Michael is a partner in the Entertainment and Media Industry Group. For more than 25 years Michael has worked in film and television financing, usually representing banks and other financiers, in connection with single production or distribution financings, revolving lines of credit and tax structured transactions. He has also represented producers, distributors, private investors and broadcasters. He has a particular expertise in "gap", “presale” and “tax credit” lending and complex multi-party financings and is highly regarded for his drafting ability: many of the standard documents used in film financings in the UK are substantially authored by him. He is active with Pinewood, Coutts & Co, the British Film Institute, Vertigo, Natixis Coficine, Comerica, City National Bank, East West Bank, DSK Ventures Limited (Kurt Woolner), UK TV Production Company plc (Peter Fudakowski) and Copthall Limited (Bruce MacInnes).
He is consistently rated as one of the “top tier” film finance lawyers. Chambers UK (2015) describes him as an esteemed film financing lawyer who “knows his stuff and is an extremely proficient draftsman," in addition to being “excellent on transactional work” and Who’s Who Legal’s “Legal Marketplace Analysis” described him as a “go-to” lawyer for “film finance matters”.
Recent film deals, for which he advised the financiers, include the following: for Pinewood – Genius (a chronicle of the life of Scott Fitzgerald’s and Hemingway’s publisher, starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth and directed by Michael Grandage), Take Down (a thriller set in a reforming school for the privileged starring Ed Westwick, Jeremy Sumpter and Phoebe Tonkin), Spooks – The Greater Good (a British spy film starring Peter Firth, Kit Harington and Jennifer Ehle). Dom Hemingway (a black comedy starring Jude Law and Richard E. Grant); Posh (based on the stage play by Laura Wade and directed by Lone Scherfig), Our Robot Overlords (about robots from another galaxy taking over Earth, starting Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson) Pressure (a story of four deep sea divers starring Matthew Goode, Danny Huston and Joe Cole), Christmas Candle (a Christmas story from 1890, based on Max Lucado’s novel, starring Susan Boyle): for Coutts - Ex Machina (the sci-fi movie written by Alex Garland), Rush (the James Hunt/Niki Lauda film set during the 1976 Formula One Series starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl), Foyle’s War (the British primetime television detective drama), Paranoia (an Australian production where Coutts lent against the Australian PDV Offset), Blood Sisters (a vampire film starring Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry), Filth (written and directed by Jon S. Baird based on Irvine Welsh’s novel, and staring James McEvoy), Nativity 3 (an improvised Christmas story starring Martin Clunes and Marc Wootton), for the British Film Institute: Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner (about the life of the painter JMW Turner), for Vertigo – Pudsey the Movie (starring the canine winner of Britain’s Got Talent), for City National Bank - Last Days on Mars (starring Liev Schreiber), and for Natixis Coficine – A Little Chaos (set in Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV, written, directed by, and starring Alan Rickman).