Areas of Expertise

Restructuring & Insolvency, Dispute Resolution & Litigation, Pre insolvency advice, Security enforcement, Administrations, Investigations and advice

Michael is a banking and finance and commercial disputes partner with extensive experience in major asset restructuring and insolvency transactions, and dispute resolution.

Michael practises primarily in Melbourne and Adelaide but also the other Australian jurisdictions.

With a principal focus on high-end insolvency and restructuring work, Michael has particular expertise in business restructuring including formal administrations and Deeds of Company Arrangements, informal workouts, securities enforcement and associated dispute work, Michael has a reputation as the go-to person on difficult assignments. He adopts a highly commercial and pragmatic approach when acting for his clients. He acts for major Australian banks, financial institutions and insolvency practitioners.

Michael is actively involved in public debate and education. He has written and presented on a range of technical, corporate governance and insolvency issues. He was also one of the first lawyers to undertake the Advanced Insolvency Course then presented by the predecessor to ARITA, which is a specialist post graduate insolvency education programme.

What others say

"Recognised – Asia Pacific, Restructuring & Insolvency"
Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020
"Lawyer of the Year – Adelaide, Insolvency & Reorganisation Law"
Best Lawyers in Australia Peer Review 2022
"Preeminent Lawyer – South Australia, Insolvency and Restructuring"
Doyle's Guide 2014 & 2015


Adelaide Airport Limited

Representing Adelaide Airport Limited and liaised with other Airport Owners in relation to the administration of the Virgin Australia Group and liability issues as a result of the global pandemic.

NCAP Consolidated Power Projects

Acting for NACAP/Consolidated Power Projects in two substantial disputes with joint ventures and head contractors concerning substantial wind farm projects in which the client had a total exposure of $85 million which included cross border insolvency issues relating to a German based parent entity, in which a full recovery was made for the benefit of the client.

Administrators of Penrice Soda Holdings

Acting for the Administrators and then Liquidators of the Penrice Soda Holdings Group. Penrice was an ASX listed entity with some $200 million in creditors. This was a very complex administration and reconstruction of the Group which traded on for a number of months pending asset sales.

Gunns Limited

Acting for the former directors of Gunns Limited in defence of proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Federal Court Tasmanian registry. The claim against the former auditors to which our clients were joined as co-defendants had a face value of approximately A$280 million. The direct claim by the liquidators against the directors was approximately A$155 million. We acted directly in this matter on instructions from the insurer. The claim related to the published accounts of the Gunns Group – an ASX listed entity with turnover at the time exceeding A$1 billion – and the respective role of the auditors of the Group and its former directors, in respect of audited accounts which the Plaintiffs alleged to be not true and fair.

Gunns Plantations Limited

Acting for the former directors of Gunns Plantations Limited who were sued in class actions brought by investors in the Supreme Court of News South Wales in relation to a series of Managed Investment Schemes offered between 2002 and 2009. The claims sought relief under the ACL, and Corporations Act relating to misleading financial statements. The class potentially extended to several thousand investors who had invested in the Managed Investment Schemes.

Bendigo Bank Limited

Acting 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.