Michelle Fox


Sydney Office
Tel: +61 2 9146 3500
Fax: +61 2 9146 3600

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


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

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

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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.

Michelle was awarded a ‘Best Lawyer International’ award in Litigation for 2011-2014, in  Insurance for 2010-2014 and in the categories Alternative Dispute Resolution and Class Action Litigation for 2014. Michelle was ranked in Band 2 for Insurance Individuals by Chambers Global in 2009-2014, and recognised by Legal 500 Asia Pacific in Insurance for 2012 and 2013. 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."

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. Following this, NuCoal instructed Quinn Emanuel to assume its legal representation. Since then (as widely reported in the press) we have instituted a Judicial Review and constitutional challenge in the High Court of Australia; as well as a claim under the Australia – US Free Trade Agreement.

Lend Lease — Acted for Bovis Lend Lease’s successful defence and resolution efforts in relation to 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. The litigation is reported to be one of the largest mass tort actions in the United States. Michael 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.

Public company non-executive directors — Currently defending a $500 million claim for alleged misleading and deceptive conduct and breach of disclosure obligations under Corporations Act 2001.

ABC Learning — Advising and representing the Non-Executive Directors following the collapse of this company, including in relation to liquidators' and other proceedings.

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.

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.