Michael Beloff QC

Called to Bar:
1967
Appointed to silk:
1981
Degree:
MA (Oxon)

Michael Beloff QC is recognised by both leading independent legal directories.

Chambers UK 2015

  • Administrative & Public Law – Senior Statesman. “He is pre-eminent in judicial reviews. His advocacy is beautifully balanced, and he expresses himself extremely felicitously.” “I have no hesitation in recommending him for heavyweight public law matters. He is brilliant and streets ahead of the field.”
  • Education – "A wise and brilliant lawyer, who is an outstanding advocate."
  • European law – “Absolutely excellent." "His advocacy is always a masterclass in how things should be done."
  • Professional Discipline – “Handles a range of disciplinary work in the legal, sports and education sectors.”
  • Sport – “He is one of those advocates who can charm the birds from the trees. He's very bright, charming and elegant.”

Legal 500 2014

  • Administrative & Public Law – “User friendly, responsive and a clear leader.”
  • Civil Liberties & Human Rights – “A leading authority.”
  • Education – “An intellectually gifted and delightful advocate.”
  • Immigration – “Undoubtedly a genius.”
  • Professional Discipline and Regulatory – “Particularly adept at handling disciplinary/regulatory cases that cross over with public law and human rights.”
  • Sport – top ranked. “A leading figure in sport, who is intellectually gifted and a delightful advocate.”

Chambers UK Top Silk Bar 100

In December 2013, Michael was ranked as one of Chambers UK’s Top Silk Bar 100, in their inaugural listing of the top barristers practising at the Bar of England & Wales. “He fights his client's corner hard and with all his vast experience at hand,” …. “he is also frank in his assessment and utterly practical in his advice.”

Michael was named in The Times Law 100 2012 listing the most influential lawyers in Britain.  

In 2008 Lord Bingham described him (in the first Birkenhead lecture) as a "most accomplished and much sought after advocate".  In 2012 Lord Justice Moses described him in the 6th Ann Ebbsworth Lecture) as ’’that pre-eminent advocate.”

In 2009 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Chambers Directory Bar Awards.

In 2014 he was nominated for the Bar’s pro bono award.

Among his many credits, he was described in Legal Business in 1994 as "the Bar's Renaissance Man", and in Chambers and Partners Directory 1996 as one of the top three stars of the Bar. He was, while from 1996 President of Trinity College, in part-time practice, but returned to full-time practice in 2006. He was named as one of the top ten barristers of the decade by Legal Business in 1999, one of the top ten currently in practice in "The Independent on Sunday" in 2001 and one of six barristers in the Time List of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in Great Britain in 2008 and 2010.  He was The Times "Lawyer of the Week" in November 1999 and won the Women's Defence League award in 1991 for his contribution to women's rights law.

Professional Experience

He was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in November 1967 (Gerald Moody Scholar, Atkin Scholar), became a Queen's Counsel in 1981, a Recorder of the Crown Court from 1984-95, a Master of the Bench of Gray's Inn in 1988, Treasurer of Grays Inn 2008, a Deputy High Court Judge from 1989-96 (designated to sit in the Crown Office list), Senior Ordinary Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey from 2005-2014, (Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey from 1995) and a Member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport ("CAS") from 1996 and in that capacity has been an arbitrator at the Olympic Games (Atlanta) 1996, (Sydney) 2000, (Athens) 2004 and Beijing (2008), and at the Commonwealth Games (Kuala Lumpur) 1998, (Manchester) 2002, (Melbourne) 2006. He has been a Steward of the Royal Automobile Club,1999-  and was Ethics Commissioner, London 2012. He has been on the CAS Panel for the European Cup (football) 2004 and the World Cup (football) 2006. He has been Chairman of the International Cricket Council’s Code of Conduct Commission from 2002, and was on the main dispute resolution panel for the World Cup (cricket) 2007 and World Cup 20/20 (2009). He was a Deputy Chairman of the Information (National Security) Tribunal from1997-2012 (renamed from 2010 Judge of the Upper Tribunal).  In November 2010, Michael was elected as one of the judges of the FIA’s International Court of Appeal. In February 2011 he was appointed to the International Cricket Council's World Cup 2011 dispute resolution panel.  In 2012 Michael was appointed to the three person European Golf Tour Anti-Doping Appeal Panel.  He has also been appointed to the Provosts Panel at Eton.  In December 2013 Michael was appointed to the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (the world governing body for athletics) newly created Ethics Commission, and in February 2014 he was confirmed as the first Chairman of this Ethics Commission.

He was the first Chairman of the Administrative Law Bar Association from 1986-9 and is now a Vice-President and Emeritus Chairman. He was President of the British Association of Sport and Law 2005-2013. He was joint head of Chambers at 4-5 Gray's Inn Square from 1992-2000, before moving back in 2000 to Blackstone Chambers, his original set (then 2 Hare Court).

More than 425 of the cases in which he was counsel have been reported in various Law Reports. He has appeared more than 40 times in the House of Lords, ten times in the Supreme Court (established in 2010), ten times in the Privy Council, ten times in the European Court of Justice, nine times in the European Court of Human Rights, and in Courts in Hong Kong, Bermuda, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Gibraltar, Singapore, Trinidad, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Brunei and Belfast; he has also been instructed by lawyers from the USA, Scotland, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Sarawak, India, Sabah, Malawi, Cyprus, Greece, Norway and France. He has appeared in three major public inquiries: Crown Agents (1979-81); the Brixton riots (1981) and the Sentosa cable car disaster (Singapore) (1983). His clients have included various departments of State, foreign governments, major national and international corporations, public authorities, sports bodies and clubs, trade unions, pressure groups, and prominent politicians, writers, and sportsmen (Olympic and world champions) etc. He is Foreign Consultant to the Law Counsel, Dacca, Bangladesh.

