- Education: Edinburgh University, M.A. (Hons)
- Admitted: England and Wales, 1995
- Year joined: 1993
- Year became partner: 2002
Michael advises on all aspects of family law (including pre-nuptial agreements) with particular emphasis on the resolution of financial issues for wealthy individuals, whether married or unmarried and often with international interests. Michael has acted in numerous divorce cases involving trusts and businesses. Michael also has extensive experience of children law matters, including international relocation.
Michael's breadth of work involves close liaison with many other specialist practice areas at Withers including the contentious trusts and estates team and the wealth planning teams in London, US, Switzerland and Asia.
Clients include city professionals, entrepreneurs and business people, owners of landed estates, sports and music stars, politicians, and their spouses/partners.
Michael is a certified family law arbitrator, and a trained collaborative lawyer. He has been a member of Resolution's Cohabitation Committee since its inception in 1995.
Michael has for several years been listed as a leading family lawyer in the legal directories (including Chambers & Partners, Legal 500, Spears, and Citywealth) – in which he has variously been described in recent years as 'a real class act'; 'measured, sensible and knows his law'; 'highly intelligent, very efficient and a pleasure to deal with – a really strong practitioner'; 'is just excellent and often sought after by high net worth individuals'; and a 'first-class lawyer'.
- OS v DS  creating a new precedent for asset-tracing;
- Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [CA 2010], which changed the law on disclosure and confidentiality of documents between spouses in divorce proceedings;
- Acting for the father in the ground breaking children's case of C v C International Relocation , successfully opposing the mother's application to move with the children to live in the US. This case preceded the similar decision by the Court of Appeal in the landmark case of K v K later that year (in which Withers also acted for the successful father).
- Two further reported decisions of Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman  relating to the joinder of trust beneficiaries to financial proceedings on divorce and consequential disclosure.
- D v D  – a case involving allegations of non-disclosure, and sharing of future income from offshore contracts entered into during marriage.
Publications and speaking engagements
Michael has for several years been a contributor to the legal and national press on family law issues in addition to appearing as an expert commentator on television and radio. By way of example, Michael participated in a feature piece on family law in FT Weekend Magazine in November 2010; he has been quoted in The Financial Times, The Times, and The Sunday Times; and he has given commentary live on Bloomberg TV, Sky News, ITN and BBC News.
Michael is the author of the divorce chapter in LexisNexis Tax Planning for Farm and Land Diversification and a contributor to Resolution's guide to 'Cohabitation Claims', and also Resolution's 'Cohabitation Agreements' precedents.
Michael has chaired and lectured at various family law conferences in England and abroad (on subjects including big money divorce, cohabitation, trusts and divorce, and third party interests in divorce proceedings).
Since 2010, Michael's speaking engagements have included:
- IBC Family Law and Divorce for Private Clients conference, London, November 2010 – chairing the conference, and speaking on 'Protection Against Cohabitants Financial Claims'.
- Butterworths Lexis Nexis Matrimonial Finance and Divorce Proceedings conference, London, April 2010 and May 2011 – chair.
- American Bar Association RPTE Spring Symposia, New York, 2012 – speaking on 'When a Marriage Goes Global – International Estate Planning Aspects of Marital Planning and Dissolution'.
- Legal Week Trust and Estates Litigation Forum, Provence, 2014 – chaired focus group on trust and divorce issues following UK Supreme Court decision in Prest v Petrodel Resources Limited.
- STEP (in partnership with IAML) conference in London, December 2014 on the Family Business and Family Law – speaking on trusts and divorce.
- IBC Conference on International Cross Border Estate Planning for Divorce, London, January 2016 – speaking on 'Third Party Rights: How Does the Divorce Court Deal With Them'.
- Resolution National Conference, Newcastle, April 2016 – panellist on 'Cohabitation Compared and Contrasted in England and Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland'.
- International Academy of Family Lawyers
- Collaborative Family Law
- Chartered Institute of Arbitration
On a personal note
Michael's interests include all sports (including running own cricket team) and art.
Recent accolades and awards