Energy (transactions and regulatory) in Australia

Allens

Allens has a strong practice across the spectrum of energy projects and transactions, providing advice on complex regulatory issues, investments, developments and construction. In particular, the firm has a leading oil and gas practice, illustrated by its role in virtually all off the major projects in this field over the last year. Recently the firm advised Santos on its $1bn+ acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ northern Australia and Timor-Leste portfolio. Kate Axup, based in Melbourne, stands out for her expertise in renewable energy, having assisted numerous clients with sales, acquisitions, grid connections and power purchase agreements and in Sydney, Andrew Mansour heads the power and utilities group. Igor Bogdanich, based in Perth, has amassed a wealth of experience in the mining and oil and gas sectors, handling large-scale M&A, joint ventures and major projects.  Anna Collyer has left the firm to chair the Australian Energy Market Commission and Tracey Greenaway departed in January 2022. Louis Chiam joined the team from King & Wood Mallesons in July 2021 bringing extensive energy project expertise.

Practice head(s):

Kate Axup; Igor Bogdanich

Other key lawyers:

Louis Chiam; Andrew Mansour

Key clients

Acciona Energia

TransGrid

Rio Tinto

John Laing

Snowy Hydro Limited

Australian Industrial Energy

Australian Energy Market Commission

H2Store Pty Ltd

Lavo Hydrogen Storage Technology Pty Ltd (LAVO)

Providence Investment Management Pty Ltd

The State of Queensland through Queensland Treasury Transurban

Global Infrastructure Partners

Woodside Energy Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Acciona in relation to its entry into an unincorporated joint venture arrangement with Korea Zinc in relation to the development, construction, operation and maintenance of the MacIntyre Wind Farm, a proposed 923MW wind farm located near Warwick, Queensland.
  • Advised Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) on the acquisition of a 26.25% interest in the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Common Facilities from Shell for approximately US$2.5 billion, following the receipt of regulatory approval.
  • Advising Snowy Hydro Limited (Snowy Hydro) on strategic energy projects being developed in Australia – namely the Snowy 2.0 Expansion Scheme.

Ashurst

With broad capabilities, Ashurst’s team has a particularly strong reputation in projects relating to renewable energy, new technologies and the move towards becoming net zero. Paul Curnow, who leads the team from Sydney, is highly regarded in the Australian market, given his strong reputation in renewable energy and sustainable finance. His recent work highlights include advising EDF renewables on its first investment in Australia. In Brisbane, Paul Newman is recognised for assisting clients with project development and critical acquisitions underpinning major energy initiatives. Caroline Lindsey in Perth has notable expertise in domestic gas sales, which is supplemented by broader experience in energy and natural resources projects.

Practice head(s):

Paul Curnow

Other key lawyers:

Paul Newman; Caroline Lindsey

Testimonials

The Ashurst team provides quality advice across the broad spectrum of Energy sector agreements. My experience is in Oil and Gas with Ashurst and I have found their work exceptional from joint venture agreements, marketing agreements – GSAs and LNG SPAs, transport agreements (including LNG Shipping time charters), terminal use agreements to name just a few. I have experience working with other firms and also across the table from other firms and the individuals I have worked with at Ashurst are the best practitioners I have come across.’

The individual lawyers responsible for the key disciplines of law we deal with are truly dedicated, highly experienced in their field of expertise and deliver exceptional and sound advice. More importantly they think outside the box and are very driven in delivering the best outcome for us. This is very evident in their collaborative nature and working closely with you to achieve the desired outcome.’

Key clients

AGL

Jemena

BHP

CleanCo

EnergyAustralia

Macquarie

Vena Energy

Shell

Santos

Oil Search

Edify Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised Tilt Renewables on the acquisition of its business by a consortium led by Powering Australian Renewables (PowAR – a partnership between AGL, QIC and the Future Fund) and Mercury NZ Limited for A$2.8bn, the largest renewable energy deal in Australia’s history.
  • Advised Infrastructure Capital Group on its co-investment in an Australian renewable energy investment platform with a joint venture including Engie and Mitsui to create one of Australia’s largest renewable energy investment platforms.
  • Advised Woodside on the negotiation, finalisation and implementation of a gas processing agreement and all associated documents to transform Karratha Gas Plant into a third party tolling facility.

Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz recently recruited Special Counsel Marni Riley from Baker McKenzie LLP to join the Brisbane office, bolstering its offering in the sector. While the firm has a diverse practice, its expertise in environmental law and emerging technology truly stands out. In addition, the team is well regarded for its role in oil & gas, power, utilities and renewables projects, handling complex regulatory issues and major transactions. Stuart MacGregor, based in Brisbane, specialises in large-scale energy and natural resources transactions. Emma Covacevich, who is also based in the Brisbane office, assists clients with the acquisition, development and operation of major oil, gas and LNG projects. In a recent highlight, she advised ConocoPhillips on the $1.5bn sale of its Australia-West and East Timorese assets and operations to Santos Limited. Katy Warner in Brisbane, who was recently promoted to special counsel, is also a core member of the practice, with a wealth of in-house experience working for global energy companies.

Practice head(s):

Stuart MacGregor

Other key lawyers:

Emma Covacevich; Marni Riley; Katy Warner

Testimonials

‘Advice is always practical, clear, concise and delivered efficiently. CU are our preferred firm for Australia.’

Strong depth. Multiple partners within the firm who have strong energy and resources experience.’

Emma Covacevich has extensive knowledge in this space whilst simultaneously being very responsive to queries and always playing a hands-on role on transaction. It is this mix that separates Emma from many of her competitors.’

Extensive experience in the area especially power purchase agreements and wind farms.’

Advice is always practical, clear, concise and delivered efficiently. CU are our preferred firm for Australia.’

Key clients

Tianqi Lithium Corporation

Bravus Mining & Resources (previously known as Adani Group Companies)

Nippon Steel

Mitsui Coal Holdings

Talison Lithium

Sun Metals (an Australian subsidiary of Korea Zinc Company Limited)

ConocoPhillips

Senex Energy

Squadron Energy & Australian Industrial Energy

Repsol

PetroChina

Origin Energy

Fortescue Metals Group

Northern Territory Government (represented by Department of the Chief Minister & Cabinet)

Commonwealth Government (Represented by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources)

CleanCo Queensland

Work highlights

  • Advised Origin Energy on the electricity and gas regulatory aspects of Origin’s new Kraken platform, which will streamline and automate interactions between Origin and its electricity and gas customers across their various sources of power.
  • Advised the Northern Territory Government on proposed renewable electricity offtake, renewable electricity certificates and other green benefits able to be generated and transferred and the transmission of electricity as part of the Project Development arrangements for the A$22bn Sun Cable Project development.
  • Advised the Western Australian electricity network owner Western Power on a joint venture with AEMO and Synergy in relation to facilitating the integration of distributed energy resources in the SWIS. Our team is working with the parties on implementing the “Distributed Energy Resources” project to assist with network stability, such as battery storage and distributed grids.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills distinguishes itself through its ability to provide full-life cycle advice to mining, oil & gas and power clients, utilising the strength of the firm’s environmental, employment, health and safety teams, as well as its strong corporate and commercial division. In addition, the firm stands out for its role in innovative projects and transactions supporting the transition to clean energy. Jay Leary, who serves as the global head of mining, handles M&A, joint ventures, operating agreements and various other matters for clients in this industry. Nick Baker focuses on strategic and cross-border transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors. In a recent highlight, he advised Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on its investment into The Hydrogen Utility, the developer of two Australian hydrogen projects. Robert Merrick is a true expert in the oil & gas and utilities sectors, focusing primarily on M&A, project development, financing and commodity trading. Stuart Barrymore has an outstanding reputation for advising on all aspects of oil & gas and LNG projects, while Sian Newham is noted for her comprehensive expertise in greenfield and brownfield projects. Robert Nicholson is also a key team member.

