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Michael Harvey QC

Call 1966 • QC 1982

"Very good and very clever. If you've got a detailed case he's the one you want."
(Chambers & Partners 2016)

Michael Harvey QC predominantly deals with civil and commercial matters, including but not limited to: insurance and reinsurance law, construction and engineering contracts, commercial and contractual disputes, arbitration, professional negligence, tortious disputes, product liability, company law, international arbitration, financial services, conflict of laws, sale of goods, carriage of goods, agency.

Joint author of the title “Damages” in Halsbury’s Laws of England (Butterworths, 4th edition).


Michael has worked in Hong Kong, Australia, Qatar, Japan, United States of America and Europe on international arbitrations.

He has been admitted to the Hong Kong Bar.

Michael also acts as an arbitrator in both domestic and international disputes and as an Adjudicator in relation to construction matters. He has sat as a Deputy Chairman of the Appeal Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Selected Cases

  • Acted for Middle Eastern claimants in an ICC arbitration concerning the destruction of a natural gas fractionation plant and welding issues (Herbert Smith).
  • Acted for the Government of Queensland in a sugar arbitration (Linklater & Paines).
  • Acted for Japanese Claimants in an arbitration concerning land development in Brunei (Herbert Smith).
  • Acted for English and Egyptian contractors in respect of a tunnel under the Suez Canal (Rowe & Maw).
  • Acted for Saudi Arabian civil engineering contractors in a joint venture dispute (Herbert Smith).
  • Acted for a Canadian paper mill against English engineering contractors (Herbert Smith).
  • Acted for Hong Kong contractors in relation to a development in Hong Kong (Denton Hall & Burgin).
  • Acted for Swiss manufacturers/designers of aluminium railway wagons (Herbert Smith).
  • Acted for English consultant engineers in respect of work in Iran (Cameron McKenna).
  • Acted for Caribbean Refinery Owners in respect of engineering works (Davies Arnold Cooper).
  • Acted for Caribbean Claimants in gas contract dispute (Davies Arnold Cooper).
  • Acted for a Russian oil company in respect of an oil trading dispute.
  • Acted for Insurer claimants in a Russian insurance contract dispute (Kennedys).
  • Acted for Caribbean claimants in a hurricane damage dispute (Beachcroft).


Selected Cases

  • Bank of Credit & Commerce Gibraltar v Spicer & Oppenheim [1999] – Rimer J, auditors’ negligence arising out of BCCI collapse (Cameron McKenna).
  • BCCI litigation in Cayman Islands [1998] – Claims against directors.
  • Dransfield v AIWA [1998] – Hong Kong minority shareholders dispute.
  • Interallianz v Allsop [1997] – Thomas J, valuers’ negligence (Cameron McKenna).
  • Deeny v Littlejohn Frazer [1995] – Lloyds litigation – auditors’ alleged negligence (Cameron McKenna).
  • Barlow Clowes Litigation [1994] – Investment advisers (Fishburn Boxer).
  • The Fiona [1993] 1 LR 257 & [1994] 2 LR 506 – Shipping, Hague-Visby Rules, dangerous cargo (Jarvis & Bannister).
  • VSO v Midland Bank v British Aerospace [1993] – Vinelott J. North Sea venture (Clifford Chance).
  • Transcontainer v Custodian Security [1988] 1 LR 128 – Carriage of goods – bailment (Crossman Block).
  • Abbey Life v Mortgage Systems Ltd – Insurance backed mortgage lending (Cameron McKenna).
  • British & Commonwealth v Atlantic Computers – Company takeover, claims against directors, auditors’ negligence) (Cameron McKenna).
  • Bradford & Bingley v Hays Burton – Standard form exclusion clauses (Cameron McKenna).
  • Wolverhampton v Herring Son & Daw – Rattee J, Company takeover and valuer’s negligence.

Construction & Engineering

Michael has undertaken advisory work in relation to various construction / engineering matters, including Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Waterloo Station Eurostar Terminal, Great Eastern Hotel, Singapore tunnel collapse, Buncefield explosion.

Selected Cases

  • The Light [2007] – Jackson J, quantity surveying dispute, shopping mall (Mills & Reeve).
  • Polygram [2000] – HH Judge Bowsher QC, designers of computerised warehouse system (Cameron McKenna).
  • Tarmac v Pyeroy [1998] – HH Judge Wilcox, M40 Motorway bridges (Merricks).
  • Colville Estate v Strutt & Parker [1997] – HH Judge Bowsher QC, surveyor’s – development advice (Reynolds Porter Chamberlain).
  • Friends Provident v Hillier Parker [1996] 2 WLR 123 – Surveyors – restitution (Cameron McKenna).
  • British Telecom v Satronic [1995] – HH Judge Paynter-Reece, electronic controls (Wyeths).
  • Heron Homes v BDG Design [1991] – HH Judge Fox Andrews, architects’ negligence (Saunders Sobell).
  • Steamship Mutual v Trollope & Colls [1986] 33 BLR 77 – Aarchitects’ negligence (Richards Butler).
  • IBA v EMI v BICC 11 BLR 29 – Collapse of television transmitting mast at Emley Moor (Herbert Smith).
  • Townsend v Stone Toms 27 BLR 26 – Aarchitects’ negligence (Stephensons Harwood).
  • Welsh Health Technical Services Organisation – Rhyl Hospital, HH Judge Newey, engineers’ negligence in respect of reinforced concrete design of a hospital (Beale & Co).
  • Hearts of Oak Benefit Society – HH Judge Newey, double glazing and building design (Field Fisher).
  • Comben Homes – Mr Recorder Butcher QC, foundation design (Denton Hall).

