Michael O'Kane

Michael O'Kane

Senior Partner

The go-to lawyer for clients accused of white-collar crime and recognised as one of the world’s top investigative lawyers, Michael heads the business crime team and is author of the textbook, The Law of Criminal Cartels.

Leading CasesNews FeedMemberships


  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers
  • Competition Law Association
  • International Association of Prosecutors
  • International Bar Association (IBA)

Michael was called to the Bar in 1992 and prior to joining Peters & Peters was a senior specialist prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters (CPS). He was a key member of a small specialist unit responsible for the prosecution of serious and high-profile fraud, terrorist, espionage and special interest criminal matters, including the Stansted Airport Afghan hijacking and the prosecution of Paul Burrell (Princess Diana’s butler). He is listed as one of only 10 of the world’s best investigative lawyers.

Since joining Peters & Peters Michael has dealt with a wide range of high-profile business crime matters. He has particular expertise in international corruption, criminal cartels, economic sanctions, extradition, mutual legal assistance, private prosecutions and FCA investigations.

His practice and ability was recognised in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 (2009) which described him as ‘an influential practitioner in fraud and regulatory work, so much so that he is top of the referral lists of many City firms for independent advice for directors’.

Michael regularly appears in the media to discuss his specialist areas and he is the author of the leading textbook on the UK Criminal Cartel Offence: The Law of Criminal Cartels – Practice and Procedure (Oxford University Press).

He was recognised as one of the UK’s most innovative lawyers in the 2011 FT Innovative Lawyer Awards and included in the list of the UK’s leading lawyers in Who’s Who Legal. He is ranked annually as a leading lawyer in the leading directories Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. More recently, Michael was recognised in the 2017 The Lawyer ‘Hot 100’ list, for his high profile representations and his key strategic role as new Senior Partner of Peters & Peters.

In Chambers & Partners 2021, Michael is described as “exceptionally knowledgeable and calming. He is fantastic in dealing with clients; his clarity of explanation is incredibly high and the level of service is very good.” “He is an experienced lawyer whose input is a key success factor in terms of strategy and in relation to complex and cross-border matters.” (Financial Crime: Corporates); “He is a good strategist.” “He is user-friendly, flexible and finds solutions to complex problems.” (Financial Crime : Individuals).

In Legal 500 2021, Michael O’Kane is said to be “a superb lawyer and has wonderful strategic sense.” (Fraud : white collar crime); “an outstanding lawyer with wonderful good sense and the knack of doing just the right thing.” (Crime : general); “one of the best lawyers in this field and highly regarded by his peers” , “ very bright and, if not the best, one of the best strategic-thinkers.” (Regulatory investigations and corporate crime).

Michael co-writes the leading blog European Sanctions Law.