Our People — Biographies
Michael Potts
Partner
0207 842 1640
Languages:
English, French
Michael is a specialist in the defence of corporate and financial crime and regulatory investigations and prosecutions. He has represented senior executives and other professionals in many high-profile domestic and international investigations and prosecutions conducted by the SFO, FCA, NCA and other prosecution/regulatory agencies.

Adept at navigating the overlap between jurisdictions, Michael regularly advises in international cases that involve overseas prosecutors/regulators and has managed and coordinated responses in each jurisdiction on numerous occasions.

Michael regularly advises and represents senior financial services personnel facing FCA/PRA and other regulator investigations and disciplinary action. He also advises and represents high-net-worth individuals facing revenue investigations and potential prosecutions.

In addition, he advises both companies and professional firms on their anti-money laundering compliance. Michael is a Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Courts Criminal and Civil Proceedings).

The directories say:

Legal 500

Michael is ranked as a leading individual in the 2021 Legal 500 Fraud: White Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals) and is described as a ‘first-rate lawyer’.

Chambers and Partners

Michael is highly ranked in the 2021 Chambers and Partners Directory in the category of Financial Crime – Individuals, with the description: ‘He is very impressive’ and ‘he is very experienced and a skilful tactician’.

He is also highly ranked for his POCA Work and Asset Forfeiture being described as: ‘a scholarly, skilful tactician’. ‘He’s got a light touch, a good manner and a lot of experience.’

Michael is also ranked in the Chambers and Partners High-Net-Worth Directory for Financial Crime – HNW Individuals and is described as ‘a very solid and bright lawyer, very hard-working and driven’. ‘He is a very calm set of hands. He has a very broad knowledge of other jurisdictions and he is a real expert in this space. He speaks with authority and is a very bright guy; very hard-working and very good with clients.’

Notable experience
  • Michael’s recent SFO experience includes the Airbus, Rolls-Royce, BAT and Tchenguiz /Kaupthing Bank investigations.
  • He has defended numerous FCA prosecutions for insider dealing and multiple other FCA investigations into market manipulation, misstatements and other breaches of financial services regulations, including the high-profile DOJ/SEC/FCA investigation into the JP Morgan Chief Investment Office US$6.2 billion trading losses.
  • Acting for an individual in the German ‘Goldfinger’ tax evasion investigation and prosecutions.
  • Acting for an individual in the German cum ex banking investigations and prosecutions.
  • Acting for individuals in HMRC criminal investigations arising from the Panama and Paradise Papers disclosures.
Background
Michael graduated from Lincoln College, Oxford University in 1993 and qualified at Dechert LLP in 1997. He was a founding partner of Byrne and Partners LLP in 2003 and in 2012 was made Managing Partner and then later Senior Partner. Michael is a member of the Fraud Lawyers Association and International Bar Association. He is a committee member of the Law Society’s Money Laundering Task Force and regularly lectures on anti-money laundering and proceeds of crime asset recovery issues. He has contributed to numerous articles and is regularly quoted in the media.
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