Michelle Power
Partner, Melbourne
With 30 years of experience, I advise clients on commercial disputes, litigation, regulatory actions, and public inquiries as a dispute resolution partner. Known for my calm demeanour, I work closely with senior management on sensitive matters. I have also worked with government departments, previously serving as MinterEllison's client relationship partner for the Victorian Government.

In my work as a Dispute Resolution partner, I utilise skills built over the last 30 years advising public and private sector clients in a wide range of commercial disputes and litigation, actions by regulators (court proceedings and investigations) and public inquiries. Known for my calm demeanour, I particularly work closely with senior management in matters of high sensitivity or reputational risk.

I served as Managing Partner – Markets between 2019 - 2023, and was responsible for MinterEllison's industry program implementation and development. This program helps our teams see their work directly from the perspective of our clients and, with our clients, devise and implement commercial and focused solutions.

My responsibilities as Managing Partner - Markets were combined with continuing to actively work with a range of clients as a Dispute Resolution partner. My skills as a dispute resolution lawyer have been recognised in Best Lawyers (Alternative Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Government Practice), Legal 500 and Doyle's Guide.

In my role as a dispute resolution lawyer, I have particular expertise in dealing with complex disputes and complex litigation. It's particularly important in these matters to look at the issues at hand, both in detail and in the larger frame of the dispute, and to consider all options. Client feedback reflects my strategic approach to disputes and litigation and my overall commercial approach.

Complementing my private sector experience, I have acted for government departments and agencies in a wide range of matters and was previously MinterEllison's Client Relationship Partner for the Victorian Government.

As the first female partner in MinterEllison's dispute resolution group in Melbourne, I actively support diversity in the workplace.

Career highlights

  • EnergyAustralia - Acted in the successful resolution of a claim in excess of $1 billion relating to the sale of the Iona Gas Underground Storage Facility (Supreme Court of Victoria)
  • Acting for a large insurer in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry
    Crown Melbourne Limited – successfully defended a high-profile claim in the High Court of Australia brought by a prominent figure seeking the return of $40 million – a landmark decision in the area of unconscionable conduct
  • Crown Melbourne Limited – successfully represented Crown in a multimillion dollar claim involving collateral contracts and estoppel, ultimately decided in the High Court
  • VicRoads - acted for VicRoads in an administrative law challenge relating to Stage 2B of the Western Highway bypass
    EnergyAustralia - Acted in the successful defence of a high profile adverse action claim brought by a former senior executive (Federal Court and Full Federal Court)
  • Village Roadshow Limited – highly successful defence and counterclaim in long running proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria involving contractual claims in excess of $200 million
  • Port of Melbourne Corporation and a group of its major tenants, including Asciano Limited and DP World Australia Limited – successfully challenged the assessment of the site value of the Port of Melbourne, resulting in a decrease in site value from more than $500 million to approximately $150 million
  • Operator of Southern Cross Station – successfully challenged the assessment of the site value of Southern Cross Station

Awards and recognition

  • Recommended, Alternative Dispute Resolution – Best Lawyers: 2011 - 2023
  • Recommended, Litigation – Best Lawyers: 2013 – 2023
  • Recommended, Government Practice – Best Lawyers: 2019 - 2023
  • Recommended, Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution (Melbourne) – Doyle's Guide, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Finalist in Dispute Resolution category, Euromoney Women in Business Law Awards 2014 (Australasia)