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Michael Bowes QC

Michael Bowes QC

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Michael Bowes QC is highly regarded as an expert in civil and criminal “cross-over” work. He is praised as “one of the few specialist criminal practitioners in this area” (Legal 500 2015). Michael is a Deputy High Court Judge (Queen’s Bench Division) and is a joint head of Outer Temple Chambers.

Michael specialises in business crime, civil fraud, financial services and economic sanctions. 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 several current major financial cases, both civil and criminal and in several substantial cross-border corruption investigations. He advises companies in respect of US and EU sanctions.

Michael 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 also instructed as an expert witness in FCA procedure. He is listed as a leading silk in the fields of Financial Services, Financial Crime (Corporates) and Financial Crime (London) in Chambers & Partners and in Banking & Finance, Business and Regulatory Crime and Fraud in the Legal 500.

He is registered in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) Courts.  He is a trustee of Transparency International UK and a member of the New York State Bar Association.

Business Crime

Instructed by a major bank in both the LIBOR and FOREX investigations. This involves the criminal, civil and regulatory elements relating to LIBOR and FOREX and includes advice on the strategic implications of worldwide regulatory and civil proceedings.

Instructed by the SFO in two major high profile investigations.

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 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.

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.

Advising the Board of a major corporate and private wealth specialist company re the effect of EU and US sanctions against Russia on the formation and management of an SPV company.

Instructed by an overseas financial regulator (Far East) in a substantial insider dealing prosecution. Case issues include the relevant domestic law and procedure and an analysis of the underlying commercial transactions.

Commercial & Chancery

Advising individuals in respect of claims arising out of the collapse of a major European bank. Certain aspects of the case are currently being litigated in Dubai (DIFC).

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.

Financial Services

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.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Trustee of Transparency International UK (2015)
  • Law Fellow, Goodenough College, London (2014)
  • Deputy High Court Judge (2010)
  • Bencher of Middle Temple (2007)
  • Recorder (2000)
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Middle Temple
  • Western Circuit

Areas of Law


 Top_tier_firms Michael Bowes QC Accreditations


“Very clever and has wide expertise, so is comfortable with criminal and civil work.” Financial Crime, Chambers & Partners 2017

“He delivers that advice in the best and most commercial way, and is responsive and clear-minded.” Financial Crime, Chambers & Partners 2017

“Superb knowledge, extremely hard-working and excellent instinct.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2017

“He’s clever, understands the issues and gives good, practical advice.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2017

“Clients feel that they are in wise and safe hands.” Fraud: crime, Legal 500 2016

“He provides excellent advice and analysis.” Business and regulatory crime, Legal 500 2016

“Excellent advice and sound judgement on regulatory and investigation issues.” Banking and finance, Legal 500 2016

“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

“He is doing very well at handling insider dealing work.” Financial Crime, Chambers & Partners 2015

“He is impressive and has superb knowledge.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2015

“Immensely able, intelligent and client – friendly.” Fraud, Legal 500 2015

“One of the few specialist criminal practitioners in this area.” Banking & Finance, Legal 500 2015

“Extremely knowledgeable and approachable.” Business & Regulatory Crime, Legal 500 2015

“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

“Experienced in acting for individuals, corporate clients and regulatory bodies.” Fraud, Legal 500 2014

“Immensely experienced, unflappable and easy to work with.” Banking & Finance, Legal 500 2014

“Firm but fair prosecutor” who “gets into the detail of the case and has good judgement when it comes to strategy.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2013

“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 & Finance, Legal 500 2013

“A very safe pair of hands, and a thorough prosecutor.” Fraud, Legal 500 2013

“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.” ” 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 & Finance, Legal 500 2011


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