Michael Bowes QC

Call date: 1980 Appointed Queen's Counsel: 2001
Email: Michael Bowes QC
Areas of Law: Specialist Crime, Public Access, Environment, Commercial Fraud, Public Law, Disciplinary & Regulation, Health & Safety, Business & Banking
Practice summary

Michael’s practice sits where crime and commerce meet.  He specialises in business crime, financial regulatory work and civil fraud. Recognised as an expert in civil and criminal “cross-over” work, he acts for corporate clients and senior managers in global investigations and for the SFO, FCA, CMA and Lloyd’s of London. He is instructed in the current LIBOR and FOREX investigations by a major financial institution and in several substantial cross-border corruption investigations.  He regularly acts for overseas regulators and is instructed in overseas cases as an expert in English law.  He successfully prosecuted the FCA’s first insider dealing case and has prosecuted numerous insider dealing cases subsequently. He is listed as a leading silk in the fields of Financial Services, Financial Crime (Corporates) and Financial Crime (London) in Chambers and Partners and in Banking and Finance, Business and Regulatory Crime and Fraud in the Legal 500.

Michael is a joint head of Outer Temple Chambers. 

Direct Access qualified.

Notable instructions in relation to civil and regulatory “cross-over” work


  • Instructed by a major bank in both the LIBOR and FOREX investigations. This involves the criminal, civil and regulatory elements relating to LIBOR and includes advice on the strategic implications of world wide regulatory and civil proceedings.
  • Instructed by a leading individual in relation to the SFO’s investigation into Hewlett Packard’s acquisition of Autonomy.  This focuses on the differences in accounting treatment in the US and the UK and an analysis of the contracts relating to software resellers and includes advice on the civil action brought by Hewlett-Packard.
  • Instructed by a global company in relation to a cross-border corruption investigation. This required knowledge of Italian law on plea bargaining (“patteggiamento”) and of international law relating to double jeopardy.
  • Advising the Board of a major company in relation to EU sanctions against Russia, specifically whether particular trade deals and banking transactions were prohibited. This involved consideration of the sanctions legislation and relevant commercial contracts.
  • Acting for an individual in an FCA investigation (regulatory and criminal) into insider dealing. The investigation was discontinued following comprehensive written representations by counsel and solicitors.
  • Currently instructed by the SFO in two high profile investigations.
  • Instructed by an overseas financial regulator (Far East) in a substantial insider dealing prosecution.   Case issues include the relevant local law and procedure and an analysis of the underlying commercial transactions.
  • Advising as expert witness in relation to civil litigation arising from the sale of EMI to Terra Firma (Guy Hands), considering the English tort of deceit on which the US claim was based.
  • Advising the Board of a company managing a large Middle Eastern investment fund on the obligation to make a Suspicious Activity Report.  This involved analysis of the company’s investment strategy and advising on commercial strategy.

Financial cases

  • Joseph: successful FSA prosecution for insider dealing.  Southwark Crown Court in February 2013;
  • Mustafa and others: successful FSA prosecution of six individuals who formed an insider dealing ring. Southwark Crown Court 2012;
  • McQuoid and Melbourne. Successfully carried out the FSA’s first insider dealing prosecution at Southwark Crown Court in 2009. http//business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article598207.ece


Bowes QC, MichaelThe Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

A selection of recent cases

R v Mustafa and others
Prosecuting an insider dealing ring for the FSA: six defendants convicted in July 2012. 

2011 R v Danilo Restivo
Prosecuting high profile murder (hair cutting fetishist): Winchester Crown Court: convicted in July 2011.

R v McFall, Rimmington & King
FSA insider dealing prosecution.

R v McQuoid & Melbourne
FSA insider dealing prosecution

R v. McQuoid
Appeal against sentence: guidelines given by the Court of Appeal: [2009] 4 All E.R. 388

Sunshine Corporation limited - in liquidation - RCJB
Chancery case with civil fraud issues.

Philip Glennon - receivership QB matter
Multi million pound claim acting for client with offshore accounts in Guernsey- subsequently settled

Michael Bowes QC
Select elements

"Very, very effective - he's a really good thinker who gets into the detail." Financial Crime, Chambers & partners 2016

"He's very personable, gets on with the clients very well and you can have 100% confidence in the advice he gives." Financial Services, Chambers & partners 2016

''He has encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and he's very clear in his thinking. You always know that he will give you clear, good advice which is what you want from a silk." Financial Services, Chambers & partners 2016

''Immensely able, intelligent and client - friendly''. Fraud: crime, Legal 500, 2015

''Extremely knowledgeable and approachable''. Business and regulatory crime, Legal 500, 2015

''One of the few specialist criminal practitioners in this area.'' Banking and finance, Legal 500, 2015

"He is impressive and has superb knowledge." Financial services, Chambers & partners 2015

"He is doing very well at handling insider dealing work." Financial Crime, Chambers & partners 2015

‘Experienced in acting for individuals, corporate clients and regulatory bodies’ Fraud: crime, Legal 500, 2014

‘Immensely experienced, unflappable and easy to work with.’ Banking and finance, Legal 500 2014

He is noted for his ‘excellent attention to detail’, and for his ability ‘to deal with highly complex matters and present issues clearly and effectively to the jury’. Banking and finance, Legal 500, 2013

Michael Bowes QC is ‘a very safe pair of hands, and a thorough prosecutor’. Fraud: crime, Legal 500, 2013

"He is very thorough and also very fair. He's had some good successes on behalf of the FSA." Financial services, Chambers & partners 2014

"Very diligent, very straightforward and a pleasure to deal with." "He is very thorough in what he does and is a very measured advocate." Professional discipline, Chambers & Partners 2014

"firm but fair prosecutor" who "gets into the detail of the case and has good judgement when it comes to strategy." He wins plaudits… Financial Services, Chambers & Partners, 2013

Michael Bowes QC is ‘one of the most experienced members of the Bar when it comes to prosecuting FSA matters. Fraud, Legal 500, 2012

"A highly competent lawyer with more than enough intellectual capacity to handle complex cases...” Fraud, Chambers & Partners, 2012

At Outer Temple Chambers, Michael Bowes QC is "always calm and in control" and has an excellent reputation for his handling of criminal investigations and prosecutions. He is "highly skilled" at insider dealing cases…Financial Services, Chambers & Partners, 2011

Also present at Outer Temple, Michael Bowes QC is hailed as excellent to work with by instructing solicitors. One enthused: "He’s hard-working, economical, much respected by judges and opponents, and good at keeping the interest up in a case." Bowes excels in complex fraud cases... Fraud, Chambers & Partners, 2011

Michael Bowes QC is highly recommended for financial services and regulatory issues and was recently instructed by the FSA on its first criminal prosecution for insider dealing, R v McQuoid and Melbourne. Banking and finance, Legal 500, 2011



Appointments & memberships:

Professional organisations: 

  • COMBAR, Financial Services Lawyers Association, Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Registered in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) Courts
  • Middle Temple
  • Western Circuit


  • Trustee, Transparency International UK
  • Authorised to sit as a Recorder since 2000
  • Authorised to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge since 2010
  • Bencher of the Middle Temple since 2007
  • Trustee of Transparency International UK since 2015
  • Law Fellow, Goodenough College, London