Michael Howlin QC called in England (Middle Temple) in 1982 and in Scotland in 1996, taking silk in 2009.
He is a "lawyer-linguist", his first two degrees being in French (B.A. (Hons) Sheffield) and Applied Linguistics (M.A. London). He spent ten years at Dickson Minto WS before coming to the Scottish bar. His practice and interests fall into two branches: on the one hand commercial law, with an emphasis on banking (particularly guarantees), company law, corporate insolvency and commercial contracts (including contracts of employment) and on the other hand EU law (competition, public procurement, state aid, cross-border insolvency, cross-border mergers, EU employment law (including transfer of undertakings)). Although his work is largely advisory, he has appeared in numerous petitions (scheme of arrangement for the Halifax/BOS merger; Part VII transfer of Direct Line banking business, etc.) and commercial actions.