Michael Caplan QC


Criminal Litigation

"...'He is a lawyer of the highest calibre', said one interviewee. Michael Caplan QC is a 'formidable figure' with an 'incredible legal mind', and he is known across the market both at home and abroad for the quality of his work..."

Who's Who Legal Investigations, 2016

Michael Caplan QC is a well-known and highly respected solicitor practising in the areas of domestic and international, criminal and regulatory law.  He is one of the few solicitors to have been appointed QC.  He has been a partner at Kingsley Napley for over 30 years.  Michael has been described as one of the most formidable lawyers of his generation. He has been featured as the only criminal solicitor in the Times 100 most powerful lawyers in the UK.  He is a member of the Sentencing Council and the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee.

Michael is a former chairman of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates.  He has been a part-time judge (Recorder) in the Crown Court for many years and is authorised to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge. Michael is also a chairman of the police appeals tribunal. He has written and lectured on a number of important topics and is regularly asked to comment on topical legal issues by the media. He is ranked in Chambers and Partners UK legal directory in the fields of Crime, Criminal Fraud and Professional Discipline, contributors to the guide describing him as "diligent", "impressive", "incredibly supportive and utterly dependable".  Michael has been featured in a number of publications including  BBC 4: Law in Action, "Safe pair of hands for McCanns"

"...'He is a lawyer of the highest calibre', said one interviewee. Michael Caplan QC is a 'formidable figure' with an 'incredible legal mind', and he is known across the market both at home and abroad for the quality of his work..."

Who's Who Legal Investigations, 2016

While he maintains a broad-based practice Michael has specialist expertise in a number of areas.

Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance

Michael is well known for having represented Augusto Pinochet in extradition proceedings. He maintains an extradition practice advising both individuals and foreign governments. Sources in Chambers and Partners 2011 say that Michael "has a phenomenal reputation in extradition".
He also acts in requests for Mutual Legal Assistance representing both UK and foreign nationals.

Fraud and General Crime

Michael led the team that successfully defended one of the defendants in the Wickes case and continues to represent individuals under investigation for various business and financial offences. He is Chair of the City of London Law Society's Corporate Crime and Corruption Committee.
He also maintains a general crime practice and has represented individuals in a number of high profile cases.

Professional Discipline

Michael has been the lead partner in the team conducting work on behalf of the Health Care Professions Council and conducts and advises on professional disciplinary issues. He has acted as clerk and legal adviser to the disciplinary panel of the Architects Registration Board. Michael is the Chairman of the Registration Appeals Committee for the General Pharmaceutical Council and also sits as a Deputy Chair of the Fitness to Practice Committee.

Health Safety and the Environment

Michael leads the Health, Safety and Environment team and has acted in numerous cases arising from accidents and disasters, most notably representing the master of the Bowbelle in the Marchioness disaster, where he appeared at both the Inquest and the Public Inquiry. He represents both individuals and companies in fatal and non-fatal accidents. He has written articles and lectured to various audiences, including Treasury Solicitors, on the new Corporate Manslaughter Act that came into force in April 2008

Public Law

Over his career, Michael has obtained considerable experience in acting in relation to public law issues. He has appeared as an advocate in Inquiries and in the High Court. He has been engaged in applications for Judicial Reviews in high profile cases.

Michael is Kingsley Napley's nominated Money Laundering Officer.

Legal Directories

  • "He is a sharp and gifted practitioner... continues to stand out for his advocacy skills and tactical nous" (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2014)
  • "He 'has the ability to decipher a difficult problem and break it down into bite-sized chunks'..." (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2011)
  • "He'has a phenomenal reputation in extradition'..." (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2011)
  • "Erudite, charming and astute" (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2010)

Professional Societies


Author of numerous articles published in national newspapers and legal journals.  Recent publications below:

Further information

  • Queen's Counsel
  • Recorder and authorised to sit as a deputy high court judge
  • Member of the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee
  • Chairman of Corporate Crime and Corruption Committee, City of London Law Society
  • Former Chairman of the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates
  • Higher Courts (Criminal Proceedings) Qualification
  • Solicitor to Damian Green MP
  • Solicitor to General Pinochet in Spanish/UK Extradition Proceedings
  • Solicitor to Gerry and Kate McCann
  • Lecturer and author of several articles on international criminal law, the International Criminal Court, money laundering legislation and corporate criminal liability.
  • Frequent contributor to radio and television.
  • Listed in the Top 100 most powerful lawyers in the UK by the Times Online two years running. 
  • Listed in the 2012, 2013, 2014 editions of the International Who's Who of Business Crime Defence Lawyers
  • Included in the Fourth Edition of The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom for Criminal Practice, Fraud - Criminal and Professional Malpractice Litigation
  • Member of the Sentencing Council

...The "very able and well regarded" Michael Caplan QC is recommended for his strategic advice to high-profile clients. Sources report: "He is a great negotiator who is very respected and very good at taking a sensible view of the case...

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016

...Michael Caplan QC remains "highly respected" for his professional discipline work. His impressive skill set covers international, domestic, regulatory and criminal law...

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016

the doyen of extradition law." He is praised for being "very pragmatic and good at getting outcomes through regotiation.

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2015

a wise councillor and a source of guidance to clients and counsel alike"..."incredibly accessible, charming and simply on top of his game."           

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2015

superb judgement" and "good, strategic sense.

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2014

Related Services

Bribery and Corruption

We have a long track record of defending corruption investigations for individuals. Our expert lawyers can also advise on internal investigations.

Corporate Manslaughter and Health and Safety Law

The stakes have never been higher for individuals and companies involved in such cases. We provide clear advice on what can be a complex process.


Kingsley Napley has a wealth of experience in successfully defending extradition requests having worked in this field for several decades.

Fraud and Financial Crime

Defending complex white collar cases successfully is what we are known for. The firm has the largest team of specialist criminal lawyers in the UK.

General Crime

From police station representation and advice to restraint and confiscation proceedings, we are proactive in achieving the best outcomes.

Internal Investigations

Corporate clients require sophisticated and sensitive advice when they encounter internal crises which have the potential to escalate.

Money Laundering

The UK’s anti-money laundering regime is amongst the most stringent. We represent both individuals and organisations in a wide range of money laundering related matters.

Mutual Legal Assistance

Robustly defending requests from foreign jurisdictions is not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced. Our lawyers are recognised leaders in the field.


Our team of highly experienced lawyers provide advice on regulatory compliance, investigations, adjudication, enforcement and prosecutions.

Victim of Fraud

Our experienced and empathetic lawyers provide legal advice and guidance to individuals and companies who are victims of crime.

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