Mike is a highly experienced and well-regarded trial lawyer, specialising in trust and commercial disputes, as well as having appeared in several of Jersey’s major criminal trials of recent years. He is renowned for bringing a calm authority to the most difficult of cases.
He is a Crown Advocate having been appointed to that role by the Attorney General and is able to prosecute cases on behalf of the Crown as well as to advise the Crown in relation to civil and regulatory matters.
Mike has over twenty-five years’ experience in the legal services industry. He qualified as an English Solicitor in 1991 before returning to Jersey in 1993. He was sworn in as an Advocate of the Royal Court in 1999, becoming a Partner in the Jersey practice Voisin a year later. Mike began practicing as Preston Legal in August 2016.
Civil cases of note include In re Galasys Limited, a substantial Board-level dispute in which he successfully represented the company; Sinel v Hennessy, a case involving jurisdictional issues and the extent of professional privilege in Jersey in the context of an application for service out ; In re Diesel Limited, a case involving the contentious reinstatement of a Jersey company involving allegations of fraud in Russia, in which he represented the successful applicant who is now able to pursue recovery of his claims; JEC v Brocken & Fitzpatrick and Dewplan Limited, in which he successfully represented the Third Party in an industrial accident claim; Willow Millennium v Hayden Taylor, in which he successfully represented the Plaintiff in a leading case on the enforcement of security; Pirrwitz v Airports International and Power International, a dispute arising from the Meinl litigation involving the payment of directors’ fees claimed for the management of two substantial funds and a counterclaim involving Italian Law issues. He appeared for the successful Plaintiff in the trial. The Defendant funds appealed the first instance decision and Mike was again successful before the Court of Appeal.
Mike was retained by the new trustee in the cases of Dick v Pantrust and Heinrichs v Pantrust, both of which involved the removal of trustees and the getting in and administration of assets in various jurisdictions. He has experience of the most complex of trust disputes.
Mike regularly appears in the Royal Court in respect to Beddoe and like applications regarding trusts on behalf of trustees, beneficiaries and minors and unborns.
He is highly regarded as a trial lawyer and has appeared as defence Counsel in several major criminal trials including the prosecution of the drugs ‘baron’ Curtis Warren for conspiracy to import cannabis and in the Haut de la Garenne historic child abuse cases, which attracted national and international press coverage (Wateridge; Donnelly; and, Jordan).
Mike appeared in the Royal Court prosecutions of the former Constable of St John (Butcher) and a serious grave and criminal assault (Bennett). He also appeared in a multi-million-pound fraud case involving the then Acting Magistrate, Ian Christmas and in several serious historic child abuse trials, including AG v Huby, and AG v F.
Most recently, he has appeared in AG v Quenault, the successful defence of a multiple complainant historic abuse trial. In addition, Mike represented the successful Defendant in AG v Mitchell, the first case involving a prosecution under the Control of Housing and Work Law and as amicus in AG v Neville, the successful appeal of a Planning prosecution.
Mike is regularly instructed in sentencing cases and recent cases of note were AG v Ray and AG v Smith and others, both being significant drug importation cases where favourable results were achieved.
In 2015, he was instructed in the first and as yet only Terrorism Law prosecution in Jersey (AG v Harding) and in 2016 another serious historic child abuse case involving issues of recovered memory (AG v F) and for “Defendant 1” in the case concerning the tragic death of Morgan Huelin.
Previously he has acted in the first drugs money-laundering prosecution (O’Brien); the largest cannabis importation (Styles); the last conspiracy trial in Jersey before a jury (Eagle); one of the few prosecutions in Jersey for perjury (Page and Alexander); an attempted murder (Caboz); an attempt to pervert the course of justice in connection with a money-laundering investigation (Michel); and, in the defence of the first AG’s reference on unduly lenient sentencing (Kittleson).
Mike is an acknowledged expert in Employment Law, successfully appearing in Voisins Dept Store v Brown, the first appeal to the Royal Court from the Jersey Employment Tribunal, and in Devaney v Newtel and Voisins Dept Store v Soares, in both of which he again successfully overturned Tribunal decisions. In recognition of his experience and expertise in this area, Mike was appointed as a Deputy Chair of the Jersey Employment and Discrimination Tribunal in March 2014. Sitting in a judicial capacity meant that Mike could not advise on employment and discrimination issues but, having completed a 5-year term, Mike has now returned to practice in this area. His experience of dealing with such claims puts him in a unique position to advise both claimants and respondents in such matters.
Mike has been engaged to act and advise in respect of high-value divorce work and brings his considerable experience of commercial litigation to what are often emotional and sensitive situations.
In addition to work before the Courts of the Island, he has successfully represented clients in many Mediations and Arbitrations both in England and Jersey.
Mike is a member of the Jersey Advocates and Solicitors Board of Examiners, having responsibility for the Civil and Criminal Procedure paper and is also a Bâtonnier Substitute, which means that he regularly deals with appeals in relation to the award of Legal Aid certificates and deputises for the Bâtonnier on ceremonial occasions.
Mike is a member of the Senior Lawyers’ Panel of the Chambre de Discipline of Guernsey, the body responsible for dealing with complaints made against members of the Guernsey Bar.
Mike speaks English and conversational French.
Mike loves travelling and spending time with his family. He is now a much better rugby, football and cricket spectator than he ever was a player, although his past sporting achievements grow with the passage of time!
“great charm and sharp mind”
“strong advocacy skills”