Michael Hughes
Partner, Sydney
With more than 30 years experience, I have developed a specialist practice in insolvency and reconstruction, security enforcement and commercial litigation. I have an extensive experience in high, federal and state courts, tribunals, arbitrations and alternative dispute resolution processes.

A particular focus on my practice is non-contentious restructuring and workouts, both solvent and insolvent. I act for banks and other credit providers, as well as investors and special situations funds. I also act for banks and other credit providers in the enforcement of securities and the work out of problem loans.

I have extensive regulatory expertise, advising on ASIC and other regulator investigations, particularly in respect of alleged contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), such as insider trading. I have advised many overseas creditors and investors on their ability to execute turnaround strategies with Australian debtors or foreign assets controlled by insolvent entities in Australia. On the other hand, I have also represented Australian insolvency practitioners seeking to recover assets located overseas.

Career highlights

  • Boart Longyear - acting for Centerbridge Partners LP as major shareholder and creditor in connection with the recapitalisation of Boart Longyear
  • Ten Network - acting for PPB as the receivers of Ten Network
  • Dick Smith - acting for McGrath Nicol as voluntary administrators and subsequent liquidators of the Dick Smith Group
  • Plutus - acting for Deloitte in their capacity as provisional liquidators appointed to 9 entities within the Plutus Group of companies, which are at the centre of allegations concerning a significant fraud on the ATO

I have a long history working across borders and I have been involved in some of the largest cross-border insolvencies involving advisers in other jurisdictions. I have first-hand experience in the operation of the Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008 (Cth) by which Australia adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law.

I'm proud to have been a member of the National Committee of the Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association (ARITA) for over two decades, and to have been named one of its inaugural Fellows in 2017. I was formerly on ARITA's National Committee, and in June 2011 I received the President's award for excellence within ARITA.