Contact details

Michael Bywell

T: +44 20 7809 2765 Email Michael | vCard Office: London

Michael Bywell Partner

Contact details

Michael Bywell

Michael Bywell

T: +44 20 7809 2765 Email Michael | vCard Office: London

Michael is a senior commercial litigator with expertise in the technology and data breach areas. Over the past 25+ years he has represented clients in the UK and internationally on a range of matters including IT and digital transformation disputes, software licensing and large-scale data breach and data privacy civil litigation.
  • Profile
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Those clients include; global technology companies in the UK, North America, Europe and Asia Pacific; buyers of technology products and services (including financial institutions and telecoms companies); media organisations; app developers, and on-line traders.

Cases include several large, high-profile disputes arising from troubled IT and digital transformation projects.

In the data breach area, Michael has UK and international experience of civil litigation arising from alleged breaches of data protection legislation including two substantial representative class actions in the English courts.

He also advises in relation to software licensing disputes and protecting IP owners from illegal use of their products by third parties.

Michael is qualified in England & Wales, Australia and New Zealand. He Chairs the ITechLaw Dispute Resolution Committee and, in 2019, co-wrote the Society for Computers and Law Adjudication Scheme. He is also a panel adjudicator for that scheme.

Recent speaking engagements in North America, the UK and Europe include presentations on AI litigation risks, class actions in the data protection area, online harms, and exemption clauses in tech contracts. 

"Michael Bywell is a shrewd and effective litigator, who relates to his clients and understands their needs. He is extremely engaging and responsive to work with."

The Legal 500 UK 2024

  • Technology and data disputes

Global IT suppliers

Advising Electronic Data Systems (EDS, as was) in relation to its high-profile dispute with HMRC over the performance of a new IT system to process tax credits in the UK.

Representing EDS in Airtours v EDS, defending substantial claims arising from a project to build a new reservations system in the travel industry.

Advising a global technology supplier in relation to a dispute over its performance pursuant to a managed services/outsourcing contract in the transport sector

Several IT cases for McDonnell Douglas (as was) including several delay and cost overrun cases.

Customer side tech disputes

Contentious advisory work for a leading UK financial institution in relation to a largescale tech-related transformation programme.

Several customer side matters arising from problematic ERP implementations.

Representing airlines in relation to IT disputes.

Other IT work – contentious and non-contentious

Lead adviser on a major tech transaction in the Asia Pacific market.

Advisory work for several clients on procurement and probity related matters in the technology and healthcare sectors.

Advisory work for tech start-ups including disputes arising from software development projects.

Advisory and litigation work relating to distribution arrangements for software in the entertainment industry.

Software licensing and investigations work

Advising a software owner on protecting its IP from illegal use by corporate users.

Advising a client in relation to several breaches of IP rights by a former employee.

Advisory work in relation to large-scale software licensing arrangements between IT vendors and third-party software owners.

Investigating the theft of confidential information by a client's former employee and successful recovery thereof – in conjunction with forensic experts.

Data breach and data privacy

Representing claimants in two large-scale High Court data breach representative actions in the UK.

Representing an individual in relation to breach of confidence and data protection complaints filed against them.

Contentious and advisory work for a leading mobile phone company including privacy, data protection, and breach of confidence issues.


Several contractual disputes for telecommunications providers involving performance complaints and termination rights in customer contracts.

Advising a European telecommunications provider on a dispute with a North American infrastructure provider over the design, build and installation of a pan-European network.

Representing a global telecommunications provider on a problematic IT project in East Asia.

More: Technology and data disputes

Latest news & insights

07 Nov 2023

From Insights

Pinewood Technologies Asia Pacific Ltd v Pinewood Technologies Plc: Exclusion clause prevents claim for loss of profits

In Pinewood Technologies Asia Pacific Ltd v Pinewood Technologies Plc [2023] EWHC 2506 (TCC), the English High Court held that an exclusion clause in a contract effect..


31 Oct 2023

From Insights

Clearview AI Inc v The Information Commissioner: Clearview AI successfully overturns ICO fine

In Clearview AI Inc v The Information Commissioner [2023] UKFTT 819 (GRC), the First-tier Tribunal overturned a large fine issued by the Information Commissioner's Off..


14 Sep 2023

From Insights

EE Limited v Virgin Mobile: exclusion clauses examined

In EE Limited v Virgin Mobile Telecoms Limited [2023] EWHC 1989 (TCC) the Court found that a clause excluding claims for 'anticipated profits'


30 May 2023

From Insights

Digital Decade: Online Safety Bill

In 2019, the UK government published the white paper for the Online Safety Bill ("OSB"). The OSB provides for the regulation of online and internet services by tacklin..


17 May 2023

From Insights

Class wars: time to legislate for hurt feelings? (Damages for data breach - Austrian Post)

In Österreichische Post AG Case C-300/21 (the Austrian Post), the CJEU has removed one of the blockers to mass data breach claims in the EU.


24 Feb 2023

From Insights

The myth of decentralised governance of bitcoin? Tulip Trading Ltd v van der Laan

The Court of Appeal in Tulip Trading Ltd v van der Laan has overturned the High Court's decision in Tulip Trading Ltd v Bitcoin, finding for the first time that develo..


06 Feb 2023

From News

Stephenson Harwood enhances technology practice with two new partners

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has strengthened its technology practice with the arrival of two new dispute resolution partners, Michael Bywell and Peter Dalton.


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.