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    About

    The firm’s philosophy is shaped by founder Michael Mills. Recognised by Who’s Who Legal as an Australian leader in commercial litigation, he is a highly tactical thinker with a deep understanding of dispute resolution. Solve | Resolve is built on over 30 years’ experience in helping clients achieve successful outcomes.

    Michael Mills

    Principal

    Michael Mills is recognised as one of Australia’s leading lawyers for complex commercial litigation and dispute resolution.

    As a top commercial litigator, he has been the lead defence lawyer for some of Australia’s largest and most complex disputes, representing both leading Australian and international companies.

    His areas of expertise include: directors, officers and civil liability, class actions and mass torts, product liability, regulatory investigations and resulting disputes, insurance – both insurance and risk solutions for policyholders, as well as insurance coverage disputes.

    Michael has long been recognised as a creative tactical thinker about ways to resolve disputes by alternative methods, whether that be by negotiation, arbitration, mediation, or other means. He is also an accredited mediator and teaches courses in Australia and overseas on negotiation and dispute resolution. This includes being a guest lecturer at Stanford Law School on mass torts and complex litigation on several occasions since 2011, author of Thomson Reuter’s text, Dispute Resolution and a past Chair of Resolution Institute (previously LEADR) and Advisory Board member of RAND Institute of Civil Justice.

    Results and past notable wins (where a matter of public record)

    ASIC

    Acted as contradictor on behalf of ASIC/Full Federal Court of Australia in the important white-collar crime test case of ASIC v Whitebox Trading Pty Ltd.

    Board of Inquiry – (ACT) Criminal Justice System

    The 2023 Board of Inquiry conducted by Mr Walter Sofronoff KC made no adverse findings or recommendations relating to our client.

    “Citizenship7”

    Handled what many commentators described as the most important case to reach the High Court of Australia in the last 25 years – the so-called “Citizenship7” case involving Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and others in the High Court of Australia. Obtained a unanimous judgment for our client Tony Windsor. At the conclusion of the hearing, The Australian newspaper’s Legal Affairs Editor (Mr Chris Merritt) wrote “The depth of Windsor’s legal team did not end there. Sitting in court behind Gleeson and Merkel were two partners from US litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Michael Mills and Michelle Fox”. The day after the decision was announced, Mr Merrit wrote: “The great victors are Windsor and his ludicrously high-powered legal team … Their arguments were endorsed by the seven judges. They took on the best legal brains the government could muster and wiped the floor with them.”

    Commonwealth Bank of Australia

    Represented the CFO in regulatory investigations following the AUSTRAC $700m penalty of CBA for AML breaches (no prosecution).

    Dreamworld

    Represented the CEO in Coronial Inquiry proceedings (no adverse finding or prosecution) and presently represents the company Ardent Ltd and CEO (now past CEO) in associated class action proceedings.

    E*Trade

    Represented E*Trade after its Manila office was raided by the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation in May 2016. Thirty-six of their 400+ employees in Manila were arrested for alleged violations of Philippines securities laws and all equipment was confiscated, effectively shutting down their operations in the Philippines. E*Trade was accused of running illegal trades for US customers. By October 2016 all alleged violations had been dismissed and the office successfully reopened.

    Ensham/Idemitsu

    Acted on behalf of the owners of the Ensham coal mine following the natural disaster of catastrophic flooding and the successful recovery action under its business interruption insurance policy.

    Forge

    Defended former directors (in liq.) in class action proceedings (resolved in 2021).

    Greensill Bank (in administration)

    Acted on behalf of the Administrator of Greensill Bank (following the collapse of Greensill in 2021) in a series of claims against insurers (exceeding $2billion) on various trade credit insurance policies.

    Lend Lease

    Led Bovis Lend Lease’s successful defence and resolution efforts in relation to the World Trade Centre clean-up litigation, where over 18,000 plaintiffs sued the City of New York, our client and others. The litigation was reported to be one of the largest mass tort actions in the United States. Michael played a key role in driving a resolution strategy which saw all claims resolved with no settlement contribution from our client and historic legislation becoming law in the US, which effectively limited Bovis Lend Lease’s and other contractors exposure to available insurance.

    Reliance Rail Pty Ltd

    Successfully prosecuted Assured Guaranty’s interests in the contested $1.9 billion refinancing of in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

    Southern Cross Media

    Represented the Deputy Chair of Southern Cross Media in investigatory examinations and responding to compulsory notices issued by ASIC, which led to a rare public acknowledgement by ASIC not to proceed with action.

    Thorn / Radio Rentals

    Negotiated the successful resolution of this class action proceeding at mediation (not the lawyer on the court record for the company).

    Viva Energy Ltd

    Successfully defended Viva Energy Ltd’s $2 billion IPO, both at first instance and then on appeal in the Supreme Court of Victoria.