F: +675 321 3631
M (PNG): +675 7207 2200
M (AU): +61 414 863 333
Bachelor of Arts (Economics & Japanese) (University of New South Wales)
Bachelor of Laws (University of New South Wales)
Master of Laws (University of Sydney)
Master of Professional Accounting (Deakin University)
Admitted to practise as a solicitor in NSW (1983), as a lawyer in PNG (1993) and as a solicitor in England and Wales (2012)
Prior to joining Leahy Lewin Lowing Sullivan Lawyers, Michael spent 12 years working in the oil and gas industry as general counsel and group secretary for Oil Search Limited, the largest oil and gas company in Papua New Guinea. As a result Michael has a very high level of understanding of how the oil and gas industry operates in practice.
Michael also spent 12 months as executive general manager legal and general counsel for Lihir Gold.
Prior to that Michael was a partner at Gadens and before that a senior associate at Freehills.
Michael is a qualified company secretary and a public notary in New South Wales.
Michael is admitted to practice as a solicitor in England and Wales and in Australia as well as in Papua New Guinea.
He is currently completing his Master of Accounting and International Finance at Deakin University.
Areas of Experience
Michael’s main areas of practice are oil & gas, mining, securities, public companies and banking and finance.
Michael’s work has included the negotiating, drafting and settling of complex documents used in the oil and gas industry including gas agreements with the State, joint venture agreements, unitisation agreements, cost sharing agreements, transportation and lifting agreements, gas sales agreements and farm-in and farm-out documents.
Michael has worked extensively with the Bank of Papua New Guinea (Central Bank) and with a variety of financial and non-financial institutions in relation to PNG’s Banks and Financial Institutions Act 2000, the Central Banking Act 2000 and the Central Banking (Foreign Exchange & Gold) Regulations.
Michael has worked on every major oil and gas project in PNG over the last 10 years including the following:
- Hides Gas to Electricity Project
- Unitisation of the Moran oil field
- Proposed PNG Queensland Gas Project
- Proposed Hides LNG Project
- Proposed Oil Search / British Gas LNG Project
- Oil Search / Exxon Mobil / Santos PNG LNG Project
Michael has worked on the following major corporate transactions including:
- Merger of Oil Search & Orogen Minerals (including due diligence exercise)
- Merger of Lihir Gold & Newcrest Mining Limited
- Oil Search’s acquisition of Chevron Niugini (including due diligence exercise)
- Oil Search’s acquisition of British Petroleum’s upstream oil and gas assets (including due diligence exercise)
- Listing of Oil Search on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange
- Corporate reorganization of Oil Search’s overseas and domestic subsidiaries
- Kulim Malaysia Berhad’s 2013 partial takeover offer for New Britain Palm Oil Limited
- Sime Darby Berhad’s 2014 full takeover offer for New Britain Palm Oil Limited
- Refinancing of Bemobile Limited
- Re-negotiation of the Integrated Benefits Package for the Lihir Island Gold Mine
- Woodside Petroleum Limited’s 2015 proposed merger with/takeover offer for Oil Search Limited
- Proposed merger of Kina Securities Limited and Credit Corporation Limited
Michael’s banking and finance experience includes acting for the lenders in the following major transactions:
- Debt financing for the Tolokuma Gold Mine
- Equity financing for the Lihir Gold Mine
- Financing of the million ounce plant upgrade for the Lihir Gold Mine
- Financing of the construction of the Poreporena Freeway, Port Moresby
- Acting for the Asian Development Bank on the financing of the proposed “Z Fishing” tuna cannery in Madang
- Acting for PNG Gold Corporation in its merger with New Guinea Gold Corporation (including due diligence exercise)
- Acting for Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation in its due diligence inquiries on Prime Resources Limited
- Aircraft leases for Qantas and Airlines of PNG
- Acting for Deutsche Bank in the refinancing of the Hidden Valley Gold Mine
- Acting for the board of directors of Bemobile Limited in relation to the recapitalization of that company including the subscription of additional shares by Asian Development Bank
- Acting for the Asian Development Bank in relation to its 2011 US$80million loan facility for Bemobile Limited
- Member, International Bar Association
- Member, Law Society of New South Wales
- Member, Law Society of England & Wales
- Member, Law Society of Papua New Guinea
- Fellow, Institute of Chartered Secretaries (London)
- Fellow, Australia & New Zealand Society of Public Notaries
- Fellow, Governance Institute of Australia