Michael took an unconventional route to partnership with GSC. He joined the firm as an office junior in 1988 and quickly progressed to the role of outdoor clerk (so called because he, “Spent lots of time stood outdoors in the queue for the court when delivering documents”). Whilst there, he started reading some of the documents he was delivering and became fascinated by them.
GSC supported Michael in training to become a legal executive. He qualified in 1997, became an established member of GSC’s commercial litigation team, and in 2004 was appointed its head. Michael was made a partner in 2013 and completed an impressive career journey by becoming equity partner in 2017.
Michael’s clients value his honest, always direct approach and his ability to devise creative solutions. “I don’t make promises I can’t fulfil,” he says. “I think my clients appreciate that. They understand I’m being real. They also value the fact that I like to win.”
That drive has seen Michael win cases in the Court of Appeal, LVT (now FTT), Lands Tribunal (now STT) and the Supreme Court in the much publicised case of Daejan v Benson & Others.
“No one wants to litigate,” Michael notes, “and no client wants to litigate twice. But I treat every client relationship as long term, because whilst they (hopefully) won’t need litigation in the future, I want GSC to be their first choice for every legal need.”
Within GSC, Michael leads the Hearts & Minds programme, an initiative to support employee engagement, inclusion and wellbeing that gives GSC colleagues a place to bring any issues or concerns.
For his many achievements and excellency in commercial litigation work, Michael is included in the Leaders’ List of the City Wealth, which is a prestigious directory of leading professionals. His Leaders’ List profile can be found here.
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"I have known Michael for fifteen years and in which time we have really used Michael's flexibility hugely to our advantage. Firstly Michael is very approachable and speaks very much in plain English. He doesn’t hide behind legalese. He is dynamic in his approach to the various problems we have put his way. He is a very focused individual and gets to the heart of the problem very quickly and then provides a very workable solution. When putting the solution into action his litigation skills are excellent and very strong and forceful with the other party. I very much like him on my side."
“Michael’s excellent legal knowledge, guidance and professionalism enabled a successful defence. He is a straight talker, getting to the heart of the issues quickly. Tactically astute with excellent negotiation skills. I would highly recommend Michael in any Commercial litigation.”
“Michael Shapiro is concise in his advice and adopts a pragmatic approach to challenges delivering realistic and enterprising solutions which produce results.”
“Michael is our first call whenever we need any legal advice. Straight talking, commercial astute, knowledgeable and honest, he has consistently produced results that result in better outcomes for my business. I am pleased to call him our lawyer and partner.”
“I have known Michael for 15 years, he is dynamic in his approach to the various problems we have put his way. He gets to the heart of the problem quickly and provides a very workable solution. His litigation skills are excellent and forceful with the other party. I very much like him on my side.”
“Michael Shapiro is an experienced litigator who has a very calm and collected approach to his job. He is never phased by the other side, and has an excellent manner with even the most difficult clients.”
"Team GSC" were excellent in dealing with my Appeal. Michael was very supportive throughout the process resulting in a successful outcome. I have no hesitation in recommending them.''
Legal 500: 'The practice is unique in that it provides a personalised service to its clients, and makes each of its clients feel special. The result is a splendid working relationship, one built on confidence and trust. Unlike other firms, the dispute resolution team does not treat clients, big or small, as fee fodder'.
Legal 500: 'Michael Shapiro is an experienced and knowledgeable litigator who has a very calm, commercial and realistic approach to dispute resolution'.
''I would like to share my experience with GSC Solicitors, in particular Michael Shapiro. That experience was beyond my expectation. Michael helped my business with a very complex commercial litigation case. Clear practical advice, good ideas and very efficient throughout the whole process. Worth every penny spent''.
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