Michael Orlov

Michael Orlov

Michael was admitted to the Bar in NSW in 1995. Since then he has practiced predominantly in commercial and construction law. His particular area of interest and expertise is liability for design and construction defects. He has acted for and against contractors and design professionals in disputes arising out of a wide range of infrastructure, civil engineering, and industrial, commercial and residential construction projects, including in New South Wales, Western Australia and the ACT.

Before being admitted to the Bar, Michael was a construction and litigation partner at Freehill Hollingdale & Page in Sydney.

He was formerly a member of 9 Selborne and Blackstone Chambers in Sydney. He became a member of Blackburn Chambers in Canberra in 2012 and now lives in Canberra but continues to divide his time between Sydney and Canberra and accepts briefs to appear in both jurisdictions.

 

Called to the Bar
1995

Admitted as legal practitioner
1983

Bachelor of Laws, University of NSW
1982

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Phone

02 6130 0562

Email

morlov@counsel.net.au

Practice areas

Building and construction
Commercial law
Contracts
Equity and trusts
Professional Indemnity Insurance (Engineers, Architects, Certifiers)

Cases

The Owners – Units Plan No. 3899 v Project Coordination (Australia) Pty Ltd: representing the owners and owners corporation in proceedings in the Supreme Court of the ACT against the builder, claiming damages for breach of statutory warranty – ongoing
The Owners – Units Plan No. 3664 v Meier Constructions Pty Ltd: representing the owners corporation in proceedings in the Magistrates Court of the ACT against the builder, claiming damages for breach of statutory warranty – ongoing
Reed Constructions Australia Pty Ltd (In Liq) v State of NSW: representing the liquidator of a failed construction company in proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW (T&C List) seeking to recover substantial compensation from the State for work done in connection with the ‘Building the Education Revolution’ scheme – ongoing
Higgins Coatings Pty Ltd and Anor ats The Owners – Strata Plan No 51360; Higgins Coatings Pty Ltd ats The Owners – Strata Plan 53188: representing a painting contractor in proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW (T&C List) by the owners corporations of a multi-tower residential development claiming damages for defective work – ongoing
The Owners – Units Plan No. 3865 and Ors v Meier Constructions Pty Ltd: representing the owners and owners corporation in proceedings in the Supreme Court of the ACT against the builder, claiming damages for breach of statutory warranty – ongoing
The Owners – Units Plan No. 3115 v The Trustees of the Master Builders Fidelity Fund: representing the owners corporation and unit owners of the Elara Apartments in Canberra in proceedings in the Federal Court claiming an entitlement to be indemnified under the ACT Master Builders Association Fidelity Fund Scheme in respect of the substantial cost of rectifying defective building work following the insolvency of the builder – involves questions of statutory construction and the proper construction of fidelity certificates issued under the Fidelity Scheme – ongoing
Lippmann Partnership Pty Ltd and ABC Consultants Pty Ltd ats Camden Council: representing an engineer and architect in proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW (T&C List) brought by a council claiming substantial damages arising out of alleged defective design of a municipal swimming pool complex – ongoing
Cervo v Kingsley’s Pty Ltd [2018] ACTSC 179: representing the appellant landlord – appeal from Magistrate’s decision dismissing proceedings for damages for breach of lease on the grounds of res judicata
Capital Insight Pty Ltd and Ors and Ors ats NSW Land and Housing Corporation: representing the project management firm in multi-party proceedings brought by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation in the Supreme Court of NSW (T&C List) claiming substantial damages arising out of alleged defective design and construction of a number of residential developments in Moree – settled prior to hearing
Wright v Mackenzie Architects Pty Ltd: representing the plaintiff home owners in an action in the Supreme Court of NSW (T&C List) against an architect for recovery, under the second limb of Barnes v Addy, of moneys provided to the firm on trust for the purpose of meeting the cost of  construction of alterations and additions to a luxury home – settled at the hearing
