Michael Ryan > Chambers of Gavin Kealey QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Gavin Kealey QC
7 King's Bench Walk
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Michael Ryan is a commercial barrister whose practice encompasses cross-border disputes, banking and finance, energy disputes, company litigation, insurance and professional liability. Many of Michael’s cases include allegations of dishonesty and he has extensive experience of commercial fraud.

Michael has appeared in several substantial trials, frequently as sole junior to leading silks, and is familiar with the demands of hard-fought commercial cases. Michael also has substantial advocacy experience, having conducted trials, appeals and applications in his own right. He has appeared in all divisions of the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, as well as in international arbitrations.

Michael also has experience of interim relief applications, including freezing injunctions (both worldwide and proprietary injunctions), Norwich Pharmacal Applications, Bankers Trust Orders and jurisdictional applications.

Cases include: Natwest Markets Plc v Bilta [2021] EWCA Civ 680, carbon credit trading fraud; VTB Commodities v JSC Antipinksy [2021] EWHC 1758 (Comm), Russian banking fraud dispute; PDVSA Servicios S.A. v Petrosaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Limited [2020] EWHC 2819 (Ch), acting for successful defendant in injunctive proceedings concerning the 1MDB fraud and offshore oil drilling; Apache North Sea Ltd v INEOS FPS Ltd [2020] EWHC 2081 (Comm), acting for the successful claimant in a North Sea oil dispute; Group Seven Ltd v Notable Services LLP [2020] Ch 129, significant appeal on dishonest assistance and money laundering; Instant Access Properties v Rosser [2018] EWHC 756, successful defence of major civil fraud action.


Called 2011 (Middle Temple, scholar and exhibitioner; ver Heyden de Lancey Prize; Certificate of Honour). BA (Oxon) Jurisprudence (First Class). BCL (Distinction). BPTC (Outstanding).


COMBAR; Chancery Bar Association.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 4

Michael Ryan7 King’s Bench WalkMichael has aan instinctive knack for getting the right answer with minimal effort, he just gets it. Really practical and commercial, and invariably the first port of contact on the case.

7 King’s Bench Walk is an ‘excellent set‘ where the ‘overwhelming majority of barristers are  of an impressive standard and very helpful and responsive‘, with the ‘quality apparent throughout both silks and juniors‘. In addition to the set’s core strengths of insurance and shipping, the set’s members are regularly sought for major commercial and fraud cases. Several leading silks and juniors were involved in the FCA Business Interruption Test case concerning if policies cover government-mandated closures citing Covid-19, with Gavin Kealey QC, Jonathan Gaisman QC and Josephine Higgs QC a small selection of those involved for various interested parties. Other notable cases include PDVSA Servicios SA v PetroSaudi Oil Services in which David Allen QC and Michael Ryan are representing PetroSaudi, an attempt to use funds held by Clyde & Co, but argued to be the proceeds of the 1MDB fraud, to satisfy an arbitral award.

London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 4

Michael Ryan7 King’s Bench WalkMichael is very adept at getting to grips with complex procedural matters; he is very bright and yet also very approachable.

London Bar > Fraud: civil

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Michael Ryan7 King’s Bench WalkReally practical and commercial, and invariably the first port of contact on the case.

7 King’s Bench Walk is ‘a really good set with several top notch practitioners‘ who are rapidly building a strong presence in the civil fraud space. Silks such as David Allen QC are especially active in this area, as demonstrated by his role on PDVSA Servicios SA v Petrosaudi Oil Services in which he is leading Michael Ryan in the defence of PetroSaudi – a case concerning the enforcement of an arbitration award, where it is alleged that funds earmarked to pay it are proceeds of the 1MDB fraud. Another highlight was the Brilliante Virtuoso case, a shipping insurance claim involving allegations of a fake Somali pirate attack, in which Jonathan Gaisman QC , Richard Waller QC and Keir Howie represented the insurers.

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 4

Michael Ryan7 King’s Bench WalkVery bright and yet also very approachable, Michael is very adept at getting to grips with complex procedural matters.

7 King’s Bench Walk is ‘strong in major commercial disputes’, making it ‘a destination chambers, providing excellent quality barristers across key work areas including shipping, commodities, general commercial litigation and international arbitration’. The set approaches energy cases principally from the perspective of insurance and shipping, which has seen it involved in high-profile matters such as the high-value PetroSaudi v PDVSA energy arbitration, in which Jonathan Gaisman QC, David Allen QC, Simon Kerr, Jason Robinson and Michael Ryan were instructed for PetroSaudi. Alistair Schaff QC is another key member involved in energy matters, bringing his extensive experience in international commercial law to bear on, among others, a case for SBM Offshore involving damage to the legs and topside of a North Sea rig.

London Bar > Insurance and reinsurance

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

Michael Ryan7 King’s Bench WalkIncredibly user friendly, turns things around quickly, great written work, and very good to deal with.

London Bar > Professional negligence

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Michael Ryan7 King’s Bench WalkMichael is responsive and pinpoints the potential issues in a claim in a clear and concise manner. Easy to work with.