Michael is a dually-qualified Solicitor and Barrister, working in ISOLAS’ litigation practice across a range of disciplines. He graduated from University College London with an LLB degree in Law with Hispanic Law, before attending BPP University Law School in London, where he undertook his Legal Practice Course. Years later, Michael went back to BPP University to undertake the Bar Professional Training Course.
Prior to joining ISOLAS, Michael worked as a Regulatory Officer in the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, before moving to the private sector where he worked for a large Trust & Company Services Provider.
Michael’s niche area of expertise is Data Protection & Privacy Law, on which he has written a number of articles and continues to participate in the EU consultative process on legal reforms in this area. He has sat on a number of expert panels and frequently presents to data protection officers and other privacy professionals on GDPR-related matters, at times in collaboration with the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority.
Michael has advised clients ranging from sole traders to large multi-national financial institutions and insurance companies/intermediaries. His latest work includes advising various public bodies, including regulatory authorities and government departments on aspects of GDPR compliance. In particular, his technical advice has been sought in relation to data subject access requests and data breaches.
As a former regulator, Michael has acquired experience in risk management, and within the private sector, he has been involved in corporate structuring of multi-national clients, including significant brand names in the manufacture, retail and energy sectors
Michael is frequently called upon for his expertise in AML/CFT Compliance, and frequently advises financial institutions and public bodies in these areas. His recent work includes editing the anti-money laundering guidance notes for Gibraltar’s legal profession, as well as forming part of the ISOLAS team instructed by Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar (HMGoG) to draft changes to local legislation in order to transpose the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) into the laws of Gibraltar. Most recently, Michael assisted HMGoG, the National Coordinator for Anti-Money Laundering and the Combatting of Terrorist Financing (“National Coordinator”) and the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (“GFSC”) with the drafting of the Proceeds Of Crime (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2021, to address areas of improvement identified in the fifth-round mutual evaluation report on Gibraltar, adopted by the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures (better known as “MONEYVAL”).
Michael has also advised major banking and financial institutions on Brexit considerations, as well as general aspects of compliance and regulatory applications for providers of investment services and ancillary services. He is also assisting a number of investment service providers in applications for regulatory (MiFID) permissions, as well as independent audits of their compliance and policy frameworks.
Michael’s litigation work focuses primarily on debt-recovery, insolvency, defamation and company reinstatements. He also has experience advising on, and effecting, cross-border mergers. As a participant in the Legal Representative (Duty Solicitor) Scheme, Michael provides advice and representation to persons in custody, appearing before all courts in Gibraltar on various criminal litigation matters.
Michael also participates in Gibraltar’s new Legal Representative (Duty Solicitor) Scheme.
Michael’s experience working for one of Gibraltar’s largest Trust and Corporate Service Providers provided a foundation of practical experience in M&A, restructures, venture capital and other corporate financing issues.
During his time at ISOLAS, Michael has risen to the challenges that come with transactional work and gained significant experience in securitisation, financial assistance, drafting corporate authorisations, advising on regulatory implications, and conducting in-depth due diligence reviews on multi-jurisdictional asset purchases and disposals.
Michael regularly assists the ISOLAS Corporate Finance team when providing legal opinions, as well as in post-transactional matters such as giving effect to registration and releases of security.
Michael qualified into the firm’s Dispute Resolution (Litigation) team in 2017 before joining the firm’s Admiralty & Shipping team in 2018.
The team specialises in ship arrests and other shipping disputes including collisions and marine casualties, as well as non-contentious advisory work such as licensing applications. His more recent work highlights include advising ship-owners and insurers on liability for environmental issues concerning major pollution incidents, and working with banks and other financial institutions on a number of successful ship arrests. Michael also frequently advises on vessel registration, including commercial vessels, pleasure crafts and superyachts.
Following from his experience, Michael is adept at dealing with legal, practical and compliance issues arising in shipping and marine insurance claims, shipping incidents, arrests, and underlying contracts of carriage.
As a true ‘ideas man’, Mike’s talent has been instrumental in furthering the firm’s momentum in recent years.
Joey Imossi, Business Development Director ISOLAS LLP
Memberships & Background
- Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
- Gibraltar Bar Council
- TEP member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
2017: Associate, ISOLAS LLP
2017: Called to the Bar of England & Wales, and the Gibraltar Bar
2016: Trainee Lawyer, ISOLAS
2013–2016: Assistant Manager, Corporate Services & Trust Services, Abacus Financial Services Limited, Gibraltar
2010–2013: Regulatory Officer, Gibraltar Financial Services Commission