Michael Bloch KC is a trial and appellate advocate who has advised and appeared in a wide range of high value and high profile domestic and international disputes; he is accomplished and at ease whether analysing esoteric points of law or cross-examining on dense or technically complex factual issues; and, whilst he is sensitive to what the court is thinking, he is also forceful and, where appropriate, fearless.

Michael is a registered Advocate before DIFC Courts (Dubai International Financial Centre) and called to the Bar in the BVI.

Michael is recognised as a leading silk in the latest editions of both the leading legal directories, Chambers and Partners 2021 and Legal 500 2021, for his expertise in intellectual property and international arbitration. He was also highlighted as a Recommended Individual in JUVE Patent Rankings 2021 and 2022.

"He has encyclopaedic knowledge and is a razor-sharp lawyer at the top of his game." (Chambers and Partners, 2020)

"Exceptionally smart, and very commercial in his approach." (Legal 500, 2021)

In the field of commercial litigation, Michael is advising and representing several high net worth individuals in relation to offshore disputes, including Abdulhameed Dhia Jafar in proceedings in the Cayman  Islands relating to the collapse of the Abraaj investment platform, he is advising several private equity funds in connection with claims relating to distressed debt against the Republic of Mozambique and the sale of debt by Credit Suisse, he has advised and represented Koza in a dispute with the Erdogan regime and he has acted for and is advising a global petrochemical refinery enterprise in connection with a series of ongoing disputes, as well as a private equity enterprise in connection it its control of a Scandinavian gold mine. 

Michael's recent telecoms experience includes advising and representing ZTE in the Conversant case at first instance, in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court; he has advised and represented Lenovo, ZyXel and Xiami in connection with anti-suit and jurisdiction disputes, he is advising and representing Apple in its dispute with Unwired Planet and Pan Optis, and he is also acting for several other SEP owners and cellular telecommunication providers in relation to anti-suit, jurisisdictional and FRAND issues.

Michael's specialist Intellectual Property work includes advising and representing two automobile manufacturers in connection with an ongoing registered design right cases concerning new and vintage vehicle designs (which may be seen as building on his work in relation to the Land Rover Defender); he is advising and representing garment manufacturers in the Oh Polly copyright dispute; he is acting for multi-national entertainment and media conglomerate in connection with a copyright and trade mark dispute (which may be seen as building on his work in relation to the StarWars case); he has advised and represented American Eagle in  a global licensing and trade mark dispute with Lyle & Scott; and he has advised and represented a multinational US based technology enterprise in pursuing breach of confidence claims against ex-employees involved in the development of satellite communication systems, as well as a host of FRAND cases in which Michael has dealt with both IP and commercial aspects in dispute.

Michael is also advising and representing several major undertakings in the pharmaceutical space on licensing and other IP related commercial issues. 

Experience

Shortlist

Commercial

Michael is versed in the law and practice of commercial disputes generally. He has advised and appeared in many proceedings concerning pre-emptive, interim and ancillary relief, as well as jurisdictional, justiciability and forum challenges in addition to trials in the Commercial Court and Chancery Division and Antigua, BVI, Cayman Islands and appeals to the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Cayman Court of Appeals in relation to banking, company law, confidence, contract, fiduciary duty, oil and gas, partnership, proprietary, restitutionary, tort and trust claims.

The company law matters on which Michael has been recently and is currently working include disputes as regards the validity and interpretation of UK company articles, shareholder disputes relating to the control, dilution and management of UK and off-shore companies and the contested position of the directors of and professional advisers to UK and non-UK companies in the context of international undertakings and multi-jurisdictional disputes.

Michael is at home in the courts and before arbitrable panels in jurisdictions and territories throughout the Caribbean where he has/is currently working on a wide range of corporate and commercial disputes relating to financial services, private equity and other businesses; he also has hands-on experience of acting in proceedings in Canada, Hong-Kong, Russia and the United States; and is familiar with the procedural rules, as well as the substantive law, of the jurisdictions in which he practices, having advised and appeared in high value cases at all stages of the litigation from anti-suits, anti-anti-suits and jurisdiction challenges to final trials, appellate proceedings and settlement processes.

