Michael is a senior associate in the litigation team.

Michael's main area of practice to date has been related to a wide variety of commercial litigation. The majority of Michael's work involves significant claims in the High Court with cases also in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. More recently, Michael has developed expertise in regulatory, insurance law and intellectual property disputes.

Michael is an experienced litigation solicitor having qualified in 2005, joining Russell-Cooke in September 2010.

General commercial litigation 

Michael has a broad range of litigation experience in all courts including the Supreme Court. His litigation case load varies from without notice injunctions to protect client assets to long-running cases involving complex facts and legal argument.  Particular cases of note include:

  • Acting for the SRA in interventions into the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court case of AIG v Woodman [2017] UKSC 18. This is the leading case in respect of aggregation in Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance.
  • Acting for the SRA in Godiva Mortgages v Travelers Insurance Company and others [2011] EWHC 3687 (Comm) involving a successful application by the Law Society in both its representational capacity and regulatory capacity to intervene into proceedings. This case was listed as one of The Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2014.
  • Heifer International Ltd V Christiansen & Anor [2013] EWHC 721 (TCC): Acting for a Danish firm of architects in a long running case which related to a dispute concerning the appropriate jurisdiction for substantial claims including claims of breach of trust.
  • Assisting Paolo Sidoli as part of a team on the case of Slocom Trading Ltd v Tatik, Inc and others [2012] EWHC 3464 (Ch). A large multinational dispute involving parties and witnesses in multiple jurisdictions including the US, Russia and Switzerland. Additionally assisting at various interlocutory stages in the proceedings including a pre-trial review.
  • Acting for Leonard Cheshire Disability, one of the UK's largest voluntary sector providers of services for disabled people. A highly contentious case which was commenced as a £1 million breach of contract claim in the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Michael and Paolo Sidoli were the key contacts for the client. Burness LLP were instructed to assist with jurisdictional and cross-border issues. The case was widely reported in the Scottish press.

Regulatory work

Michael has worked for a number of regulators including the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Michael is an established member of the regulatory team at Russell-Cooke, his work includes:

  • Acting for the SRA in the case of the SRA v Malins (Appeal number C1/2017/1249) and the Wingate and Evans v SRA (C1/2017/1002 & 1003). Two appeals to the Court of Appeal in relation to the distinction between dishonesty and a lack of integrity.
  • Andrew Roy Williams v The Law Society of England and Wales [2015] EWHC 2302 (Ch) - the issues in this case were complex and involved the interpretation of the SRA Intervention Powers (Statutory Trust) Rules.  Sir William Blackburne found in favour of the SRA and determined that monies held by the SRA in relation to the Claimant’s previous practice were held on a statutory trust.

Administrative / public law 

In the past year Michael has advised a number of charities in respect of judicial review applications following the cessation of funding by local authorities and/or the termination of projects. Michael also advises on the closely linked area of public procurement and successfully challenged a number of procurement processes undertaken by local authorities.

Particular cases of note include: 

  • Assisting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in preparing the UK Government's observations in the matter of Anal Sheikh v the United Kingdom - 51144/07 [2011] ECHR 1018 (14 June 2011) a case relating to a challenge of the intervention powers of the SRA.
  • Acting for a leading social care charity in the judicial review of a local authority's decision to relocate vulnerable adults in social care and to reduce the hours of support available to these people. The position taken resulted in an agreement by the local authority to reconsider its decision and a commitment to work with the client to a mutually satisfactory outcome.

Advocacy

  • Michael is a solicitor advocate with Higher Rights of Audience.
  • As an advocate Michael has represented clients at numerous hearings including interim hearings and full trials (including small claims, fast track and multi-track).

Mediation / ADR

  • Michael has extensive experience of mediation including concluding numerous high value mediations and advising and guiding clients as to the tactics and merits of settlement. Michael has also successfully acted for clients on a number of matters involving multi-party and string arbitrations under a variety of different rules.
  • Michael has also acted as an assistant mediator in a dispute involving three parties and the return of high value loans made without documentation. This involved liaising with the parties and guiding the parties towards agreement in relation to the amount of money loaned to one of the parties.
  • Read law at Leicester University with a First Class Honours degree
  • Legal studies, Nottingham Law School

Michael is a contributor to The Law of Legal Services by John Gould, Jordans Publishing