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Welcome to

New Park Court Chambers

"Regarded as ‘one of the most prominent sets for crime in the North of England’."
- Legal 500 2015

Private Client

"Clients 'would strongly recommend New Park Court Chambers to anyone looking for a strong criminal or regulatory lawyer'."
- Chambers and Partners 2016

Michael Hodson 1977

Michael Hodson 1977

Michael Hodson defends as a specialist in rape and serious sexual offences, serious violent crime and misconduct in public office. His experience spans more than 25 years across all the criminal courts to the highest in the land and in all major areas of crime.

He is a skilled, powerful and fearless advocate who is thorough, always to the point, attentive and considerate to all his clients and is widely admired for his diligence and dedication. His instructing solicitors appreciate his sound judgment and expertise when dealing with complex issues of law and fact His manner is assertive without being confrontational which is of great assistance in negotiations with the prosecution and with co-defending Counsel. He stays up to date through continuing both his professional and personal development.

Michael has the ability to engender and maintain confidence in his clients and their families and is always willing to spend time not just with defendants but with their relatives and witnesses when appropriate.

Michael has taken cases to the Court of Appeal, the Divisional Court and the then House of Lords and has been involved in cases with an international dimension including the Netherlands, Singapore and the USA.

Michael is an accredited advocacy trainer and assessor for the CPS. For 10 years he was chairman of chambers pupillage committee and, with his colleague Gavin Doig, wrote the Conduct, Complaints and Compliance procedure for chambers constitution. For a number of years he was responsible for in-house training in chambers and has been on the list of barristers who represent those accused of wasting costs. He is also an approved presenter of the Challenge of Change stress management course and a trainer in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He is also interested in recent developments in the application of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, all of which inform his client care and enhance his ability to deal with witnesses, judges and opponents alike.

He also has specialist knowledge of stress related conditions.

Practice Strengths

  • Rape and serious sexual offences.
  • Offences of violence and murder.
  • Misconduct in public office.
  • Theft and kindred offences.
  • Conspiracy.
  • Thorough preparation, including in-depth attention to a defendant’s personal and general circumstances in life.
  • Powerful advocacy and a dominating court presence.
  • Fearless and incisive cross-examination.
  • A great ability to hold the attention of juries.
  • Able to formulate cogent and successful legal arguments eg on the admissibility of evidence
  • Where defendants choose to plead guilty, careful research and preparation of effective mitigations.
  • Taking great care of defendants and their families; meeting them before during and after their case; explaining carefully the process and answering their questions.
  • A counsellor for the charity Lawcare

Professional Membership – Criminal Bar Association

Rape and serious sexual offences.

Michael Hodson has dealt with cases covering the whole range of sexual offences from historical abuse to serious offences against young children.

Michael led a team of five defence counsel in a series of historical violent and sexual abuse cases, alleged against teachers and care workers. The task included regular meetings with Senior Union Officials as well as solicitors and lay clients.

He defended a high profile City Councillor charged with grave sexual offences requiring sensitive but effective handling of vulnerable and highly emotional complainants in order to keep the jury onside.

He defended a senior care worker in respect of a series of rapes and sexual assaults where there were 16 complainants who had been resident in a care home. The case required assimilating a considerable quantity of highly sensitive material.

He was asked to represent the chairman of a Health Care Trust who wished to plead guilty to offences of making indecent photographs of children where there was significant personal, professional and psychiatric mitigation.

He has also prosecuted many similar offences notably, recently, a Police Station Custody Suite Officer for inciting children to engage in sexual activity. “Prosecuting,” he says, “makes you a better defender.”

Serious violent crime.

Michael Hodson has defended the range of cases, including professional robberies, serious violence, kidnap, false imprisonment and murder

Recently, leading a solicitor advocate in a trial of a series of offences of professional robberies, the solicitor expressed his appreciation for the time and trouble taken not only with a difficult lay client, but for discussing with him and the solicitor in detail every aspect of the case, legal, factual, emotional and strategic which, the solicitor said, helped contribute to his own advocacy skills.

In another case, defending another professional robber, he discerned, from hardly any evidence, a serious piece of misconduct in the prosecution of the offence. This led to the exclusion of a significant piece of evidence.

Misconduct in public office

Michael Hodson successfully defended the Chief Clerk of a very busy Magistrates Court for Misconduct in Public Office for allegedly creating and using dishonest accounts. The prosecution had not fully applied their mind to how the detail of the case impinged upon the elements of the offence.

He also successfully prosecuted a long standing detective officer for Misconduct in Public Office for using the police intelligence data-base to contact vulnerable women for the purpose of having sexual intercourse with them.

Other cases of importance:-

    • R v Gateshead Justices Ex parte Ives. D.C [1981] 1 Q.B. 893, consolidated Applications for Judicial review concerning the validity of Informations and Summonses. Woolf J, as he was then, remarked on the provision of the legal historical context of Magistrates Court procedure which informed the proceedings. (Not in the perfected Judgment).
    • In Cullen v Rogers (H.L.(E.))1 W.L.R [1982], after arguing the case in the Magistrates Courts (remitted there by the Crown Court) and the Divisional court, he took the case, with a leader, to the House of Lords. When the House ruled that there was no statutory power to order defendants to attend a day centre as part of a probation order, he drafted clauses for inclusion in the 1982 Criminal Justice Bill then going through parliament which subsequently became law.
    • In R v P others 1993 he led for Crown in a 6 week high profile drug manufacturing trial against six silks.
    • In R v M 2008 Michael Hodson successfully cross-examined Astrid Heger, reputedly one of the world’s leading experts on hymenal damage via TV link to America. This required in-depth knowledge of the latest research.
    • R v M 2011 he defended one of the leading figures in a 31 handed drugs case.


He has a love of wild places and indigenous peoples. As a young man he led expeditions to North Africa for young people, supported by the Royal Geographical Society. He has trekked for long distances, often alone, in the Pyrenees, the Lesotho Drakensburg, the Umfolozi game reserve, and the Himalayas of Nepal and Bhutan. He has travelled by mocorro into the Ocavango Delta and ridden into the steppes of Mongolia. Although still very much a novice on horseback, he has also ridden in the mountains of New Zealand with the original ‘Marlborough Man‘ (Noel Stanger). He has just returned (June 2012) from a twelve day journey into the Gobi desert with a guide, five camels and chambers colleague Alec Burns. He is contemplating a journey by dog sled.