Partner | London
Secretary Laura Hall
Michael is a partner in the divorce and family team.Michael has been an integral member of the market leading divorce and family team at Withers for nearly 30 years.
Michael advises on all aspects of family law (including pre- and post-nuptial agreements) with particular emphasis on the resolution of financial issues for wealthy individuals whether married or unmarried and usually 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.
His 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 (often stress-testing wealth holding structures and advising families on succession).
Michael's wide variety of clients (from UK, Europe, US, Middle East and Russia) include business owners and entrepreneurs, financiers and other city professionals, landowners, sports and music stars, politicians, and their spouses/partners.
Michael provides expert media commentary on family law issues, and he has chaired and lectured at various family law conferences in England and abroad.
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 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'; a ‘first-class lawyer'; and 'he has encyclopaedic knowledge in the area'.
When not at his desk, Michael enjoys playing and watching sport (including running his own cricket side, tennis, road cycling and skiing), and spending time with his family.
He is excellent, he has an exceptionally good brain. He is extremely technical and extremely well regarded.
Michael Gouriet goes the extra mile and really works hard to find a solution. He is very experienced in cohabitation cases and complex and multi-jurisdictional disputes.
He is a great lawyer who has an incredible technical mind.
Michael Gouriet provides wise and considered advice with a perfect bedside manner.
He is a true gentleman, he's never riled and very clever, he glides along effortlessly. Michael is impressive - he's so calm and meticulous, and a good draftsman.
Michael Gouriet has ‘a phenomenal intellect combined with a charming persona and a remarkable work rate. He is one of the best divorce lawyers in the country with few comparable’.
Your drafting is world class and your diligent attention to detail made every step of the process feel as robust and fair as possible – thank you.
'When he's on the other side of a case you know he's going to take the right points. He knows the law, he's all over the detail of the case and he knows what positions to take.'
His advice, both personal and professional, and the ensuing settlement, so meticulously and cleverly worked, that remains not only intact, but still capable of producing the positive 'echo', or effect to this day.
Me in a minute
Family law requires a broad spectrum of skill sets
Having worked as a farm labourer and a silver service waiter before flirting with a career in PR and politics (which involved preparing briefs for ministers on BBC's Question Time, and a weekly bundle of press summaries for the Prime Minister in the early 1990s), I met Withers at a law fair in London and from there embarked on a legal career on which I have never looked back.
Specialising in the demanding and evolving world of family law requires a broad spectrum of skill sets (from in depth legal knowledge, litigation and negotiation to clarity of advice, strategy, and empathy) and that combined with the diverse and idiosyncratic factual nature of each and every case makes the role such an intellectually stimulating one.
Throughout my decades at Withers I have been fortunate to have worked alongside inspirational and highly talented expert lawyers both within the family law team and across the firm's wide range of specialist areas. As issues on divorce straddle other practice areas I am often in liaison with colleagues in the property, commercial, trusts, tax, and reputation management teams whether here in London or in the firm's offices in Europe, the US and Asia.
Outside of the law, successive knee injuries put paid to my captaincy of football teams some years back, although I still run a wandering cricket side set up at university. Besides an interest in art, I also enjoy tennis, skiing, golf and road cycling (which included a 300 mile charity bike ride over three days from Cornwall to London in 2014).