Ranked by Doyles Guide 2016 as one of Melbourne’s preeminent taxation juniors, Michael has 30 years’ experience representing clients in complex matters across a wide variety of practice areas, including taxation law, commercial litigation, corporations law, equity and trusts, bankruptcy, corporate insolvency, and administrative law.
Michael’s recent cases include:
Commissioner of Taxation v Vasiliades  FCAFC 170 (Dowsett, Kenny and Edelman JJ) – H Symon, QC led Michael on an appeal concerning the principles governing security for costs for offshore natural persons acting substantially as defendants. Instructing solicitors, HWL Ebsworth (Scott Cromb). Contra S Sharpley, QC and S Linden instructed by ATO Review and Disputes.
Vlahos v Vlahos, Supreme Court of Victoria, unreported, 6 December 206 (Digby J) – An urgent application seeking leave by way of a derivative action on behalf of a company to bring an application for leave appeal to the Court of Appeal. Michael led Sandra Karabidan of Counsel. Instructing solicitors: DCA Lawyers (Ashley del Corral). Contra Michael Gronow instructed by Klonis Kirby & Co. (Harry Klonis).
Galea v Commissioner of State Revenue (2016) VCAT 1865 (Judge Dyer) – Michael appeared for a taxpayer on a question whether within metropolitan Melbourne was exempt from land tax as being used for primary production. 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 1609 (Judge Cosgrave) – A costs dispute involving an application for indemnity from a trust fund. Instructing solicitors: DCA Lawyers (Ashley del Corral). Contra Michael Gronow instructed by Klonis Kirby & Co. (Harry Klonis).
Vlahos v Vlahos Pty Ltd (No. 2)  VCC 1533 (Judge Cosgrave) – Michael appeared with Sandra Karabidian of counsel in an application to reopen a case after Judgment but before final orders on the grounds of fresh evidence. Instructing solicitors: DCA Lawyers (Ashley del Corral). Contra Michael Gronow instructed by Klonis Kirby & Co (Harry Klonis).
Vlahos Pty Ltd & Anor v Vlahos  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 Klonis Kirby & Co (Harry Klonis).
Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Burhala (No.2)  FCCA 2241 (Judge Burchardt) – Michael led Adam Purton of counsel on a question whether the defendant had departed Australia with a purpose of defeating the Deputy Commissioner as a creditor. Instructing solicitors: AUM Lawyers (Atilla Mete). Contra Tim Connard instructed by the Australian Taxation Office.
Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Burhala  FCCA 2225 (Judge Burchardt) – Michael appeared with 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 the Australian Taxation Office.
Commissioner of Taxation v Ludekens (No 2)  FCA 755 (Pagone J) – Michael led Harlis Kirimof of counsel 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, Darryl Williams, QC with 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. An application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal is to be heard in February 2017. Michael was instructed by Piper Alderman. Contra Peter Lovell instructed by Castra Legal Costing Pty Ltd.
Vasiliades v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 420 (Davies J) – Michael was led by H Symon, QC on a case concerning security for costs applications brought by the Commissioner. An appeal to the Full Court of the Federal Court has been heard and is awaiting decision. Instructed by HWL Ebsworth. Contra Stephen Sharpley with S Linden instructed by the Australian Government Solicitor.
Vasiliades v Federal Commissioner of Taxation, 21 December 2015, unreported (Registrar D Ryan) – Michael was led by H Symon, QC to oppose a security for costs application brought by the Commissioner, instructed by Rigby Cooke. Contra Stephen Linden instructed by the Australian Government Solicitor.
Di Cioccio v Official Trustee in Bankruptcy  HCATrans 230 (Kiefel and Nettle JJ) – Application for special leave to appeal a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court. Michael led Shane Thomas of counsel instructed by HDL Legal and Consulting. Contra Peter Fary instructed by Harris Carlson Lawyers.
Di Cioccio v Official Trustee in Bankruptcy (as Trustee of the Bankrupt Estate of Di Cioccio)  FCAFC 30 (Edmonds, Gordon and Beach JJ) – An important decision on the interaction between the provisions of the bankruptcy legislation concerning income and after acquired property of bankrupts. Michael led Shane Thomas of counsel instructed by HDL Legal and Consulting. Contra Peter Fary instructed by Harris Carlson Lawyers.
Apex Foundation for Research into Intellectual Disability Ltd v Attorney General (Vic) , Supreme Court of Victoria, unreported, 23 February 2015 (Cameron J) – A cy pres application brought by a charity. Instructed by Snowton Saje (Maya Statton), contra R J McInnes, solicitor.
Endota Holdings Pty Ltd v Fraser, Supreme Court of Victoria, Supreme Court of Victoria, unreported, 30 January 2015 (Sifris J). Michael led Andrea Mapp in an urgent application for an interlocutory injunction to restrain a shareholders’ meeting on the grounds of oppressive conduct, instructed by HDL Legal and Consulting (Derek Lippner); contra Rodney Garratt, QC and Alex Folie; Peter Riordan, QC and Dean Luxton.
Commissioner of Taxation v Moignard (2015) 228 FCR 226 (White J) – Michael a led Melanie Baker of counsel for the respondent taxpayer in this test-case funded appeal from an AAT decision to the Federal Court relating to trust distributions. Instructed by Clayton Utz. Contra Sashi Maharaj, QC and K Clark instructed by the Australian Taxation Office.
For further cases, click here.
Recent papers and presentations
Foreign resident withholding tax: an exercise in complexity, the 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
For further information about Michael’s publications, papers and presentations, click here.
Victorian Bar, Pro bono committee (Michael was a nominee for the 2016 Victorian Pro Bono Barrister of the Year award for his sustained pro bono work over many years.)
Tax Bar Association, committee member
Tax Institute of Australia State Taxes Committee
Australian Journal of Taxation, editorial board
For further information, click here.
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