Michael joined BCL as a partner in September 2010 from GCHQ where for a number of years he was Director for Legal Affairs and a member of the main board of directors, having been appointed GCHQ's first full-time legal adviser in 1996. He was called to the Bar in 1982 and subsequently admitted as a solicitor at the time of his move to GCHQ. Previously he was a tax lawyer in the City and then prosecuted for HM Customs & Excise and the Serious Fraud Office where he had the conduct of some of the most notable cases in the late 1980s and early 1990s, in particular high-profile prosecutions relating to Japanese warrants and false trading in shares.
At GCHQ, Michael had control of the full range of legal issues and has unrivalled expertise in the fields of cybersecurity/cyber-attacks and cybercrime and in the broader interception and surveillance field, being responsible in part for the drafting of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and its secondary legislation, and taking part within government in every subsequent consideration of the law in this area.
Michael offers a service to both individuals and corporate clients across the full range of BCL's practice, both where litigation has started and where advice is being sought to minimise litigation and business risk. He has a number of tech/communications companies among his clients and has provided extensive advice about RIPA and associated EU legislation. He has extensive experience of dealing with SFO enquiries in both fraud and corruption having successfully persuaded the SFO not to prosecute both individuals and corporates.