Michelle Carr

Partner. Sydney.

+61 2 9210 6258 |   |  vCard

Michelle takes on the toughest, most complex disputes and delivers outstanding results.

Throughout her career, cases she has won have redefined distinct areas of the law.

Michelle has particular expertise in large document litigation involving big exposures and reputations in superior jurisdictions. She is best known for her commercial litigation skills and also advises on insurance, claims on directors and officers, trade practices and other commercial matters.

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Michelle takes on the toughest, most complex disputes and delivers outstanding results.

Throughout her career, cases she has won have redefined distinct areas of the law.

Michelle has particular expertise in large document litigation involving big exposures and reputations in superior jurisdictions. She is best known for her commercial litigation skills and also advises on insurance, claims on directors and officers, trade practices and other commercial matters.

Michelle is currently defending two class actions and allegations of anti-competitive conduct. She is also advising internationally on regulator investigations of price fixing.

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“2014 Sydney International Arbitration Lawyer of the Year” Best Lawyers Peer Review

Michelle's Expertise

  • Landmark Case: Aon v ANU Michelle achieved a unanimous High Court judgment that overturned the existing law relating to the entitlement to make a late strategic change in the conduct of litigation. The decision affects case management principles in all civil jurisdictions across Australia and is one of the most significant practice and procedure decisions of the last fifteen years.
  • European Commission - Brussels On behalf of a client, Michelle attended the European Commission as part of a New Zealand delegation that successfully defended a Statement of Objections by EC prosecutors against a number of industry participants including her client.
  • Baulderstone Hornibrooke v Gordian Michelle obtained judgment and an indemnity costs order for her client in a dispute over defects in construction of the Third Runway at Sydney Airport. Described by the trial judge as “the most complex case that I have heard…from a perspective of factual parameters”, the decision was unanimously confirmed on appeal. The judgment for Michelle’s client was described as a “spectacular defeat” for the opposition in a “fiercely contested case”.
  • Australian National University insurance claim In 2003, fire storms in the Canberra area destroyed the ANU’s Mount Stromlo Observatory. Michelle acted in a contested dispute over liability under insurance policies when a claim was made for the destruction of the observatory.
  • Travel Compensation Fund v The Directors of Ansett Following the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York, directors of Ansett placed the airline into voluntary administration. Michelle defended allegations against the directors of insolvent trading by the airline heard before the Supreme Court of NSW by contending that Ansett was never insolvent.

What others say

  • “Sydney International Arbitration Lawyer of the Year” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2014
  • “A highly effective litigator who succeeds by thinking creatively and not being drawn into the 'group think' mentality that traps so many lawyers. She is very 'hands on' with the crucial details and a tenacious fighter, keeping her clients’ interests constantly in clear focus. It would be scary to be on the other side!” Air New Zealand's General Counsel, John Blair
  • “A ‘linchpin’...she is somebody who thinks outside the square, is determined and gets on with the task – sometimes you get the sense that partners go to meetings, but delegate the work afterwards – whereas Michelle will read through truckloads of lever arch files herself because she is so keen to make sure she’s across the details.” Australian Legal Business
  • “Best Lawyer - International Arbitration” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2010-2014
  • “Michelle Carr is highly commended for her litigation skills” Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2011
  • “Leading Lawyer - Insurance” Chambers Global Guide, 2008-2013
  • “...a ‘brilliant litigator’ thanks to her ‘commitment and legal expertise’.” Chambers Global Guide, 2008
  • “Michelle Carr is ‘an excellent technician and highly skilled litigator.'” Chambers Global Guide, 2009
  • “Clients praise the determination of insurance litigator Michelle Carr: ‘Her commitment to the client is unmatched and her results speak for themselves.’” Chambers Global Guide, 2010
  • “She will never give up on a client” Chambers Global Guide, 2011
  • “Best Lawyer - Alternative Dispute Resolution” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2013 & 2014
  • “Best Lawyer - Class Action Litigation” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2012-2014
  • “Best Lawyer - Insurance” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2014