Details of practice

Michael has an exclusive practice defending in high profile, serious and complex crime, as well as an interest in other areas of quasi-criminal work, tribunals and disciplinary hearings, where his advocacy skills can be fully utilised. He is instructed to review and advise on appellate work and to conduct cases in the Court of Appeal.  He has developed a reputation for his ability in cases requiring the examination and testing of experts’ evidence.

Michael’s expertise in fraud includes banking fraud, duty evasion, mortgage fraud, land banking fraud, and money laundering. He has defended in prosecutions brought by the SFO and the FCA; recently acting for a Solicitor charged with aiding and abetting the operation of an unregulated collective investment scheme.  He has represented and advised company directors alleged to be involved in fraud, and an ex banker accused of plotting with others to fix benchmark euro interest rates.

His extensive experience involves:


  • Professional crime
  • Homicide
  • Drugs trafficking
  • Armed robbery
  • Corruption


  • Banking fraud
  • Duty evasion
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Money laundering

 The majority of his practice since taking Silk has been at the Central Criminal Court.

 His recent cases include:

  • Acting on behalf of a Solicitor in a land banking fraud, who had been advising and acting for the Director and owner of a land buying company.
  • Representing a PCSO, charged with offences of misconduct in public office, arising out of allegations that they failed in their duties to protect a vulnerable member of the public.
  • Represented principal defendant, the founder and head of a property development group, one six charged in connection with a loan fraud of over £30million.
  • Defended the head of the family of Irish travellers prosecuted for allegations of keeping vulnerable men in servitude or requiring them to perform forced labour.
  • The Tunbridge Securitas robbery
  • The Prospect Park killing involving murder and attempted murder of two teenage girls in Reading.
  • Representing the wife of the former Governor of the Delta State, in Nigeria, in one of a series of money laundering trials.
  • Numerous Operation Trident murders.
  • Representation of one of the two acquitted Afghans in the first Stansted hijack trial.


Directory recommendations

“A robust cross-examiner” who “has a real presence in court” Chambers UK 2020: Crime

…”absolutely destructive in cross-examination, He is a very charming man and you wouldn’t want him for an opponent.” “Very thorough in his approach, very user-friendly and very good with clients.” Chambers UK 2019: Crime

“An experienced robust cross-examiner with presence and good judgement.” The Legal 500 2019: Crime

“He defends in multi-defendant fraud cases”. The Legal 500 2019: Fraud

“Very stylish and effective.” Chambers UK 2018: Crime

…”he is a fantastic tactician who masters papers quickly.” Chambers UK 2018: Crime

“Cross-examination is his most powerful tool.” The Legal 500 2017: Crime

“A stylish and sophisticated silk with a depth of experience.” The Legal 500 2017: Crime

“His attention to detail and robust cross-examination are his keys to success.” The Legal 500 2017: Fraud

‘Specialising in complex defence work, he has been party to some of the most high-profile criminal cases in recent times.’ ‘He’s a very polished and stylish advocate who excels at cross-examination.’ ‘He’s at the very top of his game and is universally respected by all solicitors.’ Chambers UK 2017: Crime

“Enormously respected and liked.” The Legal 500 2016: Fraud

“Admired for his ‘rapier-like’ advocacy style and his efficacy in cross-examinations. He is particularly good at serious criminal matters with significant forensic evidence aspects, including cold case murders. He is a tremendous advocate. He is a hugely experienced and highly regarded silk who is a robust cross-examiner and a fearless advocate. Chambers UK 2016: Crime

“He is an extremely persuasive jury advocate and he is good on the law. He has fantastic forensic cross-examining skills and brings everything together beautifully in his closing speeches. A class act. Chambers UK 2015: Crime

Education/professional qualifications

Called to the Bar in 1977
Queen’s Counsel 2000


Member of the Criminal Bar Association
Former member of the Criminal Bar Association Committee
Former member of the International Practice Committee of the Bar Council

Other information

Member of the Royal Automobile Club
Keen motorsport enthusiast
Rugby fan

Direct access

Michael Borrelli QC is qualified to accept instructions from clients under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme.  This means that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to him.  In addition, he welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.

For further information please contact our Clerks.