Michael is an Accredited Specialist in Business Law and also a Special Counsel to the firm.
Michael’s early experience was in property law and trusts, wills and estates in London, UK, where he was admitted as a solicitor in 1976. Since 1980 he has practiced primarily in commercial and corporate law, initially in Hong Kong and, since 1986, in Sydney. From 1990 to 2020 he ran his own practice in North Sydney, covering commercial and corporate law, property law and estate planning.
In the commercial and corporate sphere Michael advises on and assists with the establishment and alteration of business entities (e.g., companies, partnerships and trading trusts), negotiation and documentation of commercial transactions, engagement and termination of staff (whether as employees or as contractors), making financing arrangements and business succession planning. Michael’s experience includes establishment of start up companies and new subsidiaries for existing local and foreign businesses, development of corporate groups through acquisitions and corporate reconstructions through share buybacks, with associated shareholder, partnership and joint venture agreements; protection of tangible and intellectual property assets through ownership structures and non-disclosure agreements; registration of trademarks; franchising; intellectual property licences; hiring agreements; sale and purchase of businesses; trading terms and order forms; manufacturing, agency and distribution agreements; software licences, software development and maintenance agreements; website development agreements; contractor and employment agreements; services agreements; loan and factoring agreements; guarantees and indemnities; mortgages and security agreements; advising on redundancies and unfair dismissal claims; and business succession planning (‘buy/sell agreements’). Michael acts as general counsel for the local subsidiaries of 2 foreign software companies.
In his property law practice, Michael acts for buyers and sellers of residential and commercial real estate (including houses, apartments, offices, shops, factories, warehouses and farms), drafting, negotiating and completing sale and purchase contracts for free standing, strata and company title properties. He also acts for landlords and tenants of commercial real estate, including retail shop premises, drafting and negotiating the terms of leases, licences and incentive deeds and variations, assignments and surrenders of leases. Michael advises on and drafts strata bylaws, easements and similar rights.
Michael assists individual clients with protection and management of their personal assets, including planning for potential disablement or loss of mental capacity. He advises on and drafts trusts, powers of attorney, appointments of guardians, wills and deeds of family arrangement. He also advises on and manages obtaining of probate of wills and letters of administration (where there is no will) and distribution of deceased estates.
Michael seeks to practice ‘preventative law’, aiming through forward planning to help his clients avoid getting involved in disputes with others.
Michael is an avid rower, who regularly competes in masters events at club, state and national level.