Michael is a banking and finance Partner with extensive experience in major asset restructuring and insolvency transactions, and associated dispute resolution.
Michael is based in Adelaide but also practises in the other Australian jurisdictions, including a strong relationship with Queensland and Victoria.
With a principal focus on high-end insolvency work, Michael has particular expertise in banking and finance and securities enforcement, restructuring, and workouts. He has also advised on a number of landmark transactions in the area of audit liability in both South Australia and Victoria. Michael has a speciality in the area of valuer negligence and liability, and has prosecuted a number of actions for banks in all Australian jurisdictions.
Michael has a reputation as the go-to person on difficult assignments. He acts for major Australian banks, financial institutions, insolvency practitioners, and has been recognised by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in Australia in the areas of Insolvency and Reorganisation (2012 – 2018) and Banking and Finance law (2014 – 2018. He has also been recognised in Doyle’s Guide as a leading Insolvency and Reconstruction lawyer in South Australia (2014 – 2016), and as a recommended South Australian Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution lawyer (2016).
Michael is actively involved in public debate and education. He has written and presented on a range of technical, corporate governance, and insolvency issues.
Recent experience includes:
- Acted for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited in relation to Environinvest Limited. In August 2011, Michael was instructed to bring proceedings against the former auditors based in Melbourne and did so through the Victorian Registry of the Federal Court. The action was settled in early June 2013 for an amount equivalent to 80% of the auditor’s insurance cover. The claim was for approximately A$60 million. This followed another matter of a similar nature involving the Australian Motor Finance Group in Melbourne and action against its former directors and auditors.
- Acted for ANZ Banking Group Limited on a cattle station exposure of approximately A$45 million Northern Territory based property. Michael acted in the negotiation of the delivery of the property by the borrower, and the appointment of receivers and managers – the Brisbane office of McGrathNicol – and has acted on all aspects of the receivership, including a recently completed sale process.
- Acted for Rural Bank Limited on a major cattle station exposure in the Charters Towers area of Queensland with a very substantial exposure where litigation was compromised after a substantial dispute and negotiation process together with an associated work out arrangement being concluded.
- Acting for McGrathNicol, the receivers and managers of the Nylex Group in respect of their substantial South Australian based assets.
- Acting for Ferrier Hodgson, the administrators of the Ed Harry retail chain involving 122 stores and 600 employees. This involved the establishment of a complex creditor trust arrangement and a successful Deed of Company Arrangement which led to the business being preserved and sold on a going concern basis.
- Security enforcement work in South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.
- Professional negligence actions on behalf of Banks against Panel valuers throughout Australia.
- Acting in discrete bank related disputes in each of South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and NSW.