Michael is a founding principal of Judicate Lawyers. He has been providing business solutions and resolving disputes for nearly forty years and has acted for some of Australia’s largest companies including Westpac, Rio Tinto, CGU and Vero, C.S.L and Glaxo Smith Kline. Michael is one of Victoria’s pre-eminent generalist lawyers working in a range of building, property, estate, commercial and litigation matters. Clients look to him particularly for strategic counsel and tactical input in his areas of practise.
“The brilliance of Mr. Pickering is poetry in motion”.
“His work demonstrated not only an admirable grasp of legal principles but a perceptive application of the theory of the law to the resolution of real problems”.
“He is extremely meticulous and timely”.
“Michael’s guidance, communication, expertise and caring nature is always evident as a trusted legal advisor which has assisted us enormously”.
“He shows his experience, level of knowledge and expertise throughout”.
“We thank him from saving our lives from a nightmare”.
“I loved his openness and honesty”.
Actual Client and Colleague Testimonials
Michael has honours undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications in law, politics, building and construction, building design, risk management and insurance from Australia’s leading universities. He is the quintessential legal closer and problem solver and is renowned as a lawyer for his skills in resolving otherwise intractable disputes with a mixture of experience, hard work, dedication, fairness and wisdom. He is widely recognized as a lawyer who is supremely capable of taking on tough cases where clients have otherwise lost hope and still achieving beneficial cost effective outcomes.
Most lawyers are competent. Many are clever. Few are wise. Michael combines cleverness with legal wisdom tempered by first-class education, distinctive expertise and long experience. Michael will not only be your lawyer : he will become your trusted advisor. When it really matters most, and when the stakes are their highest, clients turn to Michael first.
Michael commenced practising law in 1979 after graduating in Arts and Law (with Honours) from the University of Melbourne Law School. He joined what is now an international law firm becoming that firm’s youngest ever partner in 1983. Along the way, he graduated with an LL.M. from Monash University and headed up the firm’s commercial dispute resolution department.
In 1983/1984, Michael worked on secondment as senior advisor to the then Commonwealth Attorney General, Senator Gareth Evans, QC, in areas such as personal and business taxation law, trade practices and insurance law reforms.
In 1989, Michael was awarded the prestigious EE Vines Memorial Prize by the Australian Insurance Institute and attended Harvard Law School’s Program of Instruction for Lawyers to develop his skills as a mediation lawyer and a trade practices lawyer. Michael became an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 1985 and practised as a graded arbitrator.
In 1990, he was made a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
As an insurance lawyer, Michael qualified as an Associate in Risk Management from the American Insurance Institute in 2001, as a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance in 2001 and as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Risk Management in 2002. These qualifications entitled Michael to become a Chartered Insurance Professional.
In 1990, Michael established a construction company and he became a registered building professional, a Chartered Building Professional and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Building in 2003. He has built houses, units, flats and town houses over the last quarter century. To professionalize his building and design operations, he obtained qualifications from RMIT University: in 1997 in Building; in 1998 in Construction; and in 2003 in Building Design and Drafting. Michael's ability as a building and construction lawyer was recognized by the Victorian Government when he was appointed chair of the tribunal then hearing appeals over domestic building insurance and statutory warranties.
Between 2002 and 2004, Michael was the Victorian Division Chairman of the Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters and served as a director of the international organisation representing loss adjusters in Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia. In 2005, he was awarded the title of European Loss Adjusting Expert by FUEDI-ELAI. In 2010, Michael was awarded the Service Medal for outstanding contribution to the A.I.C.L.A. which recognized his work as an insurance lawyer and chartered loss adjuster.
Michael became a registered migration agent (No. 0104863) to assist his work as a migration lawyer. He graduated from Victoria University in 2006 with a Graduate Certificate in Australian Immigration Law and from the University of Melbourne in 2011 with a Master of Arts with a thesis on anti-terrorism laws and their effects upon human rights. These qualifications underpin Michael’s work as a migration lawyer and human rights lawyer.
Besides Victoria (1980), Michael is also admitted as a barrister and/or solicitor in Australian Federal Courts (1980), in New South Wales (1983), in the A.C.T (1983), in Tasmania (1987), in Queensland (2014) and in New Zealand (2008). Over the decades, Michael has successfully resolved disputes in these jurisdictions in areas of intellectual property, shareholders’ disputes, insurance, product liability, restraints of trade and large scale property damage.
Michael also has strong links to sports law. His qualifications and experience as a sports lawyer include being an Australian Football Foundation Level 2 Coach accredited under the National Coaching Scheme and being the lawyer for WTQA (Wushu, T’ai Chi and Qigong Australia) and for T’ai Chi Australia. He deals regularly with legal issues about business and membership structures; disciplining and expulsion of members; organizing competitions and accrediting judges and competitors; and drafting industry rules relating to the possession and use of competition swords, spears, knives and axes by T’ai Chi and Wushu practitioners under strict State and Territory laws. He holds a third duan wei (or black belt) in Chen Style T’ai Chi awarded in 2013 by the Chinese Wushu Association in Beijing and has studied under various Grand Masters at the Beijing Sports University, Chenjiagau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and Australia. He has studied Yang, Sun, Chen, Woo and Wu Hao styles of T’ai Chi for over 13 years.
Michael has shared his legal expertise and business acumen by supporting local residents as a community lawyer in Brighton (to oppose unsuitable commercial developments in a residential area) and in Essendon (where a huge sewer collapse effected residents and parks). He is a founding member of EERAG – the East Essendon Ratepayers Action Group – and has led delegations and demonstrations to provide compensation for damage and disruption to local communities from government instrumentalities.
Michael is “owned” by his German Shepherd and has a keen interest in pet and animal rights law.
Michael has lectured at the Leo Cussen Institute, the Law Institute of Victoria and at a variety of professional associations on construction and commercial subjects. In 1987, Michael was appointed to the Council of the Law Institute of Victoria to serve the remainder of the term of the Honourable Bernard Teague when appointed a Supreme Court Justice.
Michael is a widely respected senior lawyer who is known for his intuitive and innovative approaches to solving legal and business problems and to dispute resolution which achieves quality client outcomes.