The master
Mr Michael Barley


About The Master

Michael is the Senior Security Advisor at Sky and Chairman of The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). He became Master of The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals on 5 June 2019 after joining the company as a founding member in 1999.

Michael was a senior Police Officer at New Scotland Yard for 25 years specializing in the use of intelligence. He introduced a new system for the handling of informants and gave expert evidence at several high-profile criminal trials. He was seconded to the United Nations in 1996/7 and went to Iraq on several occasions as a weapons Inspector as part of the United Nations Special Commission.

He joined Sky in 2000 and developed the activities that protect Sky’s content, from leading investigations and successfully bringing prosecutions as well as introducing technical measure that disrupt the activities of those who seek to steal content. He is responsible for mitigation strategies in relation to kidnap of those who travel to high risk environments; responsible for fraud prevention and investigation matters; government and law enforcement liaison; anti bribery and corruption; cyber and asset protection.

He has been on the Board of FACT since 2003 and was appointed as Chairman in 2017; FACT is at the forefront of the fight against intellectual property crime in the UK and internationally, specialising in protecting both physical and digital content.

He is married with three children and enjoys trying to playing golf!

Past Masters Emeriti

What is Past Master Emeriti?

A Past Master of the Company at any time after the period of four years from the date of installation of his/her successor may, by application to the Court, be appointed Emeritus honoris causa in recognition of his/her services to the Company. Past Masters Emeriti may receive Court papers, and may attend Court and speak, but may not vote or be counted towards a quorum. They may also chair or serve on committees, sub-committees and ad hoc groups as voting members if invited to do so. They may not however become Chairman of Standing Committees. (Ordinances 11.8)

The following have been appointed Past Master Emeritus

  • Steve Neville OBE, Master 2002-2003
  • Una Riley, Master, 2003-2004
  • Trevor Gray, Master, 2005-2006
  • John Purnell GM QPM DL, Master 2006-2007
  • Nigel Churton MBE, Master 2011-2012
  • Gerald Moor, Master 2012-2013
  • Group Captain Brian Hughes, Master 2013-2014