Michael Gleeson Barrister | Wardell Chambers Sydney

Michael Gleeson

Called to the bar in 1999 (UK); 2010 (NSW)
Areas of practice

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Called to the Bars of both England and Wales and New South Wales, and having acquired a wealth of experience as a barrister in both jurisdictions, Michael’s principal areas of practice include criminal law, sports law, regulatory and compliance, as well as inquests and commissions of inquiry.
He possesses widespread experience across a broad range of jurisdictions including the District Court of New South Wales, Supreme Court of New South Wales, New South Wales Court of Appeal, New South Wales Crime Commission, Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and ACC. His solicitor clients commend him for his ability to understand the needs of their mutual client, as well as his responsiveness and strong ability to expeditiously navigate through the real issues in a matter.
Following ten successful years in continuous practise as a barrister in well-regarded chambers in the United Kingdom (www.cobden.co.au), Michael transferred his highly-developed advocacy and advisory skills to Australia. Initially maintaining a mixed practice in common law, Michael later moved into specialising in complex and often high-profile criminal matters. Since that time, he has developed a well-balanced practice prosecuting for the State and Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions, as well as engaging in private defence work.
Michael’s extensive criminal practice covers the full spectrum of indictable criminal offences, including murder, armed robbery, sexual offences (encompassing historic child sexual abuse matters), fraud and large- scale public disorder. He has been regularly instructed to appear in multi-defendant cases for the Crown and defence as a junior counsel or led by Queen’s Counsel/Senior Counsel. In addition to gaining substantial experience as a jury trial advocate, Michael has also appeared before the New South Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in conviction and sentence appeals. He is a member of the Serious Indictable Crime Panel and Complex Criminal Law Panel of Legal Aid NSW.
Michael has a passion for sport, with such interest extending to his professional work as Counsel. An avid triathlete and runner, he has also been appointed a legal director of Triathlon NSW for the past 5 years. His interests also extend to commercial matters with a regulatory spin, as well as white-collar crime cases.
  • 2010 Called to the Bar of New South Wales
  • 1998 Called to the Bar of England and Wales
  • 2010  Diploma in Law Course LPAB: University of Sydney
  • 1998  Diploma in Vocational Studies: University of Cardiff
  • 1997  Post Graduate Diploma in Law / Common Profession Exam: Manchester Metropolitan University
  • 1996  Bachelor of Arts (Honours) majoring in Politics: University of Glamorgan
  • 2014 – present  Barrister, Wardell Chambers
  • 2011 – 2014  Barrister, 11 Garfield Barwick Chambers
  • 2010 – 2011  Frederick Jordan Chambers
  • Prior to being called to the Bar in New South Wales, Michael practised for 10 years as a barrister in London and Manchester
  • Member, New South Wales Bar Association
  • Serious Indictable Crime Panel, Legal Aid NSW: 2018 to present
  • Complex Criminal Law Panel,Legal Aid NSW
  • Legal Director, Triathlon NSW: 2014 to present
  • Member, British Association for Sports and Law (BASL)
  • Member, Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association (ANZLA)
  • Member,Criminal Bar Association(UK)
  • Former Member of the Bar Council,United Kingdom
  • Year of Call–1998: Honorable Society of Gray’s  Inn,London
  • Salvos Legal NSW:2010–2014(Sydney)
  • Law Society of New South Wales Referral Scheme: 2011–2015(Sydney)
  • Aboriginal Legal Service: 2009–2010(Sydney)
  • Court of Appeal–Criminal Division:2005–2009(United Kingdom)
  • Andrew Harcher Memorial Lecture–Law Society NSW CPD Day:23 March 2019
  • Interface between Sport and Criminal Law: New South Wales Bar Association CPD in Wollongong–October 2017
  • Following R v Jogee: Ruddock v The Queen (UK Supreme Court) What Are the Possible Ramifications for Joint Criminal Enterprise in Australian Criminal Courts? Bar News – Journal of the NSW Bar Association: May 2016
  • Self-Represented Litigants: The Importance of Preserving the Publicly Funded Criminal Bar - The Australian Institute of Judicial Administration: April 2014
  • The Essendon Football Club Scandal: What Lessons Can be Learned? The New South Wales State Legal Conference (Professional Negligence Session): March 2014
  • The Role of The Criminal Law & Doping in Sport–Sports Law Conference held at 12 Wentworth Chambers, Sydney: September 2013
  • The Importance of Preserving an Independent Criminal Bar (when the going gets tough for Government–The International Society for The Reform of Criminal Law: August 2013
  • Right to Silence Changes in NSW–Bar News–Journal of the NSW Bar Association: May 2013
  • R v JN [2019] District Court, Griffith – First trial listed in NSW under the ‘new’ s66EA Criminal Legislation Amendment (Child Sexual Abuse) Act 2018
  • Woods v R [2017] NSWCCA5–A rare trifecta in the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal.1.Appeal Allowed 2. Indictment quashed 3. Costs allowed. The case was broadcast on Benchmark Television. Led by Michael McHugh SC and Instructed by Andrew Tiedt, Armstrong Legal
  • R v Langley [2017] District Court, Sydney – Trial before DCJ Pickering SC and a Jury; Multiple counts and multiple complainants in a 50-year old historic sexual abuse matter involving a scout master
  • R v Buchanan [2017] District Court NSW, Port Macquarie – Trial before DCJ King SC and a Jury; Multiple counts of armed robbery involving a young, Aboriginal male; Multiple applications to discharge the Jury due to prejudicial effect of ID evidence as well as witness dock ID
  • R v Naera and Ors [2017] District Court, Parramatta–Long trial before DCJ Townsden; Multiple co-accused in a bikie related drugs, guns and AOABH case
  • R v Carriage [2015] Graft on Court house–Trial before ADCJ O’Connor; Aboriginal male charged with historic sexual abuse of his daughters
  • Bott v R [2012] NSWCCA 191 (2012)–Application seeking leave to appeal against sentence; Leave granted. Appeal Dismissed; I represented the Appellant
  • Steven David v New South Wales Crime Commission (2012) – Junior Counsel for the Plaintiff in a Supreme Court action to set aside a decision pursuant to s19(4) of the NSWCC Act 1985
  • DPP v John Hakanen (2012) – Successful defence application to stay an ex officio indictment; Subsequently dealt with the forfeiture aspect of the case in the Supreme Court before Harrison J; Led by Mr Gregory Jones
  • Roads & Maritime Services v Hawks (2012)–A regulatory Prosecution(instructed by RMS)for offences under the Maritime Safety Act 1998
  • Regina v Cleveland and Ors 2011 – Junior Counsel for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. Large-scale drug importation involving employees at Sydney Airport and the infamous Bra Boys surf group; Led by Mr Christopher O’Donnell; Instructing Solicitor Ms Mary Lagana
  • Regina v Man Haron Monis ( District Court of NSW, Supreme Court of NSW, High Court of Australia, Supreme Court of NSW (Court of Criminal Appeal) 2010-2013 – Defending in a case involving sending ‘hate’ mail to the families of Australian soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan
  • R v Marrero 2011 – Counsel for the CDPP in a case involving the importation of almost 4kg of cocaine inserted into chocolate and lollies