Curriculum Vitae

Michael Jonsson QC

(ABN 38 494 797 271)

Trinity Chambers

7 Sheridan Street
PO Box 6946, Cairns Q 4870

Phone: 07 4050 2456
Fax: 4031 4429 

Bachelor of Commerce, University of Queensland, 1984
Bachelor of Laws, University of Queensland, 1989
Bachelor of Economics, University of Queensland, 1990
Doctor of Philosophy, James Cook University, 2003
Bar Practice Course (Qld), 1991

Michael has worked predominantly in commercial litigation during a career spanning more than thirty years. He has practised both as a solicitor and as a barrister in a variety of areas, including general commercial and contractual litigation, administrative law and judicial review, succession, insurance litigation, personal and corporate insolvency, building and construction disputation, professional negligence, property litigation, statutory compensation and resumption, and maritime claims and disputes.

Michael undertook articles of clerkship with MacDonnells, Solicitors, in Cairns from late 1987. He was admitted as a solicitor in January, 1990, and remained with MacDonnells for some fourteen years thereafter, including ten years as a partner from July, 1994.

Michael was called to the bar in 2004, and was appointed as Queens Counsel in 2015.


In the course of his practice, both as a solicitor and as a barrister, Michael has represented many clients in litigation spanning a broad range of areas. These include:

  • Disputes involving contractual, restitutionary, statutory and proprietary claims of various kinds: including, for example, Mulgrave Shire Council v Red Hills Pty Ltd (1994) 83 LGERA 323, Re Burman [1993] 1 Qd R 49; Fairview Farming Co Pty Ltd v Cairns City Council (1997) 93 LGERA 368, and on appeal, [1999] 1 Qd R 262; Crystal Creek Pty Ltd v Cairns City Council [2001] QSC 9, and on appeal, [2003] QCA 318; Thusi Pty Ltd v Neonbrook Pty Ltd [1999] 1 Qd R 429; Gonzo v. Grima [1997] ANZ Conv R 49; Tasmanian Seafoods Pty Ltd v Peters [1999] QSC 144; Cairns City Council v Xontan Pty Ltd [1999] QSC 215; Mercantile Mutual Finance Corporation v Rixdale Pty Ltd [1999] QSC 214;  Cairns Earthmoving Contractors Pty Ltd v Cairns City Council [2000] QSC 250; Holdcroft  v. Market Garden Produce Pty Ltd [2001] 2 Qd R 381; GHD Pty Ltd v Wayne [2001] QSC 073; Mazelow Pty Ltd v Herberton Shire Council [2001] QSC 250, [2001] QSC 465, and [2002] QCA 119 (reported at (2002) 18 Building and Construction Law 272 and [2003] 1 Qd R 174); Bianchi v Boserio [2001] QCA 462; Fazldeen v. Niedoba [2002] QSC 81; Johnston v. Ball [2002] QSC 110;  Vyncan Pty Ltd  v Seeley [2003] QBT B305-02; Jattke v Williams [2004] QSC 472; Ramana Hotels Pty Ltd v Luxon [2005] QSC 104; TW Hedley (Investments) Pty Ltd v Richardson Plant Hire Pty Ltd [2005] QSC 99; Rossi v Vu [2005] QSC 373; Vujanovic v Musumeci [2005] QSC 382; DHBC Pty Ltd v Fitzroy Island Pty Ltd [2006] QSC 98; Campbell v Turner [2007] QSC 331, and on appeal [2008] QCA 126; Sport Developments Pty Ltd v Del Fabbro, Unreported, Jones J, 22 April, 2008, and on appeal, [2009] QCA 64; Davidson v Bucknell [2009] QSC 182, and on appeal [2011] 1 Qd R 563; Pazcuff Pty Ltd v Farmilo Pty Ltd [2010] 2 Qd R 268; Hannah v TW Hedley (Investments) Pty Ltd [2010] QSC 56, and on appeal [2010] QCA 256; Bergmann v DAW [2010] QCA 143; Tablelands Regional Council v Pensini, Unreported, Jones J, 28 August, 2011, and on appeal [2012] QCA 137; Queensland Building Services Authority v Orenshaw [2012] QSC 241; Quadrio v Mackay Sugar Ltd [2014] QSC 148, and on appeal, [2015] QCA 41; Coleman v Agripower Australia Ltd [2015] QSC 118, and on appeal, [2015] QCA 266; Weipa Hire Pty Ltd v Commonwealth of Australia [2015] QSC 242; Drane v Aqualyng Holdings [2016] QSC 139 and  [2017] QSC 233;  MSD Securities Pty Ltd v MFB Properties (NQ) Pty Ltd [2017] 2 Qd R 279, [2018] 2 Qd R 51, [2017] QSC 282, [2017] QSC 284, and [2018] QCA 259; Birner v Aircraft Turnaround Engineering Pty Ltd [2017] FCCA 852; Ryan v Simon George & Sons Pty Ltd [2017] QSC 247; Fulmer v Thompson [2017] QSC 119 and [2017] QSC 256 and and Mousa v Vukobratich Enterprises Pty Ltd [2019] QSC 49