Practice head(s):

Jay Leary

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Barrymore; Nick Baker; Robert Merrick; Sian Newham; Robert Nicholson

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons is best known for its strong credentials in electricity regulation and power purchase agreements, having handled numerous PPAs for clients across Australia. Furthermore, the firm has a strong presence in the oil & gas industry, focusing primarily on M&A and investment deals. Craig Rogers leads the practice from Brisbane, specialising in oil & gas law. In a recent highlight, he advised Lightsource BP on the development of the Woolooga and West Wyalong solar projects. Alan Murray, based in Perth, stands out for his work in strategic mining and oil and gas matters, in which he tends to provide advice on joint ventures and equity arrangements. Fellow Perth partner Tim Edwards frequently handles power purchase agreements in the renewables sector, in addition to advising various clients on divestments, sales and acquisitions. Senior associate Shirley Cheng is also recommended, given her strong working knowledge of electricity and energy regulation. The team has been boosted since Peter Vaughan and senior associate Tara Graneri joined the team in Perth.

Practice head(s):

Craig Rogers

Other key lawyers:

Alan Murray; Tim Edwards; Peter Vaughan; Tara Graneri; Shirley Cheng

Key clients

Alinta Energy

APA Group

Ausgrid

Benaris International Pty Ltd

Chevron Australia Pty Limited

CKI Group

ENGIE

Horizon Oil

Lightsource BP

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Asset Holdings Pty Limited

Mitsui Group

Origin Energy

Transgrid

Work highlights

  • Advised Infigen on its agreement with TransGrid to dispatch the Wallgrove Grid Battery, a 50MW/75MWh battery energy storage system powered by Tesla’s recently introduced Megapack battery technology.
  • Advised BHP on its renewable power purchase agreement for its Queensland mining operations.
  • Advised Australian Energy Market Operator on a number of critical regulatory reforms.

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy LLP is known in the Australian market for its expertise in cross-border energy transactions, including investments and project financing. Geoff Simpson, who is based in Perth, has over two decades of experience counselling clients in relation to M&A, joint ventures, project development and equity transactions. Meredith Campion, also based in Perth, assists energy clients with the full spectrum of corporate and commercial matters, standing out for her strength in due diligence and compliance law. In Sydney, Adam Stapledon is a standout partner, with a good reputation in acquisition and project finance mandates, particularly in relation to greenfield and brownfield developments. Goran Galic in Perth is another core member of the practice, focusing on project development in the oil & gas, energy and mining sectors.

Practice head(s):

Geoff Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Meredith Campion; Adam Stapledon; Goran Galic

Testimonials

‘Team of highly experienced specialists who know the market very well and are carving out an interesting niche.’

‘Goran Galic is very client-centric and has a good big picture view of deals and Simon Huxley is always energetic and enthusiastic at all times and at the same time delivering high-end products.’

‘Allen & Overy teams have strong experiences and capabilities to understand what is outstanding issue and what is solution. In addition to the above strength, they are pooling multi discipline capabilities in their corporate level to solve the raised issues not just handling by designated team only.’

‘Clients including us are frequently used to urgent requests and expect prompt feedback regardless of the number of pages and sorts of documents. Mr. Goran Galic and Mr. Henry Simpson have been incredible in their performance and flexibility to provide excellent legal opinion on time. They exactly know how to achieve client’s request and how much of resources they need to pool from other teams. In addition to timing and communication stand point, their legal opinion is always very helpful for client to understand potential risk and prepare/negotiate mitigation plan.’

