Efstathios Michael

Joined firm 1993. Partner since 2002.

Efstathios has a broad-ranging international commercial litigation (including class actions), insurance and arbitration practice. He has particular expertise in a number of areas including:

On complex multi-party disputes, shareholder disputes and mass claims which often involving multiple jurisdictions. He works closely with clients and co-counsel in a range of jurisdictions, on collective proceedings and class action claims.

On a wide range of insurance cases for policyholder clients, insurers/reinsurers and brokers, including complex cases in relation to policy coverage and interpretation, aggregation, non-disclosure and misrepresentation, and brokers’ liability issues.

Efstathios is a significant and leading member of our Arbitration Group, with particular expertise in complex, high value energy sector disputes and he has conducted arbitrations under the rules of all the major arbitral institutions, including ICC, LCIA and SIAC.

Litigation highlights include:

  • BHP Group PLC and other entities who are defendants to claims arising out of the collapse of the Fundão Dam in Brazil. The case involves over 200,000 claimants advancing claims under Brazilian law. The claim has been described in the press as one of the largest lawsuits in English legal history. 
  • Liverpool Football Club (LFC) in relation to a series of high-profile injunction applications in the English and Dallas courts which threatened LFC’s sale to New England Sports Ventures (NESV).
  • Dentsu Aegis on claims brought against it by Ipsos in which we brought three successful strike applications.

Insurance highlights include:

  • A leading insurance broker in relation to a potential claim by a State-owned oil and gas company for breach of contract and/or negligence in relation to an insurance policy.
  • Acting for a major aerospace manufacturer in respect of a claim for up to US$500m under a new and untested type of cover for certain liabilities arising from the grounding of aircraft.
  • Equitas in relation it’s successful claim against Walsham Brothers (Walshams). The Commercial Court held that Walshams did have a continuing duty to Equitas to remit funds due to it (such that Equitas' claims to those funds were not time barred), that Equitas is entitled to recover its lost investment returns on those amounts and that Walshams was not entitled to set off amounts it alleged was due to it against those sums.

Arbitration highlights include:

  • Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) group in an arbitration with Lloyds Banking Group in respect of the termination of a long term investment management contract. The arbitral tribunal ruled in SLA’s favour in March 2019 (LCIA)
  • A major oil and gas related arbitration (SIAC) involving allegations of fraud and breach of contract, with damages claimed in excess of US$5.5 billion.

Efstathios Michael acts for a broad range of insurance industry clients on complex coverage disputes, as well as advising on brokers’ liability issues. According to a source, “he has an incisive legal mind but also excellent commercial instincts, and always adopts a practical approach to insurance dispute resolution”. Chambers UK 2020 - Insurance: Contentious Claims & Reinsurance.  

“Efstathios Michael has superb commercial instinct, impressive tactical ability and a sharp legal mind. He always brings refreshing good humour and perspective to even the most complex dispute. Always a pleasure to work with and a class act”. Legal 500 UK 2020 – Insurance and Reinsurance Litigation.

Efstathios Michael comes recommended as "an excellent partner" who is "very bright and puts people at ease with his manner." He is noted for his experience handling a wide array of insurance disputes in the financial sector, as well as brokers' liability matters. Chambers UK 2019, Insurance: contentious claims

The pre-eminent Efstathios Michael, who ‘has a great intellect, but also very good commercial instincts, and always adopts a practical approach to insurance dispute resolution’ Legal500 2019, Insurance/Reinsurance Litigation