Michael Bolding

Year of Call: 2010


Clerk: Julian Hawes

Michael Bolding

Year of Call: 2010


Clerk: Julian Hawes


Michael practises in all areas of Chambers’ work, with a particular emphasis on commercial litigation and arbitration. He has significant advocacy experience, having appeared unled before the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division and in various county courts. Michael has recently been instructed in a wide range of commercial cases, including disputes concerning insurance contracts, shareholders’ agreements and shipping law. Michael has also recently been instructed in several competition law disputes and a challenge to the UK’s plain packaging regulations for tobacco products.

Before coming to the Bar, Michael taught contract law part-time at University College, Oxford, and spent a year working for a charity providing legal aid services in Kenya. After completing his pupillage, Michael spent 10 months working at the UK Supreme Court as a Judicial Assistant to Lord Clarke and Lord Carnwath. In that capacity, he provided written opinions on the merits of cases heard before the Supreme Court and on the merits of permission to appeal applications.

During his time as a Judicial Assistant at the Supreme Court, Michael was involved in some of the leading cases in commercial law, including: VTB Capital Plc v Nutritek International Corp and others (forum non conveniens and lifting the corporate veil); Benedetti v Sawiris and others (unjust enrichment); AES Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant LLP v Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant JSC (the availability of anti-suit injunctions in support of arbitration agreements where arbitration proceedings are neither on foot nor contemplated); and In the matter of the Alexandros T (Nos 1, 2 & 3) (the scope and effect of articles 27 and 28 of the Brussels I Regulation).

Whilst at the Supreme Court, Michael was also involved in numerous high profile public law cases, including: Bank Mellat v HM Treasury (the validity of a financial restriction order issued under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 and the availability of closed material procedures in the Supreme Court); Smith and others v Ministry of Defence (the jurisdictional scope of the ECHR and liability under article 2 of the ECHR and at common law for military procurement decisions); R (Chester) v Secretary of State for Justice (prisoners’ voting rights under the ECHR and EU law); and Re Local Government Byelaws (Wales) Bill 2012 (the legislative competence of the Welsh Assembly).

practice areas

Michael practises in Commercial, EU/Competition and Public Law.


Notable cases

In addition to working on the cases listed below, Michael has provided confidential advice in connection with numerous commercial disputes.

  • Brit UW Ltd v F&B Trenchless Ltd (Commercial Court), a claim for a declaration that a contractors’ general liability insurance policy has been validly avoided on the basis of non-disclosure and misrepresentation by the insured (with Neil Calver QC).
  • Sartex Quilts & Textiles Ltd v Henderson Insurance Brokers Ltd (Commercial Court), a claim against an insurance broker for negligence concerning the placing of material damage and business interruption cover (with Neil Calver QC).
  • Eurokey Recycling Ltd v Giles Insurance Brokers Ltd (Commercial Court), a claim for over £20 million against an insurance broker for negligence concerning the placing of material damage and business interruption cover (with Neil Calver QC).
  • Arcadia Energy (Suisse) S.A. and another v Ubah and others (Commercial Court), an application for an interim anti-suit injunction to restrain the defendants from continuing proceedings in Nigeria in breach of an exclusive jurisdiction clause (with Richard Lord QC).
  • Corbiere Ltd and others v Xu (Chancery Division), an application for a worldwide freezing order against a defendant in a claim for damages for misuse of confidential information (with Michael Swainston QC).
  • An LCIA arbitration involving a shareholders’ dispute concerning contracts worth over US$47 billion (with Mark Howard QC and others).
  • An LCIA arbitration involving allegations of economic duress and breach of contract, worth over US$50 million (with Andrew Henshaw QC).
  • A case involving a challenge to an arbitral award under section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (with Andrew Henshaw QC).
  • Davenport Capital Ltd v Elbus Group Ltd (Commercial Court), a claim by a consultancy firm for sums said to be owed as a debt or by way of unjust enrichment.
  • Evolve Capital Plc v Hoskins (Chancery Division), a claim and counterclaim worth a total of around £1.2 million relating to loan agreements entered into in the context of an investment in a company which owned the intellectual property rights for a dental product.
  • LocumDiary Ltd v Lloyds Pharmacy Ltd, a dispute concerning interest and charges allegedly owed under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.


