Michael Vere-Hodge QC

Year of Call: 1970
Year of Silk: 1993
Email Address: michael.vere-hodge@3pb.co.uk
CJSM: michael.vere-hodge.qc@3paper.cjsm.net
Telephone: 020 7583 8055

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Michael Vere-Hodge is a hugely experienced senior Silk with a reputation for combining a mastery of the detail with effective cross-examination. Over the years he has appeared in a wide variety of challenging cases acting both for the prosecution and defence, and has acquired an extensive experience of all types of serious Crime, Corporate Crime, Fraud, Health and Safety Law, Regulatory Law, and Sports Law.

As a long standing Recorder he is one of a selected few who are authorised to try Serious Sexual Offences in the Crown Court.

He is also a Silk accredited to undertake Public Access work.

Areas of experience include:

  • Murder: Including attempts, solicitation to murder over the internet
  • Manslaughter: Provocation, Diminished responsibility, Gross negligence, Unlawful act
  • Rape and all sexual offences modern and historical including the use of intermediaries for vulnerable witnesses
  • Armed Robbery and all offences of dishonesty
  • Fraud: VAT evasion, Government Regional Grants, Leasing, Management of insurance agency, International trade in stolen, cloned 4x4 vehicles from Japan
  • MTIC: Missing Trader Intra-Community fraud, or Carousel fraud
  • Drugs: Possessions, Injections resulting in death, Importations including anabolic steroids and human growth hormones from Pakistan
  • Health and Safety offences including where a fatal accident has occurred
  • Arson at all levels
  • Car 'ringing'
  • Blackmail
  • Public Order Offences including riot
  • Firearms/Shotguns: has acted in several cases involving the use of firearms and shotguns
  • Expertise in Firearms licensing laws. These have included appeals to the Crown Court against the revocation of firearm/shotgun licences
  • Extensive experience of Police disciplinary hearings having served as a Police Disciplinary Tribunal Chairman
  • Has defended police officers on several occasions including cases of serious indecent assaults.
  • Conspiracy charges in relation to car imports including allegations of police corruption which led to not guilty verdicts.

Current Instruction:

Advising a local authority on the prosecution of alleged breaches of Health and Safety legislation where a fatality has occurred at work.

Recent Cases:

  • Sports Law: Direct Access representation of a member of a sports Association for alleged misconduct after acting as ‘a whistleblower'.


  • Represented a ‘whistleblower’ accused of misconduct by his member Association. Interpretation of Company Articles, Disciplinary Code and the Human Rights Act.


  • R v Gassman. Defence of a woman accused of joint enterprise murder where the first defendant, her sister, admits stabbing the victim and had the defence of diminished responsibility. Defendant convicted of manslaughter and the sentence is now subject to Appeal.
  • R v Matthews. Defence of a landowner charged with gross negligence manslaughter following the fatal electrocution of a sub-contractor’s employee. The was a multi-handed case involving causation and issues of part delegation of the duty of care. All aspects of Health and Safety and Electricity Regulations involved.
  • MCA v Serco Ltd. High Profile prosecution of Serco Ltd on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for breaches of Merchant Shipping Regulations following the death of a deckhand on the Woolwich Ferry.

2014 and earlier:

