Michael RobbinsSpecial Counsel
I believe in working as a trusted advisor, using my extensive dispute resolution experience to help clients achieve commercially attractive resolutions to complex disputes.
Michael is a Special Counsel in DLA Piper’s Litigation & Regulatory group, with over 10 years' experience acting for clients on complex commercial and construction disputes. Michael helps his clients achieve their strategic objectives whether by litigation, arbitration, mediation or negotiation from a practical perspective.
Prior to his role at DLA Piper, he was a Senior Associate in the Hong Kong office of a US law firm acting clients in numerous international commercial arbitrations, including under the ICC and HKIAC rules.
Michael is qualified in three jurisdictions: Western Australia; New York; and Hong Kong. He has appeared as counsel and instructing solicitor in the District Court of Western Australia, the Supreme Court of Western Australia, the Federal Court of Australia and the Hong Kong High Court, and has an in depth understanding of the rules and procedures of those courts.
In addition to his extensive experience in private practice law firms, he was also a Deputy Counsel at the ICC International Court of Arbitration (in Hong Kong, 2014-2015) and more recently was seconded as Counsel at the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA).
Michael obtained his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degrees from the University of Notre Dame (Australia) (2008). He also holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) with a certificate in Dispute Resolution and International Arbitration at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington DC (Awarded Dean's List) (2013-2014).
- Acted for a joint venture contractor as Claimant in a consolidated ICC arbitration in a multi-billion US dollar dispute involving the construction of an LNG project of the coast of northern Australia (Western Australian governing law, Singapore seat and ICC Rules).
- Acted for numerous investment funds (subscribers of bonds) as Claimants against multiple Respondents on claims arising out of a subscription agreement and related transaction documents. The amount in dispute was over USD400 million. The dispute involved the enforcement of offshore share charges, an HKIAC arbitration and seeking interim relief in the PRC under a newly implement arrangement between Hong Kong and the PRC. (Hong Kong governing law, seat and HKIAC Rules).
- Acted for a BVI Company as Plaintiff in the Hong Kong High Court. The amount in dispute of USD100 million arose out of breach of a subscription agreement and related transaction documents.
- Acted for US Companies as Claimants in a consolidated arbitration involving disputes arising out of global supply agreements of wood flooring products, which resulted in favourable award. (HKIAC arbitration; Hong Kong seat and governing law).
- Acted for a US Company as Respondent in an arbitration against a PRC company. The amount in dispute of USD50 million arises out of a manufacturing and sales agreement relating to FCC Catalysts. (Hong Kong governing law, seat and HKIAC Rules).
- Acted for an Australian Company as Plaintiff in Hong Kong High Court litigation involving breach of contract claims against a PRC-based supplier of heavy power-generation equipment for use in mining operations in Western Australia. Resulted in a favorable settlement at mediation.
- Acted for BVI and Cayman Companies as Claimants in a USD50 million arbitration dispute arising out of a share purchase agreement and shareholders’ agreement. The dispute involved multiple defendants in a complex joint venture arrangement to purchase, recondition and sell aircraft, aircraft engines and aircraft parts. (HKIAC Rules; Hong Kong seat and governing law).
- Acted for a PRC biotechnology company and its Cayman Islands holding company as Claimants in an ICC arbitration against a large Swiss pharmaceutical company in a dispute arising out of a research and development agreement. Resulted in a favourable settlement. (Hong Kong governing law, seat and ICC Rules).
- Acted for an Australian company as Plaintiff against three defendant companies in relation to a multimillion-dollar iron ore mining royalty dispute in a matter listed before the Supreme Court of Western Australia. The dispute settled in favourable terms to the Plaintiff on eve of trail.
- Acted for the Defendants in a multimillion-dollar nickel mining royalty dispute in the Supreme Court of Western Australia. The action included interlocutory hearings on security for costs and further and better discovery, which resulted in favourable judgments in each instance. The dispute resulted in a favourable judgment: Technomin Australia Pty Ltd v Xstrata Nickel Australasia Operations Pty Ltd  WASC 481, which was later upheld on appeal.
- Georgetown University Law Centre Washington, D.C. Master of Laws (LLM), 2014
- University of Notre Dame, Bachelor of Laws (LLB), 2008
- University of Notre Dame, Bachelor of Science (BSc), 2008
Memberships And Affiliations
- Fellow, Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (FHKIArb), 2017
- Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (London) (ACIArb), 2007
- Member, The Law Society of Hong Kong, 2015
- Member, New York State Bar Association, 2015
- Member, American Bar Association, 2015
- Certificate, HKIAC Tribunal Secretary Training Program, 2017