  • Disputation between landlord and tenant: including, for example, Demtear Pty Ltd v Abelian Pty Ltd [2004] QSC 103, Cairns Shelfco No 16 Pty Ltd v Armanel Pty Ltd [2004] QSC 122, and on appeal [2004] QCA 473; Nashvying Pty Ltd v Giacomi [2007] QSC 257, and on appeal [2007] QCA 454; Kanjo Group Pty Ltd v Aurukun Shire Council [2012] QSC 352; and Grepo v Jam-Cal Bundaberg Pty Ltd [2015] QCA 131.

  • Supporting and resisting claims for pre-emptive and injunctive relief: including Mareva and Anton Pillar orders and other injunctive relief (such as, for example, a successful application to restrain a foreign legal proceeding which arose out of a dispute concerning conflicting claims to a parcel of foreign land). Specific examples of such matters include Ogun v Bramston Beach Plantation Resort Pty Ltd [2004] QSC 431; Hollerer v Ansavah Pty Ltd [2004] QSC 255; Redfern v Penguin Island Resorts Pty Ltd [2004] QSC 367; and Pankhurst v Damata [2008] QSC 28.

  • A variety of disputes and proceedings involving administrative and judicial review of administrative decisions: including proceedings of that nature before the Land Court, the Supreme Court of Queensland, the Queensland Information Commissioner and, in the Federal arena, before the Administration Appeals Tribunal, the Federal Magistrates Court,  and the Federal Court of Australia, including acting for parties involved in Re Cairns Port Authority and Dept. of Lands (1994) 1 QAR 663; Re Little and Dept. of Natural Resources (1996) 3 QAR 170; Cairns Port Authority v Albeitz [1995] 2 Qd R 470; Little v Minister for Land Management (1992) 77 LGRA 346, and on appeal (1993) 79 LGERA 374 and [1995] 1 Qd R 190;  Robertson v Knuth [1997] 1 Qd R 95 and noted (1997) 2 Local Government Law Journal 119; Woibo v. Cook Shire Council and Ors. [1999] QSC 349; Geraghty & Ors. v. Dairy Industry Tribunal & Ors. [2000] QSC 144; Woolshed Holdings Pty Ltd v. Chief Executive [2003] LAT App. No. 301 of 2002/03; Fry v West [2003] QSC 220; Grancroft Pty Ltd v. Chief Executive [2004] CCT T014-03; Vis Constructions Pty Ltd v Cockburn [2006] QSC 416; Lillywhite v Chief Executive Liquor Licensing Division [2008] QCA 88; Anzbrook Pty Ltd v Minister for the Environment, Heitage and the Arts (2010) 237 FLR 187; Owens v Normanton Liquor Accord [2013] 1 Qd R 168 and Leahy v Barnes [2013] QSC 226, and on appeal, [2014] QCA 152; Finn v Central and North Queensland Regional Parole Board [2016] QSC 233, and on appeal, [2018] QCA 47; Wright v State Coroner [2016] QSC 305 and Gallo v Chief Executive, Department of Natural Resources and Mines [2017] QSC 331.

  • Numerous successful insurance indemnity claimsinvolving a variety of risks: including successfully contested or negotiated insurance claims made by local authorities such as, for example, representing the claimant local government in Hurlock v Johnstone Shire Council[2002] QCA 256. 