Flowpex Piping Systems Pty Ltd v Scheirs–misleading and deceptive conduct claim in the Federal Court against expert–representing the plaintiff– settled prior to hearing
Canberra Childcare Pty Ltd v 11 Cessnock St (ACT) Pty Ltd: commercial leasing disputes in the Federal Court and Supreme Court of the ACT – representing the plaintiff – settled at mediation
Alcazar-Stevens v Stevens [2017] ACTCA 12: standing of a relative to bring a claim for compensation under s 50 of the Powers of Attorney Act 2006 (ACT) against the donee of an enduring power of attorney – representing the appellant
St Hilliers Property Pty Ltd v ACT Projects Pty Ltd and Simon Wilson [2017] ACTSC 177 – claim against adjudicator to recover fees paid for invalid adjudication determination – representing the adjudicator
Council of the Law Society of the ACT v Practitioner D3 [2017] ACAT 9; reversed on appeal to the Supreme Court in Council of the Law Society of the ACT v Legal Practitioner D3 [2018] ACTSC 45 (2018) 331 FLR 132: representing pro bono the respondent legal practitioner in an application for dismissal of charges of professional misconduct on the grounds that the Law Society and Tribunal lacked jurisdiction to deal with the matter – involving difficult issues of statutory construction:
Practitioner P1 v ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal [2017] ACTSC 173; 322 FLR 169: representing the respondent solicitor in an application by the Council for an order under s 424 of the Legal Profession Act seeking to excuse non-compliance with s 395(2) of the LPA in connection with the commencement of disciplinary proceedings against the practitioner outside the statutory limitation period – successful application for judicial review of ACAT decision involving difficult issues of statutory construction
Australian National Maritime Museum v Crawford Architects Pty Ltd: representing the architect in a claim for damages arising out of alleged negligent design – settled at mediation.
Astell v Australian Capital Territory [2016] ACTSC 238; 11 ACTLR 273: representing the plaintiff (former) home owner in a statutory claim for damages against the Territory under s 155 of the Land Titles Act 1925 (ACT) for deprivation of land as a result of fraud by an unknown person
Gardez Nominees Pty Ltd v NSW Self Insurance Corporation [2016] NSWSC 532: representing the defendant home warranty insurer in a determination of separate questions concerning the interpretation of amendments to the NSW Home Building Act inserted to overcome the effect of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Ace Woollahra Pty Ltd v The Owners of Strata Plan 61424 (2010) 77 NSWLR 613. The issue in the case was whether the HB Act gives a mortgagee in possession of an unfinished and defectively constructed strata residential development, the entitlement to claim the benefit of home owners warranty insurance to pay for the cost of completing and rectifying residential building work carried out on behalf of a developer, where the builder has become insolvent
McElwaine v Owners Corporation SP 75975 [2016] NSWSC 1589, 18 BPR 36437; reversed on appeal [2017] NSWCA 239: representing the plaintiff unit owner in proceedings for the determination of a separate question concerning whether a body corporate is capable of being held liable in nuisance to an individual lot owner following the decision of the Court of Appeal in The Owners of Strata Plan 50276 v Thoo (2013) 17 BPR 33,789 – involving issues of statutory construction
Barton Property Partnership No 2 v Foote [2015] ACTSC 204, Foote v Barton Property Partnership No 2 [2014] ACTSC 330; [2015] ACTCA 53: commercial disputes – representing the appellant and related proceedings
Lend Lease Project Management & Construction (Australia) Pty Ltd v Kellogg Brown & Root Pty Ltd: representing an engineering design firm (with Greenwood SC) in proceedings brought by the main contractor in the NSW Supreme Court (T&C List) claiming damages for alleged misleading and deceptive conduct, breach of contract and negligence arising out of a subcontract for the detailed design of a Commonwealth munitions facility – settled at mediation
Dealer Support Services Pty Ltd v MTAA House Pty Ltd: In re MTAA House Pty Ltd as Trustee for MTAA Unit Trust [2014] ACTSC 236: representing the trustee in an application for judicial advice under s. 63 of the Trustee Act 1925 (ACT)
• representing the designers of a desalination plant in WA in connection with claims and counterclaims arising out of alleged deficiencies in the performance of the plant – settled at mediation
