Michael Garner

ADMITTED  1987    BAR  1994

PHONE  9225 7521
MOBILE  0423 207 812

Michael Garner, BSc LL.B (Hons) BCL (Oxen)


  • Administrative Law
  • Bankruptcy and Insolvency
  • Class Actions
  • Commercial Law
  • Contract
  • Corporations
  • Equity / Equitable Relief / Trusts
  • International / Conflicts of Law
  • Trade Practices

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Michael Garner is a commercial barrister specialising in class actions, corporations law, insolvency and trade practices (consumer law).

In 2013, 2014 and 2015 he was ranked as one of Australia's best litigation lawyers in the legal profession's most respected peer review publication (Best Lawyers).

He has appeared and acted for defendants in numerous class actions, including for Telstra Corporation (in proceedings in the Federal Court in New South Wales), the State of Victoria (in the Longford proceeding in the Supreme Court of Victoria), OZ Minerals Ltd (in two Federal Court proceedings in New South Wales) and Centro Properties Ltd (in Federal Court proceedings in Victoria). He is currently briefed as lead counsel for OZ Minerals Ltd in a Federal Court class action in Victoria and for Treasury Wine Estates Ltd in two class actions in the Federal Court in New South Wales.

Michael has extensive experience in insolvency law, including acting as lead counsel for the Ansett group deed administrators in various proceedings arising out of the administration of the Ansett group of companies.

He has also appeared in a number of oil and gas (price redetermination) arbitrations, including for Santos Limited and the State Electricity Commission of Victoria.

He also acted as lead counsel for Telstra in the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission in 2009.

Admitted to legal practice: 1 June 1987

Signed Victorian Bar Roll: 26 May 1994. In April 2005 he left the Bar and worked as a sole practitioner. He re-signed the Bar Roll in May 2010.


B Sc, LLB (Hons) University of Melbourne

BCL (1st class honours) Oxford University

Victorian Rhodes Scholar 1984


1986-88: Articled Clerk and solicitor at Freehill, Hollingdale and Page.

1989: Lawyer in Calgary, Alberta (McLeod Dixon) and Vancouver, British Columbia (Ladner Downs).

1990-1994, Partner, Freehills (commercial litigation section)

1994-2005 and 2010 -current, Victorian Bar.

Class actions:

Melbourne City Investments Pty Ltd v Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (No 3) [2014] VSC 340.

Melbourne City Investments Pty Ltd v Treasury Wine Estates Ltd [2014] VSCA 351.

Kirby v Centro Properties Limited [2008] FCA 1501; [2010] FCA 1115.

Kirby v Centro Properties Limited (No 2) (2008) 172 FCR 376; [2008] FCA 1657.

Hobbs Anderson Investments Pty Ltd v OZ Minerals Ltd [2011] FCA 801.

Johnson Tiles Pty Ltd v Esso Australia Pty Ltd [2003] VSC 27.


IATA v Ansett Australia Ltd (subject to DOCA) (2008) 234 CLR 151.

Ansett Australia Ltd (subject to DOCA) v IATA (2006) 60 ACSR 468; (2006) 24 ACLC 1381; [2006] VSCA 242.

Ansett Australia Holdings Ltd (subject to DOCA)v Diners Club Limited (2007) ACSR 47; [2007] VSC 102.

Diners Club Limited v Ansett Australia Holdings Ltd (subject to DOCA) [2008] VSCA 30.

Ansett Australia Holdings Limited (subject to DOCA) v Travel Software Solutions Pty Ltd (2007) 214 FLR 203; [2007] VSC 401.

Trade Practices (consumer law):

Miletich v Murchie (2012) 297 ALR 566; [2012] FCA 1013.

General commercial

Markets Nominees v Commissioner of Taxation [2012] FCA 262.

Beconwood Securities Pty Ltd v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (2008) 246 ALR 361; [2008] FCA 594.

Articles published

The role of subjective benefit in the law of unjust enrichment (1990) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies

Towards an Australian doctrine of forum non conveniens (1989) 38 International and Comparative Law Quarterly

Formation of international contracts – finding the right choice of law rule (1989) 63 Australian Law Journal 751.

From 01/07/2010, Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.