  • Claims and proceedings involving issues of corporate and personal insolvency and similar disputation: including, for example, Re Il Palazzo (Management) Pty Ltd [1999] QSC 356 and [2001] QSC 357; Jonsson v Tim Ferrier Pty Ltd [2001] QSC 10, [2004] QSC 6 and [2004] QSC 156; Australian Volunteer Coastguard Association Inc v Raymond [2000] FMCA 41; Mier v FN Management Pty Ltd, Unreported, Jones J, 22 April, 2005, and on appeal, [2006] 1 Qd R 339; Cardno CCS Pty Ltd v Dwyer [2007] QSC 263; Sheldrake v Paltoglou [2006] QCA 52; Mier v Craven [2007] QSC 259; Re Evroy Enterprises Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) [2009] QSC 81; Gusdote v North Queensland Land Development Pty Ltd [2011] FCA 202; [2011] FCA 608; [2012] FCA 280; [2012] FCA 759; [2012] FCA 783 and [2012] FCA 1207; Offermans v Trusted Buzz Pty Ltd [2013] FCCA 1062 and [2013] FCCA 1064; Kawamata v Brett-Hall [2014] FCCA 493; Majet v Goggin [2015] QSC 38 and, on appeal, [2016] 2 Qd R 401; and Camporeale Holdings Pty Ltd v Mortimer Constructions Pty Ltd [2015] QSC 211; and Gove Sport Fishing and Diving Charters Pty Ltd v Yeend [2017] QSC 148. Other examples of such matters include representation of an administrator/liquidator of a company in the defence and, ultimately, compromise of a substantial proprietary claim against the company's sole asset, an island resort, with the outcome being a healthy dividend to the company's unsecured creditors; and a successful application to wind up a trading co-operative incorporated under the provisions of the Cooperatives Act 1997.

  • Partnership disputes: including preparation for and appearance in support of various interlocutory applications for the appointment of receivers and managers and other such matters. Some specific examples of such matters are Phillips v Spinaze [2005] QSC 268; Re Cape Tribulation Reef Experiences Pty Ltd [2007] QSC 115 – a contested review of a special referee’s determination concerning the affairs of a corporate quasi-partnership - and Public Trustee of Queensland v Meyer [2010] QSC 291.

  • Appearances for and against claimants prosecuting professional negligence claims against solicitors, accountants and other financial consultants and advisers: including, for example, Weidner v Cockrell [2001] QSC 46; Barmettler v Greer & Timms [2007] QCA 170 – a matter which commenced as a civil jury trial in the primary court, and which proceeded on appeal to the Court of Appeal and, ultimately, to an unsuccessful application for special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia - Silkzoom Pty Ltd v Property Shop Port Douglas Pty Ltd [2010] QSC 343; and Phillips v MacDonnells Solicitors [2010] QSC 62.

  • Representing numerous litigants involved in maritime litigation of various kinds: including claims arising out of defective repairs and other works in and upon vessels, a successfully defended action for damage done to a ship within the admiralty jurisdiction in personam of the Federal Court of Australia, which then proceeded on appeal to the Full Federal Court (Metro Plating Pty Ltd v NQEA Australia Pty Ltd, Unreported, Von Doussa, Tamberlin and Kiefel JJ, 3 May, 1996), several claims within the admiralty jurisdiction in personam of the Supreme Court of Queensland in which recovery of possession of particular vessels was sought and obtained, numerous actions in rem, including an action for unpaid moorage fees (Far North Queensland Ports Corporation v Owners of the Ship ‘Captain Senrab’ [2012] QSC 87), claims for salvage reward, and a claim for necessaries which proceeded to default judgment, sale of the vessel and determination of priorities and distribution of the res as between various competing claimants. Michael also represented the charterer of a commercial dive vessel who sought, by injunction, to restrain the vessel's mortgagees in the enforcement of the charterer's possessory rights to the vessel (which culminated in a negotiated outcome).

  • Prosecution of various claims for statutory compensation arising out of processes involving the resumption and compulsory expropriation of property: including claims of that nature in the Land Court (for example, Pfeiffer Nominees Pty Ltd v Department of Transport and Main Roads [2017] QLC 43; and on appeal, [2018] QLAC 2); and agitated through arbitral proceedings (including representing a party involved in Transit Australia Pty Ltd v Crewford Pty Ltd [1998] 1 Qd R 690 and Crewford Pty Ltd v Transit Australia Pty Ltd [1999] QCA 81).

  • Probate and succession litigation: including disputes concerning the interpretation of Wills (such as, for example Bullock v Bullock [2003] QSC 258; Kruize v Cheung [2008] QSC 156 and Foley v Gleeson [2013] QSC 234), applications for judicial advice and directions (including, for example, Sneath v Sneath [2014] QSC 152 and Prettejohn v Prettejohn [2014] QSC 250); claims to enforce informally executed Wills (including, for example, Coyle v Kerwin [2006] QSC 50; Morrison v Luckman [2012] QSC 361; and In the Will of Panigas [2013] QSC 172); an application to facilitate the making of an application for probate, absent a death certificate (Maisel v National Mutual Life Assoc [2016] QSC 166); applications to facilitate the making of a statutory Will (including Doughan v Straguszi [2013] QSC 295); disputed actions for admission of Wills to probate in solemn form (including, for example, Bertoldo v Cordenos [2010] QSC 79 and Mullavey v Verri [2017] 1 Qd R 438), claims for executorial commission (including Re Estate of Ghidella [2005] QSC 106); and many claims for adequate provision out of the estate of deceased individuals (such as, for example, Underwood v Underwood [2008] QSC 159, and subsequently [2009] QSC 107; Laursen v Laursen [2009] 2 Qd R 148 and Horwood v Ah Shay [2014] QDC 199).

