Areas of Expertise

Restructuring & insolvency, Insolvency/Bankruptcy litigation & defence, Commercial disputes & litigation, Property disputes, Security enforcement

Michael has more than 30 years of experience as a disputes/litigation lawyer. He has an accounting degree and a street-wise approach.

Michael's specialities include: commercial/corporate disputes; recovery of money and assets out of trade, finance or fraudulent transactions, both in Australia and internationally; corporate and personal insolvency/bankruptcy, director's duties, prosecutions and defence of claims in bankruptcy, liquidation, administration and receivership; transactional structuring, strategic risk management, and distressed company restructuring; and commercial property and lease disputes.

Michael is a tenacious litigator when required, and has conducted numerous court actions as counsel at all levels, including the High Court. In more recent years his role has been in developing strategy in the litigious processes to drive efficient, commercially relevant outcomes for clients.

Michael completed the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association's Advanced Insolvency Course in 1992 and was one of the first lawyers in Australia to be admitted to full membership of the Association.

What others say

"We would have no hesitation in highly recommending Thomson Geer and in particular Shannon Schwarz and Michael O’Donnell."
Brendan Hickson - Project Sales Director, Havwoods Australia
"Michael O’Donnell is excellent for recoveries work. He has vast experience in insolvencies that gives him deep insight into the tactics that are probably at play and how to navigate them. He does exactly what a good lawyer should do, in ensuring that you never pay him a cent if you don’t need to. He’s delivered a string of excellent recovery wins for us, but will be quick to tell us on the rare occasions when we need to shut a matter down and walk away."
Client testimonial, Legal 500 Asia Pacific
"Leading Lawyer – South Australia, Insolvency and Restructuring"
Doyle's Guide 2021


Capital Markets/Private Equity

Defence of claims made in connection with major corporate share buyback and financing transactions.

Directors and officers duties

Defence of professional directors from fallout of corporate collapse.

Directors and officers for breach of duties

Australian domestic and International civil actions against directors and officers for breach of duties, breach of fiduciary duty and tracing of assets.

US based global investment manager

Advising in relation to a major distressed debt investment and exit strategies in Australia.

US, European and Asian corporate entities or insolvency administrators

Tracing and recovering assets in Australia.

Australian based entities

Tracing and recovering assets taken overseas fraudulently and via more sophisticated methods such as transfer pricing.