Michael Rhode

Michael is a Partner in the firm's Commercial Litigation team. 

He regularly acts for both claimants and defendants in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court as well as in LCIA and ICC international arbitrations. Michael's practice spans a wide range of sectors including aviation, banking, social housing / real estate, pensions, public procurement, and planning. Michael regularly advises on contract and shareholder disputes, fraud, professional negligence claims, judicial review, costs disputes and enforcement actions. Michael also regularly advises on applying for and defending injunction applications, including worldwide and domestic freezing orders, newcomer injunctions and injunctive relief under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Relevant experience


  • Selevision Saudi Company  v beIN Media Group - successfully acting for a Saudi Arabian distributor of satellite television channels in an arbitration enforcement claim in England, applying for recognition of a multi-million USD LCIA-DIFC arbitration award under section 102 Arbitration Act 1996 as an New York Convention award.  This involved successfully resisting an application by beIN, a Qatari broadcaster, to resist enforcement by asserting a counterclaim.
  • Ministry of Electricity, Republic Of Iraq v TransCanada Turbines Ltd - successfully acting for Canadian energy company in resisting a section 69 Arbitration Act 1996 appeal against an ICC London seat arbitration award and obtaining an order for recognition of the award pursuant to section 66 Arbitration Act 1996. 
  • AAL Group Limited v Vertical de Aviacion – successfully applied for a freezing order and enforcement order over an anticipated US $5 million insurance payment to be made via London brokers to Vertical against a US $12 million LCIA arbitration award. 
  • Confidential client: acting for Omani client in the steel industry in an LCIA London seat arbitration, three member panel, in a contractual dispute with an English company for the purchase of mixed steel scrap.  The dispute involved issues of contractual termination, letters of credit, force majeure and the Covid 19 pandemic and related government restrictions.
  • Confidential client: acting for Bahraini bank in a dispute with a Maltese healthcare company and high net worth individual (acting as guarantor under the terms of a murabaha agreement) in a DIAC arbitration debt claim.
  • Confidential client: acting for Irish regional aircraft operator in a London seat LCIA arbitration, three member panel against a Russian aircraft manufacturer.  The issues concerned alleged fraudulent misrepresentations regarding the maintenance costs for aircraft and a counterclaim for non-payment of fees under aircraft lease agreements.  


  • InHealth Limited v NHS Central London Clinical Commissioning Group and ors - acting for InHealth in an application for an extension of time to file its claim form pursuant to Regulation 92(4) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and in a contested application to lift automatic suspension.
  • Amey Highways Limited v West Sussex County Council – representing Amey in a challenge to post tender submission instructions in respect of its costs model and for manifest bid scoring errors. Amey successfully challenged the Council's decision to abandon the procurement and established that the abandonment had no effect on Amey's accrued cause of action.
  • Excession Technologies Limited v Police Digital Services – acting for Excession in the first High Court judgment to consider the application of reliance on the Regulation 7(1)(b) exclusion of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011.  The court held that the PDS were entitled to rely on the exclusion so that the procurement was entirely exempt from the ambit of the DSPCR and that the only obligations on the PDS under an implied contract was to consider bids in good faith.
  • Ambition Institute v Secretary of State for Education – acting for Ambition in a manifest error challenge to the decision of the Secretary of State to de-select Ambition's financial submission on the grounds that it would cause excessive risk to the creation of a new institute for teacher training.

Jurisdiction challenges

  • Ente Nazionale Previdenze ed Assistenza dei Medici e degli Odontiatri v Barclays Bank plc - advising Italian pension fund in €90m jurisdiction challenge proceedings in Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Judicial review

  • R (London Borough of Enfield) v Secretary of State for Transport - advising LB Enfield in judicial review proceedings, challenging the Department for Transport's East Anglia Rail Franchise procurement.
  • R (Lasham Gliding Society) v Civil Aviation Authority - representing TAG Farnborough Airport, the interested party, in judicial review proceedings in respect of the CAA's decision to make changes to airspace pursuant to s.70 Transport Act 2000.

Planning challenges

  • Safe Rottingdean Ltd v Brighton & Hove City Council and Fairfax Acquisitions Ltd and ors - successfully acting for the interested party developer in defending a planning challenge judicial review to the grant of planning permission for the development of old disused school buildings (grade II listed) and on playing fields.
  • Wealden District Council v (1) Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (2) Lewes District Council (3) South Downs National Park Authority - successfully advising Wealden DC in its statutory planning appeal challenge to the adoption by its neighbouring local authorities of a local plan which had not properly considered the effects of air traffic pollution on Ashdown Forest in breach of the Habitats Regulations.
  • Watkin Jones Ltd v Secretary of State for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities and ors – successfully acting for Watkin Jones in a section 288 Town and Country Planning Act 1990 challenge to the Planning Inspector's decision not to allow an appeal of a planning application refusal by Woking Borough Council. 

Fee disputes

  • Confidential client - advising investment fund advisors in claim against Italian investment fund for unpaid success fees under contract.
  • Confidential client - advising M&A advisory services company in disputes for unpaid success fees.

Professional negligence

  • Confidential client - advising registered provider of social housing in a professional negligence claim against auditors regarding audit / tax advice in respect of a lender option / borrow option facility agreement.
  • Confidential client -  advising law firm in professional negligence claim against legal advisors in respect of pensions advice concerning the cessation of the accrual of pension benefits.

Costs disputes

  • Powerrapid Ltd v Harlow District Council - advising Harlow District Council in defending detailed assessment cost proceedings arising from an order for costs following an unsuccessful compulsory purchase order.

Webinar: De-risking and managing commercial disputes


Webinar: Demystifying Injunctions - part 3


Webinar: Demystifying Injunctions - part 2


Webinar: Demystifying Injunctions


Procurement on Demand – Contract award notices, assessment summaries and the standstill period


Procurement claim pitfalls: navigating the strict time limits, engaging in pre-action requests and pleading a declaration of ineffectiveness (Altiatech Ltd v Birmingham City Council)