Michael is a senior associate in the litigation team.
He undertakes a wide range of regulatory and commercial work for regulators, businesses, charities, other institutions and private clients.
Michael has particular expertise in regulatory and public law and is named in The Legal 500 (2017) for professional discipline. He acts for regulators, regulated business and individuals in regulatory investigations, complex disciplinary proceedings, statutory appeals and other regulatory litigation.
In addition to his contentious practice, Michael advises on regulatory issues and applications for authorisation. He drafts regulatory and disciplinary rules and procedures. He has a particular knowledge of the Legal Services Act 2007 and Solicitors Act 1974.
Michael's advice is informed by his broad experience in public policy. He joined the Civil Service Fast Stream after university and worked in policy roles for eight years.
He was a civil servant at the Ministry of Justice, performing a variety of policy and project management roles in relation to regulatory policy and business change. He subsequently worked at the Legal Services Board on developing the framework for regulating alternative business structures (ABS) and on workforce development in the legal services sector. His experience includes instructing government lawyers and Parliamentary Counsel on the content of primary and secondary legislation, and briefing and advising ministers and senior judges.
Michael trained at Russell-Cooke and qualified as a solicitor in March 2013.
- Solicitors Regulation Authority v Virmani (SDT Case No 11569-2016) – acting for the SRA in Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal proceedings resulting in findings of a lack of integrity and failure to maintain public trust. The Respondent was fined £50,000.
- Solicitors Regulation Authority v Day, Malik, Crowther & Leigh Day (a firm) (SDT Case No 11502-2016) – acted for the SRA in complex and high-profile disciplinary proceedings arising from the Al-Sweady Inquiry and claims of unlawful killing and torture by British troops in Iraq, involving 20 allegations of professional misconduct including dishonesty. The substantive hearing took place over seven weeks in April – June 2017. The Respondents’ unsuccessful costs application was heard in November 2017. The SRA is appealing to the Administrative Court.
- Accountancy investigation - advising three partners in a leading accountancy firm in respect of an investigation by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales concerning banking confidentiality
- Solicitors Regulation Authority v Libby  EWHC 973 (Admin)- acting for the SRA in Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) proceedings (SDT Case No 11433-2015) and the SRA’s subsequent successful appeal before the Divisional Court, which found that the level of carelessness displayed by the respondent was such as to undermine public trust in the profession
- Solicitors Regulation Authority v Wingate and Evans  EWHC 3455 (Admin) - acting for the SRA in SDT proceedings (SDT Case No 11354-2015) and the SRA’s successful appeal in the Administrative Court, resulting in an important judgement concerning the regulatory consequences of manifest incompetence by solicitors. An onward appeal by the Respondents to the Court of Appeal is pending.
- Williams v Architects Registration Board (ARB)  EWHC 1904 (Admin) - acting for ARB in successfully defending an appeal in the Administrative Court against a decision of ARB’s Professional Conduct Committee to erase an architect from the register on the basis of his criminal conviction for dishonestly making a false statement to obtain benefit
- Solicitors Regulation Authority v Gibbins, Dean and Klimkowski (SDT Case No 11386-2015) - acting for the SRA in SDT proceedings which resulted in the three respondents being struck off the Roll following a 10 day hearing in May 2016
- Solicitors Regulation Authority v Barnett and Swift  EWHC 1160 (Admin) - acting for the SRA in SDT proceedings (SDT case No 11249-2014) which resulted in Mr Barnett being struck-off the Roll and Mr Swift being suspended for six months, and in the subsequent appeal by Mr Barnett in the Administrative Court, which upheld the Tribunal’s decision
- The Law Society (Solicitors Regulation Authority)  EWHC 166 (Ch) - application in the Chancery Division to clarify the scope of the SRA's powers to destroy documents held following interventions into solicitors firms, enabling the SRA to destroy 1.5 million files saving £344,000 per annum in storage costs
- Solicitors Regulation Authority v Mireskandari and Turbin [10411-2009] - assisted in complex and protracted proceedings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and in the related appeal by Shahrokh Mireskandari in the Administrative Court ( EWHC 636 (Admin))
- Obtaining injunction orders in support of the SRA's notices to intervene into solicitors' practices and defending challenges to the SRA’s intervention decisions in the High Court (Rohrer and Co Limited, Mulberry Finch Limited)
Regulatory advice to:
- a barristers' chambers and a not-for-profit body on legal services regulatory issues and ABS authorisation
- a property investment company concerning the provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 relating to regulated home purchase plans and regulated home reversion plans
- a professional body concerning amendments to its professional conduct procedure
- a commercial organisation in relation to the risk of professional negligence claims arising from its business model
- a regulator in relation to its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the application of exemptions
Charities and social business
- Disclosure of personal data - advising a charity in relation to its obligations to disclose personal data to an Ombudsman and the application of the conditions in Schedules 2 and 3 of the Data Protection Act 1998
- Public procurement challenge - advising a charity in respect of a successful challenge to a local authority’s public procurement process in breach of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, on the basis of potential conflicts of interest and pre-judgment
- Investigation into alleged misconduct – investigating the Chief Executive of a national charity concerning alleged misconduct and undisclosed conflicts of interest
- Charity Commission v. Framjee & Ors  EWHC 2507 (Ch) - acting for a charity trustee in an application by the Charity Commission for directions in relation to a major charity under investigation for alleged mismanagement
Administrative and public law
- Advising the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) in relation to the legality of the Government’s proposed increases in probate fees and whether in substance the proposed charge was a form of taxation
- Slocom Trading Limited v Tatik Inc and Others  EWHC 3464 (Ch) - assisted in the defence of a US Corporation in High Court proceedings concerning the disputed transfer of a property located in France with an alleged value in excess of US$300 million
- Advising a barristers’ chambers in respect of dissolution and acting in related disputes with former members
- Representing two barristers in a dispute with their former chambers concerning their obligation to pay rent and other contributions following their departure
Financial mis-selling, pensions and unauthorised payments
- Financial mis-selling claims - acting in relation to a number of financial mis-selling claims against major institutions and independent financial advisers, including negligent advice relating to an unregulated collective investment scheme and advice in relation to investments in Keydata products
- Fraudulent online banking - acting for an organisation and an individual who were the victims of fraudulent online banking transactions and pursuing the relevant banks for refunds in accordance with their obligations under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and/or Payment Services Regulations 2009
- Pensions administration – acting for a charity client in a dispute with the provider of a defined contribution pensions scheme
- Member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL)
- Member of the London Solicitors Litigation Association
- Named in The Legal 500 (2017) for professional discipline
- BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Oxford
- LLB (Hons) (first class), Open University
- Legal Practice Course (distinction), College of Law, Guildford
Contributor to The Law of Legal Services by John Gould, Jordan Publishing. Lead author of the first two chapters covering the Regulatory Framework and Authorisation.