Roe v State of Western Australia and Woodside Ltd: representing a Traditional Owner (pro bono with Collins QC) in proceedings against the State of Western Australia and Woodside Ltd in WA Supreme Court challenging the validity of the Browse LNG Precinct Project Agreement and the power of the State of WA to compulsorily acquire native title required for the Browse LNG Precinct pursuant to replacement compulsory acquisition notices issued following the decision in McKenzie v Minister for Lands [2011] WASC 335 – discontinued following the announcement of the decision
by Woodside Energy Ltd not to proceed with the proposed development
McKenzie v Minister for Lands [2011] WASC 335; (2011) 45 WAR 1; (2011) 256 FLR 1; (2011) 187 LGERA 1: representing Traditional Owners (pro bono with Collins QC) in proceedings in WA Supreme Court challenging the validity of the State of Western Australia’s compulsory acquisition notices issued in connection with the Browse LNG Precinct on the Dampier Peninsula
Rita Augustine v The State of Western Australia [2013] FCA 338; Roe and Anor v The State of Western Australia [2011] FCA 421; Roe v State of Western Australia (No. 2) [2011] FCA 102; Roe and Anor v The State of Western Australia [2010] FCA 1436; Roe v Kimberley Land Council Aboriginal Corporation [2010] FCA 809; (2010) 215 FCR 131: representing the Goolarabooloo people (pro bono) in various proceedings in the Federal Court between 2010 and 2013 arising out of disputes within the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr native title claim group and the Kimberley Land Council
• representing a subcontractor in proceedings in the Supreme Court of WA in connection with disputes arising out of a bulk earthworks contract for a mining project – settled at mediation
• representing the former manager of a retail and wholesale business in proceedings brought by the owners in the ACT Supreme Court claiming damages and other equitable relief for alleged fraudulent misappropriation of funds from a business – settled prior to hearing
• representing the lessee in proceedings against the landlord in the Federal Court, claiming damages and other relief for alleged breaches of the Trade Practices Act in connection with a commercial lease – settled prior to hearing
• representing the securitised mortgage lender in proceedings brought against a firm of valuers in the NSW Supreme Court alleging negligence and misleading and deceptive conduct in connection with valuations for mortgage purposes of properties on the Gold Coast and northern NSW – settled prior to hearing
Creative Building Services Pty Ltd v Jolene Investments Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 391: representing the contractor in proceedings in NSW Supreme Court claiming recovery of payments due under a building contract and a defending a cross claim by building owner for damages for defective work
Aquagenics Pty Ltd ats Break O’Day Council: representing the contractor in arbitration proceedings brought by local water and sewerage authority claiming damages for breach of contract arising out of the defective design and construction of a sewerage treatment plant in Tasmania
• representing the contractor in proceedings brought by the developer in ACT Supreme Court alleging fraud and claiming recovery of alleged overpayments on a commercial building contract – settled prior to hearing
• representing the mortgage lender in proceedings in Victorian Supreme Court against the borrower claiming damages in connection with an unenforceable loan allegedly procured by the borrower’s fraud – settled at mediation
• representing the developer in proceedings brought by a golf course designer in the Queensland Supreme Court claiming damages for breach of contract arising out of the cancellation of a contract for the design of resort golf course– settled at mediation
• representing the purchasers/investors in proceedings in the ACT Supreme Court claiming damages for negligence and misleading and deceptive conduct by their solicitor and the vendor’s agent in connection with the sale and purchase of unit investment properties in NSW – settled at mediation
• representing the taxpayer in ACAT proceedings against the ACT Commissioner for Revenue challenging assessments of payroll tax – settled prior to hearing
SDR Australia Pty Ltd v Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd [2012] WASC 434: representing the subcontractor in proceedings against the main contractor in the WA Supreme Court claiming payment for work done on a quantum meruit basis and defending cross claims for breach of contract and misleading or deceptive conduct