Michael is advising and representing several high net worth individuals in relation to offshore disputes, including Abdulhameed Dhia Jafar in proceedings in the Cayman  Islands relating to the collapse of the Abraaj investment platform, he is advising several private equity funds in connection with claims relating to distressed debt against the Republic of Mozambique and the sale of debt by Credit Suisse, he has advised and represented Koza in a dispute with the Erdogan regime and he has acted for and is advising a global petrochemical refinery enterprise in connection with a series of ongoing disputes, as well as a private equity enterprise in connection it its control of a Scandinavian gold mine. 

Cases

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Civil Fraud, Asset Recovery & Injunctive Relief

Michael has advised and appeared in a series of cases in which it was necessary to master, debate and cross-examine on substantial quantities of accounting, corporate and transactional documentation, as well as expert testimony relating to BVI, Cayman, Cypriot, French, German, Greek, Russian, US and other systems of foreign law. He is widely recognized as a formidable and effective cross-examiner, as well as for his deep interest and understanding of the proprietary and trust aspects of fraud disputes.

Cases

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Arbitration

Michael has appeared and acted in several substantial UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, ad hoc and other arbitrations over the last couple of years seated in the Isle of Man, London, Paris, Russia and the US.

Cases

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Intellectual Property

Michael has advised and appeared in a host of substantial breach of confidence, copyright, design right, IP licensing, passing off, patent and trademark cases in the Chancery Division, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the CJEU.

The independent legal directories credit Michael as one of a handful of leading silks in this field, noting his expertise in copyright and trade mark cases, as well as IP-related commercial contracts disputes.

Cases

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Media & Entertainment

Michael has advised and appeared in many media and entertainment cases calling for both commercial and IP experience and expertise. He has also advised and/or appeared in defamation and confidence cases for most of the major media groups, including the BBC, The Times, The Guardian, Time Out and The Express, as well as for many politicians, journalists and celebrities. Cases include Lion Laboratories v Evans [1985] QB 526 and Hyde Park Residence v Yelland [2001] Ch. 143


Achievements

Selected earlier reported cases

Commercial

  • Lehman Brothers US bankruptcy 
  • Yukos v Rosneft [2010] EWHC 784 (Comm), [2011] 1 All ER (Comm) 172
  • easyGroup v easyJet [2009] EWHC 895 (Pat)
  • I-CD Publishing v Popkov / The Odnoklassniki case (2009) 
  • GSK v Abbott 
  • Welcome Break Group Acquisition 
  • Celltech v Medimmune 
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways v British Airways 
  • Co-Operative Wholesale Society v Green 
  • Advising one of the principal utility providers in the UK in relation to contractual disputes relating to the provision of an integrated IT system.
  • Acting on behalf of Deutsche Bank in Commercial Court proceedings against the Norwegian export guarantee department in relation to a dispute relating to ISDA form derivatives.
  • A dispute concerned with the winding-up of an offshore hedge fund.
  • Bayer Cropscience v DEFRA and Friends of the Earth
  • Bugging Cases
  • A series of disputes raising acquiescence, estoppel, laches and waiver issues in connection with agreements governing commercial partnerships and joint ventures.

Civil Fraud, Asset Recovery & Injunctive Relief

  • Niru Battery v CAI [2002] EWHC 1425 (Comm)
  • The Jyske Bank case 
  • The Canada Trust case 
  • Bankers Trust v The City Of Moscow 

Arbitration

  • An arbitration arising out of a military procurement partnership dispute.
  • An arbitration concerning the introduction of new technologies in the coatings and cosmetics industries.
  • An arbitration between one of the former CIS countries and a U.S. power supplier in respect of the use of the national grid to export power to other countries.
  • Bankers Trust v City of Moscow
  • Pilkington v PPG Industries

Intellectual Property

  • Numatic v Qualtex [2010] EWHC 1237 (Ch)
  • Specsavers v ASDA [2010] EWHC 2035 (Ch)
  • BUD and Budweiser cases [2002] EWCA Civ 1534
  • Lucasfilm Ltd v Ainsworth, The Star Wars case [2011] UKSC 39, [2012] 1 A.C. 208
  • Inter Digital Technology Corp v Nokia  
  • United Biscuits v ASDA [1997] RPC 513
  • Chocosuisse v Cadbury [1999] ETMR 1020
  • Aspinal v Kiki James  
  • Philip Morris v BAT 
  • The European v The Economist [1998] ETMR 307
  • Royal Mail
  • Mars v Nestle [2005] 3 CMLR 12

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