Insurance & Reinsurance

Michael has advised on many insurance issues. He has drafted policies in the public, products and employers liability fields and for Contractors All Risks. Has advised on many aspects of insurance law arising out of construction / engineering matters, including Heathrow tunnel collapse, Jubilee Line cofferdam problems, Channel Tunnel, Hong Kong’s new airport, London Eye, Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Selected Cases

  • Kidsons v Lloyds Underwriters [2008] LRIR 239 & [2009] LRIR 178 – Professional indemnity, notification clauses (Herbert Smiths).
  • Bolton v Municipal Mutual Insurance [2006] 1 WLR 1492 – Court of Appeal, Public Liability and Mesothelioma) (Halliwells).
  • Midland Mainline v Eagle Star [2004] LRIR 739 – Court of Appeal, business interruption, proximate cause (Davies Arnold Cooper).
  • RSA v Dornoch [2004] LRIR 826 – Aikens J, reinsurance, claims control (Mills & Reeve).
  • Mabey & Johnson v Ecclesiastical Insurance [2004] LRIR 10 – Morison J, aggregation of claims.
  • Midland Mainline v CU & Others [2004] LRIR 22 – David Steel J, train operators business interruption following Hatfield derailment (Davies Arnold Cooper).
  • New Hampshire v Oil Refineries Ltd [2002] 2 LR 462 – Non disclosure (Hextall Erskine).
  • Sund Emba v Skandia [1994] – Clarke J, export guarantee reinsurance) (Cameron McKenna).
  • Baxenden Chemicals v NEM [1994] – Longmore J, Insurance brokers’ negligence (Elliott & Co).
  • Pryke v Gibbs Hartley Cooper [1991] 1 LR 602 – Lloyds brokers, financial guarantee (Cameron McKenna).
  • Mark Rowlands v Berni Inns [1986] 2 QB 211 – Landlord’s covenant to insure (Cameron McKenna).
  • CTI v Oceanus [1984] 1 LR 476 – Non-disclosure (Herbert Smith).
  • General Reinsurance v Fennia Patria [1983] QB 856 – Lloyds slip (Ince & Co).
  • Bragg v Oceanus [1982] 2 LR 132 – Relitigation of issues (Herbert Smith).

Product Liability

Selected Cases

  • Defective roofing tiles [1999 – 2001] – (Beachcroft Wansbroughs).
  • Benzene in carbon dioxide [1998] – contaminated drinks litigation (Hextall Erskine).
  • Shell Chemicals v Vinamul Times [1991] – Supply of cavity insulation on a National basis leading to extensive remedial costs.
  • Albery v Shell & BP – Lead in petrol litigation (Court of Appeal).
  • Smoking litigation (Kennedys).
  • Whooping cough litigation.

Professional Liability

Selected Cases

  • Tamlura v Cameron McKenna [2009] – Mann J, solicitors drafting sale and purchase agreement for sale of company (Mayer Brown).
  • Lewis Thirkell v V&H [1995] – Drake J, barrister’s negligence (Reynolds Porter Chamberlain).
  • Taff v Williamson [1994] – Solicitors’ negligence (Shulmans).
  • Jarman v Bingham Conyers [1993] – Aaccountant’s negligence (Cameron McKenna).
  • Eusden v F [1993] – Morland J, barrister’s negligence (Cameron McKenna).




  • Bencher & Past Master of Students, Gray’s Inn
  • Uthwatt & James Mould Scholarships, Gray’s Inn
  • MA, LLB (Cantab)


  • Deputy High Court Judge (1995)
  • Recorder of the Crown Court (1986)


“He is robust, user-friendly and easy to work with,” and is “a very thorough advocate.”

Chambers & Partners 2020

“His depth of knowledge is second-to-none.”

Legal 500 2020

‘Leading Silk’ for Insurance and Professional Negligence

Chambers & Partners 2016

‘Leading Silk’ for Professional Negligence

Legal 500 2016

‘Leading Silk’ for Insurance and Professional Negligence

Chambers & Partners 2015

‘Leading Silk’ for Insurance and Professional Negligence

Legal 500 2015

‘Leading Silk’ for Insurance and Professional Negligence

Chambers & Partners 2014

‘Leading Silk’ for Insurance and Professional Negligence

Legal 500 2014

‘Leading Silk’ for Insurance and Professional Negligence

Chambers & Partners 2013

‘Leading Silk’ for Insurance and Professional Negligence

Legal 500 2013

‘Leading Silk’ for Insurance and Professional Negligence

Chambers & Partners 2012

‘Leading Silk’ for Professional Negligence

Chambers & Partners 2011

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