Michael has more than 15 years' experience as an employment law and industrial relations lawyer, acting for clients in a range of industries, including banking and finance, insurance, health and pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, real estate, media and entertainment, information technology and professional services.
He has developed and published compliance programs and best practice policies locally and within Asia Pacific. He is the author and a developer of CCH’s Employment Contracts Manager, a software package that builds and tailors smart employment contracts. He has also authored a large number of chapters in every edition of CCH’s Australian Master Human Resources Guide.
Articles written by Michael on employment law topics have appeared in the Melbourne University Law Review, CFO Magazine, Human Capital, Lawyers Weekly, Human Resources, and CCH’s Employment Law Bulletin. He has also spoken at events arranged by the College of Law, Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and various professional associations. He wrote and produced “Dismissal Impossible,” a training video on unfair dismissal and sexual harassment, for the Australian Stock Exchange.
Michael regularly conducts employment-related litigation before State and Federal courts and industrial tribunals at an original and appellate level.
Michael advises on all aspects of employment and industrial law, including employment agreements, executive agreements and responsibilities, human resources and occupational health and safety policies and procedures, outsourcing, performance management, employment termination, confidentiality and post-employment restrictions, anti-discrimination and occupational health and safety.
Michael places a great emphasis on a commercial, practical and innovative application of his legal expertise. He regularly prepares and conducts internal management training sessions and interactive role plays for clients such as AMP, Accenture, ALDI Stores, MetLife, Rydges, Starbucks and Greater Union.
Representative Legal Matters
- Designing and implementing employment and executive contracts and best practice policies, including the preparation of discretionary bonus plans, commission schemes, post-employment restrictions, and other provisions designed to protect business.
- Advising clients on the fiduciary obligations, director’s duties, confidential information, privacy laws, conflicts of interest, and white-collar crime.
- Conducting audits of independent contractors, and advising clients on how to regularize these arrangements and the consequences of mischaracterization.
- Advising on appropriate procedures for performance management, investigations of misconduct, redundancies, termination, and harassment and anti-discrimination complaints.
- Running training on termination, restructuring, obligations to manage employees, independent contractors, protecting business from employees, discrimination, harassment, occupational health and safety, and the Fair Work Act.
- Advising on industrial relations strategy, including trade union issues.
- Preparing awards, collective agreements, and enterprise agreements.
- Advising on the transmission of industrial instruments, and defending applications before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission/ FWA regarding the same.
- Acting for clients before the State and Federal Commissions in relation to the above matters.
- Defending unfair contract claims, unfair dismissal claims, and breach of contract (including bonus plans and policies) claims before State and Federal Courts and tribunals at primary and appellate level.
- Seeking urgent equitable relief for major clients in relation to breaches of restraints of trade, fiduciary, and confidentiality obligations.
- Defending proceedings commenced by employees before the Federal Court in relation to allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct by employers and breaches of trade practices legislation.
- Defending anti-discrimination claims.
- Defending OHS prosecutions before the Chief Industrial Magistrate and New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission.
- Recommended Practitioner, Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2005-2006
- Recommended Practitioner: Labour and Employee Benefits, PLC Yearbook 2005
- Leading Practitioner, Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2004-2005
Professional Associations and Memberships
- CCH Industrial Law Library & Human Resources Library - Honorary Editorial Board
- New South Wales~Australia (1998)
- University of New South Wales (LL.B.) (1997)
- University of New South Wales (B.A.) (1997)
Michael has been involved in various CCH publications, including every edition of the Australian Master Human Resources Guide, The Dismissal Manuscript (authored by Michael Toten) and Age Discrimination: Mitigating Risk in the Workplace.
Michael has also published a large number of articles and conducted seminars on topics such as smart employment contracts, fair redundancy processes, employee theft of business and business information, and discrimination.