Tel: +44 (0)20 7833 4433
Tel: +44 (0)20 7833 4433
Mike defends those facing the most serious and complex offences - such as murder, fraud, money laundering and multi-party criminal proceedings.
He is experienced in cases with an international or European element - including extradition and fair trial.
Mike is particularly concerned with principles of fair trial under article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, and miscarriages of justice, especially fresh evidence appeals.
He acts for political activists and campaigners on issues such as the environment, animal rights, peace/disarmament, race and social justice.
He has a particular interest in citizens’ freedom of expression and freedom of assembly under articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
He has experience of wider issues surrounding criminal cases - such as inquests, police complaints, private prosecutions and enquiries.
Mike’s practice covers all parts of the country and all levels of the criminal justice system – from mass arrests at the police station and summary trials at the magistrates courts to the House of Lords / Supreme Court (as well as the European Court of Human Rights).
He advises and trains campaign groups, trade unions and non-governmental organisations on criminal and public order law.
Mike has a law degree from Oxford University and a post-graduate Diploma of Advanced European Legal Studies, from College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium.
After completing his training at Bindmans in 1992, he stayed on, becoming a partner in 1995.
Outside Bindmans, Mike has worked also as a visiting university lecturer; adviser to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service; member of the Law Society EU law committee.
He is a trustee or equivalent of a number of campaigning organisations and charities.
Mike is joint author of 'The Law of Public Order and Protest' (Oxford University Press, March 2010).
He regularly appears in the specialist and mainstream broadcast media.
Awarded Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year 2014 in the Criminal defence category.
Mike Schwarz won the 2011 Law Society Excellence Award in private practice. His citation read: “ Michael Schwarz’s work has been seminal on key recent legal issues: the operation of undercover police, the Crown’s obligations of disclosure, the fairness of the trial process, the legitimacy of civil disobedience, the articulation of campaigners’ motives, threats to criminal legal aid and the integrity of the legal profession. Michael’s success is testament to his strategic insight into the marriage between the law, politics and the media.”
He was identified in 2012 as one of the top 100 Lawyers in the Times Law 100. He was chosen from the nation’s 150,000 judges and lawyers. The list was compiled by a team of 12 judges whose expertise spanned politics, the judiciary, academia, the media and the law and it is a snapshot of those considered to be the most influential 100 lawyers in society.
He has been Lawyer in the News in the Law Society Gazette and featured Lawyer in the Times on several occasions.
Mike Schwarz is ranked Band 2 in Crime and Band 3 in Civil Liberties & Human Rights. "He has the trust of the protestor community" and "a strategic view of the legal landscape in respect of civil liberties and protestor cases."
Chambers UK (2015)
Mike Schwarz is a leading individual in Crime. Mike Schwarz specialises in the defence of clients charged with offences arising from political protests and undercover policing.
Legal 500 (2014)
Mike Schwarz “cares so much about his clients” and is “great on the law, especially protest work.” His high-profile work includes exposing and investigating the misconduct of undercover police officers infiltrating protest groups.
Chambers UK (2014)
Mike Schwarz represented over 100 of the 140 protestors who participated in a ‘sit in’ at Fortnum & Mason in March 2011.
Mike Schwarz is “consistently impressive”.
Recommended in Crime and Fraud: white-collar crime.
Legal 500 (2013)
Michael Schwarz is known for his skill in handling public protest cases. The last year has seen him defending protestors from the Fortnum & Mason occupation and the summer riots. Sources note that "he is very good at taking a careful, reasonable line in cases with a high public profile."
Chambers UK (2013)
Michael Schwarz is particularly well known for his public order and civil demonstration work. High-profile cases include the Ratcliffe power station matter, which involved the exposure of an undercover police officer, and sources describe his as "tenacious and relentless in a positive way."
Chambers UK (2012)
Mike Schwarz is recommended in Legal 500 2011.
20 November 2011
25 September 2014
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