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Michael Harper

Call 2016

“Michael is enormously talented and enthusiastic in equal measure. He consumes the facts voraciously and applies the law surgically.”
(Legal 500, 2022)


Michael handles a spectrum of commercial work, from smaller disputes concerning the supply of goods or services and general contractual matters through to substantial high-value litigation. Michael’s practice in this area benefits from a depth of academic and practical experience prior to joining Chambers.

Selected Cases

  • Advising a major insurer in connection with an eight-figure arbitration against an agent.
  • Defending a £5m claim involving two of the largest global banks and a prime brokerage firm, involving issues of contractual interpretation and foreign law.
  • Defending a claim brought in contravention of a settlement agreement, with issues of offer and acceptance, interpretation and termination.
  • Michael is regularly instructed to act on behalf of major removals businesses in relation to disputes.
  • A variety of enforcement proceedings, including relating to charging orders.

As a pupil, Michael assisted on matters including:

  • Spire Healthcare v RSA [2018] EWCA Civ 317. Court of Appeal decision concerning the proper interpretation of an aggregation clause. Assisting Michael Harvey KC and Daniel Shapiro KC.
  • Court of Appeal proceeding concerning the proper date for the assessment of damages and High Court proceedings concerning the detailed quantification thereof. Assisting Michele De Gregorio.
  • Contractual and equitable claims arising out of a joint venture agreement. Assisting Michele De Gregorio.

Michael had significant experience in this area prior to joining Chambers, including:

  • During 2016-17, Michael was the Judicial Assistant to Lady Justice Gloster, then Vice-President of the Court of Appeal. Michael’s work typically involved appeals arising from large commercial or common law disputes.
  • Hughes-Holland v BPE [2017] UKSC 21. Michael assisted with the appeal in this landmark decision, in which the Supreme Court restated SAAMCO principles.
  • Bonhams v Lawson & Ors [2015] EWHC 3257 (Comm). £11m multi-party commercial dispute, in which Michael assisted in the favourable determination of a preliminary issue and settlement on the eve of a six-week trial.
  • Michael has previously tutored in Commercial Law at the University of Oxford.
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Technically brilliant and very able in complex matters.

Legal 500, 2024

“Michael is enormously talented and enthusiastic in equal measure. He consumes the facts voraciously and applies the law surgically.”

Rising Star, Legal 500 2022

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