Michael is a specialist immigration and asylum law practitioner. He frequently appears in appeals against decisions of the Secretary of State for the Home Department before the First-Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chambers, and in Judicial Reviews in the Administrative Court. Michael has also successfully appeared on a number of occasions in the Court of Appeal where he has a growing practice.
Michael has a busy Judicial Review practice and is also experienced in administrative review challenges against decisions of the Secretary of State.
Michael has particular expertise in refugee and human rights claims, Tier, 1,2 & 4 and points-based system cases, European Economic Area applications, deportations, trafficking claims, immigration bail, interim relief applications, entry clearance appeals, and unaccompanied asylum seeking minor and asylum support cases.
Michael also practises in general civil and family law.
Prior to joining Chambers, Michael spent a significant period of time working for specialist civil liberties and human rights law firm, Birnberg Peirce Limited, as a Caseworker in their civil and public law department. During this time Michael worked on a number of cases including: three separate Judicial Reviews arising out of the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan; a Judicial Review in the case of Sam Hallam challenging the statutory compensation regime for victims of miscarriages of justice as against Article 6(2) of the ECHR; a civil claim arising out of the Lakanal House tower-block fire; and the Hillsborough Inquests.
During his time working on the Hillsborough Inquests in Warrington, Michael was responsible for 11 of the bereaved family clients whilst his supervisor took maternity leave. This experience has been highly beneficial to Michael’s practice.
During pupillage Michael undertook a broad general common law practice. Michael takes instructions in: immigration and Judicial Review, public/administrative law & human rights, civil litigation, family, housing (including residential and commercial landlord & tenant), and crime.
Michael is committed to utilising his skills to benefit his community and has worked pro bono completing internships at both the Prisoners’ Advice Service and the Bar Pro Bono Unit as well as frequently undertaking immigration bail hearings for Bail for Immigration Detainees (BiD).
Additional areas of specialism
Administrative law & human rights
Housing / Landlord & Tenant
Immigration and asylum
Michael has a solely appellant based practice and has appeared with success in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal.
Michael acts in all areas of immigration and asylum law, including: under the European Convention on Human Rights; under The 1951 Refugee Convention / international protection; deportation appeals; immigration detention and bail; points-based system cases (Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 4); entry clearance; and cases involving European Economic Area law.
Michael is frequently instructed in asylum / international protection cases involving persons fleeing gender-based harm or who fear persecution due to sexual orientation or gender identity.
Michael regularly undertakes public law work including judicial review challenges to: certification of human rights and protection claims; adverse decisions on fresh claims; British Nationality cases; points-based system cases; and removal and deportation decisions.
Michael’s practice covers all areas of children law and Family Law Act 1996 proceedings. He has experience in both public and private children cases. Michael frequently appears in matrimonial proceedings and is regularly instructed in financial remedy cases.
Michael has a broad civil law practice with a particular emphasis on housing law (including residential and commercial landlord and tenant). Michael worked as a solicitor’s agent for two years prior to commencing practice at the Bar and has attended over 1200 hearings in the High Court and County Courts.
Before completing pupillage at 12 Old Square Chambers, Michael worked as a freelance advocate, taking instructions and providing advocacy services in the civil courts in a wide range of practice areas including: civil litigation (including contract work), insolvency and bankruptcy, landlord & tenant, consumer credit, general property, personal injury (including RTAs), and debt recovery.
Recent or notable cases
- FR (Bangladesh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department C5/2019/1497,
Substantive hearing in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) before Singh LJ, Baker LJ and Mr Justice Cobb, appearing as junior counsel led by Michael Biggs. The appeal concerned the proper approach to the interpretation and construction of section 117B(6) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Judgment to be handed down imminently.
- MR (Bangladesh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department C5/2018/0676,
Permission to appeal granted at an inter partes hearing by Underhill LJ in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division). The case concerns the interpretation of the ‘real world’ context (as referred to in the Supreme Court judgment in KO (Nigeria)) within which the reasonableness assessment under section 117B(6) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 is to be conducted. Substantive appeal hearing to be listed before 3 Lord / Lady Justices after September 2019.
- RB (Bangladesh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department C5/2018/0957,
Permission to appeal granted on the papers by Singh LJ in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) in a case concerning the ‘second appeals’ test. Permission on all grounds granted including a challenge to the construction of section 117B(6) and to the reasonableness of British citizen children having to either live in Bangladesh or with their sole British parent in the UK. The matter was remitted back to the Upper Tribunal and the appeal allowed by Upper Tribunal Judge Kebede.
- KP (Pakistan) & Anor. v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1722,
Successful application for oral renewal of permission to appeal, appearing before Irwin LJ in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), concerning the degree of evidential flexibility obliged to be applied by the Secretary of State in addressing deficiencies in documentation under the points-based system in light of paragraph 245AA of the Rules, the different policy guidance, and the Supreme Court case of Mandalia.
- R (on the application of Lucky Begum) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CO/2229/2018,
Successful application in the High Court for oral renewal of permission to bring judicial review challenging a decision of the Secretary of State under the British Nationality Act 1981 by reference to section 4 and the Schedule to The Immigration (Certificate of Entitlement to Right of Abode in the United Kingdom) Regulations 2006, where paternity of the father of the applicant and the veracity of birth certificates were in issue.
- R (on the application of Sabikunnaher) v Secretary of State for the Home Department JR/8714/2017,
Successful oral renewal of application for judicial review in the Upper Tribunal challenging a decision by the Secretary of State to certify as clearly unfounded the appellant’s claim under Article 8 of the ECHR.
- RA v Secretary of State for the Home Department PA/07271/2018,
Successful asylum appeal under the 1951 Refugee Convention and under Article 3 of the ECHR against a decision of the Secretary of State refusing a Uighur muslim’s claim for international protection on account of his parents and brother having been suspected of being arrested, detained and incarcerated in a ‘re-education’ camp in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in China.
- MA v Secretary of State for the Home Department PA/13355/2018,
Successful asylum appeal under the 1951 Refugee Convention against a decision by the Secretary of State to refuse the claim of an undocumented Bidoon who had married an aid worker after having met in the Jungle camp in Calais. Evidence of the appellant’s family’s lack of registration under the 1965 census and concerning the issue of long residence prior to it, was accepted by the Tribunal on appeal.
- SM v Secretary of State for the Home Department AA/00034/2016,
Successful asylum appeal under the 1951 Refugee Convention and Articles 3 and 8 of the ECHR, against the decision by the Secretary of State to refuse to grant international protection to an appellant from Pakistan fearing gender-based harm and discrimination on account of her disability and severe mobility issues.
- 2004-2008 – University of Bristol (French BA Hons, 2:1)
- 2009-2010 – University of Law (GDL, Commendation)
- 2010-2011 – University of Law (BPTC, Very Competent)
Michael is proficient in French and German and has studied at both the University of Paris, La Sorbonne and at the Johannes Gutenburg University in Mainz.
Outside of work Michael takes a keen interest in sport and regularly plays competitive football. He is also an avid music fan and held a number of club residencies as a DJ during his time at Bristol University. In his spare time Michael also enjoys travelling and has visited much of Europe, South East Asia and North America.