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Michael Bersten

Bachelor of Jurisprudence/Bachelor of Laws - University of NSW
Master of Taxation - University of NSW
Executive Master of Business Administration - University of NSW


Admitted to the Bar 2018


Michael has well over 30 years’ experience and international recognition as one of Australia’s leading tax and revenue lawyers. Before coming to the Bar in 2018, Michael was a partner most recently PwC for 14 years where he founded its highly regarded Tax Controversy and Dispute Resolution practice and before that as Head of Deloitte Lawyers. Before that Michael held very senior ATO and AGS roles including head of the Tax Council Network, Chair of the ATO GAAR Panel and Deputy Government Solicitor.

Michael over that time, as a solicitor, gained wide exposure to cutting edge tax issues, with in depth involvement in major audits, disputes and litigation in a wide range of sectors, acting for or against the ATO involving multi-nationals, listed companies, private groups, trusts and high wealth individuals. Michael is widely known for his specialisation in anti-avoidance rules and spent much of the last decade actively involved in issues concerning international tax and transfer pricing.

Michael’s has key strengths in finance, corporate and commercial matters which underpin the investigation of facts and evidence, developing successful strategies to resolve disputes and securing strategic outcomes by negotiation or litigation.

Having come to the bar late in his career, Michael is translating his skills and experience into advocacy a barrister. Michael’s practice extends beyond tax underpin his tax expertise, especially commercial and equity, corporate and finance law, property and trusts. Michael is also practicing in the areas of public law, building on his experience in government dealing with regulatory issues. Michael runs cases both on his own as well as being led by senior counsel.

Michael is passionate about the rule of law and democracy and takes on pro bono work.

Principal Areas of Practice

  • Commercial Law See all +Close -
    • Administrative Law
    • Banking and Financial Services
    • Bankruptcy and Insolvency
    • Competition and Consumer
    • Contracts
    • Corporations and Securities
    • Cross-border Insolvency
    • Mining resources and energy
    • Real property
    • Shareholder class actions
    • Superannuation
    • Trade Practices
  • Criminal See all +Close -
    • Fraud
    • Proceeds of crime
    • White collar and corporate crime
  • Equity See all +Close -
    • Property
    • Trusts
    • Wills and Estates
  • Industrial/Employment See all +Close -
    • Civil and Human Rights
    • Government Inquiries
  • Public and Administrative Law See all +Close -
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Appellate
    • Constitutional Law
    • Disciplinary Proceedings
    • Judicial review and administrative law
    • Merits review
    • Proceeds of crime
    • Public law
  • Taxation and Revenue See all +Close -
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Appellate
    • Capital gains tax
    • Goods and services tax
    • Income tax
    • International tax
    • Land tax
    • Payroll tax
    • Stamp duty and other state taxes


Banks & Financial Institutions, Funds, Government, Industrials, Transport and Infrastructure, Primary Resources, Power & Utilities, Real Estate, Technology, Media & Telecommunications,

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