Michael O’Brien

Michael O’Brien

Principal Lawyer

  • Areas of Law Insolvency , Business Law , Litigation , The Genuine Alternative , Our Approach , Alternative Dispute Resolution , Crisis Support , Dispute Resolution , Personal Property Securities
  • Qualifications Bachelor of Arts – Victoria University New Zealand 1983
    Diploma in Criminology – University of Sydney 1985
    Bachelor of Laws – ANU 1989
    Diploma in Legal Practice – University of Technology NSW 1990
    Master of Laws – University of Sydney 1995

Michael O’Brien is a dispute resolution and business lawyer who also advises on insolvency where he is well known as one of only a handful of lawyers with experience in both personal (bankruptcy) and corporate insolvency.

His practice also involves a variety of litigation and dispute resolution work involving partnerships, governance, directors’ duties and all manner of other business issues. His approach involves mediation, arbitration, complex negotiations and conducting large commercial cases in the Supreme and Federal Courts. He has represented parties in informal dispute resolution processes and conducted proceedings in a broad range of jurisdictions, including acting for overseas clients with business interests in Australia and disputes involving cross-border issues.

Michael has more than 25 years’ experience working with liquidators, administrators, trustees in bankruptcy, Australian Financial Security Authority and other insolvency professionals. He also has significant experience in business law and litigation.

His advice covers company structures and shareholder agreements, contract law, terms of trade (both domestic and international), IP protection and issues of solvency, such as:

  • unfair preference claims;
  • uncommercial transactions;
  • insolvent trading claims;
  • other aspects of the investigatory process relating to insolvency administrations; and
  • the Personal Property Securities Register.

Michael also has significant experience in the administration of the Bankruptcy Act 1966, which includes acting for the Official Trustee in Bankruptcy, the Inspector General in Bankruptcy, registered trustees as well as persons facing bankruptcy or persons who have become bankrupt. His experience includes assisting and advising trustees in relation to asset recovery investigations and other matters, and commencing and defending legal proceedings.

Michael’s business clients operate in a wide variety of industries, from maritime and bulk storage to consumer electronics and not-for-profits. He also has substantial experience advising for, or working with, government authorities such as the Australian Tax Office (ATO), Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) and the Australian Consumer Competition Commission (ACCC).

Recent Experience
  • Advising liquidators who are acting against company directors in insolvency matters.
  • Advising company directors who are being sued by liquidators in insolvency matters.
  • Advising company directors and liquidators in statutory examinations.
  • Acting for shareholders and directors in asset recovery and company fraud.
  • Advising on business restructuring and asset protection .
  • Advising on disputes around trusts and trusts structuring.
Dedicated Expertise
  • One of a small number of lawyers with experience in both personal and corporate insolvency.
Relaxation
  • Running – Michael likes nothing better than his 6km run to and from work when possible.
  • Photography – Michael has been exploring his creative side.
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