Michael started his career in law in 1975 as a public prosecutor in Pietermaritzburg. He then served as an article clerk in Pretoria, where he was admitted as an attorney in 1979. He subsequently became a partner in a large firm in the Johannesburg CBD until 1988 when he, together with another partner of that firm, Jonathan Tonkin, established Tonkin Clacey in what was then the leafy suburb of Rosebank, Johannesburg. He was persuaded by Jonathan to accept second place on the letterhead on the grounds that passers-by might otherwise confuse the establishment with an Irish pub. He held the position of senior partner in the firm from 1997 until 2015, when the firm became an incorporated entity and he passed on the mantle to another of the partners, Jaco Lötter.
Michael retired at the end of February 2018 after 39 years of practice.
Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Attorney of the High Court of South Africa
Conveyancer of the High Court of South Africa
Law Society of Northern Province