Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald

Managing Director


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 businesses both in Australia and internationally.

Michael is founder and Managing Director of mdp. He provides practical and commercially-driven advice on corporate structuring and commercial transactions throughout every stage of the business lifecycle. He 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 2007 to 2009, he acted for the former CEO and COO of the AWB in the AWB Royal Commission. 

Michael is the Chairman of several public and private companies:

  • Leighton O’Brien is the world’s largest wetstock management petroleum company with over 60 licensed service distributors globally.
  • ICEE Folding Box manufactured and markets the world’s first collapsible airpop® box.
  • BAR Studio won the Asian hotel designer of the year in 2016 with the design of Rosewood Beijing, and has designed Park Hyatt Sydney, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, and Grand Hyatt Melbourne.

His commercial experience from these companies’ expansion all over the world has given him first-hand knowledge of foreign investment, structuring and ownership issues.

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 the Vice-Chair of the Intellectual Property Law Committee at ITechLaw. He is also a member of various international and domestic industry groups, including the International Trademark Association (INTA), International Referral (IR) Global, 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.

Michael can be contacted on +61 3 9620 9660 or via email at info@mdplaw.com.au.