Michael Blair is a specialist on financial services and financial services regulation. He joined Chambers in 2000 after serving as General Counsel to the Board of the Financial Services Authority from 1998-2000, and as head of the legal function in its predecessor body, the Securities and Investments Board from 1987-97. Before that he had served from 1982 to 1987 as an Under Secretary in the home civil service, latterly taking responsibility for the criminal and civil legal aid schemes in England and Wales as well as for the higher courts and matters affecting the legal profession.
His practice is largely advisory though he has appeared before the Chancery Division (banking transfer schemes), what is now the Upper Tribunal (in relation to split capital investment trusts and alleged unauthorised trading) and the Financial Services Authority's Regulatory Decisions Committee (enforcement proceedings). He has also been involved in other proceedings in the Chancery Division, both concerning a split capital investment trust and in insolvency proceedings in the financial services arena. He recently appeared as an expert witness in Milan for a bank which defeated a prosecution in the Parmalat case.
He was the Treasurer of his Inn of Court, the Middle Temple, in 2008, was the Chairman of SWX Europe Ltd (the former Swiss equities exchange in London) and is a member of the Board of the Dubai Financial Services Authority.