Michael Powner > Charles Russell Speechlys LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Work Department

Private wealth, real estate and construction, retail and leisure, sport, technology, media and telecommunications; employment, pensions and immigration.


Michael was head of the Employment, Pensions and Immigration group but is now on the Ex-Com at Charles Russell Speechlys, and is primarily a corporate employment lawyer with a UK, US, European and Middle Eastern client base. He has extensive expertise in providing commercial advice to reduce exposure to litigation. Michael also has substantial transactional experience with IPO, private equity/venture capital, due diligence/risk analysis and TUPE-related advice on a vast array of M&A and outsourcing deals. Additionally, he advises PLC clients in the negotiation of senior executive service contracts and severance terms as well as the employment hurdles to setting up new ventures. Particular expertise with European restructurings and dispute resolution as well as UK equal pay and gender pay reporting obligations. 
Experience: acting for a FTSE 100 company with regard to Europe wide restructure in 2019; acting for US and international retail client with harmonisation of global policies including data protection, harassment and whistleblowing procedures; acting for an international tech client to provide TUPE and related collective bargaining advice, avoiding UK wide industrial action; acting for F1 racing team with regard to their international contract, regulatory and dispute resolution needs.


Visiting lecturer to the College of Law; regular speaker at both internal and external conferences; writer and regular contributor to leading employment publications such as ‘Personnel Today’ and ‘Employers Law’, as well as national newspapers together with television and radio news interviews.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Industry focus > Hospitality and leisure

The international and multi-disciplinary hospitality and leisure team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has significant sector knowledge of the food and beverage, consumer brands, and hotels and hospitality areas. The team covers the full range of legal services and is particularly well versed in marketing and branding, sponsorship, and enforcement issues, as well as occupier services, relevant litigation, and employment harmonisation and restructuring. The trio of lawyers heading up the team consists of: Michael Powner, an employment expert who handles the relationship with Wagamama and Caffe Nero; commercial contract specialist Jason Saiban, who leads the firm’s tech, consumer and sport group; and Lee Medlock, head of the real estate team. Investors, commercial developers and corporate occupiers regularly instruct Louise Ward, who has recently advised on theatre and research park developments, and the sale and leaseback of leisure clubs. Mark White has significant experience in the investment and corporate occupier sector.

London > Employment > Employers

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises an array of clients ranging from corporates and professional service firms, as well as managing high value employment issues for private wealth clients. Managing senior executive exits and severance negotiations is also an area of strength. Nick Hurley, who providing strategic employment reorganisation and TUPE advice, leads the team. He is supported by Trevor Bettany, who is recommended for LLP disputes, and retail sector HR expert Michael Powner.

London > Employment > Senior executives

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles a range of mandates for senior executives, with particular expertise in advisory work. The team also handles contentious exits and unfair dismissals, and acts in Employment Tribunal claims. Team head Nick Hurley is well versed in a breadth of discrimination, victimisation and whistleblowing claims. Michael Powner‘s workload spans the full range of employment-related issues, including disciplinary proceedings and harassment claims. Another key member of the team is Trevor Bettany.

London > Industry focus > Retail and consumer

With strength in advertising, marketing, and brand protection work, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s retail, consumer, and consumer tech group acts for food and beverage sector clients, sports retailers, and luxury brands. Jason Saiban takes point on commercial contracting matters, including digital transformation projects, sponsorships, and logistics mandates. Contentious and regulatory matters are handled by Edward Craig, while Michael Powner is recommended for his employment expertise. Saiban, Craig and Powner jointly lead the team. Intellectual property specialist Mary Bagnall is also noted.