Michael Black QC is an international disputes lawyer specialising in international arbitration and offshore litigation both as Advocate and Arbitrator. The guides have described him as “a superb and seasoned professional” and refer to his “extensive experience in commercial litigation and arbitration disputes related to the construction, energy and funds sectors … sources consider him a “great name” in London and internationally”. In the court-room his “amazing eye for detail” and “brilliant legal mind” are said to be a “deadly combination” and “his cross-examinations are something to behold”.
While his practice is truly global, Michael is well known for his Middle East practice having acted throughout his career in cases concerning the Region, ‘He appears in agenda-setting DIFC cases’. An internationally acknowledged expert in civil procedure, he was retained to draft the procedure rules for the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (“DIFC”) and was also consulted on the drafting of the DIFC Arbitration Law. He was the first barrister to be admitted to the bar of the DIFC Courts and appeared in both the first trial (shareholders’ dispute) and the first appeal (appeal against freezing injunction). Chambers and Partners 2016 calls him a “go-to person on DIFC matters” and “singled out for his extensive knowledge of UAE law”.
In addition Michael has substantial experience in the PRC, India and Africa. Michael has been involved in some of the leading cases involving Africa including Kensington v Congo, IPCO v NNPC, ZCCM v Kansanchi, and P&ID v Nigeria
Michael has a broad commercial practice but has particular experience and expertise in:
Construction & Projects;
Energy, Oil & Gas;
Civil Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery;
Banking and Financial Services;
Hedge Funds and Structured Investment Vehicles;
Areas of experience
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The Legal 500 2020 recommends Michael for international arbitration, commercial litigation, construction, banking and finance and company. He is seen as “a first-rate advocate who is thoroughly recommended”, “his great skill is distilling a huge number complicated issues” and“a first-rate performer with great breadth of international experience“. He is said to be “a very user-friendly silk with great experience in arbitration and offshore issues“, clients rate the fact that he “brings his great experience to bear in a very practical way“. He is also recommended as “a top choice for offshore banking disputes, particularly if they involve fraud“. Instructing solicitors say ‘As well as his credentials as a top-notch commercial barrister, he is a leading authority on DIFC Court jurisdiction’.
Chambers and Partners recommended him for international arbitration: commercial and insurance and international arbitration: construction and engineering as well as his offshore practice and construction. He is said to be: “a superb all-rounder“, “pragmatic and dynamic” who is “unbelievably quick at getting to grips with enormous amounts of information”. His cross-examinations are described as “something to behold”.
Michael is recommended in Chambers Global for offshore work which mentions that “he has an amazing eye for detail and a brilliant legal mind, which is a deadly combination in the court room“. He appears in Who’s Who in Arbitration and Who’s Who in Construction. He also appears in the Spotlight Table for Foreign Experts.
Chapter on international arbitration in “Discovery Deskbook for Construction Disputes” American Bar Association (2006)
Chapter on ethics in international arbitration in “International Construction Law”, American Bar Association (2009)
Chapters on Arbitration and Construction in Sweet & Maxwell’s “The Law & Practice of Compromise” (7th edition, 2010)
Chapter on arbitration in the Legal Year in Overview section of The UK Supreme Court Yearbook, Volume 8, 2016-2017 Legal Year.
University College, London
Visiting Professor of Construction and Engineering Law, University of Manchester (2002)
Member of ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR (2017)
Chartered Arbitrator (2017)
Member of Court of Casablanca International Mediation and Arbitration Centre (2016)
BVI International Arbitration Centre Panel of Arbitrators (2016)
ICC UK Committee for Arbitration and ADR (2015)
ICC Commission Task Force on Emergency Arbitrator Proceedings (2015)
Bencher Middle Temple (2006)
Member Civil Justice Council (2005-9)
Deputy High Court Judge (2008 – 2013)
Member of Court of Appeal panel of mediators (2001 – 2003)
Member Civil Procedure Rule Committee (2000 – 2004)
Assistant Commissioner, Parliamentary Boundary Committee for England (2000)
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Panel of Mediators (2000)
Deputy Judge of Technology and Construction Court (1999-2013)
Recorder of the Crown Court (1999-2013)
RICS President’s Panel of Arbitrators (1999)
Presenter (Disciplinary Prosecutor) for Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (1995)
FIMBRA panel of arbitrators (1993 – 1995)
Singapore International Commercial Court (Full Registration)
Bar of the Dubai International Financial Centre
Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
Bar of the Isle of Man (ad hoc)
Bar of the Cayman Islands (ad hoc)
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
Swiss Arbitration Association
International Council for Commercial Arbitration
London Court of International Arbitration
International Bar Association
Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators