Michael Silverleaf Mediator Profile

Michael has 40 years practice as a barrister specializing in intellectual property and technical commercial disputes. He has mediated international disputes across the world.  He is experienced in remote mediation.

"He is very authoritative and reassuring" (Chambers 2021)
"Truly brilliant for highly technical matters" (Legal 500 2021)

Following training by the well-known mediation trainers, Stitt Feld Handy, Michael was accredited as a mediator by ADR Chambers in 2003, since then he has conducted more than 30 mediations.  Disputes he has mediated include patents, copyright, trade marks and passing off, breach of confidence, software development and licensing, technical co-operation, transfer and supply contracts, misuse of confidential information, privacy, defamation and data protection.

He has wide experience of mediating international high-value disputes in a range of technologies from computer system licensing through pharmaceutical development to aircraft engineering and micro-electronics.  He has mediated worldwide licensing and technology transfer and collaboration disputes.  These disputes have involved parties from the US, Europe and Asia and Michael has consequently developed skill and expertise in dealing with individuals from a wide range of cultural and social backgrounds.  A number of the disputes have involved claims for hundreds of millions of US$ or the equivalent and have covered rights in jurisdictions across the world.  He is happy to travel to suit the needs of the parties or to conduct mediations by remote video-conferencing.

Michael has a peerless track record of success in mediation.  He is highly skilled in helping parties to see through their dispute and identify potential solutions.  He has a reputation as an effective and convincing facilitator of negotiations.

Michael is well-known for his commitment and dedication in assisting the parties and has more than once helped them to reach a settlement even when they have been unable to do during the initial mediation meeting.  He is flexible in his approach to previously intractable disputes and parties have frequently commented that they have found his assistance in difficult negotiations invaluable. He is happy to provide references should the parties wish to find out from former disputants how he works as a mediator.

Michael read physics at Imperial College.  After converting to law he joined the Bar in 1980.  He was appointed as Queens Counsel in 1996 and has long been one of the leading IP Silks. He has appeared in many leading patent, trade mark and copyright cases over the last 30 years and is well known for his technical grasp and IP expertise. He is also well-known for his IT practice, having acted in a number of substantial IT disputes.

In recent years he has acted in cases involving technical areas as diverse as monoclonal antibodies, medical devices, transdermal drug delivery systems, wind power generation, automotive catalysts, business management systems, shipbuilding, Formula 1, internet publishing and semiconductor manufacture. His trade mark and passing off practice has included both offline and online businesses, with an emphasis on PPC and SEO promotional techniques. His forensic skills are widely admired, particularly in cross-examination.

Michael has been a member of the Nominet Dispute Resolution Service Expert Panel since 2008. He has been a member of the IP Inclusive management committee since its inception.

Michael served as head of chambers between 2007 and 2016 when he was succeeded by Iain Purvis QC.

Between 1991 and 1996, Michael was Junior Counsel to the Treasury in Patent and related matters advising the government on many IP matters and regularly representing it in tribunals up to the European Court. He continues to act for the government from time to time and appeared in that role at all levels in the recent pregabalin second medical use patent action.

In his spare time Michael is a keen cyclist and veteran hockey player and umpire and an enthusiastic, if experimental cook.


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Whether consensual or court mandated, mediation is an essential process for reaching the best possible outcome in complicated disputes. In such situations, the experience and expertise of the mediator is crucial.

If you are in need of mediation for a technology, IP, trade mark, patent or other matter – click the button below to lodge an enquiry via quick form, email or telephone.

Michael Silverleaf