Southern Cross Constructions (NSW) Pty Limited (Administrators Appointed) v Bucasia Pty Limited [2012] NSWSC 1419: representing the administrator
• representing the owner of a commercial laundry in Perth (with Greenwood SC) in proceedings brought by the equipment supplier in the NSW Supreme Court claiming the balance of the contract price and damages for breach of an agreement for the design, supply and installation of a fully automated linen sorting, washing and ironing system, including cross claim by the laundry owner for abatement or extinguishment of the price on the grounds due to defects in the system – settled at the hearing
Warren v Dickson [2011] NSWSC 79: representing a firm of solicitors in proceedings in NSW Supreme Court involving claims and counter claims alleging various breaches of a consultancy agreement between the firm and its former senior partner
• representing the developer in proceedings brought by a purchaser in NSW Supreme Court claiming equitable relief in connection with a purported rescission of the contract in reliance on a sunset clause – settled at the hearing
Cleary Bros Pty Ltd v Waste Recycling and Processing Corporation: representing a waste management contractor (with Collins QC) in proceedings in NSW Supreme Court against the Waste Recycling and Processing Corporation involving claims and counterclaims arising out of the operation of a large landfill and waste management and disposal centre – settled prior to hearing
Ace Woollahra Pty Ltd v The Owners of Strata Plan 61424 [2010] NSWCA 101, 77 NSWLR 613; The Owners of Strata Plan 61424 v Reed Constructions Pty Ltd [2009] NSWSC 692: representing the builder/developer in proceedings in the NSW Court of Appeal concerning the proper construction of the warranty provisions of the Home Building Act 1989
Canberra Residential Developments Pty Ltd v Brendas (No 5) [2009] FCA 34; 69 ACSR 435: representing a property joint venture company in proceedings brought against a former director in the Federal Court, claiming damages for breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the purchase of a development site
Gordon Martin Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority of NSW [2009] NSWCA 287; [2008] NSWSC 343; 53 MVR 474: representing the State Rail Authority in proceedings in the NSW Court of Appeal concerning a property damage claim arising out of a collision between a truck and a train at a level crossing
McManus RE Pty Ltd v Ward [2009] NSWSC 440; 74 NSWLR 662: representing the vendor in proceedings brought by the purchaser in the NSW Supreme Court claiming recovery of deposit paid pending exchange of contracts for purchase of interest in a hotel
Campbell v CJ Cordony & Sons Pty Ltd [2009] NSWSC 63: representing the home owners in proceedings brought against the builder in the NSW Supreme Court claiming damages for defective work
Public Transport Authority of Western Australia v BGE Pty Ltd and Ors: representing the piling design contractor in proceedings in the WA Supreme Court arising out of damage to a railway bridge over the Swan River caused by unexpected settlement and lateral movement of bridge abutment – settled at mediation
• representing the paving contractor in proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court claiming damages for defective paving work at a large industrial site – settled at mediation
• representing the purchasers of investment units purchased off-the-plan in proceedings against the developer in the WA Supreme Court seeking specific performance following a purported rescission of the contracts in reliance on a sunset clause – settled at the hearing
Scope Data Systems Pty Ltd v David Goman as Representative of the Partnership BDO Nelson Parkhill [2007] NSWSC 278; (2007) 210 FLR 161; (2007) 70 NSWLR 176: representing the plaintiff
Ianello v Sharpe [2007] NSWCA 61; (2009) 69 NSWLR 452: representing the vendor in proceedings against the buyer in the NSW Court of Appeal claiming the deposit under a terminated contract of sale –
Abigroup Contractors Pty Ltd v ABB Service Pty Ltd (formerly ABB Engineering Construction Pty Ltd) [2004] NSWCA 181; [2003] NSWSC 867 representing ABB (with Collins QC)
Jovista Pty Ltd v Pegasus Gold Australia Pty Ltd & Ors; Henry Walker Contracting Pty Ltd v Pegasus Gold Australia Pty Ltd [1999] NTSC 62 (Full Court); 8 NTLR 171; 130 NTR 1; 151 FLR 242; 96 IR 24: representing the plaintiff (with Collins QC)