Michael Robbins

Michael Robbins




Michael began his career in 2009 as a litigator in his native Perth, Australia, where he practised for over 4 years before attending Georgetown University Law Center, participating in an LLM degree program with a focus on international commercial arbitration and graduating in 2014 as member of the Dean’s List. Thereafter he came to Hong Kong where he worked for over a year as a Deputy Counsel in the Hong Kong office of the ICC Court of International Arbitration before joining Dorsey & Whitney in 2015.

Michael is admitted to the practice of law in Australia, New York and Hong Kong, where he currently practises as a solicitor.  His expertise in and understanding of the rules of arbitration and mediation of the various arbitral institutions have contributed substantially to the effective and efficient resolution of disputes for his clients.  He is also gaining recognition in the arbitration community in Hong Kong, having been admitted as a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators, and is currently teaching a course in arbitration as an adjunct professor of the law faculty of Hong Kong University.

Education & Admissions

Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M., 2014), Dean’s List

University of Notre Dame, Australia (B.Sc., LL.B., 2008)


  • Hong Kong
  • New York
  • Australia
  • Supreme Court of Western Australia
  • High Court of Australia


Representative Work

International Arbitrations of Note

  • Currently representing a large privately-owned PRC financial conglomerate in an arbitration against a US corporate group.  The amount in dispute of about US$50m arises out of a joint venture under for the purchase, reconditioning and sale of aircraft and aircraft engines and parts. (Hong Kong governing law, seat and HKIAC Rules)
  • Currently representing a US reseller of hardwood flooring products in an arbitration against a PRC state-owned trading and logistics group of breach-of-contract claims under Hong Kong law. (Hong Kong governing law, seat and HKIAC Rules)
  • Represented a PRC biotechnology company and its Cayman Islands holding company in an arbitration with a large Swiss pharmaceutical company of a dispute under a research and development agreement. Resulted in a favourable settlement. (Hong Kong governing law, seat and ICC Rules)
  • Represented the Luxembourg subsidiary of a NYSE-listed US company in an arbitration for breach of contract claims arising out of the failure of a multimillion-dollar joint venture with a PRC company.  Obtained very favourable award to be enforced in mainland China. (PRC governing law, Hong Kong seat and HKIAC Rules)
  • Represented the same NYSE-listed US company in an arbitration for breach of contract claims arising out of a long-term manufacturing supply agreement with a PRC manufacturer.  Obtained very favourable award to be enforced in mainland China.  (Hong Kong governing law, seat and HKIAC Rules)

International Litigations of Note

  • Currently defending a shareholder and former director of a Hong Kong company in High Court litigation of a dispute among its shareholders.
  • Acted for an Australian lithium mining company in High Court litigation of breach of warranty claims arising out of the distressed sale to a large privately-owned PRC company of shares in the Hong Kong holding company of a PRC lithium processing enterprise.  Resulted in a favourable settlement at mediation.
  • Represented a Hong Kong company in High Court proceedings for the recovery of funds fraudulently diverted to the State Bank of India in connection with the purchase of a bulk shipload of nitrogen fertilizer from a large PRC state-owned petrochemical company.
  • Acted for a privately-held Australian company in High Court litigation of 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 favourable settlement at mediation.
  • Acted for numerous clients that have been subject to Business Email Compromise Scams.  These fraud cases typically involve civil proceedings to obtain Mareva injunctions, pre-action discovery, default judgment and garnishee orders in the Hong Kong High Court.
  • Successfully represented a plaintiff company against three defendant companies in relation to a multi-million 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.
  • Successfully represented defendants in a multi-million 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 [2012] WASC 481, which was later upheld on appeal.
  • Represented a company in relation to a complex dispute concerning the construction of a Liquid Natural Gas plant.
  •  Advised a large international mining company on issues related to the appointment of receivers and managers.
  • Advised a Chinese State Owned Enterprise on the litigation aspects of a scheme of arrangement in the Federal Court of Australia.

News & Resources


Mainland—Hong Kong Interim Relief in Support of Arbitration
International Arbitration Basics for PRC Corp. – Questions Part I
United States to impose third set of Section 301 tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese-made products
Hong Kong High Court Stays Litigation in Favor of Arbitration
Hong Kong Securities Laws Violations: SFC’s Case Against Moody’s – Part 3
Hong Kong Email Wire Fraud Epidemic - How to retrieve funds and prevent wire fraud
Important Hong Kong Decision Broadens Scope of Disclosure for SFC in Disqualification Proceedings
Hong Kong and Overseas Businesses Defrauded of over HK$1.8 billion (US$231m) in 2016
Hong Kong - The Gold Standard of International Arbitration in Asia
International investment law claims—going up in smoke?
Guide to Protecting Against Email Wire Fraud Scams and Recovering Funds Wired to Hong Kong
Restructuring investments to gain the protection of a BIT
Philip Morris Asia Limited (Hong Kong) v. The Commonwealth of Australia: Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal Publishes Redacted Version of Award on Jurisdiction and Admissibility
Recognition and enforcement of a Mainland judgment in Hong Kong: First reported decision
Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal declines jurisdiction to hear Philip Morris’ challenge to Australia’s plain packaging laws on cigarettes
Third party arbitration funding gets support in Hong Kong
Anti-Fraud & Cybersecurity in Asia-Pacific: eUpdate Series
Hong Kong Market Misconduct and Other Securities Laws Violations: eUpdate Series
Dispute Resolution in Asia-Pacific: eUpdate Series

Industries & Practices

International Arbitration & Litigation
  • China
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction Litigation
  • Development & Infrastructure
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
  • Healthcare
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • International Arbitration & Litigation
  • Mining
  • Technology

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Fellow, Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (FHKIArb)
  • Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (London) (ACIArb)
  • Member, The Law Society of Hong Kong
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Certificate, HKIAC Tribunal Secretary Training Programme

Professional Appointments

  • Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong teaching Arbitration Practice, Procedure & Drafting as part of the LLM in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution
Michael Robbins