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Michael Back


Michael is a Senior Partner in the Finance, Real Estate & Projects group of Herbert Smith Freehills.



Up until September 2016, Michael was the Managing Partner for the Brisbane office of Herbert Smith Freehills for over 20 years. 

Michael specialises in commercial real estate and advises on major property developments, disposals and acquisitions, and infrastructure projects and fund investments throughout Australia, Asia, United Kingdom and United States of America. 

Michael’s expertise in real estate is highlighted by his annual listing in Best Lawyers, Legal 500 Asia Pacific and Chambers Asia Pacific. 

Michael’s major clients include QIC, AustralianSuper, M&G Real Estate, Vicinity Property Group, Investa Property Group, Propertylink, Challenger Life, GIC (Singapore), PNB (Malaysia), Lei Shing Hong (Hong Kong), The Norinchukin Bank (Japan), Development Bank of Japan (Japan) and Al Salam Bank (Bahrain). 

Some examples of Michael’s projects include:

  • acting for QIC on the acquisition of a 50% interest in one of the United Kingdom’s largest retail shopping centres for a purchase price of approximately AUD$1.3 billion. This transaction is one of the largest real estate transactions undertaken by an Australian organisation
  • acting for AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest superannuation fund, on the acquisition of a 50% interest (GBP£270 million) in thecentre:mk in Milton Keynes, one of the United Kingdom’s largest shopping centres
  • acting for M&G Real Estate (Prudential UK) on the acquisition of commercial office buildings and retail malls in Australia
  • advising listed and wholesale funds such as GIC and QIC on major investments both direct and indirect and property development in Australia, Asia and the United States of America
  • acting for Federation Centres (now Vicinity) on the majority of its Australian retail acquisitions, disposals and developments including a number of recent capital partnerships with Perron Group, ISPT and Challenger.


A graduate of the University of Sydney, Michael holds Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Bachelor of Law (Honours) degrees. He is an associate of the Australian Institute of Valuers and Land Economists. Michael was an inaugural Board member of the Queensland Government’s Urban Land Development Authority.

Michael is the Honorary Solicitor for the Princess Alexandra Hospital Foundation.

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