  • Defamation litigation: including the successful defence of an action determined in the District Court of Queensland before a Judge and a jury; and representation of the claimant at trial, upon a limited retrial, and in both appeals in Kencian v Daunt Watney [2016] 2 Qd R 357; [2018] 1 Qd R 407; and note [2018] QDC 135; and [2017] HCASL 270).

  • Copyright litigation: including Coles v Dormer [2015] QSC 224 and [2017] 1 Qd R 63.

  • Acting for and against complainants alleging unlawful discrimination: including, for example, Rohner v. Scanlan (No.1) (1997) 77 FCR 433 and Rohner v. Scanlan (No.2) (1998) 157 ALR 24; Black & White (Quick Service) Taxis Pty Ltd v Sailor [2011] 2 Qd R 35; and Forest v HK & W Investments Pty Ltd Pty Ltd [2014] FCCA 209.

  • Various kinds of proceeding arising out of disputes involving real property: including applications for the imposition of a statutory rights of user (such as, for example, Re Towerpoint Pty Ltd (1991) Q Conv R. 54-389 and Chizzotti v Ah Shay, Unreported, Jones J, 22 March, 2011); disputes involving encroachments (Cowan v McKinnon [2011] QCA 154 and Quabba v Williams, Unreported, Jones J, 12 September, 2011); applications for the appointment of trustees upon the statutory trust for sale or partition of property held in co-ownership; proceedings involving claims for relief against the forfeiture of leasehold interests in land; and applications for declaratory and injunctive relief in support of proprietary rights (such as, for example, frontager rights, and rights arising under an easement – see Slorach v Mountain View Farm Pty Ltd [1998] Qld Conv Rep 54-512, [2000] Qld Conv Rep. 54-542 and [2000] QSC 69; and Multiplex Bluewater Marina Village Pty Ltd v Harbour Tropics Pty Ltd [2016] QSC 99, and on appeal [2017] QCA 202).

  • Other appellate and comparable reviews and proceedings: including appeals and reviews relating to the costs jurisdiction - such as in Bottoms v Reser [2000] QSC 413; Royds v Pasetti & Bosel [2005] QDC 193; and Ginn v Ginn [2015] QSC 49; Hudson v Entsch (2005) 216 ALR 188 - a contested petition to invalidate a federal election conducted by a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia exercising remitted jurisdiction as the Court of Disputed Returns; and other appeals and appellate proceedings including AB & R Sultana Pty Ltd v Johnstone Shire Council [2004] QCA 251;  Thomas v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2005] QCA 85 Peden Pty Ltd v Bortolazzo [2006] 2 Qd R 574; Commissioner of Taxation v Price [2006] 2 Qd R 316; Beach Club Port Douglas Pty Ltd v Page [2006] 1 Qd R 307; Jessup v King’s Transport [2006] QCA 289; Nicholl Holdings Pty Ltd v Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co Ltd [2007] QCA 57; QUYD Pty Ltd v Marvass Pty Ltd [2009] 1 Qd R 41; Hughes v Westpac Banking Corporation [2010] QSC 274, and on appeal [2012] 1 Qd R 581 and (2011) 278 ALR 145; Allaro Homes Cairns Pty Ltd v O’Reilly [2012] QCA 286; La Spina v MacDonnells Law [2014] QCA 44; and Kellahan v Hughes [2014] QDC 97.

Michael maintains an ongoing interest in the study of law.  Having completed a research thesis concerning the impact of the unified legal system upon the place and content of the law of admiralty, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by James Cook University in May, 2003. He has had related papers published in the Australian Law Journal, entitled 'The Nature of the Action in Rem' (2001) 75 Australian Law Journal 105 and 'The Statutory Right of Action in Rem' (2004) 78 Australian Law Journal 262.  

Michael has presented on numerous topics to professional audiences, including papers entitled ‘Reversal, Rights and Reparation upon Failure of a Contract’; ‘Repudiation and Renunciation of Commercial and Residential Contracts – Walking the Tightrope of Termination for Breach’; ‘Partnership and Joint Ventures and the Baggage of History’; ‘Urgent, Deathbed and Informal Wills’; and ‘Lost Papers and Lost Souls, Case Studies in Problem Solving in Succession and Property Law’.