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 described as “…one of the go-to barristers in England for a corporate crisis. He has a very practical approach to solving some of the more complicated problems.” “A great crossover practitioner from the Criminal Bar.” Financial Services, Chambers and Partners 2020. Michael is a Deputy High Court Judge (Queen’s Bench Division) and a Recorder. He was elected as a Bencher of Middle Temple in 2007.
Michael specialises in business crime, civil fraud, financial services and international 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. In 2018, he successfully defended Terence Watson, former Managing Director of Alstom Transport UK, who was charged with conspiracy to corrupt. He acted for the SFO in the Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached with Serco in July 2019.
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, which notes that he is “A top-drawer barrister; he combines an approachable demeanour with a strong intellect.” He is listed as an expert in Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defence 2019.
He is registered in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) Courts. He is a trustee of Transparency International UK and a co-chair of the UK Chapter of the International Section of the New York State Bar Association. He is a co-author of the Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations (GIR, 3rd ed.2019).
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.
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
Michael Bowes QC is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.
Areas of Law
- International Organisations
- Business Crime
- Disciplinary & Regulatory
- Health, Safety & Environment
- Public Law
“A heavy-hitting silk whose prowess in handling some of the most significant financial regulatory cases of recent times, including Libor, forex and other instances of pan-European financial litigation, is highly praised.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2021
“His presentation is fantastic and is he incredibly hard-working.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2021
“Extremely knowledgeable.” Financial Crime, Chambers & Partners 2021
“An advocate that never wavers from a challenge.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2021
“Michael offers strong support on the overlap between criminal, regulatory and civil issues” Financial Services, Legal 500 2021
“A highly sophisticated silk.” Business & Regulatory Crime, Legal 500 2021
“Knows his stuff inside out, backwards and forwards.” Banking & Finance, Legal 500 2021
“He is very knowledgeable as you would expect, he is very approachable, he has fantastic client bedside manner as well as a terrific work ethic.” Financial Services, Legal 500 2021
“A heavy-hitting silk whose prowess in handling some of the most significant financial regulatory cases of recent times, including Libor, forex and other instances of pan-European financial litigation, is highly praised. His criminal law background stands him in particularly good stead when he is representing individuals and managers. He is noted for his knowledge of EU sanctions and their impact on financial services.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2020
“He is one of the go-to barristers in England for a corporate crisis. He has a very practical approach to solving some of the more complicated problems.” “A great crossover practitioner from the Criminal Bar.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2020
“A barrister who offers pragmatic advice and understands the commercial and practical implications of serious financial crime cases. Further experienced in financial services and regulatory matters, he acts for corporations and individuals, and has broad experience of representing parties affected by allegations of rate manipulation, corruption and insider dealing. He also wins recognition as a highly capable prosecutor.” Financial Crime, Chambers & Partners 2020
“A real pleasure to work with, he is very client-focused, incredibly responsive and someone who gets to grips with complex, niche concepts. He’s very commercially minded and good on his feet.” “Michael is very analytical, very forensic and very calm.” Financial Crime, Chambers & Partners 2020
“A top-drawer barrister; he combines an approachable demeanour with a strong intellect.” Business & Regulatory Crime, Legal 500 2020
“He is an absolutely outstanding advocate.” Financial Crime, Chambers & Partners 2019
“An expert in the law who is very diligent in his analysis. He delivers well thought-out and well-written advice.” “Fabulous charisma and excellent judgement.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2019
“Friendly, authoritative and commercial; he brings good insight.” Financial Services, Legal 500 2019
“A very good silk in this area.” Business and regulatory crime, Legal 500 2019
“Easy to work with, has good attention to detail, and is a good team player.” Banking and finance, Legal 500 2019
“Extremely experienced, highly knowledgeable and very hard working.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2018
“He is a model of clarity, who is efficient and knows how to cut to the heart of a matter. He is eminently practical and pragmatic, but at the same time his engaging manner puts both clients and juries at ease.” Financial Crime, Chambers & Partners 2018
“Bowes is a very intelligent, articulate chap. When he says something people listen.” Financial Crime, Chambers & Partners 2018
“He has vast and valuable experience in prosecuting both for the SFO and FCA.” Financial Services, Legal 500 2017
“One of those rare silks, who is equally comfortable prosecuting and defending.” Business and regulatory crime, Legal 500 2017
“He has deep experience and credibility.” Banking and finance, Legal 500 2017
“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