Max has been instructed in some of the most significant commercial disputes of recent years, often involving complex financial or economic issues. Current and recent instructions acting for Hewlett-Packard group companies in their US $5 billion fraud claims against former executives of Autonomy; for Asda and other high-street retailers in competition damages claims against MasterCard (and, previously, Visa) relating to the networks’ multilateral interchange fees (Max’s clients succeeded before both the Court of Appeal in 2018 and the Supreme Court in 2020); for Goldman Sachs International in a jurisdiction dispute relating to US $830 million claims against Novo Banco, a Portuguese “rescue bank” (before the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court); and for Banco Central de Venezuela in its efforts to release €930 million of the value of gold bars held in the Bank of England to fund COVID-19 relief via the United Nations Development Programme.
Other notable cases include acting for John Walker at every stage of the Walker v Innospec litigation, which concluded in a landmark Supreme Court judgment upholding the right of Mr Walker and his husband (and thousands of other civil partners and same-sex married couples) to the same pension benefits as spouses of the opposite sex; and for Sebastian Holdings Inc in its mammoth dispute with Deutsche Bank; and for Iveco in competition damages claims in the wake of the European Commission’s Trucks decision.
Max came to the Bar after a previous career in media and technology.
For international human-rights work please see under public international law.
“He is on top of the papers, he thinks quickly on his feet, and his opinions are very well researched and considered.” (Chambers & Partners 2021: commercial litigation)
“A first rate junior, he has superb analytical skills and cuts to the heart of any case.” (Legal 500 2021: commercial litigation)
“He is extremely bright, a very good drafter and really on top of the econometrics … his ability to understand economics is remarkable.” (Chambers & Partners 2018: competition law)
Much of Max’s work is heavily engaged with EU law. Beyond the competition sphere, Max has acted in disputes relating areas of EU law as diverse as the bank rescue regime (Goldman Sachs International v Novo Banco – see banking and finance), pensions law (Walker v Innospec – see civil liberties and human rights), medicine regulation (see pharmaceuticals) and EU commercial agency rules (see commercial law).
2010–11: Pupillage, Brick Court Chambers
2009–10: Bar Vocational Course, BPP Law School, London (Outstanding)
2008–09: Graduate Diploma in Law, The City Law School, City University London (Distinction)
1996–97: Frank Knox Fellow, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
1993–96: BA Classics, King’s College, Cambridge (Double first)
“Al-Skeini and the elusive parameters of extraterritorial jurisdiction”  5 EHRLR 566.
“Max is incredibly clever and supremely diligent.”
“He is on top of the papers, he thinks quickly on his feet, and his opinions are very well researched and considered.”
— Chambers & Partners 2021
“A first rate junior, he has superb analytical skills and cuts to the heart of any case.”
— Legal 500 2021
“Max is ferociously bright, has outstanding drafting skills and is an excellent team player.”
“He's extremely clever and really stands out for his ability to remember tiny details.”
— Chambers & Partners 2021
“He's ridiculously clever.”
“Very much in demand.”
— Chambers & Partners 2020
“Schaefer is very bright with a good understanding of economics, which he can translate into plain English.”
— Chambers & Partners 2019
“He is extremely bright, a very good drafter and really on top of the econometrics.”
“His work output is incredible and his ability to understand economics is remarkable.”
— Chambers & Partners 2018