Key clients

Engie and the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG)

SK E&S Co

Alinta Energy

BHP

Osaka Gas

Eni

Sino Gas

Shell

Viva Energy

EG Group

Watkins Holdings/(Ned)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Engie and AGIG on its submission to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for $17.73m of funding towards a 10MW electrolyser in the Murray Valley in Victoria, Australia to create a Green Hydrogen to be blended into the existing natural gas network.
  • Successfully obtained an investment arbitration award for Watkins Holdings S.a.r.l. and Watkins (Ned) B.V. against the Kingdom of Spain. The case concerns a highly topical question of ICSID Convention claims under the Energy Charter Treaty relating to investments in renewable energy (wind farms), and the operation of foreign state immunity. The award, which is for €77m plus other costs, expenses and interest, relates to the Kingdom of Spain’s expropriation of the clients’ investments in the renewable energy sector in Spain.
  • Advised Osaka Gas on the sale of its subsidiaries, including Osaka Gas Niugini which owns assets related to an oil & natural gas development project in Papua New Guinea to Arran Energy.

Baker McKenzie

With a range of clients that includes retailers, developers and foreign investors, Baker McKenzie LLP specialises in energy M&A, regulation and contracting matters. Specifically, the team has considerable experience in renewable energy, oil and gas and infrastructure mandates, utilising its corporate, banking, tax and environmental law departments to provide cohesive legal services. Sean Duffy, based in Sydney, acts for all market participants engaged in sales, acquisitions, restructuring arrangements and project financing transactions. Brisbane partner Tanya Denning is well established in the energy sector, given her ability to provide advice across the spectrum of project development, wholesale and retail energy contracting and regulatory compliance. Aylin Cunsolo, based in Melbourne, is a core member of the renewable energy team.

Practice head(s):

Sean Duffy

Other key lawyers:

Tanya Denning; Aylin Cunsolo; Raymond Lou

Testimonials

From my perspective the constant engagement and interest from the Baker Mckenzie Team has been a highlight. Certainly driving a win-win situation with the client and aiming to make our success their. With that the collaborative nature is something I really appreciate.’

The individuals and certainly Raymond Lou has made himself consistently available and driving a positive outcome for a number of deals.’

Key clients

ALDI

Cbus Property

CleanCo Queensland Ltd

CS Energy Ltd

Genex Power Ltd

SK E&S

Work highlights

  • Advised Genex Power Limited, as the key sponsor in relation to a 250MW pumped storage hydroelectric power facility (following a role on the 50MW Kidston Solar Project in the same location which will be integrated into the pumped hydro in an Australian first).
  • Advised CleanCo in its negotiation of a five-year renewable power purchase agreement whereby CleanCo will provide BHP with electricity from renewable sources for the latter’s coal mines in Queensland. We also advised CleanCo on its 10-year renewable power purchase agreement with Coles.
  • Advised Cbus Property as a member of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Buyers Group (2.0), a consortium of renewable energy purchasers based in Melbourne, in respect of its energy and LGC offtake agreement with Pacific Hydro.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance handles conventional energy transactions and disputes, alongside more niche areas of work in the sector. In particular, the firm is known for engaging with foreign governments in relation to major projects and advising clients on commodity trading in Australia. On the contentious side, the team has a very strong international arbitration practice, known for managing disputes arising during energy and natural resources projects. Sydney partner Nadia Kalic specialises in acquisitions, financing and project development, particularly in the clean energy space. Solicitor-advocate Sam Luttrell handles a high volume of domestic and cross-border disputes and investment protection mandates in the natural resources sector. Philip Sealey assists sponsors, lenders and borrowers with project financing across various jurisdictions. Among the firm’s associates, Amanda Murphy stands out for her strong track record in disputes at the nexus of public and commercial law in the energy and natural resources sector.

Practice head(s):

Nadia Kalic; Philip Sealey; Sam Luttrell

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Murphy

Testimonials

‘Expertise on project finance and market knowledge / application in multiple jurisdictions; commercial sensible approach; great on management of local counsel and local law issues; positive fun approach to work and clients’

‘Phil Sealey and Dom Kepinski work very well together as a team and are effective in allowing clients to work towards deadlines. Great understanding of legal issues and market positions.’

