Michael is a commercial barrister with specialist expertise in Commercial and Contract law, Energy & Natural Resources, Pipelines and Utilities and Joint Ventures. Michael is a Grade 1 Arbitrator and Fellow of The Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia (Professional Certificate, University of Adelaide).He is also a Chartered Arbitrator and Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK. Appointed under ICC Rules as Arbitrator for international arbitration with seat in New York, subject to the laws of New York. Advised and acted in ICSID Washington Convention arbitration. Specialist commercial arbitration skills include commercial contracts generally, international joint ventures, resources and energy exploration and development, oil and gas, gas transmission pipelines, sales contracts both export and domestic, infrastructure contracts, utilities generally (including regulatory environments) and the interface between electricity and gas in the national energy markets.
Accredited Mediator, Australian National Mediator Acreditation System; Victorian Bar Dispute Resolution Mediator Accreditation Scheme, with specialist skills in the areas as summarized above.
Michael returned to the Victorian Bar (2004) following 18 years as both an executive and advisor in the energy, natural resources and utilities businesses. Michael was the senior executive (and general counsel/company secretary) of the Mitsubishi and Mitsui interests (MIMI) in the Australian North West Shelf Gas Joint Venture (1986 to 1996). He was a member of the joint venture Project Committee and served on the Board of the North West Shelf LNG Shipping Company. He was the non-Japanese executive member of the Tokyo based Operating Committee responsible for the overseeing MIMI’s investments in Australia. From 1997, Michael became an independent commercial and legal advisor to major corporations and joint ventures in Australia and Asia in the energy, oil, gas and utilities sectors. He also advised in respect of privatizations of the Victorian and South Australian gas industries and has extensive knowledge of Australian gas transmission pipeline industry and practice.
Bachelor of Laws (University of Melbourne); admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia; Grade 1 Arbitrator and Fellow, Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia; Professional Certificate in Arbitration, University of Adelaide; Chartered Arbitrator and Fellow CIArb - UK; Mediator (Certificate, Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators, Australia); Stanford Executive Program, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, California.
Michael implemented a major restructure of the commercial and legal basis of the North West Shelf Venture’s joint venture agreement. He has negotiated and mediated complex business arrangements of multinational joint ventures, including international oil, gas and shipping joint ventures, the securing of major export sales contracts to Japanese power and gas utilities, negotiation and settlement of a complex royalty regime for the North West Shelf Venture with the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments.
In his advisory roles Michael has negotiated the purchase of substantial portfolios of gas supply and associated pipeline capacities; provided advice to the Council of Australian Governments Energy Market Review panel on competition and pipeline access; represented a major utility in an interstate Conciliation and Arbitration concerning gas transmission pipeline access. He provided advice in a number of areas during the process of gas industry privatisation in Victoria (Department of Treasury - Energy Projects Division) and in South Australia. This included a risk analysis of commercial and legal exposures for downstream gas utilities in the privatisation process of the Victorian gas industry. He was negotiations team leader for the acquisition of supplementary peak winter gas supply for the Victorian market following the Longford explosion.
Michael has also advised on sovereign and political risk for investments made in the Timor Sea region and provided a report on asset quality and risks associated with oil and gas interests located in East Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia.
The Victorian Bar;
Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia Fellow & Grade 1 Arbitrator - Committee Member, Vic. State Chapter; Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK, Fellow and Chartered Arbitrator; Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration.
Law Council of Australia - Formerly, National Chair, Resources, Energy & Environmental Law Committee;
International Bar Association;
Australian Mining & Petroleum Lawyers Association.
APPOINTMENTS: Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal; Commonwealth Superannuation Complaints Tribunal; Western Australian Energy Review Board Panel Member; World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Panel
Member; Small Business Commission (Victoria) Panel Member.
Note: Liability limited by a Scheme approved under the Professional Standards Legislation
Victorian Bar Committee memberships