Fox, Michelle

Michelle Fox



Michelle Fox is a founding partner of the Quinn Emanuel Australia office. Michelle has practiced in the US, the UK, and Australia and maintains practising certificates in all 3 jurisdictions. Michelle represents some of Australia's leading companies in a broad range of strategically important, complex commercial litigation matters, including mass torts, class actions, product liability, regulatory investigations (including white collar crime), directors' liability and financial services.

Michelle has acted as a solicitor advocate before the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the High Court in England and as an advocate before the State and Federal Courts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, US. Michelle’s experience means she is highly sought after by leading companies to advise on their corporate and liability exposures.

Michelle has significant experience in alternative dispute resolution, including substantial multi-party arbitrations and mediations. Michelle teaches courses in negotiation and has been a guest lecturer at Stanford University on mass torts and complex litigation since 2011.

In addition to complex dispute resolution, Michelle has a wealth of experience and is highly rated in contentious and non-contentious insurance and reinsurance, acting for both corporate insureds, and select insurers and reinsurers.

The ‘International Who’s Who Legal” recognized Michelle in 2014 and 2015 as an expert in litigation with ‘superb adaptability’. Michelle was awarded a ‘Best Lawyer International’ award in Litigation for 2011-2015, in Insurance for 2010-2015 and in the categories Alternative Dispute Resolution and Class Action Litigation for 2015. Michelle was ranked in Band 2 for Insurance Individuals by Chambers Global in 2009-2014, and recognised by Legal 500 Asia Pacific in Insurance 2012, 2013-2016. Michelle was also specifically identified by PLC Which Lawyer? 2010, for Insurance – Contentious.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013 reported that clients describe Michelle as "incisive, personable and brilliant"and in 2015 as a “very sharp and solution-oriented” practitioner who is “quick to grasp the issues and sensitivities” of a matter.

  Notable Representations

  • NuCoal Ltd — Following the Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings throughout 2013, in January 2014 the NSW Government passed the Mining Amendment (Operations Jasper and Acicia) Act; thereby expropriating NuCoal’s licence and its ability to access its coal reserves valued at $500 million. NuCoal thereafter instructed Quinn Emanuel to assume its legal representation. As widely reported in the press, we have instituted a judicial review and constitutional challenge in the High Court of Australia; and are pursuing a claim under the Australia – US Free Trade Agreement.
  • ABC Learning — Advising and representing the Non-Executive Directors following the collapse of this company, including defending proceedings brought by the receivers, and defending a $500 million claim for alleged misleading and deceptive conduct and breach of disclosure obligations under Corporations Act 2001.
  • Lend Lease — Acted for Bovis Lend Lease’s in its successful defence of the World Trade Centre clean-up litigation, where over 18,000 plaintiffs sued the City of New York, our client and others in relation to the WTC clean-up operations. As its peak, the litigation was reported to be one of the largest mass tort actions in the United States. Michelle played a key role in driving a resolution strategy which saw all claims resolved with no settlement contribution from our client and historic legislation becoming law in the US, which effectively limited Bovis Lend Lease’s and other contractors exposure to available insurance. Michelle continues to act for Bovis Lend Lease in relation to new, recently filed claims.
  • Acting (and acted) for a number of prominent directors and officers facing regulatory investigation by ASIC (and others). To date none of our clients have been the subject of charges as a result of these investigations, let alone successful prosecution.
  • Michelle is handling a number of other high profile matters, but as they are not a matter of public record, we do not mention them there.

Prior to joining Quinn Emanuel last year, Michelle represented:

  • Babcock & Brown’s Non-Executive Directors and officers following the company’s prominent corporate collapse ($10.3 billion), in both regulatory and public examinations, as well as a successful mediation with the company’s liquidator.
  • Ensham Resources in relation to its insurance claim ($500+ million) in the Federal Court, following the devastating floods in northern Queensland in January 2008. This successful insurance recovery is understood to be the single largest insurance payout to an Australian insured from the public insurance market.
  • Johnson & Johnson in the defence of the ASR product liability class action proceedings.
  • Major US reinsurer in the High Court in London in a multi-jurisdictional dispute between the reinsured and a third party over the right to reinsurance proceeds under an alleged “cut through clause”.
  • Major reinsurer in an arbitration dispute with the underlying insurer arising out of the forward purchase of dollars to pay an underlying settlement – obtained favourable arbitration award, with costs paid in full.
  • Parties to various disputes arising out of energy and resources projects, including the severing of a submarine cable between Trinidad and Tobago, off-shore platforms in the North Sea, and dredgers detained in Pakistan.


  Practice Areas

  • Lender Liability & Other Banking Financial Institution Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Insurance Recovery
  • Insurance & Reinsurance Litigation
  • International Arbitration
  • Israel Practice
  • Product Liability & Mass Torts Litigation
  • White Collar & Corporate Investigations


  • Boston College
    (J.D., magna cum laude, 1996)

  • University of California (Santa Barbara)
    (B.A., cum laude, Business Economics, 1993) 


The Federal Courts of Australia, Supreme Court of New South Wales; The Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Qualified Solicitor Advocate in England and Wales

  Prior Associations

  • Herbert Smith Freehills, Sydney

  • Baker & McKenzie, London

  • Clyde & Co, London

  • Morrison Mahoney & Miller, Boston Massachusetts


  • Recognised by Who’s Who Legal in Commercial Litigation for 2014 and 2015
  • "Best Lawyer International" in Litigation for 2011-2015
  • "Best Lawyer International" in Insurance for 2010-2015
  • “Best Lawyer International” in both Alternative Dispute Resolution and Class Action Litigation for 2015
  • Ranked in Band 2 for Insurance Individuals by Chambers Global in 2009-2014
  • Recognised by Legal 500 Asia Pacific in Insurance for 2012, 2013 and 2015
  • Identified by PLC Which Lawyer? 2010, for Insurance – Contentious.

Professional Activities

  • Guest Lecturer, Stanford Law School, 2011-2013
  • Member, International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member, The Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • Member, American Bar Association