Key clients

Asia Development Bank

A global asset manager

CDPQ

Equatorial Resources Ltd

Global Infrastructure Partners

Iris Energy

Kingsgate

Macquarie Capital

Partners Group

Sundance

Tantalum

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

In 2020, Corrs Chambers Westgarth expanded its practice with the recruitment of Anthony Arrow from Pinsent Masons LLP and Trevor Thomas from HWL Ebsworth. The newly bolstered group is well-known for advising on complex transactions and project development negotiations, both in the private and public sector. Brisbane partner Michael MacGinley specialises in mining, oil & gas, utilities and renewables matters. Peter Jarosek in Perth is noted for his expertise in major oil & gas and mining ventures, with a particular focus on corporate matters. Associate Franka Cheung is another core member of the practice. Since publication, the team welcomed Tracey Greenaway and Anthony Lepere in its Perth and Melbourne offices respectively. Greenaway who has particular strength in LNG projects, joint ventures and gas sales and purchase agreements joined from Allens, and Lepere who specialises in corporate and project development in the energy and resources sector joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP in London.

Practice head(s):

Michael MacGinley; Peter Jarosek

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Arrow; Trevor Thomas; Franka Cheung; Tracey Greenaway; Anthony Lepere

Testimonials

‘Corrs has lead the legal limb of our process in developing the most innovative electricity transmission regulatory implementation framework in the NEM. The process has been been uniquely complex and challenging. The Corrs team has worked as an integral part of the commercial, regulatory, financing and political strategy to define a unique investment and regulatory transaction.’

‘The Corrs team has demonstrated patience, persistence and expertise to embrace a difficult and unique task. Eddie Scuderi, Michael MacGinley and Clare Corke have embraced a multi-billion transaction task to solve regulatory, contractual and government negotiation challenges in a way others may not have been able to achieve. ’

‘Corrs Chamber Westgarth presents itself with a well structured offering across the key practice areas of contracting/construction and intellectual property. We don’t have detailed experience with the firm outside of these areas, but our engagement to date has been excellent.’

‘We have had the pleasure of working with Trevor Thomas, assisting us in structuring our procurement and contracting frameworks. His attention to detail, engineering background, and expertise in construction contracts has been invaluable in assisting us in implementing a comprehensive and robust contracting framework.’

‘We found the Energy Practices team highly knowledgeable, efficient and had a complex understanding of the technical engineering and construction issues well beyond the legal issues. This depth of understanding of the technical engineering and construction issues was a key to us developing a sound contracting strategy and this multi-disciplinary approach provided significant value.’

‘We have found Trevor Thomas, Partner in the Energy Practices Team to be excellent. We understand Trevor has both legal and engineering qualifications and that this depth of multi-disciplinary knowledge and experience has been invaluable in assisting us to develop an engineering and construction contracting strategy. In addition to his depth of knowledge, Trevor’s responses have been timely and efficient with availability outside of normal working hours. Trevor has also understood the value of our technical IP and has provided ideal contracting solutions and strategies to protect this IP where regulatory protection may not be available, for example knowhow and trade secrets.’

Key clients

Santos

BP

Woodside Energy

MACH Energy

AWE Perth Pty Ltd (Mitsui)

TransGrid

Rimfire

NRW Holdings

CuString

Geopacific Resources Limited

Rio Tinto

Work highlights

  • Advised Santos in connection with its A$3.5bn plus Narrabri coal seam gas project on various environment and planning issues arising from the assessment of its controversial application before the Independent Planning Commission for approval of the Narrabri Gas Project, including extensive preparation for the significant public hearing, acting in current administrative law proceedings and advising on new case law and policy concerning greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Advised Tritium Holdings Pty Ltd on critical aspects of its merger with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation II, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). On closing of the merger, the combined company will be listed on the NASDAQ and will represent the first ever US listing of an Australian company by way of a SPAC transaction.
  • Advised CuString Pty Ltd in its position as the developer of the A$2bn CopperString Project, a privately owned, project financed 1,100-kilometre electricity transmission network from Townsville to Mt Isa.Work includes advice on all regulatory aspects.

