Mr Mike McDonald > McDonald Patafta & Associates Lawyers > Vientaine, Laos > Lawyer Profile

McDonald Patafta & Associates Lawyers


Managing Director


Mike is a corporate advisor and Australian qualified lawyer having had a career spanning over 35 years and working and advising in many corporate and business sectors worldwide .

He has fulfilled roles as an executive and in house counsel within the Bell Group and at  TVW Channel 7 in Perth  where he was company secretary. He then worked as corporate counsel within Delhi Petroleum and CSR Limited in Australia, before founding  Adelaide law firm McDonald Steed McGrath Lawyers in 1988 specialising in corporate advisory, international trade and business law, overseas direct investment between Australia and the ASEAN region , energy and resources and migration law. Mike retired as managing partner of that firm in 2011.

In 2008  he founded McDonald Steed McGrath Lawyers  as the first Australian law firm to be established in Lao PDR with it’s office based in Vientiane. In May 2014 the firm changed it’s name to Arion Legal and following the acquisition of full ownership of the firm by Mike and fellow director Kaz Patafta in August 2019, the firm has been re-badged McDonald Patafta & Associates Lawyers (MPAL) . Mike has been Managing Director of the firm since it’s foundation and continues in that role under it’s new name. He is also a Director of the McDonald Patafta Group (MPG) a corporate advisory firm based in Singapore with representative offices in Lao PDR, Australia and Belgium. MPG works in close association with MPAL in business development and investment into Lao PDR and within the Mekong Sub-region.

Mike has had wide experience and involvement  in Australia , Lao PDR, China and internationally in project start ups, governmental relations, joint ventures and transactional  corporate/commercial matters and in facilitating strategic business alliances.  He is skilled in dealing with cross jurisdictional issues and in the negotiation of acquisitions and disposals.

He has served as a director on both private and public companies and has participated as a promoter and shareholder in new business start ups including the listing of public companies.

Mike has also served as a legal advisor to the Government of South Australia  on energy contracting matters and negotiations, the Australian Government on international trade matters  and to the Government of Lao on its participation in hydroelectric and energy  projects. Mike continues  to provide advice to foreign investors into the Lao PDR and and Mekong Sub-Region, through McDonald Patafta & Associates Lawyers, in Lao PDR and his involvement with the McDonald Patafta Group.