Michael has a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile, with an emphasis on commercial dispute resolution, construction, insurance, insolvency and property work. He also accepts instructions in private client matters.
He has been described by instructing solicitors as a ‘thorough, careful and unflappable’ advocate who is ‘easily approachable' and ‘very efficient in meeting particularly tight deadlines'. He regularly appears in fast track trials as well as interim applications.
Michael is a member of the Attorney General’s Junior Junior Panel and is able to take on relevant instructions.
Michael is also a contributor to Insurance Broking Practice and the Law, edited by CMS Cameron Mckenna.
Before joining Gatehouse Chambers, Michael worked as an advocate in the County Court, appearing in a variety of general civil, bankruptcy, property, consumer credit and personal injury hearings.
Michael previously studied Mandarin Chinese for a year in Beijing and recently returned to China to refresh his Mandarin skills. He intends to make use of Mandarin in his legal practice.
Outside of work, Michael enjoys riding motorcycles, boxing, diving and languages.
Areas of expertise
- Commercial dispute resolution
Commercial dispute resolution
Michael has worked on a range of commercial and insurance matters and welcomes all commercial instructions. He has particular experience in respect of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. He regularly appears in fast track trials in commercial matters.
Recent work has included:
- Being led by Queen’s Counsel (David Lewis QC) in respect of a franchising dispute turning on contractual construction.
- Drafting pleadings for and successfully appearing on behalf of a multinational energy provider in respect of various claims made against it by account holders.
- Advising in respect of a defective stock transfer transaction between founding members of a start-up company.
- Being led by senior Counsel (Paul Strelitz) in respect of a claim involving the termination of a franchising agreement by a franchisee.
- Assisting in advising in respect of the termination of a franchising agreement with an international dimension.
- Successfully resisting a claimant’s application to excise the defendant’s expert evidence.
- Successfully resisting an application to re-instate a contractual claim following strikeout.
- Drafting various statements of case and advices pursuant to claims engaging the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and associated regulations.
- Drafting advice in respect of a subrogation claim made by an insurer in an agricultural business context.
- Drafting advice in respect of a complex costs dispute arising from previous litigation.
- Assisting in drafting the skeleton argument for a misrepresentation claim regarding a house sale and purchase.
- Construction & engineering
Construction & engineering
Michael has growing experience in construction disputes including disputes involving insurance coverage.
Recent work includes:
- Successfully obtaining strikeout of a claim on behalf of the defendant contractor under a JCT 2011 Minor Works Contract and associated warranty.
- Drafting advice pursuant to the recoverability of liquidated damages arising from a JCT 2011 Design and Build Contract dispute.
- Drafting pleadings on the joint instruction of an insurer and insured pursuant to a JCT 2011 Minor Works Contract in the context of a contractor’s design and installation of a lift in a high-value London residential property.
- Drafting advice regarding the liability of a crane company following the collapse of a crane during operations on a major high street retailer premises.
- Drafting pleadings pursuant to a dispute between a contractor and a primary school following the disturbance of asbestos during building works.
- Assisting a senior member of Chambers regarding a high-value construction dispute, which is due to be heard in the Court of Appeal.
- Assisting in advising on the strategic, procedural and limitation elements of a defects claim made against the mechanical and engineering contractors in a substantial low-rise residential project.
- Producing written advice in respect of an insurance broker’s liability to its insured following a failure to notify the insurer of the discovery of combustible cladding across multiple projects.
- Drafting a Defence pursuant to a JCT 2011 Design and Build Sub-Contract payment dispute.
- Advising a residential occupier in respect of a nuisance claim arising from a neighbour’s construction works which caused damage to his property.
- Insolvency & restructuring
Insolvency & restructuring
Michael has a keen interest in bankruptcy and insolvency matters and has experience in both smaller and high-profile case.
Recent work includes:
- Being instructed by a Government department in the Kids Company directors’ disqualification proceedings in the High Court.
- Successfully appearing in the Central Family Court on behalf of the Trustees in Bankruptcy pursuant to a jurisdictional dispute.
- Frequent appearances in the County Court on behalf of petitioning creditors in order to obtain bankruptcy orders.