Gilbert + Tobin

With particular strength in renewable energy, Gilbert + Tobin primarily handles the corporate aspects of major projects; however it is also well-equipped to advise clients on the regulatory approvals process, project operation and maintenance. Alongside this core offering, the firm handles a consistent stream of oil and gas mandates, including acquisitions, sales, debt financing and joint ventures. Melbourne partner Alexander Danne  has established a strong reputation in complex infrastructure projects and financing transactions. Associates Geoff Petersen (Sydney) and Jeremy Jose (Melbourne) are also recommended for their work in this sector. Christopher Flynn has left the practice to join White & Case.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Danne

Other key lawyers:

Geoff Petersen; Jeremy Jose

Key clients

State of PNG and its national petroleum company, Kumul Petroleum

Beach Energy

Lukoil

Meridian Energy

Jemena

Ausgrid

GE Renewables

APA

CEFC

Epic Energy

Cubico Sustainable Investments

Syrah Resources Limited

Engie

Bluewaters Power Station

Origin Energy

Hydro Tasmania

Alinta Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised the State of Papua New Guinea and its national petroleum company, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Pty Ltd on its negotiations with ExxonMobil on the development of the P’nyang gas field, including construction of a third LNG train alongside the $19bn PNG LNG project.
  • Acted for Jemena on the development of a lateral gas pipeline between Australian Industrial Energy’s new LNG regassification and import terminal, and Jemena’s existing Eastern Gas Pipeline. The project is the first of its type in Australia. The gas pipeline will allow degasified LNG to flow into the east coast gas market for the first time and it is also novel due to the split ownership nature of the project.
  • Advised Jemena on the Malabar Biomethane Project, a joint venture between Jemena and Sydney Water to develop Australia’s first biomethane-to-gas project at the Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant in South Sydney.

Johnson Winter & Slattery

In 2020, Johnson Winter & Slattery hired Nicholas Grambas (Melbourne) and Richard Graham  (Sydney) from Sidley Austin and Clifford Chance, adding significant experience to the team in the respective areas of project finance and M&A. It is best known in the market for its focus on upstream oil and gas development work, downstream projects, acquisitions and divestments in the energy and natural resources sector and the regulatory framework governing activity in the industry. Brisbane partner Bruce Adkins leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Adkins

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Grambas; Richard Graham

Testimonials

‘The team – Nicholas Grambas in particular – is supremely commercial, reactive, on top of details and works 24/7. They are also technologically advanced – able to work across multiple collaboration platforms -, pay attention to diversity as a priority in my experience and have great relationships and credibility with other lawyers and law firms, which is important.’

Nicholas Grambas is encyclopaedic in his knowledge of the law and of renewable energy markets, yet very commercial, articulate, an excellent negotiator – in other words, well liked by counterparties too, which is a great help – and always available.’

Key clients

State of South Australia

Base Resources

NewGen Kwinana Partnership

Infrastructure Capital Group

GB Energy Holdings Limited

Macmahon Holdings Ltd (ASX: MAH)

MACH Energy Australia Pty Ltd

Project proponent for CopperString 2.0 Project.

Coking Coal One (as wholly owned subsidiary of ASX listed Bowen Coking Coal Limited) (BCB)

HLB Man Judd (receivers and managers of LakeCoal Pty Ltd and Fassi Coal Pty Ltd)

Novo Resources

Sentient Equity Partners

Origin Energy

Beach Energy

Santos Ltd.

Northern Star Resources Ltd.

3D Oil Limited

Peabody Energy

CITIC

Renewable Energy Vietnam Pte. Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted GB Energy to progress the development of its landmark underground gas storage project in Gippsland, Victoria.
  • Advised Beach Energy Limited in relation to an agreement with Senex Energy Limited for Beach to acquire all of Senex’s oil and gas assets located in the Cooper Basin of South Australia.
  • Provided advice to the State of South Australia in relation to a 10 year across-government contract for supply of electricity by ZEN Energy Retail Pty Ltd.

