Michael Hessenthaler


I was a private investigator for more than 30 years and I used to operate from Sydney. I ran a successful agency and employed many investigators over the years, some of whom are mentioned on this website. My client base were insurance companies and law firms including the Crown Solicitor and several state government agencies.

We primarily carried out factual investigations related to civil litigation and general liability. We also did surveillance in both private and corporate areas, but personally I stopped involvement in it since video became the norm. That was indeed a long time ago. My specialty was common law and statutory liability. I estimate my firm carried out around ten thousand factual and insurance fraud investigations during my investigation career. I was a perfectionist both in the investigative work and in the standard of reporting.

My motto in investigation was always "Striving to Excel". If a client had to ask "and what about..." then surely I had failed. Leave nothing out, but cover all that is relevant.

I originate from Vienna, Austria and arrived in Australia from Germany when I was still a teenager. I've lived in culturally diverse societies in several countries and have travelled extensively throughout Europe. I would like to think I am a tolerant man, but admit to being entirely cynical where politicians and governments are concerned. I have retired and now live on the mid-north coast of NSW in beautiful Port Macquarie.

I have authored several books and hundreds of instruction papers and guides over the years some of which are available in our online store.

These days I spend my time looking after this website and handing out advice to anyone that will listen. It's what old folks like best!

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Michael Hessenthaler

Michael Hessenthaler