Michael Spencer | Special Counsel

Michael graduated from The University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours). Michael was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia and the High Court of Australia in 2002. He was also admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2006.

Between 2000 and 2007, Michael worked in mid-sized law firms in Adelaide and specialised in personal injury law, commercial and civil litigation and medical law. From 2007 to 2009, he practised in London as an in-house lawyer at London’s largest group of private hospitals and later in private practice, where he represented public hospitals across England.

In 2010 and 2011, Michael worked as a risk manager for a public hospital in Adelaide then as a government lawyer in Adelaide, acting predominantly for public hospitals in civil litigation and inquests. From 2011 to 2016, Michael worked as a government lawyer in London. He specialised in civil litigation and inquests before moving into a team which defended judicial reviews of government decisions. A highlight for Michael was being part of the team in court arguing that British Prime Minister Theresa May had power, after the Brexit referendum, to trigger Brexit without requiring a further vote in Parliament - a court case which made news headlines around the world.

In 2016, Michael returned home to Adelaide to lead the team of government lawyers at Public Trustee. His work there included acting in complex deceased estate disputes and guardianship and administration cases as well as in a broad range of legal matters concerning customers who were subject to Public Trustee’s protection. He also advised Public Trustee on corporate matters.

Michael joined O’Loughlins Lawyers in 2018. Although his broad experience has equipped him with the skills to deal with a wide range of legal problems, disputes and litigation, he is particularly interested in legal issues associated with health, death and government. His recent work includes acting for institutions (retirement villages, aged care facilities and a hospital) in relation to government regulation and also disputes involving their clients, acting for Public Trustee in deceased estate litigation and acting for families and individuals in relation to inheritance claims and other legal disputes.

Principal Areas of Practice

  • Estate Disputes
  • Civil Litigation
  • Health and Aged Care
  • Guardianship and Administration
  • Inquests and Inquiries

Professional Memberships

Michael's memberships include:

  • Law Society of South Australia
  • Civil Litigation Committee of the Law Society of South Australia
  • Law Society of England and Wales
  • Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee (which covers Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University)


+61 8 8111-4000