Michael Drury joined BCL Burton Copeland as a partner in September 2010 from GCHQ where for a number of years he was Director for Legal Affairs and a member of the main Board of Directors, having been appointed GCHQ's first full-time legal adviser in 1996.
He was called to the Bar in 1982 and subsequently admitted as a solicitor at the time of his move to GCHQ. Prior to that he was a tax lawyer in the City and then prosecuted for HM Customs & Excise and the Serious Fraud Office where he had the conduct of some of the most notable cases in the late 1980s and early 1990s, in particular high profile prosecutions relating to Japanese warrants and false trading in shares.
At GCHQ, Michael had control of the full range of legal issues and has unrivalled expertise in the fields of interception and surveillance, being responsible in part for the drafting of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and its secondary legislation, and taking part within Government in every subsequent consideration of the law in this area. Aside from being part of the team managing GCHQ's legal relations with CSPs/ISPs and gaining a deep understanding of the law in this area, he has been involved in all of the significant litigation concerning interception under RIPA. He has wide experience of acting in public inquires, resisting challenges to Government action in the surveillance field (especially in relation to interception and the collection of communications data), and disclosure in civil and criminal litigation (including asset freezing). He also ensured that GCHQ's actions and systems met the standards required under the Human Rights Act 1998 and has had considerable success in constructing processes and systems that provide an assurance of lawful conduct yet ensure business efficiency.
Most recently Michael was one of the Government lawyers consulted about the Bribery Act 2010 and its applicability to intelligence and security agency actions, gaining considerable insight into what lies behind the Act and its potential interpretation. He has a particular interest in the Justice and Home Affairs application of EU law and was part of the UK team responsible for negotiating the Lisbon Treaty in so far as it affected those areas and national security. This supplemented his work in understanding the surveillance regimes of countries outside the UK (and their impact within the jurisdiction).
Michael offers a service to both individuals and corporate clients across the full range of BCL's practice, both where litigation has started and where advice is being sought to minimise litigation and business risk.
Michael was appointed a Companion of the Most Honourable Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2011 New Year's Honours list.
MembershipsMIddle Temple Inns of Court
QualificationLLB (Hons) LLM