)
- Nyang v G4S Care & Justice Services Ltd & Ors  EWHC 3946 (QB) – Claim against Immigration Detention Centre operator for failure to prevent suicide attempt resulting in tetraplegia – acted for G4S.
- Selwood v Durham CC & Ors  EWCA Civ 979;  PIQR P20 – Represented Claimant in claim for negligence of NHS Trust in failing to warn local authority social worker of threats to her life by voluntary mental patient. Issues: whether necessary to show an assumption of responsibility for victim’s safety; whether Art.2 ECHR engaged.
- Glaister v Appleby in Westmoreland Town Council  EWCA Civ 1325,  PIQR P6 – First instance trial and Court of Appeal – existence of duty of care alleged to have been owed to seriously injured bystander by a runaway horse at the Appleby Horse Fair.
- HOLMES v S&B Concrete Ltd  EWHC 2277 (QB): appeal judgment confirms that claimants in personal injury cases are not able to outflank a limitation defence by recourse to the rule that time for limitation purposes ceases to run on a resolution to wind up a defendant company
- Crown Office Chambers feature in three of The Lawyer’s Top 20 cases of 2019
- Michael Kent QC reviews the Supreme Court judgments of Barclays Bank Plc & WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc
- Inns of Court School of Law (1973 – 1975)
- BA (Hons) Politics, University of Sussex (1970 – 1973)
- Nautical College, Pangbourne (1965 – 1969)
- Recorder of the Crown Court
- Deputy High Court Judge (Queen’s Bench Division and Administrative Court).
- He is a Bencher of the Middle Temple
- London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (Chairman 2011-13)
- Administrative Law Bar Association
- Chairman of working group on expert witnesses for Inns of Court College of Advocacy (2018)
“Regarded with the utmost respect by peers and also by the judiciary.”
Legal 500, 2021
“Always a calm and measured presence in conference and courtroom alike. His advocacy skills are excellent, as is his ability to provide clarity in the most complex of cases.”
Legal 500, 2021
“He has the most wonderful advocacy style – he’s calm, silky and measured.” “He is hugely intelligent and pleasure to work with.”
Chambers & Partners, 2020
“He is particularly strong handling high-profile group litigation.”
Legal 500, 2020
“A highly skilled advocate who is able to get to grips with the most complex of issues…The epitome of a smooth operator. An excellent QC whom I can’t recommend highly enough.”
Chambers & Partners, 2018
“A very high-quality silk.”
Legal 500, 2017
“He has a profound understanding of legal principles and how to construct a case.”
Legal 500, 2017
“he is very well respected and you would instruct him in any significant disease cases”
Chambers & Partners, 2016
very intelligent and capable of very quick thinking on his feet”
Legal 500, 2016
a highly intelligent advocate, who has particular experience in group actions”
Chambers & Partners, 2015
“a highly intelligent, very responsive silk”
Legal 500, 2015
“extremely bright..the finest appeal advocate I have ever seen”
Chambers & Partners, 2014