BCL Solicitors LLP

Michael Drury

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Michael Drury joined BCL as a partner in September 2010, formerly Director for Legal Affairs at the UK intelligence agency, GCHQ, Michael is described as being “Brilliant to work with, very hands-on, very knowledgeable about criminal procedure and good at anticipating bear traps as well.”

Michael has a substantial practice in extradition, surveillance and investigatory powers, advising many of the leading global technology giants on electronic surveillance, information/privacy law and cybercrime, as well as acting in criminal investigations for corporates and high net worth individuals in fraud cases - LIBOR is a notable recent example, where no action was taken against his client - and in corruption investigations.

Last year he successfully avoided attempts by the NCA to obtain an Unexplained Wealth Order against high net worth individuals who were under threat of this, leaving his clients free to deal with their assets as they wished and without the publicity attaching to court action. He has advised others who hold substantial assets about the means by which it is possible to avoid or mitigate the risk of action by the UK authorities in the UWO, suspected criminal property and sanctions fields. He is presently resisting action sought to be taken by the NCA on the basis of mutual legal assistance being provided to criminal investigators overseas, involving the most sensitive personal and business records of those involved.

One source stated ‘.... he is fearless when dealing with the SFO and FCA, and other international investigating agencies’ and that he is ‘excellent in giving firm, but good advice, with the client’s best interest at heart’.

Michael acted in the most important and high-profile English extradition case of 2018, brought by the Turkish state against Hamdi Akin Ipek, proprietor of several Turkish media outlets and an industrial conglomerate, which had been closed/expropriated by the government. The extradition request was refused by the English courts as “clearly politically motivated.” This was the first time that an English court had been asked to rule on whether such a Turkish extradition request had a proper basis in law and whether opponents of the Erdogan regime could expect a fair trial in Turkey.

Michael continues to act in connection with high-profile Russian extradition matters involving the direct participation of the President and also in politically motivated INTERPOL ‘Red Notice’ cases: recently he was able to have removed a Red Notice that had been maintained by the national authorities for 16 years. He has experience in this field in jurisdictions actoss the former Soviet Union and in South America. Latterly in two high profile extradition cases emanating from Georgia, clients were discharged with the proceedings brought against them found also to be ‘politically motivated’.

His experience in the senior levels of UK Government and knowledge of ‘how things work’ in central Whitehall departments and in the investigation and prosecution fields - prior to GCHQ and in a 25 year Government career he was one of the founding members of the SFO and has been engaged in the criminal justice system for nearly four decades - gives him an unparalleled insight into and awareness of how the UK agencies operate, to the benefit of those whom represents.

Career

Michael was called to the Bar 1982; Prosecutor for HM Customs & Excise and the Serious Fraud Office; and qualified as a solicitor 1996 and appointed the Director of legal affairs and member of main board of directors, GCHQ. He joined BCL Solicitors as a partner in 2010.

Publications

He is frequently quoted on extradition matters in the national press:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/jack-shepherd-extradition-a-simple-case-but-it-could-take-six-months-to-resolve-5swrvzhp3

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/b5092e7a-5bcf-11e9-9d59-dbce4c64073b?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=newsletter_121&utm_medium=email&utm_content=121_5680327&CMP=TNLEmail_118918_5680327_121

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/criminal-law-should-be-applied-equally-to-abuse-online-and-off-v0xxl5qsz