Michelle Johnston

Michelle Johnston

Legal Director Taunton, United Kingdom Also works in Bristol

Michelle is a Legal Director in our Bristol and Taunton offices who is a professional liability specialist. She qualified in England and Wales in 1997.

Acting predominantly for professional services firms, Michelle specialises in the defence of professionals, particularly solicitors, barristers, financial services professionals and insurance industry professionals.

With over 20 years’ experience, she has extensive expertise handling complex claims and those involving multiple parties. She also advises insurers in relation to coverage issues arising under professional liability and financial lines (including D&O) policies.

Michelle also has extensive experience of practising overseas, including a leadership role in Sydney, Australia for several years at a national law firm. As a result she has a keen interest in claims with an international flavour. She also completed a successful extended secondment in the financial lines claims team at a major insurer in London.

Michelle is a member of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) and is also an active member of the Women in Business committee, hosting various events in the South West.


  • Qualified in England and Wales in 1997.


Market recognition

  • Recommended lawyer for 'Professional negligence (South West)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2021

Work highlights

  • Maggistro-Contenta v Jury O'Shea LLP [2019] EWHC 3035 (Ch) which was the successful defence of a £10 million claim against a firm of solicitors, specifically the claimant’s relief from sanctions application and a rare case in which the merits of the claim were taken into account by the court.
  • Successful defence of a number of different firms of solicitors being sued for their alleged role in the “ground rent” leasehold scandal
  • Defence of publishing house in relation to media liability claim by global pop star
  • Coverage and monitoring of D&O being prosecuted in France arising from alleged mismanagement of investment funds
  • Advised insurers in relation to policy coverage issues arising from class actions against the Australian government on widespread bush fire and flood damage claims
Market recognition
  • Legal-500-UK-2021-recommended-lawyer.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 UK 2021