Michael Ferguson has more than 35 years of experience in commercial and corporate litigation, with a particular focus on competition and regulation, and antitrust matters.

    Michael’s practice encompasses a wide range of industry sectors, including finance, property development, mining, oil and gas, transport, manufacturing and retail.

    In addition to advising and acting for clients in corporate, contractual, tortious, interpretation and other disputes, Michael has extensive experience in banking and insolvency litigation and corporate recovery. He advises banks, financiers and insolvency practitioners in achieving the best possible outcomes.

    Michael has a specialist interest in competition law issues arising under the Competition and Consumer Act and is experienced in the access regimes established by that and other acts.

    Michael’s clients include Racing and Wagering Western Australia, Mitsui Iron Ore Corporation Pty Ltd, Roadwest Transport Equipment & Sales Pty Ltd, CJD Equipment Pty Ltd and various energy, resources and mining companies. He works closely with the firm’s energy and resources team. Michael regularly conducts proceedings on behalf of clients and appears as counsel in the Supreme, District and Magistrates Courts in Western Australia and the Federal Court.

    Michael is a member of The Law Society of Western Australia, the Law Council of Australia and the Competition and Consumer Committee, Western Australia. He is a frequent speaker for Legalwise Seminars and at industry conferences and seminars for the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association and Chartered Secretaries Australia.

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    Competition Law

    • Representing parties in Federal court actions and applications to the Australian Competition Tribunal arising out of an application for access to a privately owned railway line.
    • Acted for an applicant for access to a railway line in the Pilbara in a Federal Court action for a declaration.
    • Representing a large Western Australian miner and producer in competition law matters arising from proposed joint marketing of product, expansion of capacity at various facilities operated in joint venture with others, its rights to information under the economic regulation framework in Western Australia and various other competition law issues.
    • Provided advice on competition law issues to a member of a consortium that was a supplier of roadwork materials and that held a substantial degree of market power.
    • Provided detailed advice to a mining company on competition law issues arising from a proposal to divest certain mining tenements on the condition that the purchasers entered into a supply agreement with the mining company.
    • Acting for companies and a director of the companies prosecuted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission concerning allegations of cartel conduct.
    • Acting in numerous actions for clients where claims of misleading and deceptive conduct were alleged.
    • Providing advice on competition law issues as they affected a licensing arrangement for the conduct of an international sporting event in Western Australia.
    • Checking advertising for a major automobile manufacturer for potential issues under the competition law.
    • Advising corporations on competition law issues arising from proposed mergers and acquisitions.
    • Advising Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) in respect of its totalisator pooling arrangements with Tabcorp and the necessary application for authorisation of those arrangements.
    • Advising RWWA in respect of competition law issues arising from its activities generally.

    Dispute Resolution

    • Acting for a major oil producer and explorer in various matters arising under gas supply agreements.
    • Acted for a gas supplier and pipeline owner in a dispute concerning the interpretation of a gas supply contract.
    • Acted for a major property developer in a dispute over an alleged contract for the sale of a significant parcel of land in Perth’s Northern Suburbs.
    • Acted for a major Japanese corporation in a dispute over an alleged joint venture to develop a CBD building in Perth.
    • Acted for a major oil company in a dispute concerning the sinking and loss of a submersible drilling platform off the coast of Western Australia.
    • Acted for a BVI registered company in a shareholders’ dispute over the entitlement to and value of an oil asset located in the Gulf of Thailand. Proceedings were commenced in the British Virgin Islands and involved parties in Australia, BVI, Thailand and the US.
    • Acted for a major bank in a matter to do with investigations by regulatory authorities.
    • Acting for landowners and landlords in disputes over rights to occupy property.
    • Acting for a wide range of clients in disputes concerning contracts, misleading and deceptive conduct, outstanding debts, property rights, joint ventures, investment trusts, breaches of directors’ duties and contractual disputes.
    • Acting for a listed mining company and its subsidiary in Supreme Court litigation over title to and interests in mining tenements.
    • Acting for a local authority in Supreme Court proceedings against a contractor for loss and damage arising from alleged negligence and breach of contract.
    • Advising a multinational corporation on a potentially significant claim arising from a contract to supply industrial components to a major exploration project in Western Australia.
    • Represented a former employee in keenly contested proceedings for significant damages allegedly resulting from actions of the client and settled those proceedings on advantageous terms.
    • Acted for Midwest Corporation during the contested takeover by Sino Steel on various issues.

    Corporate Recovery/Insolvency

    • Acted for the administrator of a tyre retailer in all aspects of finalising the administration.
    • Acted for the receivers and managers of Sumich Group in the successful sale of the assets.
    • Acted for the former receiver and manager of a company faced with a claim in excess of AU$4 million.
    • Acting for insolvency practitioners in connection with the preservation and sale of liquor licences.
    • Liquor Licensing

    • Acting for the successful applicant in a contested removal of a liquor store licence application.
    • Acting for the successful applicant in a contested application for a new liquor store licence in central Bunbury.
    • Advising lenders on the effect of provisions of the Liquor Licensing Act.
    • Acting for the successful applicants in contested applications for liquor store licences in Hocking, Landsdale and Baldivis.
    • Acting for the applicants for a tavern licence, opposed by simultaneous applicants for liquor store licences, as a result of which only one liquor store licence was granted.

    Education

    • The University of Western Australia, LL.B., 1978
    • The University of Western Australia, J.D., 1977

    Admissions

    • Western Australia, 1980

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • Member, Law Society of Western Australia
    • Member, Law Council of Australia

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