Notable cases

  • R (Philip Morris Brands Sàrl and another) v Secretary of State for Health (Administrative Court), a challenge to the Secretary of State’s intention and/or obligation to implement Directive 2014/40/EU (the Second Tobacco Products Directive) (with Marie Demetriou QC and Daniel Piccinin).
  • Unwired Planet International Ltd v Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and others (Chancery Division), a dispute involving arguments concerning the obligations of a holder of mobile phone patents to grant licences on FRAND terms.
  • GTS Gas Turbine Services S.A. v Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc (Chancery Division), a claim for damages and injunctive relief arising out of an alleged breach of Article 102 TFEU and/or section 18 of the Competition Act 1998 due to a refusal to supply spare parts and components for gas turbines to an intermediary (with Robert O’Donoghue).
  • R (Eventech Ltd) v Parking Adjudicator (Administrative Court), a challenge to regulations excluding private hire vehicles from the use of certain bus lanes in London based on alleged violations of EU law (as a pupil, assisting Martin Chamberlain)
  • Astra Zeneca v Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (Chancery Division), an appeal against a decision relating to the duration of a supplementary protection certificate for a medicinal product (as a pupil, assisting Kelyn Bacon)
  • Interclass Holdings Ltd and another v Office of Fair Trading (Court of Appeal), an appeal against a penalty imposed by the Competition Appeal Tribunal for anti-competitive conduct (as a pupil, assisting Kelyn Bacon).

Public Law

Notable cases

  • R (Philip Morris Brands Sàrl and another) v Secretary of State for Health (Administrative Court), a challenge to the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 (with Marie Demetriou QC and Daniel Piccinin).
  • Animal Defenders International v United Kingdom (ECtHR Grand Chamber), a challenge under art. 10 of the ECHR to the UK ban on political advertising on television and radio (as a pupil, assisting Martin Chamberlain).
  • R (Greenpeace) v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (Administrative Court), a challenge to the grant of licences for deepwater oil drilling to the west of the Shetland Islands (as a pupil, assisting Martin Chamberlain).
  • Maslen v Chief Constable of Hampshire (Administrative Court), a challenge under arts. 6, 7 and 8 of the ECHR to legislation permitting police searches of the homes of convicted sex offenders (as a pupil, assisting Martin Chamberlain).
  • R (O'Hara) v Belfast International Airport Ltd (Queen’s Bench Division, Northern Ireland), a challenge under A1P1 and art. 6 of the ECHR to an ouster clause contained in legislation relating to the management of airports (as a pupil, assisting Margaret Gray).


Aikens, R. Lord, R. and Bools, M. Bills of Lading, (2nd ed.), Informa Law (forthcoming), contributor

Competition Litigation: UK Practice and Procedure (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press (forthcoming), contributor

Administrative Court Digest, Sweet & Maxwell, contributor

Qualifications & Further Information

2012-13            Judicial Assistant to Lords Clarke and Carnwath, UK Supreme Court
2011-12            Pupillage, Brick Court Chambers
2010-11            LLM, Harvard Law School
2009-10            BVC, BPP Law School (Very Competent)
2009-10            Non-stipendiary lecturer in law, University College, Oxford
2008-09            BCL, Lincoln College, Oxford (1st class, 1st in year)
2004-07            LLB (Hons) (1st class, 1st in year)

Scholarships and prizes:

2011    Athens Scholarship, the Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association
2009    Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple
2009    Vinerian Scholarship, University of Oxford (for the highest grade on the BCL)
2009    Sir Rupert Cross Prize for Evidence, University of Oxford
2009    Sir Ralph Chiles CBE Award for Human Rights, University of Oxford
2009    Rector's Prize, Lincoln College, University of Oxford
2009    Joint winner of the Holdsworth Society Moot, University of Oxford
2008    Supperstone Law Scholarship, Lincoln College, University of Oxford
2007    Human rights bursary, International Bar Association
2007    Oxford University Press Law Prize




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