- Assisting in advising in respect of a liquidator’s multi-million pound claim against the directors of a complex domestic and offshore umbrella scheme.
- Producing the first draft of a skeleton argument for a senior member of Chambers in the High Court in respect of a liquidator’s claim pursuant to resignation payments made by an LLP to its former partners.
- Assisting in advising in respect of claim made by a landlord against its former tenant following the tenant’s entry into a CVA.
- Producing a Particulars of Claim in a claim made by a liquidator against former directors of a wholesale food company pursuant to an overdrawn director’s loan account.
Michael accepts instructions across the broad spectrum of property law, and is currently involved in a significant chain of commercial lease disputes between a major high street retailer/tenant and its landlords across its UK portfolio. He has particular experience in respect of the impact of COVID-19 on commercial rent arrears liability, as well as terminal dilapidations claims. He frequently appears in the County Court in relation to property instructions at both the interim and trial stage.
Recent work includes:
- Drafting multiple statements of case/advices pursuant to arrears arising from commercial leases as a consequence of the global pandemic on both the claimant landlord and defendant tenant standpoints.
- Regularly drafting dilapidations Particulars of Claim on behalf of commercial landlords.
- Obtaining a £75,000 judgment and full costs pursuant to a claim for rent arrears in respect of a high-value London property.
- Obtaining strikeout at trial of a leaseholder’s case on behalf of a freeholder in respect of an administration charges dispute.
- Appearances in the County Court in respect of mortgage possession and landlord & tenant hearings.
- Advising and drafting pleadings regarding a challenging unlawful eviction claim involving a tenant with complex mental health issues.
- Assisting a senior member of Chambers in a two-week trial pursuant to the enforceability of agreements between two directors regarding a significant property portfolio.
- Drafting an advice regarding a boundary dispute and alleged interference with a right of way.
- Assisting in advising in respect of a claim against a former commercial tenant which failed to remove its fixtures and fittings following departure from the premises.
- Producing written advice regarding the effect of various COVID legislation on the insolvency and property regime.
- Private client
Michael accepts instructions in a range of private client matters, from contentious probate disputes to Court of Protection and social care issues.
Recent work includes:
- Being led by senior Counsel (Alison Meacher) in respect of a complex residential care home fees dispute on behalf of the family of the elderly resident.
- Drafting advice and pleadings on behalf of the family of an elderly individual subject to a claim by a London council in respect of alleged domiciliary care fees.
- Drafting advice in respect of a claim made by the deceased’s ex-wife and children under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
- Drafting advice and witness statements in respect of a claim made by the deceased’s partner under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
- Assisting senior Counsel (Alison Meacher) in the successful recovery of care home fees improperly levied against two elderly claimants for early departure from a residential property situated within care home grounds.
- Assisting in advising an applicant regarding the impact of matrimonial financial relief orders on benefit entitlement.
- Producing written advice in respect of a capacity/undue influence claim made by P’s deputy against family members who had improperly procured significant inter vivos gifts from P.
- Producing written advice in respect of a complex trusts dispute between family members.
- Assisting in advising and drafting statements of case regarding the validity of a Will with a domicile/offshore element.
- Working alongside direct access Counsel in the context of a potential discrimination claim against the NHS pursuant to fertility treatment policies.
- Producing written advice regarding the recoverability of costs from an insolvent estate.
- BA English Literature, University College London (First Class)
- MA Medieval Literature, University College London (Merit)
- Graduate Diploma in Law, University of Law (Commendation)
- Bar Professional Training Course, University of Law (Very Competent)
- Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
- Provost’s Award for Excellence, University of Law
- Finalist, University of Law Negotiation Competition
University College London
- Four Departmental Commendations for outstanding academic performance over three years, voted for by faculty Professors
- Sports Colours for representing UCL at varsity level on two occasions at cruiserweight (84kg) (Muay Thai Kickboxing)
- President (2011), Head of Training (2012) and Head of Equipment/Finance (2010) of UCL Muay Thai Kickboxing society
- Mandarin Chinese – intermediate/advanced (spoken), intermediate (written/read). Completed HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) Chinese Language Level examinations: HSK 1, HSK 3 and HSK 4.
- French: conversational