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South Square, Michael Crystal QC, London, ENGLAND

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Michael Crystal QC

Work 020 7696 9900
South Square (South Square)


Michael Crystal QC is one of the leading advocates at the English Bar. He has been involved as counsel, adviser or expert witness in most of the best known international insolvencies and restructurings in the UK and overseas in the last four decades.  
Michael has represented or advised on an ad hoc basis most of the major international financial services institutions, funds and accountancy firms operating in the mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy and restructuring fields.
He receives instructions from leading law firms in London, New York and in many offshore jurisdictions including the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, Hong Kong and Singapore.
In addition to his well-recognised advocacy skills, Michael is particularly in demand for his strategic overview and experience in cases involving international litigation, cross border bankruptcy, and restructuring.
Many of Michael's instructions remain confidential. His publicly reported cases in the UK and elsewhere run to over 100 and include all Appellate levels and trial courts in the UK and many overseas jurisdictions.


Queen’s Counsel 1984; Elected Master of the Bench (Middle Temple) 1993; Deputy High Court Judge 1995; Autumn Reader (Middle Temple) 2012. Admitted to the Bars of the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong and the Isle of Man ad hoc. Called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands in 1991. Appointments: FA (soccer) Premier League Panel for Insolvency Matters (2004); visiting professor, Department of Laws, University College London (2002); Chairman, Insolvency Practitioners Tribunal (1996); Chairman, Banking Appeal Tribunal (1993-98); Department of Trade and Industry Inspector into National Westminster Bank (1992); Department of Trade and Industry Inspector into County NatWest Limited and County NatWest Securities Limited (1988-89).


Board of Directors of International Insolvency Institute (2010-14); Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy, (2006); Member, International Insolvency Institute (2005-); The International Arbitration Institute, Paris (2002-); Financial Law Panel (1996-2002); Insolvency Rules Advisory Committee (1993-97).


Magdalen College, Oxford University, (1971 BCL); Queen Mary College, University of London, (1969 LLB Hons).

London Bar


Within: Insolvency – Leading silks

Michael Crystal QC - South SquareHe has vast experience and is a force to be reckoned with.

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Within: Offshore – Leading silks

Michael Crystal QC - South SquareHe appears in some of the biggest offshore cases.

Within: Offshore

South Square is ‘at the top of its game in insolvency, but strong in other areas too’. Michael Crystal QC represented the liquidators in AHAB v Saad Investments. Tom Smith QC represented Primeo Fund – a "feeder fund" of the Madoff Ponzi scheme – in a claim against HSBC, its custodian; he was up against two juniors from the set, namely Toby Brown and William Willson.

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