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Circuit Leader

Michelle Heeley KC


No. 5 Chambers

5 Fountain Court, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham

I am honoured to be able to lead the Circuit I love. As a proud Midlander I had the fortune to grow up in Birmingham and study in Nottingham, and then develop my career in Birmingham, supported every step of the way by Circuit. To now be able to lead Circuit and represent the many hundreds of hard working and talented Barristers is something I never dreamed of. I hope to promote greater diversity at the Bar, and address the issue we have with retention, I hope I can be a role model, but also give back to a Circuit that has given so much to me.

Michelle Heeley KC


Michelle took Silk in 2017, at the time the youngest criminal Silk in the country. She subsequently became Director of Advocacy Training for the Midland Circuit before taking over as Leader in October 2021. Michelle sits as a Recorder and holds a Serious Sexual Offences Certificate


Michelle is regularly instructed by the Complex Casework Unit and prosecuting division for the Serious Organised Crime Agency to prosecute large scale, multi handed cases involving complex legal issues. Michelle undertakes private defence work, and has represented defendants from all aspects of life, ranging from former England football players, national journalists, to teachers charged with serious sexual allegations She is noted for her particular expertise in rape cases and in dealing with Vulnerable witnesses. As part of her Circuit responsibilities Michelle trains other Advocates in the questioning of vulnerable witnesses. Michelle is also a Lead Advocacy trainer and has trained advocates internationally, including Prosecutors from the ICC. Michelle is regularly instructed in legal aid matters, in particular murder cases, both prosecution and defence, particularly those involving youths, she is noted for her ability to deal with young and vulnerable clients and witnesses. Michelle is regularly instructed in murder cases, both prosecution and defence, particularly those involving youths, she is noted for her ability to deal with young and vulnerable clients and witnesses. Michelle has dealt with many confiscation hearings for both Prosecution and defence, often in cases involving multi million pound claims. She is experienced at drafting skeleton arguments and researching new areas of law in order to achieve the best outcome for her clients. Michelle regularly undertakes advisory work in respect of cases being considered for appeal, she will draft skeleton arguments on appeal, and then take the matter to the full court. Michelle is also instructed in cases defending Police officers charged with criminal offences. She is renowned for her client care skills and ability to relate to people from all walks of life. Michelle often deals with inquests from which criminal proceedings could or do arise. She is well versed in the best manner to protect clients from potential criminal liability.


"She is methodical, meticulous and effective." Chambers UK 2019 ‘Prosecutes and defends in cases involving drugs conspiracies, sexual offences and homicide.’ Legal 500 2019 Well-regarded silk who provides experienced prosecution and defence counsel across a broad range of high-profile matters. She has expert knowledge of criminal fraud, drug trafficking, rape, murder and other serious criminal offences. Strengths: "She has a really strong presence is court and is very knowledgeable. She also inspires a lot of confidence in clients." Acts on cases pertaining to the most serious categories of offences that a person can be charged with, from murder and rape to major drug smuggling cases. She is renowned as an expert in rape cases, and often provides pre-charge advice to the CPS on particularly grave and sensitive cases. Chambers UK, 2016