Michelle Porter-Wright


Michelle advises owners, contractors and consultants in the administration of contracts and the resolution of disputes on major infrastructure projects.

Michelle works both domestically, within South Africa, and as part of A&O Shearman’s global construction arbitration offering. In recent years, she has been involved in some of the world’s largest construction disputes.

Michelle has a masters degree in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution from King's College, University of London. She is published in several peer reviewed academic journals.

Michelle is ranked by all major legal directories for her work in South Africa's construction sector, including Legal500, Chambers, Who's Who Legal (WWL), and Best Lawyers. She is Lexology’s 2024 Client Choice award recipient for construction in South Africa.

She sits on the board of Africa Construction Law, a non profit pan African initiative to promote and develop construction law expertise in Africa.

She is an external examiner for WITS university and regularly guest lectures in her field.


Representative matters

A sovereign on a large hospital project against its PPP operator, value ZAR 3 bn.

A listed Saudi Arabian development company on infrastructure regulatory frameworks.

An Australian based oil and gas major on a USD180 m EPC dispute in a Singapore seated ICC arbitration. The project involved the whole chain of LNG development and production: subsea, offshore, pipeline and onshore.

A listed South African EPC Contractor on a ZAR1.7 bn dispute in an ICC arbitration before a three member London seated tribunal.

Published Work

  • Stellenbosch Law Review – "NEC3 ECC clause 10.1 : an enforceable contractual duty of trust and co-operation in the construction industry?" - (2017)
  • The South African Law Journal (SALJ) - "Private ordering and dispute resolution" - (2018)
  • Porter-Wright. M and Meintjes. W. (2023) “Confidentiality of arbitrations in South Africa – Towards (or away from) implied confidentiality?”, The Paris Journal of International Arbitration
Up-and-coming lawyer Michelle Porter-Wright is well placed to advise on arbitration proceedings regarding EPC and concession agreements in the energy and mining sectors. She has an excellent approach to construction law and commercial matters.
South Africa: Construction (Up and Coming)
Michelle is absolutely exceptional. She is hard-working, approachable, commercially aware, and has great drafting skills and attention to detail
Client feedback, Chambers Global, 2023



Attorney, South Africa, 2011


MSc, Construction Law & Dispute Resolution, King’s College London, 2016

LLB, University of Cape Town, 2008

BSc, University of Cape Town, 2005

A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.