Michael is a highly respected and pre-eminent lawyer, commercial advisor and businessman with a career spanning more than 35 years across corporate, commercial and intellectual property law. He has specialist expertise in, and passion for, commercialising and growing Australian businesses both in Australia and internationally.
Michael is founder and managing director of mdp Law and mdp Patents. He provides practical and commercially-driven advice on corporate structuring and commercial transactions throughout every stage of the business lifecycle. He has also advised on major litigation cases defending some of Australia’s most well-known brands. He also successfully represented the former CEO of the Australian Wheat Board in the Oil for Food enquiry.
Michael is highly regarded for his judgement, integrity, commercial counsel, industry connections and straight-talking advice, and provides a sounding board for some of Australia’s leading executives.
In addition to his legal experience, Michael has extensive corporate advisory experience at the helm of several technology businesses that operate internationally, including in his role as chairman of Leighton O’Brien, a market-leading provider of underground petroleum storage software and services to global oil companies through an international network of forty-five licensed service providers. His commercial experience from the company’s expansion into the US and Asia has given him first-hand knowledge of foreign investment, structuring and ownership issues.
He is also a founding director and chairman of the ICEE Group, which manufactures and markets the world’s first collapsible polystyrene box, and chairman of Emergency Warning Systems, which has created a warning and alert dissemination technology and is slated to list on the ASX in 2017.
Michael also chairs David Lock Associates, a town planning and urban design consultancy, and recently played a pivotal role its restructure and expansion into Asia.
Michael brings a critical and objective eye to his board positions, assisting the executive team to determine appropriate company strategy and ensure they remain fully accountable in achieving desired outcomes.
He has a particular affinity with and experience in driving business growth in the Asian market, having spent some of his early years on student exchange in the Philippines and later as President of the Australia Philippines Business Council.
Through his board appointments he has also advised on foreign market entry strategies from a legal and commercial perspective. He takes an active role in developing and expanding his clients’ businesses and preparing them for offshore protection and growth.
Michael is a sought-after and engaging speaker at national and international industry events, and regularly conducts workshops on succession planning and achieving optimum value from a business sale.
He is a member of the International Trademark Association (INTA), the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand (IPSANZ), the Law Institute Victoria (LIV), and the Law Council of Australia.
Michael has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Monash University.