Michael Lester is the group legal director of BAE Systems, and sits on the board of directors. He has held these roles since November 1999. The BAE board comprises 14 directors, seven executive and seven non-executive. Lester has functional responsibilities for legal matters and, as a director, is involved in other general company matters.

He was appointed vice-chairman of GEC in 1994, after joining the organisation in 1980 as director of legal affairs. He sat on the board from 1983 until 1999 when he joined BAE Systems following the merger between British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems. Prior to joining GEC, he was a partner at Lewis Lewis & Co (subsequently Jaques & Lewis and now part of Eversheds) until 30 June 1980. He was articled at Paisner & Co. He studied at Oxford University, and was subsequently a teaching fellow at the University of Chicago Law School.