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About Michael Quayle

Michael is a member of Freshfields' commercial dispute resolution group. He specialises in complex commercial disputes involving EU, competition, public, commercial and human rights law.  He has acted for multinational businesses and leading NGOs in litigation in the English High Court, Court of Appeal, Competition Appeal Tribunal and in the European Courts.  He has also advised companies in the financial, technology and healthcare sectors in competition investigations conducted by the European Commission and UK Competition and Markets Authority.  He regularly advises clients on non-contentious issues across his areas of specialism.

Michael is also a leading member of the firm’s Global Business and Human Rights practice. He advises clients on business and human rights issues, including assisting in human rights risk assessments and investigations, developing human rights policies and establishing compliance regimes. He has advised a wide range of clients in the UK, Europe, the US and Asia on compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and its implications for their businesses.

Michael has an active pro bono practice, having acted for several NGOs on a series of public interest interventions relating to human trafficking and refugees. He assisted in the drafting of To Assist the Court, a guide to public interest interventions published by the NGO JUSTICE. He also regularly appears as an advocate before the First Tier Tribunal (Asylum Support).

Alongside his work at Freshfields, Michael is a trustee of international human rights charity the AIRE Centre.

Recent work

  • Acting for Eurotunnel in its high-profile expedited challenge to the Secretary of State for Transport’s procurement of post-Brexit ferry freight capacity, in the Technology and Construction Court (the “Seaborne Freight” litigation).
  • Acting for the AIRE Centre on its intervention in R (Help Refugees) v Secretary of State for the Home Department before the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal (the “Dubs Amendment” litigation).
  • Acting for London & South Eastern Railway in its defence of the first ‘standalone’ abuse of dominance claim brought under the UK’s new collective actions regime, in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the "Rail Fares" litigation).
  • Acting for BT in several regulatory consultations relating to its broadcasting and telecoms businesses, and associated litigation in the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
  • Advising clients in the insurance, financial services and construction industries on a variety of antitrust compliance matters, including regulatory investigations.
  • Advising multinationals in the extractives, food, apparel and fast-moving consumer goods sectors on compliance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, including conducting multi-jurisdictional human rights risk assessments and developing global human rights policies.
  • Advising clients in a wide range of markets and sectors on the scope and application of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, including assistance in the establishment of anti-slavery compliance policies and drafting modern slavery statements.
  • Acting for Group M in bid challenge litigation in the High Court.



BA Law (Jurisprudence), Lincoln College, University of Oxford, 2011


Solicitor, England & Wales

Solicitor, Ireland