He has appeared in several international arbitrations (in London, Brussels, Geneva and Monte Carlo), and sat himself as a commercial arbitrator under the auspices of the ICC, LCIA, SIAC and Geneva Chamber of Commerce as well as an ad hoc arbitrator. He is a member of the International Panel of the Singapore Mediation Centre. He has given expert evidence on English law and practice for the purpose of proceedings in various states in the USA, in the Irish Republic, in the Republic of South Africa, France, Norway and Switzerland. He has carried out inquiries for Oxford University into alleged plagiarism, for two television companies, Channel 4 and Carlton, into the making of two controversial broadcasts, and for the Rugby Football Union into alleged racism. He has been identified in various legal publications at one time or another as a leading figure in the fields of public, local government, commercial, defamation, insurance, arbitration, civil liberties, agricultural, EU, sport, human rights, environmental, education, immigration and employment law.

Other relevant experience

Education:

The Honourable Michael J Beloff QC, President of Trinity College, Oxford 1996-2006, Treasurer of Grays Inn 2008 was born in 1942 and educated at the Dragon School, Eton (King's Scholar, Captain of the School and Editor of the Eton College Chronicle), and Magdalen College, Oxford (Open Demy).

He has degrees in history (first class) and law from the University of Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Union and a member of the Oxford Union Debating Tour of the USA in 1964. He was the HWC Davis Prizeman (History) in 1961.

He is an FRSA, FICPD, an Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences and a member of ASPE. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, an Honorary Vice-President of the Oxford University Law Society and has honorary doctorates from Farleigh Dickinson University (USA) and from De Montfort University. 

Legal Writings / Lectures:

He has lectured on law in Beijing, Vancouver, Moscow, Berlin, Nuremberg, Monte Carlo, Salzburg, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dublin, Auckland, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Madras, Charlottesville and New Orleans, as well as in the United Kingdom. He was a visiting Professor at the University of Tulane Law School, New Orleans in 2001 and 2003. He is a visiting Professor in Law at the University of Buckingham.

His publications include: The Sex Discrimination Act (Butterworths, 1976); Halsbury's Laws 4th Ed., Vol.45 ('Time'), 4th ed., 1975 (and 5th edition 1999) Vol.96 Sports Law (2012); Sports Law 2012 (2nd ed.) (Hart Publishing); Judicial Review (contributor, Butterworths) (3rd ed., 2006); Atkins Court Forms (Sports) 2014; and (as contributor) Judicial Safeguards in Administrative Proceedings (N P Engel 1989); The Struggle for Simplicity: Essays in Honour of Lord Cooke of Thorndon (1997); The Golden Metwand Essays in Honour of Sir William Wade QC (1998); Practitioners of EC Law Handbook (1998); European Community Law in English Courts (1999); Law and the Spirit of Inquiry: Essays in Honour of Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC; Israel Among the Nations (1999); The Human Rights Act (1999); Freedom of Information and Expression; Essays in honour of Sir David Williams QC (2000); Judicial Review an International perspective;  Essays in Honour of Lord Slynn (2000); Protecting Human Rights - the European Perspective. Essays in Honour of Rolf Ryssdal (2000); Constitutional Perspectives; Essays in Honour of H.M. Servai (2001); Judicial Review in the New Millennium (2003); Judges and Judicial Accountability (2003).  He has also written for Public Law, Current Legal Problems, Modern Law Review, Commercial Law Review, European Human Rights Law Review, Statute Law Review, Political Quarterly; European Current Law, Irish Jurist; The Journal of Environmental and Planning Law; New Zealand Law Journal, Denning Law Journal, Justice of the Peace; Jersey Law Review, Judicial Law Review (Consultant Editor) and The Sweet and Maxwell International Sports Law Review (General Editor).

He gave the Statute Law Lecture (1993), the ALBA Lecture (1994), the John Kelly Lecture (UCD) (1996), the Lasok Lecture (Exeter) (1998), the Atkin Lecture (Reform Club) (1999), the Ramamani Memorial Lecture (Madras) (1999) the Margaret Howard Lecture (Trinity, Oxford) (2000), the Second Bailiff’s Lecture (Guernsey 2002), the First Hans Espeland Lecture (Oslo 2002), the Alexander Howard Lecture (Royal College of Surgeons 2003), the Peter Taylor Memorial Lecture (Royal Grammar School, Newcastle 2003), the David Hall Memorial Lecture (Environmental Law Foundation 2004).  He was one of four panellists in a debate held in lieu of the Tom Sargant Annual Lecture for Justice (2005), the Neill Lecture (All Souls, Oxford 2006), the Ben Kingsley Lecture (Warwick School 2008), the Barnards Inn Reading (Grays Inn) 2009, the Alexander Lecture (Institute of Arbitration 2009), the second Birkenhead Lecture (Grays Inn 2010), the Sir David Williams Lecture (Cambridge) 2010, the Lady Hale Lecture (Salford 2012), the Edward Grayson Lecturer (British Association Sport and Law) 2012, the Macdermott Lecture (Queens University Belfast) 2012.

Other Writings:

Books:
  • A Short Walk on the Campus (with Jonathan Aitken) (1964)
  • The Plate Glass Universities (1967)
  • Universities in the Modern World (contributor) (2004)
  • The Blair Administration (contributor) (2007)
  • The House of Lords (contributor) (2009)

He is an Associate Editor of the Dictionary of National Biography for Lawyers.

Articles:

In Encounter, The Spectator, The New Statesman, The Observer, The Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Daily Telegraph.

Other Information:

VAT registration number:  243537956