Michael Bywell is a senior commercial litigation lawyer with a broad range of experience and expertise including arbitration, aviation, construction and engineering, data privacy and data security (investigations and disputes), energy, intellectual property, IT, life sciences, media, outsourcing, public law, and telecommunications. He is well known for his work in relation to large-scale, complex contractual disputes, particularly in the technology area. Mr. Bywell's international experience spans the UK, North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Mr. Bywell is admitted in England & Wales, Australia, and New Zealand. He is also an accredited mediator and member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb).



  • Several IT cases for McDonnell Douglas (during the 1990s), including Vercom v MDIS, where Mr. Bywell was part of the team that (successfully) represented MDIS in litigation over a joint marketing agreement (for software) with a US company.
  • Representing EDS in Airtours v EDS (EDS is now part of Hewlett-Packard) in relation to substantial claims arising from a project to build a new reservations system in the travel industry.
  • Advising EDS 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 a public sector organization in relation to contractual and commercial issues arising from a large-scale infrastructure project in London.
  • Customer side advisory work in relation to liability and other key provisions in large-scale IT and outsourcing contracts.
  • 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 customer side matters arising from problematic ERP implementations.
  • Lead adviser on a major IT transaction in the Asia Pacific market.
  • Advisory work for a number of clients on procurement and probity related matters in the technology and healthcare sectors.
  • Advisory work for airlines in relation to commercial contracting issues and disputes.


  • Successfully representing a leading rugby league club in relation to disputes over the formation of a new competition and TV rights (sports and media).
  • Representing an individual in relation to breach of confidence and related complaints (media sector).
  • Advisory and litigation work relating to distribution arrangements for software used in the entertainment industry.


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


SCL Better Contracts Initiative: Speedy Dispute Resolution in IT/Technology Contracts
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP in conjunction with the Society for Computers & Law
Winning Strategies for Re-Negotiating or Terminating Commercial Contracts
Arnold & Porter LLP
References Class Forecasting and Realistic Tech Contracts
Originally published in Society of Computers and the Law on March 2, 2017.
Effective Management and Resolution of Disputes
Arnold & Porter LLP, London
Is it Time to Revisit Your Software Agency Arrangements in the UK?


The Legal 500 UK
Intellectual Property (2016-2017)
IT and Telecoms (2016-2017)
Commercial Litigation (2017)
Media and Entertainment (2017)


  • LLB, University of Otago New Zealand
  • England and Wales
  • New Zealand
  • Australia (New South Wales)
  • High Court of Australia
  • Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)

  • Associate, Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ)

  • Member, Society for Computers and Law - UK


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