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Michael was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in November 1967 (Gerald Moody Scholar, Atkin Scholar) and became a Queen's Counsel in 1981. 475 cases in which he appeared have been reported in various law reports.
Michael Beloff KC has appeared in international commercial arbitrations (in London, Brussels, Geneva and Monte Carlo), and sat 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 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 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.
He has written a standard commentary on the Sex Discrimination Act 1976 and Sports Law (2nd ed 2012). He was a consultant editor (with Lord Woolf) for the journal Judicial Review (1996 – 2015) and has been the first and only editor of Sweet and Maxwell’s International Sports Law Review (2000 - present). He has also contributed to Halsbury’s Laws on Time and Sport and Atkin’s Court Forms on Sport.
Michael is recognised by both leading independent legal directories.
Chambers and Partners 2019
Legal 500 2018
Chambers UK 2018
Legal 500 2017
Chambers UK 2017
Legal 500 2016
Chambers UK 2016
Legal 500 2015
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.”
Who's Who Legal 2018 notes that "Michael Beloff QC stands out as 'one of the greats' in sports law. He enjoys an excellent reputation for his vast experience before courts and tribunals."
In 2008 Lord Bingham described Michael (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 Ebsworth Lecture) as "that pre-eminent advocate.”
In 2009 Michael was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Chambers Directory Bar Awards.
In 2014 Michael was nominated for the Bar’s pro bono award.
In 1991 Michael won the Women's Defence League award for his contribution to women's rights law
Among his many credits, Michael 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 Oxford(see below) in part-time practice, but returned to full-time practice in 2006 until his retirement after 50 years in practice in 2017.
Michael 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 Times 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.
In the citation for his Honorary Degree at the Open University (2018) written by Professor Simon Lee, Michael Beloff QC was referred to as "one of the leading lawyers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries", having "written more than most legal academics while appearing day after day in leading cases" and "single-handedly" acting as "the founder...of sports law." "In an era where sport is one of the world's biggest industries, Michael Beloff is the biggest character".
Michael Beloff KC made his final appearance before the English Courts in November 2018. The Lord Justice presiding commented that "it has been not merely an honour, but also a pleasure to be addressed by you in your last case", whilst the opposing Counsel added "on behalf of the Bar, that Mr Beloff is one of the very most highly regarded members of our profession, and not only for his erudition, but also for his charm and kindness". This was reported in a Times Law Diary piece, which closed with "[h]is international career with the Court of Arbitration for Sport will continue. Finished? I suspect that he has hardly begun."
Michael continues to practise law from Blackstone Chambers as an arbitrator and advisor.
The Honourable Michael J Beloff KC, President of Trinity College, Oxford 1996-2006, Treasurer of Grays Inn 2008, was 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), De Montfort University, Buckingham University and The Open University.
Michael 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 panelists 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 Lecture (British Association Sport and Law) 2012, the Macdermott Lecture(Queens University Belfast) 2012 and The High Sheriffs Lecture (Oxford) 2017.
He has also 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 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 panelists 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 Lecture (British Association Sport and Law) 2012, the Macdermott Lecture(Queens University Belfast) 2012.
He has been an Associate Editor of the Dictionary of National Biography (for Lawyers).
In national journals Encounter, The Spectator, The New Statesman, The Observer, The Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Daily Telegraph.
Michael’s memoir ’’MJBQC-a Life within and without the law’’ was published in 2022 with a foreword by Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury former President of the Supreme Court. The review in the Commonwealth Lawyer said ’’this is easily the most illuminating, perceptive and witty memoir to emerge in recent times’’.
In this episode, we are joined by Blackstone Chambers’ Michael Beloff KC, Ian Mill KC, Catherine Callaghan KC, and Tim Parker as they share their most memorable cases.
Listen now25 Apr 23
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