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Michael Kent KC

Call 1975 • KC 1996

"Regarded with the utmost respect by peers and also by the judiciary."
(Legal 500)

Construction & Engineering

Michael has frequently accepted instructions directly or indirectly linked to the work of the Technology and Construction Court often from insurers pursuing subrogated claims.

  • Successfully defended £100m plus claim by developer against HMRC; allegations of improper obtaining of restraint order and losses through sale at undervalue; whether money laundering of criminal proceeds through development; issues about viability and profitability of development scheme.
  • Acted for Claimants in test cases in TCC on liability of electricity distribution network operators for fires caused by supply side equipment (overheating mains cut-out fuses): the generic “RIMISSE” (Repair, Installation, Maintenance and Inspection of Supply Side Equipment) issue.
  • Acted for Defendant in claim by funders of hotel development scheme (JCT contract) seeking to enforce a personal guarantee; collateral warranty to funder; bank’s step in right: whether its exercise relieved employer of further liability to contractor; equitable duties owed by bank to sureties of customer’s liabilities to bank; whether settlement with contractor at an overvalue. Administrative Receiver’s obligations.
  • Fire damage claim. Acted for Respondent in CA upholding rejection of claim for breach of statutory duty (in respect of property damage and economic losses) for non-compliance with regulations implementing the Machinery Directive 89/392 EEC
  • Advised and obtained temporary restraint on payment under a performance bond re acquisition of rail rolling stock.
  • Acted in arbitration appeal to TCC on the availability of a restitutionary award for the value of materials supplied by a contractor to remedy sub-contractor’s defects (DOM/1 Standard Form of Sub-Contract).
  • Appeared in Court of Appeal on issue whether partial defence of contributory negligence available in relation to claims under JCT building contract.
  • Software supply contract – alleged breach of implied terms as to quality; acted for the supplier; effect of assignment of cause of action to principal shareholder.

Selected Cases

  • Bhandal v HMRC [2015] EWHC 538 (Admin) 
  • Smith & Ors v South Eastern Power Networks [2012] EWHC 2541 (TCC) –
  • Royal Bank of Scotland v Chandra [2010] EWHC 105 (Ch); [2010] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 677 – Duties owed by bank to sureties of customer’s liabilities under building contract
  • Neil Martin Ltd v HMRC [2007] EWCA Civ 1041
  • Vibixa Ltd v Komori UK Ltd & ors [2006] EWCA Civ 536; [2006] 1 WLR 2472
  • John Mowlem & Co Plc v Phi Group Ltd [2004] BLR 421 TCC
  • Satnam Investments Ltd v Dunlop Heywood & Others [1999] 3 All ER 631 CA
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  • Inns of Court School of Law (1973 – 1975)
  • BA (Hons) Politics, University of Sussex (1970 – 1973)
  • Nautical College, Pangbourne (1965 – 1969)
  • Recorder of the Crown Court  2000-2022
  • Deputy High Court Judge (Queen’s Bench Division and Administrative Court) 2010-2022.
  • He is a Bencher of the Middle Temple


  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (Chairman 2011-13)
  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Tecbar
  • Chairman of working group on expert witnesses for Inns of Court College of Advocacy (2018)


“Michael is a legendary figure who is phenomenally knowledgeable and a really brilliant appellate figure who is trusted by judges.”

Chambers & Partners, 2024

‘He has a profound grasp of the law and combines that with diffident but highly effective advocacy.’

Legal 500, 2024

“He is one of the best appellate advocates solicitors have seen. He has a profound grasp of the law and combines that with diffident but highly effective advocacy. He is a real pleasure to work with, both one to one and as part of a wider team.”

Legal 500, 2024

“His knowledge of the law is encyclopedic and his attention to detail is phenomenal.” “He is very good on his feet and technically excellent.”

Chambers & Partners, 2022

“Able to hone in on the crucial aspects of the matter at hand and his advice is second to none – Michael has a keen commercial awareness but is also up for the fight when it needs to be fought.”

Legal 500, 2022

“A very accomplished and well-respected advocate with a good command of the law.” “A very good advocate who is highly regarded in his field.”

Chambers & Partners, 2021

“Regarded with the utmost respect by peers and also by the judiciary.”

Legal 500, 2021

“Always a calm and measured presence in conference and courtroom alike. His advocacy skills are excellent, as is his ability to provide clarity in the most complex of cases.”

Legal 500, 2021

“He has the most wonderful advocacy style – he’s calm, silky and measured.” “He is hugely intelligent and pleasure to work with.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020

“He is particularly strong handling high-profile group litigation.”

Legal 500, 2020

“A highly skilled advocate who is able to get to grips with the most complex of issues…The epitome of a smooth operator. An excellent KC whom I can’t recommend highly enough.”

Chambers & Partners, 2018

“A very high-quality silk.”

Legal 500, 2017

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