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Michael Cosgrove

Master of Laws
Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
Bachelor of Economics


Admitted to the Bar 2015


Michael primarily practises in taxation law, particularly federal taxation law.  Michael’s clients include multinationals and other corporates, as well as the Commissioner of Taxation.

Michael has experience in relation to a wide range of federal income tax issues, examples of which relate to international tax (including transfer pricing, transferor trusts and controlled foreign companies), indirect tax (including goods and services tax and fuel tax), company distributions, dividends and share premium or capital accounts (including account tainting), the taxation of trusts, the debt and equity distinction, as well as the application of anti-avoidance provisions (including the general anti-avoidance provisions in Part IVA).  Michael has an extensive advice practice, and accepts briefs during all stages of a dispute with the Australian Taxation Office.

Michael has been involved in a number of significant or high-value cases, including:

  • The landmark transfer pricing appeal, Chevron Australia Holdings Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2017] FCAFC 62, which involved a number of tax and related issues.
  • A dispute concerning the taxation consequences of the AUD 6 billion share buy-back that occurred as part of the takeover of Optus by SingTel in Cable & Wireless Australia & Pacific Holding BV (in liquidatie) v Commissioner of Taxation [2017] FCAFC 71.
  • The taxation treatment of amounts incurred in relation to generation trading rights following the New South Wales reforms to the electricity market in 2010, in Origin Energy Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation (No 2) [2020] FCA 409.

Michael also accepts briefs in connection with administrative law and constitutional issues, in particular in circumstances where they relate to disputes in connection with taxation matters.

Michael is listed:

  • In the “Best Lawyers in Australia” list for Tax Law (2021 and 2022 editions).
  • As a “rising star” in the Legal 500’s Tax section for the Australian Bar (2021).
  • In Doyle’s Guide, “Leading Tax Barristers – New South Wales” (2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021).
  • As a “rising star” in the Legal 500’s Commercial Disputes section for the Australian Bar (2022).

Principal Areas of Practice

  • Taxation and Revenue See all +Close -
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Appellate
    • Capital gains tax
    • Goods and services tax
    • Income tax
    • International tax


Banks & Financial Services, Funds, Government, Healthcare, Industrials, Primary Resources, Power & Utilities, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Transport and Infrastructure,

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News from Cosgrove

Best Lawyers 2023

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