A preeminent taxation barrister (Doyles Guide 2017, 2016 (Melbourne)), Michael has 30 years’ experience appearing for clients in difficult trials and appeals, as well as advising them in complex matters, across a range of legal areas including taxation law, commercial litigation, corporations law, equity and trusts, bankruptcy, corporate insolvency, and administrative law.
Lopez v Harstedt Pty Ltd  VSCA 19 (Santamaria and Niall AJA) – extension of time for leave to appeal to Court of Appeal (Duty Barrister Scheme). Contra D G Robertson with R T Campbell, instructed by K Moorehouse Perks.
Owners Corporation RP 3454 v Ainley  VSC 790 (Derham AsJ) – Michael led D Diaz in an appeal from VCAT as to the validity of an owners' corporation rule prohibiting external amendments to lots. Instructing solicitors: Mr R Warren. Contra N Jones, instructed by Clements & Co.
Cresswell v Creswell  VSCA 272 (Santamaria, McLeish JJA, and Keogh AJA) – Michael led Kieren Mihaly in an appeal concerning the interaction of equitable estoppel and contract law, and procedural fairness in a trial. Instructing solicitors: Eales and McKenzie. Contra C R Northrop instructed by Williams Winter
Archibald v Powlett  VSCA 259 (Redlich, Osborne and McLeish JJA) – Michael led Lucy Davis pro bono (Duty Barrister Scheme) in an appeal concerning duplicate proceedings in respect of a joint contractual liability, and the quantum of damages. Contra Dr Andrew Hanak (Duty Barrister Scheme).
Vlahos Pty Ltd v Vlahos  VSCA 166 (Tate, Kyrou and McLeish JJA) –Ian Hardingham, QC led Michael in an appeal concerning the correct approach as to when a presumption of resulting trust will be rebutted, and the part performance of oral contracts for the sale of land. Instructing Solicitors DCA Lawyers (Ashley del Corral). Contra Peter Collinson, QC, instructed by Klonis Kirby.
Vasiliades v Commissioner of Taxation  HCA Trans 104 (Kiefel CJ, and Keane J)– an application for special leave to appeal to the High Court concerning an order for security for costs in favour of the Commissioner. Instructing solicitors: HDL Legal and Consulting (Derek Lippner). Contra Stephen Sharpley, QC with S Linden, instructed by Review and Dispute Resolution, Australian Taxation Office.
Piper Alderman v Smoel  VSCA 42 (Beach and Ferguson JJA, and Cameron AJA) – Peter Collinson, QC led Michael in an appeal on the distinction between itemised bills and lump sum bills in the taxation of costs. Instructing solicitors: Piper Alderman. Contra, Peter Lovell, instructed by Castra Legal Costing.
Commissioner of Taxation v Vasiliades  FCAFC 170 (Dowsett, Kenny and Edelman JJ) – Helen Symon, QC led Michael in an appeal concerning whether the Commissioner of Taxation was entitled to seek security for costs against an offshore taxpayer in proceedings under Pt IVC of the Taxation Administration Act 1953. Instructing solicitors: HWL Ebsworth. Contra Stephen Sharpley, QC with S Linden, instructed by Review and Dispute Resolution, Australian Taxation Office,
Vasiliades v Commissioner of Taxation (No 2)  FCA 185 (Davies J) – An application for leave to give evidence by video link. Michael was instructed by HDL Legal and Consulting (Derek Lippner). Contra Stephen Sharpley, QC with S Linden, instructed by Review and Dispute Resolution, Australian Taxation Office.
Vlahos v Vlahos  VSC 824 (Digby J) – Michael led Sandra Karabidian in an application for leave to bring appeal proceedings on behalf of a company by way of derivative action under ss 236 and 237 of the Corporations Act 2001. Instructing solicitors: DCA Lawyers (Ashley del Corral). Contra Michael Gronow, instructed by Klonis Kirby & Co.
