Michael Ryan is a commercial barrister whose practice encompasses cross-border disputes, banking and finance, contentious company and insolvency litigation, insurance and professional liability. Many of Michael’s cases involve allegations of dishonesty and Michael has extensive experience of commercial fraud and asset tracing.
Michael is recognised in the directories as a leading junior in the following four fields: Commercial Dispute Resolution, Civil Fraud, Insurance and Reinsurance, and Professional Negligence. In 2019 and 2018 he was selected by Who’s Who Legal as a Future Leader in Litigation who is “widely endorsed as a rising star at the commercial bar”. He is described as “a standout junior who will always go the extra mile”, “very personable and extremely bright, with excellent attention to detail”, “super bright, very practical and someone who is really nice to work with” and that “he has maturity beyond his years and grasps complex issues”. He is listed as “a star junior of the future” and “an excellent litigator”.
Michael has appeared in several substantial trials, usually as sole junior to leading silks, and he is familiar with the demands of hard-fought commercial cases. Michael also has substantial advocacy experience, having conducted trials, appeals and applications in his own right. He has appeared in all divisions of the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Michael also has experience of interim relief applications, including freezing injunctions (including worldwide and proprietary injunctions), Norwich Pharmacal Applications, Bankers Trust Orders and jurisdictional applications.
Recent and current instructions include:
Michael is ranked in Chambers and Partners as a leading junior for Commercial Disputes. He is described as “A star junior of the future”. He was also selected by Who’s Who Legal as a Future Leader in Litigation and is described as “an excellent litigator”.
Michael has an extensive commercial practice. Over the last few years, he has appeared in many of the most high-profile and high-value trials, often as sole junior to senior silks. He is also frequently instructed as sole counsel and has successfully appeared against silks in court. He also appears in arbitrations.
Michael acts for major banks and financial institutions in high-profile litigation. He has unrivalled trial experience for a junior of his level of call. He is currently acting for RBS in a dispute worth in excess of £100 million and acted for a Swiss Bank in one of the biggest banking trials in 2017. Michael was previously part of the defendant counsel team in the Cattles Litigation, a claim for £1.7bn – one of the largest claims to arise out of the financial crisis. Michael appears in the new Financial List, the specialist Court in the High Court for Banking and Finance matters (including acting as sole advocate against QCs).
“He is a standout junior who will always go the extra mile”. Legal 500 2020, Fraud: Civil.
“A well-regarded junior offering expertise in civil fraud disputes involving allegations of deceit, bribery, forgery and the misappropriation of assets. He is experienced in the handling of frauds arising in the banking, insurance and commodities sectors.” Chambers & Partners 2020, Fraud: Civil
Michael has a very substantial civil fraud practice, with great breadth and depth of experience of fraud in the commercial arena. Michael is ranked by the directories as a leading junior in the field of Civil Fraud. Michael is familiar with the demands of hard-fought fraud cases. The directories note that in his civil fraud work Michael “understands the demands placed on solicitors and works hard to dig through issues and find solutions.” He is also described as “Incredibly client-friendly” and “A great team player.”
Michael has consistently been instructed in major cases dealing with deceit, bribery, forgery, banking and trading frauds, commodities frauds, contentious company litigation, joint venture disputes, tax evasion, insurance fraud, misappropriation of trust assets and asset recovery claims.
Michael’s recent work as a sole advocate includes advising on a deceit claim concerning the purchase of shares, obtaining freezing injunctions in the Chancery Division in a case concerning the theft of millions of client monies from a firm’s accounts, and the successful strike out of a claim founded upon a forged instrument.
Michael is ranked as a leading junior in the field of insurance and reinsurance. He is described as “very personable and extremely bright”.
Michael undertakes a range of insurance and reinsurance work, including advice on coverage and construction of policies. He recently acted in the largest insurance claim ever presented in the Commercial Court (see further below). He accepts instructions in both Marine and Non-Marine cases and has experience of property insurance, liability insurance and construction policies.
In line with his Commercial Fraud practice, Michael has experience of fraud in the insurance sphere. He has frequently been instructed by insurers to defend insureds who face fraudulent claims. Michael also has experience in advising insurers on declinature of dishonest claims and claims arising out of dishonest circumstances.
Michael also has experience of claims against insurance brokers arising out of failures in placing insurance.
Michael is ranked as a leading junior in the field of professional negligence. The directories note that Michael has a “fast-growing reputation in the field. He advises on high-profile negligence issues across a comprehensive array of professions including solicitors and auditors. He focuses on claims with an element of fraud and those arising out of commercial transactions.” He is described as “A very hard-working and bright junior with a strong eye for detail.” “Definitely going places, he is going to be a star one day.”
Michael acts in claims across the range of professions including solicitors, financial advisors, auditors and accountants, insurance brokers, valuers, surveyors and engineers. Michael’s practice has particular emphasis on claims arising out of commercial transactions and those with an element of fraud.
Michael has experience of high-value international disputes concerning energy projects, natural resources and commodities, including offshore oil exploitation and trade finance disputes.
Recent work includes:
Michael has a successful commercial practice and appears in many substantial matters in international arbitration. He is ranked as a leading junior in the fields of Commercial Dispute Resolution, Civil Fraud, Insurance and Professional Negligence. Many of his cases are heard by international arbitral tribunals and he has experience of LCIA, UNCITRAL, LMAA and ad hoc arbitrations. Michael also has substantial experiences of cases before the Courts on arbitration matters, including applications for worldwide freezing injunctions in support of arbitrations under section 44 Arbitration Act 1996 and Court challenges to arbitrations.
Recent work includes:
Bilta v Natwest: Court of Appeal overturns £50 million judgment in commercial fraud case
David Allen QC and Michael Ryan successful in Venezuelan fraud dispute
Success in North Sea oil dispute
Court of Appeal decision in €100 million civil fraud claim
Successful defence of civil fraud claim brought by liquidators of major company
COMBAR, Chancery Bar Association, Young Fraud Lawyer’s Association.