Michael Drury

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Person.png Michael DruryRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(lawyer, deep state actor)
Michael Drury.jpg
What does Michael Drury do for Black Cube?
Interests • universal surveillance
• cybercrime
A connected lawyer

Michael Drury joined BCL Solicitors 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.


Drury's practice is diverse, ranging from extradition (where he has successfully represented senior Ministers and others in former Soviet Union states, defeating extradition claims and securing the removal of and preventing the issue of Red Notices) to representing individuals in regulatory proceedings brought by the FCA (in LIBOR and other matters); acting in criminal investigations by the SFO (including for corporates and individuals in bribery and corruption cases, and in LIBOR); acting in investigations by the Information Commissioner’s Office (in the spin off from NCA investigations into ‘blagging’); and representing individuals in arenas as wide ranging as the Metropolitan Police investigation into the alleged involvement of British officials in the transfer of individuals to Libya under the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to fraud investigations by a variety of police forces in England and Wales.

Drury has experience in the International Criminal Court having been part of the team of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta against whom proceedings before the Court were discontinued by the prosecutor on the basis of, amongst other things, analysis suggested by Drury.

Michael Drury is an expert on surveillance and investigatory powers (as well as information law and cybercrime) advising a number of corporates (UK and overseas) about their obligations under the UK regime and its interaction with the regimes overseas. That expertise was acknowledged by the invitation to give public evidence in April 2106 to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights in respect of the human rights compatibility of the Investigatory Powers Bill (as it then was). Drury also provided evidence to David Anderson QC – the then reviewer of terrorism legislation – in his “Bulk Powers” review (in August 2016). Michael Drury has provided a substantial body of advice about the likely effect of the new Investigatory Powers Act 2106 (‘IPA’) both before it received Royal Assent in December 2016 and, in the last few months, concentrating on the implications for tech companies (UK and overseas) especially with regard to what the future might look like given the numerous challenges to the extant Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (‘RIPA’) regime (in the English courts and in Strasbourg), which will have a “knock on” effect as far as the new regime is concerned, and the need to consider the effects of Watson and Others in the December 2016 CJEU judgment.

This practice builds on Drury’s unique experience at GCHQ, where he had control of the full range of legal issues. He has expertise in the fields of interception and surveillance, being responsible in part for the drafting of 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 was involved in all of the significant litigation concerning interception under RIPA. Further, from that time 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) where issues of public interest immunity and the ban on the use of interception as evidence were to the fore.


Drury has published articles about Government investigations in ‘The International Comparative Legal Guide: Corporate Investigations 2017’ and provided the England and Wales Chapter of the ‘Getting the Deal Through’ publication ‘Government Investigations 2017’ (both co-authored with Chris Whalley). He co-authors with Julian Hayes the England and Wales Chapter of the ‘Getting the Deal Through’ publication ‘Cybersecurity 2017’ which provides a guide to the law of England and Wales (incorporating EU law) concerning cybersecurity and cybercrime.[1]


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Black Cube, the "Mossad" of Commercial SpyingArticle28 February 2019George KerevanMichael Drury, the former legal head of GCHQ, has set up in practice defending Russian oligarchs and bankers being chased by the main UK bank regulator (FCA) and the Serious Fraud Office: I wonder what he does for Black Cube?
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