Galea v Commissioner of State Revenue (2016) VCAT 1865 (Judge Dyer) – Michael appeared for a taxpayer on a question whether within Metropolitan Melbourne was used for primary production and exempt from land tax. Instructing solicitors: Carroll & Dillon (Bill Carroll). Contra David Morgan of counsel, instructed by the Solicitor for the State Revenue of Victoria.
Vlahos v Vlahos Pty Ltd (No. 3)  VCC 1619 (Judge Cosgrave) – A costs dispute. Instructing solicitors: DCA Lawyers (Ashley del Corral). Contra Michael Gronow instructed by Klonis Kirby & Co.
Vlahos v Vlahos Pty Ltd (No. 2)  VCC 1544 (Judge Cosgrave) – An application to reopen a case after judgment but prior to final orders. Michael led Sandra Karabidian of counsel. Instructed by DCA Lawyers (Ashley del Corral). Contra Michael Gronow, instructed by Harry Klonis Kirby & Co.
Vlahos v Vlahos Pty Ltd  VCC 1250 (Judge Cosgrave) – Michael appeared for the defendants in a case involving claims for equitable interests in land. Instructing solicitors: DCA Lawyers (Ashley del Corral). Contra Michael Gronow instructed by Harry Klonis Kirby & Co.
Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Burhala (No.2)  FCCA 2241 (Judge Burchardt) – Michael led Adam Purton on a question whether the defendant had departed Australia with a purpose of defeating the Deputy Commissioner as a creditor. Instructing solicitors: AUM Lawyers (Attila Mete). Contra Tim Connard, instructed by the Australian Taxation Office.
Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Burhala  FCCA 2225 (Judge Burchardt) – Michael led Adam Purton of counsel on an interlocutory question whether a defendant should be allowed to appear by video link from overseas. Instructing solicitors: AUM Lawyers (Atilla Mete). Contra Tim Connard instructed by Review and Dispute Resolution, Australian Taxation Office.
Commissioner of Taxation v Ludekens (No 2)  FCA 755 (Pagone J) – Michael led Harlis Kirimof for the second respondent at a hearing as to the quantum of civil penalties to be imposed on a breach of the “promoter penalty provisions” under the taxation legislation. Instructing solicitors: HDL Legal and Consulting. Contra Peter Sest, QC with Sam Ure, instructed by the Australian Government Solicitor, and Darryl Williams, QC, Andrew de Wijn and Anna Wilson, instructed by Holding Redlich.
Smoel & Wooster v Piper Alderman (No 2)  VSC 237 (McMillan J) – An important decision on the distinction between lump sum bills and itemised bills under the legal profession legislation. Instructing solicitors: Piper Alderman. Contra Peter Lovell, instructed by Castra Legal Costing Pty Ltd.
Vasiliades v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 420 (Davies J) –Helen Symon, QC led Michael in a case concerning security for costs applications brought by the Commissioner. Instructed by HWL Ebsworth. Contra Stephen Sharpley, QC with S Linden instructed by Review and Dispute Resolution, Australian Taxation Office.
Property taxes – a refresher on recent changes, Tax Institute of Australia, 21 June 2018
GST withholding on supplies of new residential property, Greens List, 9 May 2018
Case Update for SME’s, with Daniel Diaz, Victorian 5th Annual Tax Forum Tax institute of Australia, 12 October 2017
Taxation and the Conclusion of Litigation: What Litigators Need to Know, Greens List, 13 June 2017
Thomas v Commissioner of Taxation - What are the implications for trustees? with Terry Murphy, QC and Fiona Cameron, Tax Bar Association, 8 May 2017,
Foreign resident withholding tax: an exercise in complexity, with Daniel Diaz, Greens List, 2 June 2016
Effectively and efficiently running commercial litigation to a budget, Legalwise: CPD Mandatories Made Easy for Litigators: InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto, 18 March 2016
Michael has sat on committees and sub-committees for the bar, most recently the Pro Bono Committee. Until June 2018, Michael sat on the State Taxes Committee of the Tax Institute of Australia, and the Committee of the Tax Bar Association, of which he was a founding member.
Michael was nominated for pro-bono barrister of the year award in 2016 for his pro bono contributions over many years.
From 21/5/2009, Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.