Michele Laidlaw Partner

Michele specialises in Australian competition and consumer law, advising major multi-national and ASX listed clients across a range of industries.

Her areas of expertise include contentious and non-contentious merger reviews, litigation and advising on consumer protection law. In 2017 she spent 6 months as part of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission in-house legal team.

Michele is consistently listed as one of Australia’s leading lawyers in the area of Competition and Trade in Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2013 – 2018 and Best Lawyers Australia, 2014 – 2018. She was also recognised in the global publication of Who’s Who Legal: Competition – Future Leaders, 2018.

Michele has specialist expertise in aviation and infrastructure work, having advised Qantas for many years on key competition matters that include landmark cases. She recently spent 2.5 years as Qantas’ Head of Legal (Competition & Consumer), where she dealt with a wide range of complex competition, regulatory and consumer matters, including helping the airline navigate the urgent and novel legal challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Recent deals

Qantas Airways Limited

Key competition advisor, including in relation to regulatory clearance for alliance arrangements with American Airlines, Emirates and China Eastern and the current ACCC monitoring regime for domestic air passenger services.

Qantas Airways Limited

Acted for Jetstar in consumer law proceedings regarding the Jetstar booking and service fee.

Qantas Airways Limited

Acted for Qantas in ACCC merger investigation regarding its 19.9% shareholding in Alliance Airlines.

Airlines for Australia & New Zealand (A4ANZ)

Advised regarding application of Part IIIA access regime to airports, as non-vertically integrated monopolies.

Ramsay Healthcare

Acted for Ramsay in successful defence of ACCC misuse of market power proceedings.


Advised on ACCC clearance process for successful acquisition of Quadrant Energy.


Ranked as a leading competition/antitrust lawyer
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2013 - 2018
Recommended in competition and trade law
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018
Recognised as a leading lawyer in competition law
Best Lawyers Australia, 2014 - 2018
“Well-regarded partner Michele Laidlaw is frequently noted for her work for long-term client Qantas.”
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2014
Recognised as a leading competition lawyer in Competition - Future Leaders
Who's Who Legal, 2018

Career & qualifications


  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Economics (Hons & University Medal), University of Sydney
  • Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Australian National University
  • PGDip Economics for Competition Law, King's College London


Insights Read more insight

Valve appeal dismissed – foreign digital content providers beware

The Australian competition regulator (the ACCC) has succeeded in a case against Valve Corporation (Valve), a global digital distribution company, regarding its failure to provide refunds to certain...

Valve appeal dismissed – the ACCC blows off steam

Take note: this case is particularly instructive foreign businesses operating in Australia and businesses providing digital content to consumers online.

No relief in sight as ACCC targets “targeted” pain relievers

In a new case echoing Nurofen’s bruising $6m encounter over its “pain specific” range, the ACCC has commenced proceedings against the manufacturers of Voltaren Osteo Gel.