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Personal profile

Biography

Biography

Dr Michael Duffy is director of the Corporate Law, Organisation and Litigation Research Group (CLOL) and is a Senior Lecturer and researcher in the Department of Business Law and Taxation.

Michael publishes extensively in peer reviewed journals on ASIC law, company and shareholder law, class actions and access to civil justice. He has expertise in financial services regulation, insolvency and fintech including regulation of quasi (or actual) financial products such as litigation funding and digital currency.  He has an interest in institutional economics and private and public social organisation and governance and the interplay of the two; the latter extending as far as constitutionalism and constitutional law (he has recently made scholarly contributions to the Australian republic debate and the question of statutory causes of action as property under the Commonwealth Constitution). 

Michael is a lawyer and, before joining Monash, was a Solicitor and Senior Associate at three respected law firms and a Senior Lawyer with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. He spent ten years in general commercial litigation and insolvency acting for plaintiffs and defendants then four years as a plaintiff lawyer working on Australia's first major successful shareholder and investor class actions (GIO and Spangaro). At ASIC he worked as a senior enforcement lawyer working on matters including corporate investigation and liquidation, continuous disclosure, insider trading, managed investment schemes and financial services. 

He was accredited by the Law Institute as a commercial litigation specialist from 1997 through 2007.

Michael's research on loss causation was cited by the Federal Court in the landmark judgment of Beach J in Australia's first shareholder class action trial decision (TPT Patrol v Myer) and he has been cited in amicus curiae briefs to the US Supreme Court (Morrison v NAB).  He has made submissions on law reform in the areas of shareholder claims against insolvent companies, corporate disclosure and the financial reporting framework, proportionate liability reforms, corporate whistleblowing, digital platforms and to the 2018 Banking and Financial Services Royal Commission. His 2017 submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission on litigation funding in class actions and insolvency administrations was extensively cited and and he was on the Roundtable.  He has also submitted to, appeared before and been cited by the Australian Law Reform Commission in their inquiry into this area and in 2020 was invited to submit to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Joint Committee and Senate enquiries into this area and was cited by same. He gave expert evidence before the Senate References Committee on these issues in 2021.

He was a member of a working party on offers of compromise organised by the Victorian Department of Justice and he has consulted to the private sector in relation to managed investment schemes and the structure of representative proceedings and defensive class actions.  He has also received funding from the private profession to research access to justice issues, takeover law in proprietary companies and public interest relief in shareholder class actions.

Michael holds bachelor degrees in Law and Commerce from the University of Melbourne (the latter majoring in economics and economic history). His 2005 Masters in Law thesis focused on stakeholder ownership in corporations.  In 2017 Michael was awarded a PhD by Monash for his thesis examining the extent to which private securities class actions can provide investor protection from poor securities disclosure, including a comparison with ASIC enforcement in the area.  

Michael currently teaches insolvency law and corporate crime, and has taught, corporations, corporate governance, commercial and marketing (competition) law at graduate and undergraduate levels.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • Insolvency and Reconstruction
  • Securities Non Disclosure
  • ASIC law
  • Litigation and Access to Justice
  • Insider Trading and corporate crime
  • Private and Public Governance and Constitutional Law
  • Shareholder Remedies and Class Actions
  • Organisation theory
  • Legal Profession and Litigation Funding Regulation
  • Co-operatives
  • Regulation of Emerging Technology
  • Corporations Law

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