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Michael’s infectious relaxed demeanor keeps his clients calm through the many stresses of litigation. His clients know he has everything under control.
Michael looks at matters in what could be described as a non-traditional manner, seeing solutions for his clients others may not. Perhaps this is why he is also known for taking on cases others shy away from.
Always looking at the big picture, in addition to looking at matters through a legal prism, Michael takes a scientific approach to matters. He focuses on the numbers and a probability analysis. This approach means Michael is able to quantify the decisions that need to be made in a matter. Not only is this a tool to help clients with their issues at hand but it allows Michael to provide clients with an informed and clear course of action
“Clients know their matter might be hard but I am here to make the whole process as clear, concise and stress-free as possible. They have comfort knowing their matter is well-handled.”
financial services disputes
AGL sought to acquire, as part of a consortium, a shareholding in the Loy Yang A Power Station. AGL sought an informal clearance from the ACCC, however the proposed acquisition was denied. Following this opposition, AGL instituted Federal Court proceedings, seeking a declaration that the proposed acquisition would not lessen competition. Michael acted for the ACCC, with a multi-faceted role in what was a very complex matter. Michael worked with the ACCC, preparing lay and expert economic evidence supporting the ACCC’s decision to refuse the acquisition. Given the Federal Court had agreed to fast track the matter, there was significant pressure in the matter; a legal team of more than 20 were involved in the case. Although AGL was successful at trial, the ACCC was able to obtain clear guidance regarding certain provisions of the Trade Practices Act.
A liquidator of a large corporate group made a determination relating to the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars between a holding company and its subsidiary, a decision the ATO challenged in the Federal Court. Michael, together with senior and junior counsel, prepared evidence supporting the legal principles around the transferring of tax losses within the corporate group. This case involved extremely complex areas of law, which both client and senior counsel expected Michael to get a grasp of very quickly in order to successfully instruct the senior counsel. The matter ultimately went to the High Court for determination.
Over recent years, Michael has spent significant time acting for victims of inappropriate financial advice received from large institutions. In what has been a challenging environment, Michael has been able to provide a large number of aggrieved investors with solutions. The strategies adopted on these matters have been wide and varied. Michael has also successfully lobbied ASIC on various large matters, has dealt with both Federal and State politicians (including Ministers) providing them with evidence supporting the need for urgent reform in the banking industry, which in turn initiated a Senate Inquiry into the systematic financial advice issue involved a large financial service organisation. Through his efforts, Michael has played a major role in members of parliament changing their vote for the adoption of a Royal Commission into the Banking and Financial services industries.
In a number of instances, Michael has been successful in delivering a positive financial outcome for his clients. Michael continues to advocate for clients for whom the processes is not yet complete.
Michael was involved in a lengthy and complex trial in the Supreme Court of Victoria, regarding historic financial matters involving a company that dated back from 1985 to 2005. Given the complexity of the matter and the unsettled law that underpinned the issues in the dispute, Michael provided critical strategic advice to his clients. Throughout the matter, Michael was constantly formulating new and inventive ways to overcome obstacles, such as developing ways to surmount issues regarding a breach of directors’ duties and statute of limitations. This matter also relied heavily on the books and records of the company and the opinion of experts; Michael was able to shed light for the client on the appropriate conduct for briefing the experts.