Michael Scholes

Call 1996


Photo of Michael Scholes


Michael is a former Solicitor (admitted in 1974) who transferred to the Bar in 1995. He specialises in criminal work for the defence and prosecution.

Although traditionally regarded as an outstanding advocate defending in the full range of serious criminal cases in more recent years he has been sought out to prosecute the same offences he previously exclusively defended.  He is a Category 4 Prosecutor. A specialist prosecutor of both serious crime and rape/serious sexual offences, he has extensive experience in the following areas of practice:

  • Fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Confiscation
  • Regulatory work
  • Large scale drugs conspiracies (national and international)
  • Murder and other homicide offences
  • Serious sexual offences
  • Firearms
  • Robbery
  • Benefit fraud
  • Large scale public order offences and prison riot/mutiny
  • Appellate work (House of Lords and Appeal Court)

Michael has acted for the defence in the following specific areas of fraud work:

  • Mortgage fraud
  • Revenue/Excise fraud
  • White collar (business) fraud
  • Counterfeit good/services (advance fee fraud)

Michael has a down to earth, practical approach to his cases and clients alike. As a former solicitor, he understands both sides of the table and brings a fearless tenacity to Court. His hard-working yet amiable manner makes him a popular advocate in some of the most complex cases.

Criminal Cases


R –v-Chandler and others (Operation Afflek) Liverpool Crown Court – a multi-million pound Land Banking fraud acting for one of the two main defendants

R-v-Jones and Jones (Manchester Crown Court) – Large scale fraud on multi –national company by fraudulent invoicing involving dishonest high ranking employee.

R-v-T & others (Operation Abraid) [Liverpool Crown Court] – Leading Junior for main defendant in money laundering and mortgage fraud conspiracy with international (Spanish) connections involving employment of corrupt Solicitor.

R-v-M and others (Operation Joyless) [Liverpool Crown Court] – ‘Fuel oil fraud’ evasion of millions of pounds in duty with Irish terrorist connections.

R-v-Doran & others (Liverpool Crown Court) – Inland Revenue fraud with 20 defendants (false and fraudulent claims for repayment of tax benefits) involving corrupted Revenue employee. Acting for one of the 3main defendants.


R-v-McVie & another [Chester Crown Court] – Junior Counsel for 16 year old defendant charged with racially aggravated murder of young member of local traveler community- convicted of manslaughter without any racially aggravated feature.Defence.

R-v-E & others [Liverpool Crown Court] – Junior Counsel for defendant charged with brutal double murder. ‘Cut throat’ defence by two defendants alleging third defendant had committed murders alone. Issues as to Crown disclosure of defence statements of co- defendant and whether Crown entitled to intervene to prevent marriage of important prosecution witness to a defendant to prevent her becoming a compellable prosecution witness. Defence.

R-v-H [Chester Crown Court] – Junior Counsel for paranoid schizophrenic charged with ‘random’ killing of neighbour after failing to take prescribed medication-Crown accepted plea to manslaughter after earlier refusal following fresh medical evidence. Defence.

R-v-H [Liverpool Crown Court] – Leading Junior prosecuted defendant in a series of trials alleging historic sexual abuse of the utmost depravity upon members of his own and former partners families culminating in the attempted murder of his former partner. D convicted of vast majority of offences including attempted murder and thereafter dealing with subsequent consolidated appeal against conviction on grounds jury member was a prison officer in prison where D held. Prosecuted


R-v-Ward and others. Operation Penshurst (Manchester Crown Court) Multi million pound drugs importation from Belgium. Prosecuted as Leading Junior

R-v-H & others (Operation Cantham) Birmingham Crown Court – Largest seizure of drugs and counterfeit currency in West Midlands. Junior Counsel for defendant charged with organizing and distributing Class A,B and C drugs from Birmingham (imported from Holland) to Merseyside. Defence

R-v-R & others (Operation Undercoat) Liverpool Crown Court – Multi-million pound drugs/ firearms conspiracy and subsequent complex confiscation confiscation arising from importation of drugs (Class A,B and C) from mainland Europe to the UK using a sophisticated distribution network involving specially adapted motor vehicles. Defence.

R-v-L & others (Operation Purge) Chester Crown Court – Acted for main defendant. Crown alleged L running ‘huge scale’ cocaine cutting and distribution centre at industrial unit in Warrington. NCIS probe produced thousands of hours of material allegedly supporting prosecution case. Following hotly fought disclosure applications Crown accepted pleas on basis that D was simply one of a group of friends who used premises to take cocaine and supply it to friends on a non-commercial basis.

R-v-C & others (Operation Pirate) Liverpool Crown Court – Conspiracy to produce amphetamine. Amphetamine factory set up in industrial unit on outskirts of Liverpool producing huge quantities of drug. Case prosecuted by Leading Counsel. Following trial representing C (only defendant not represented by Leading Counsel in trial) he was only defendant acquitted out of 23 charged.