  • R v Robinson. Defence of a man who killed and dismembered his father. Very complex psychiatric evidence of diminished responsibility, loss of control, PTSD, amnesia and dissociative state. Significant quantity of medical reports and nursing observations.
  • Appeal to the Crown Court against the revocation of Firearms and Shotgun certificates. Revocation based on police intelligence only. Issues of disclosure.
  • R v Legister. Defence of an 18-year-old girl, charged with murder, after being arrested in possession of a firearm recently used in a murder. Not Guilty of murder, sentenced to the minimum term for possession of the firearm.
  • London Mobile. Instructed by HMRC in the VAT Tribunal to respond to appeals involving £30 million. An MTIC case involving mobile telephone trading. At the time this was the largest MTIC case in existence and took over 12 months to prepare with the help of 3 Juniors.
  • R v Cross. Defence of a murder charge following the death of the victim after previous conviction for causing grievous bodily harm to the same victim in an earlier trial.
  • R v Tavares and others. Defence in a multi handed drug related murder. Issues of CCTV identity and the defendant’s movements in alleged joint enterprise pursuit and stabbing. Defendant acquitted.
  • R v Townsend and others. Defence of an alcoholic who with others killed another alcoholic. Complex issues of DNA and ‘blood splatter’ in a very crowded and small room.
  • R v Burbidge. Plea of guilty to the murder by shooting of his mother in a failed suicide pact. The defendant refused to have any mitigation put forward on his behalf.
  • R v Sampson and Johnson. Prosecuted two defendants in a double murder committed by two defendants in a drugs related killing, resulting in both being convicted of both murders. Complex issues of mixed DNA on the two murder weapons.
  • Advised for the prosecution in a Manslaughter by neglect case where a son declined to call any form of assistance or properly care for his very elderly mother, who had fallen to the floor, resulting in conviction of the defendant.
  • R v L and R. Defence of a mother to charges of neglect in a ‘shaken baby’ allegation. It involved complex medical issues of causation and the symptoms visible or apparent to the mother. Her conviction was quashed on appeal.
  • R v Walker and others Plymouth Crown Court. The Defence of a conspiracy to defraud the NHS Trusts by claiming for the treatment of fictitious divers requiring decompression treatment for ‘the bends’. Representation of the ‘whistle blower’. Resulted in a non-custodial sentence.
  • R v Flook and Norris. Successful defence of alleged conspiracy to import drugs from South Africa. Tons of cannabis worth between £20 - £40 million and £10 million worth of cocaine intercepted in South Africa. Other conspirators were arrested in South Africa. Complexities of admissibility, huge quantities of shipping documents, telephone evidence, covert listening tapes and issues of 'identity theft'.
  • R v Ashley Ray. Successful defence of allegations of rape and domestic violence between ex-partners, both of whom were profoundly deaf. The trial had to be conducted through interpreters assisted by an intermediary appointed for the Complainant who also had learning difficulties as well as deafness.
  • R v Kayani. Oxford Crown Court. Defence of a drug trafficking confiscation proceeding. A previous confiscation order had been made and satisfied some years before. The prosecution applied to have property assets declared to be 'benefit' in these proceedings which were acquired before the first confiscation order and excluded from that consideration. After successful defence argument, the initial claim for in excess of £1 million was reduced to an order for £150k.
  • R v Schmelz and others. Represented the main defendant in £12 million bullion robbery. Hijacked security van. Detailed evidence of movements by phone mast analysis.
  • R v Squance. Defence of alleged tampering with Sky TV cards and similar to enable unauthorised viewing. Prosecuted by FACT.
  • R v Ozanne and Tored. MTIC. Defence of a large Missing Trader Fraud involving £4 million VAT on the sale of mobile telephones sourced from Guernsey. Arguments over jurisdiction and disclosure of ‘bugging’ evidence.
  • R v Rai and Rai , R v Hunt and Fawley. Prosecution of two separate cases of 'shallow grave' murders involving all the forensic disciplines including pollen evidence and mobile telephone record tracking.
  • R v Akinour. Prosecution of double murder involving complex psychiatric issues and Muslim cultural side issues. Defendant killed the parents of his ex-girlfriend in their own home.
  • R v X. Defence of double murder 'crime of passion' on the Isle of Wight. Convicted of manslaughters.
  • R v Abdul. Defence of pharmacist involved in grey imports of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones from Pakistan.
  • R v Clark. Defence of solicitation to murder over the internet. Alleged victim in USA therefore FBI involvement. First prosecution ever brought. Verdict not guilty. Non-custodial sentence for threats to kill husband.
  • R v Vincent. Defence of alleged manslaughter after publican had a bet with a customer over how much he could drink. Customer died in the bar, attempting to win bet.
  • R v Marsh. Private defence for insurance company of lorry driver who had an unsecured arm on vehicle which killed a pedestrian on the pavement (a paperboy).
  • R v Briers. Defence of alleged manslaughter. Husband failed to call medical assistance quickly enough when his wife took a fatal overdose of prescribed medication. Verdict not guilty by Judge’s direction.
  • R v Ford. Defence of allegation of historical sexual abuse in boys’ home.
  • R v Arnold. Prosecution of robbery and murder of taxi driver.
  • R v Sargant. Prosecution of murder. Kicking and stamping forensic evidence (shoe print).
  • R v Taylor and Young. Defence of murder after conviction for attempted murder when victim died following trial one.
  • R v Gibson and Gibson. Father and son defence in murder of son’s wife, where her body was never found, but alleged to have been put in the Solent from a small boat.
  • R v Cox. Prosecution of a brother who killed his brother. Defence of provocation, on the basis that his brother had behaved indecently towards the defendant’s daughter.
  • R v Gantz. Defence of allegation of administering ecstasy to unknowing fellow passenger on a plane flight from Tel Aviv to London.
  • R v Dawson. VHCC Defence of complex fraud involving imported cloned 4x4 vehicles stolen from Japan via Dubai. Representing a police officer alleged to have acted corruptly in relation to vehicles he had impounded. Not guilty on all charges.
  • R v Miller and Havell. Successful prosecution of car clampers charged with blackmail. First prosecution ever brought (Law now changed).
  • R v Doran. Defence of alleged manslaughter following the death from heart failure of a victim in a fight who had previously undergone a heart bypass. One issue being causation. Verdict not guilty.
  • R v Patni. Defence of bar manager accused of rape. Verdict not guilty.
  • R v Vengesai. Successful prosecution of indecent assault and unconnected rape by HIV positive man.
  • R v Brizzell. Defence of a man accused of attempted murder and threats to kill his two children by gassing them and himself in his car.
  • R v West. Prosecution of woman who murdered her husband with a shotgun. She claimed it had gone off accidentally when she was dancing provocatively for him. Expert evidence in conflict as to where the shot would have ended up.
  • R v Y. Prosecution of the murder and indecent assault of an elderly woman. Detailed analysis of CCTV in Plymouth and infra-red images from the Marines Barracks.
  • R v X. Successful defence of a probation officer alleged to have repeatedly raped his daughter. Issues of ‘false recovered memory’ following religious therapy in USA.
  • R v Binns and others. Bristol 'Riot' Prosecution.
  • R v Stephenson and others. Prosecution of the murder of 5 people in a Fordingbridge house including robbery and arson.


'His expertise includes homicide, serious sexual offences and firearms cases.'

Legal 500 2018/Regional Bar - Western Circuit, Crime – Leading Silks - Tier 1

‘Very experienced in prosecuting and defending across serious crime matters.’

Legal 500 2017/Regional Bar - Western Circuit, Crime – Leading Silks - Tier 1

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Academic qualifications

  • Winchester College
  • Grenoble University

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Recorder authorised to try serious sexual offences
  • Legal Assessor to the Nursing and Midwifery Council to 2016
  • Legal Adviser to the General Dental Council to 2016
  • Bencher of Gray’s Inn

Professional bodies

  • Member of the Western Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association
  • British Association for Sport and Law (BASL)

Direct Access

Michael Vere-Hodge QC is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

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