Michael Godden


Michael has over 20 years’ experience representing banks, funds, dealers and corporate trustees in complex, high-profile and high-value disputes.

His cases frequently involve parallel proceedings.

He is best known for advising clients on banking and finance disputes, including those involving derivatives, debt capital markets, commodities and trade finance, Islamic finance and syndicated lending.

His experience also includes advising on sovereign debt issues.

Michael also advises clients on internal investigations, complex and cross-border fraud, asset tracing and enforcement, and restructuring and insolvency cases.


Representative matters

Ukraine v Law Debenture [2023] 2 WLR 699: acting Law Debenture as note trustee on Ukraine’s US$3bn eurobond default in December 2015. The case was listed as one of The Lawyer's Top 20 Cases for 2017 and is a leading authority on the capacity of states and on apparent authority.*

Mercuria Energy Trading PTE Ltd v Citibank NA [2015] 1 C.L.C. 999, acting for Citi in its US$285m dispute with Mercuria on aluminium and copper obligated repo transactions believed to be the subject of a third party fraud in the Chinese ports of Qingdao and Penglai *

A sovereign state and its central bank on an attempted multi-billion dollar fraud. Successfully applied to the Commercial Court for a worldwide freezing order and proprietary injunction for over USD 500 million against corporations and individuals in jurisdictions across the globe and obtained a related disclosure order against a third party for key evidence and information. These actions ultimately led to an almost complete recovery of the proceeds of the fraud. *

Citicorp Trustee Company Ltd as the Delegate following the default of the US$650m Golden Belt 1 Sukuk. The transaction was one of the first Islamic Finance defaults and relates to the prominent Saudi conglomerate, Saad Trading and its general partner, Mann Al-Sanea. The case involved parallel proceedings in England and the KSA. *

Published Work

  • Meaning of loss and second method under the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement, B.J.I.B. & F.L. 2011
  • Freight clarity from the courts M.R.I. 2011, 25(3), 12-13 
  • Possession really is nine-tenths of the law for payments made "under protest", B.J.I.B. & F.L. 2010, 25(1), 30 
  • New York turnover orders: an English law perspective, B.J.I.B. & F.L. 2009, 24(9), 561 
Recognized in the inaugural Lawdragon Global Litigation 500 list
Michael is intellectually very strong and is also a very good client handler as he can relate very complex themes to a lay audience.
Chambers UK 2024



Admitted as a Solicitor (England and Wales), 2001


Solicitor-Advocate (All Higher Courts), 2003

Diploma in Legal Practice, University of Bristol, 1998

Bachelor of Laws, University of Bristol, 1997

A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.