International disputes specialist joins Minter Ellison in Western Australia

18 April 2012

Minter Ellison has announced the appointment of Michael Hales as a Senior Legal Consultant (and partner designate*) in the Perth office. Mr Hales is a commercial dispute resolution and international arbitration specialist with nearly 25 years' experience across a range of industries.

He is a former partner of UK firm Nabarro LLP and chair of that firm's international committee, responsible for its global international business development and in particular the operation of its European alliance across France, Germany, Italy and Spain. He was also heavily involved in the planning and the opening of Nabarro's Singapore office, which focuses on international arbitration.

"We are delighted to welcome a practitioner of Michael's calibre and experience to our national dispute resolution team and to our growing team in Perth. His wide range of experience in international disputes will be particularly valuable on the ground in Western Australia given that market's proximity to Asia's arbitration centres and the significant international investment occurring in that state," Ross Freeman, head of Minter Ellison's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Division said.

Minter Ellison international litigation and dispute resolution team comprises more than 35 partners located throughout the firm's Australasian offices and in Hong Kong, and it has build a market-leading reputation in the strategic resolution of disputes throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Recent headline recent matters include the successful resolution of the dispute arising from grounding of Qantas' entire A380 fleet following the failure of a Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on a Qantas A380 aircraft, the shareholders class action against Sigma relating to its 2010 accounts, and the successful defence of landmark proceedings brought by the Australian Energy Regulator for alleged contravention of the National Electricity Rules – the first of its kind in Australia.

Mr Hales' practice has focussed on international and multi-jurisdictional cases, acting for clients on banking, corporate, e-commerce, tax and fraud matters. His caseload has included mining and infrastructure disputes, and he has been regularly involved in international arbitrations emanating from all around the world. He has appearance rights in the UK as a solicitor advocate, and is also admitted as a solicitor advocate in the British Virgin Islands.

Mr Hales has an LLB from University College London. He worked in Australia from 1990-1992 and is admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales and of the High Court. He is currently the senior vice chair of the IBA’s Litigation Committee.

[* Mr Hales confirmation as a partner will follow the finalisation of relevant Australian visa requirements and completion of the necessary formalities to enable him to practice in Western Australia. He will then be the seventh partner in the Perth office.]