Practice area(s): Class actions
Location(s): Melbourne
Qualification(s): BA, LLB

Michael Donelly is a class actions Senior Associate in Maurice Blackburn’s Melbourne office.

Michael has five years' experience as a lawyer and is currently working on the NAB class action, supervising the administration of the settlement. This proceeding settled in November 2012 for $115 million. The action alleged that NAB contravened its continuous disclosure obligations by failing to inform the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and its shareholders the extent of its exposure to US toxic debts during the sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2007 and 2008.

“The most rewarding aspect of my work is being entrusted and empowered to represent so many people at once in large scale and complex litigation. I'm really driven by the knowledge that, in nearly every case, we are the only option available for people to protect and enforce their rights. Other firms or regulators often can’t or won’t take on the cases that we do,” says Michael.

Michael previously worked on the $200 million Centro class action, which at the time was the largest class action settlement in Australian legal history. That action alleged that Centro, in financial statements audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, failed to inform the market about the true extent and maturity of its debt obligations. The case progressed to trial in March 2012, and ran for 37 days before it settled. He also acted in the successful $25 million Bonsoy class action.

“I feel a strong connection with the people we represent as well as having a real interest in corporate, securities and tort law. It was both these things that lead me to decide on class action law very early in my studies.”

Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts from La Trobe University and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University.

Memberships & accreditations

  • Law Institute of Victoria member
  • Australian Lawyers Alliance member
  • Victorian Society of Labor Lawyers member