Michael has over 24 years’ experience advising international corporate clients and government departments in complex commercial and cross border transactions, international arbitrations and litigation relating to; financial instruments, investment agreements, infrastructure and construction projects, joint venture projects, real estate development and financing, corporate governance and regulatory investigations.
Michael has advised and guided multi-national and corporate clients from a diverse range of industries, including financial services, construction, energy and infrastructure, mining, manufacturing, telecommunications, insurance and hospitality.
During his 5 year appointment as a senior lawyer in Enforcement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Michael investigated and prosecuted a number of high profile company directors, managers, auditors and liquidators for offences relating to corporate fraud, breaches of director’s duties, financial market manipulation, stock market listing breaches, insider trading and fraudulent transactions, including a number of cases involving the promotion and management of collective investment funds.
- Advised domestic and international companies in the establishment and operation of commercial ventures, including the formation, dissolution, merger and acquisition of corporations, unit trusts and partnerships, regulatory requirements and compliance including director’s duties, and the establishment of commercial, financial and joint venture agreements, and agency, distribution, consultancy and professional service agreements;
- Advised domestic and international businesses in the requirements for the making of public tender offers, including government tenders, the effect and operation of tender contracts, and advising, negotiating and finalising of contracts for the preferred tender applicants;
- Advised major national and international construction companies and contractors on significant infrastructure and construction projects, providing expert advice to boards and directors during protracted negotiations and disputes;
- Matters extend to external disputes arising from infrastructure projects, developments, financing agreements, disputes with parent boards, claims for damages, profit sharing deeds, contract breaches and Security of Payment Act claims;
- Example cases include: representing a multinational dredging company contracted to a multibillion-dollar Liquid Natural Gas project in a contractual dispute with the principal;
- Represented the dredging company in a multi-party action brought by the Australian Federal Airports Commission involving the construction of the third runway at Sydney Airport;
- Represented statutory corporations and authorities in multibillion-dollar arbitration/litigations with mining corporations and government regarding mining royalty payments and financing contracts, mining lease disputes, construction disputes, and mining JV contract disputes;
- Represented the NSW Department of Education and Training in numerous contractual disputes and litigation regarding funding and joint venture agreements involving various parties including Chinese government departments;
- Represented the Civil Engineer appointed to the Sydney Airport redevelopment in a claim for damages resulting from faults in construction and breaches of contractual agreements;
- Advised the statutory corporation responsible for administering the royalties from a mining project, through a Mining Warden review of an application for the extension of a Special Mining Lease and concluded negotiations and agreements with all stakeholders in respect of the ongoing distribution and management of the royalties.
- Advised a manufacturer and supplier of construction products which, together with another corporation, had secured the exclusive Australian distribution rights for a new product developed in the USA. through the negotiation and finalisation of the joint venture agreement; the agency and distribution agreements; the establishment and registration of separate distribution companies in each relevant state and grouping those companies into an effective tax structure; advised also on regulatory requirements; and on the product liability issues pertinent to each of the distribution areas.
Career, Skills and Qualifications
- Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Bond University Australia, 1993
- Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, College of Law, 1994
- Speaks English and Italian
Awards / Accreditations:
- Admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW, 1994;
- Admitted to the High Court of Australia;
- Member, Law Society of New South Wales;
- Member, Society of Construction Law Australia;
- Personally referenced in Legal 500 Asia Pacific- Leading Construction Law Firms 2018;