Michael has a strong belief in the power of collaboration to address complex legal challenges. His approach, whether with his team, in partnership with clients, or among colleagues, reflects his commitment to fostering a culture of shared knowledge, empathy and excellence.
Michael is Australia’s leading health and safety lawyer with specialist expertise in regulatory investigations and environment, social and governance (ESG) issues. Michael provides strategic crisis management, proactive resilience and ESG advice to companies and Boards in Australia and globally. He has extensive experience responding to incidents, undertaking investigations, acting in inquiries, and advising on ESG systems, processes, policy, culture and leadership.
Michael proactively advises his clients on safety-related matters particularly work health and safety, anti-terrorism, product safety and security compliance issues including assisting in the development and implementation of compliance systems. He regularly investigates psychosocial incidents and workplace culture and proactively implements mental health and wellbeing programs.
Michael has spoken at United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) conferences including presenting to the General Assembly and being on the taskforce for the development of the Global Manifesto for Industrial Safety. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Health and Safety and, in 2019, Michael was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Australian Institute of Health and Safety for his contribution to safety.
In addition to his extensive legal expertise, Michael is a thought leader on health and safety issues and an author of numerous books on ESG, Due Diligence, Mental Health at Work, Incident Investigations, Dealing with Regulators and the COVID pandemic. His books are frequently prescribed in universities, cited in academic literature and judgements, and are standard references for safety and legal practitioners.
Michael provides training to Boards and corporate leadership teams on safety due diligence, safety leadership, safety performance indicators, contractor management, risk management, mental health and ESG. His pioneering work on rethinking safety as capital, measuring the return on investment of safety and the Due Diligence Index – a new international standard for measuring safety performance, makes him uniquely placed to lead multidisciplinary projects on ESG improvements, reporting and performance measurement.
Michael has lectured at various tertiary institutions including the University of New South Wales, The University of Sydney, and Auckland University.
Prior to joining Hamilton Locke, Michael was a Partner at Clyde & Co, including as Australian Managing Partner from 2017 to 2022.