MinterEllison

With a broad reach across Australia, MinterEllison is highly active in the petroleum and power industries, undertaking various corporate and commercial matters. It is also well regarded for its work in relation to market reforms in the energy sector, having advised numerous companies in the renewables sector on the regulatory landscape in Australia. Practice head Simon Scott, who is based in Brisbane, is often instructed by clients to assist them with all stages of mining and power projects. In Adelaide, Clay Wohling is a core member of the group, known for his strong credentials in the electricity market. Another key partner is Brendan Clark in Brisbane, who stands out for his corporate practice in the energy sector. Fiona Lewis is noted for her work on complex energy transactions in the electricity and gas industries.

Practice head(s):

Simon Scott

Other key lawyers:

Clay Wohling; Brendan Clark; Fiona Lewis

Testimonials

A practical and highly commercial team with a wide skill set.’

Fiona Lewis has very high level of interpersonal skills and strong legal and commercial skills.’

Key clients

AGL Energy

Anglo American

Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

Australian Government

Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA)

ConocoPhillips

DevelopmentWA

Endeavour Energy

Energy Queensland

EnergyAustralia

Inpex Corporation

Jemena

Peabody Energy

Power and Water Corporation

Powerlink

Rio Tinto (including Oyu Tolgoi LLC)

SA Power Networks

SA Power Networks

South32

Stanwell Corporation

Zen Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised Zen Energy on its negotiation of a new 10-year power purchase agreement with the South Australian government to supply all of its electricity needs. The contract includes the construction of South Australia’s largest solar farm and the state’s 5th grid-scale battery.
  • Acted for DevelopmentWA with regard to its role as developer of the Peel Business Park Microgrid, which is the first microgrid in Western Australia and has a 50% renewable obligation.
  • Advised the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources in relation to the Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program which involves entering agreements with up to 12 new power stations to provide firm generation capacity in exchange for providing funding support to those projects.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has capitalised on shifts in the market over the last year, having advised major energy players on the divestment of LNG assets to infrastructure companies, in light of the impact of COVID-19 on the sector. Furthermore, the firm has continued to advise private and public companies in the power and utilities sector regarding the development, financing and approvals process underpinning energy projects. The 'commercially savvy' Paul Lingard leads the practice from Perth, focusing predominantly on oil and gas projects. Brisbane-based Keira Brennan focusses on mergers and acquisitions, joint venture arrangements and safety legislation affecting the gas industry while Joanne Crew (Melbourne) has extensive experience in energy projects including the financing, grid connections and regulations. Stephen Natoli and Bryan Pointon joined the practice from Holding Redlich and PwC Legal, respectively, in January 2021 and October 2020.

Practice head(s):

Paul Lingard

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Natoli; Bryan Pointon

Testimonials

‘The team at Norton Rose Fulbright provide consistent, reliable and up to date advice to support our business. We find NRF readily available, quick to respond and across the latest developments in the issues affecting the renewable energy industry.

‘The partners and team at NRF take the time to understand our business imperatives and culture, which is then incorporated into the advice and legal support we receive.

The individuals listen to our issues and context, then work with us to provide relevant and considered advice.’

‘Great team of talented lawyers who are a pleasure to work with.’

Extremely innovative billing practices, which in effect take hours spent out of the equation. This approach encourages you to more fully the team into your internal discussions, avoids billing surprises and constant discussions about scope.’

‘Paul Lingard is an exceptional lawyer. He is commercially savvy, legally creative, highly responsive, hard working and good fun to work with. His contribution was critical to the success of our deal.’

Key clients

Shell Australia

Woodside

TOTAL

Capella Capital

Macquarie Bank Limited

Chevron

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Goldwind

Snowy Hydro

Genex Power

Bright Energy Investments

City of Sydney

Vestas

Schlumberger

bp

BHP

ExxonMobil

JXTG

Essential Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising the Asian Renewable Energy Hub consortium on the development of what will be the world’s largest green hydrogen / ammonia project consisting of 26GW wind and solar powered green hydrogen plant with an integrated hydrogen and ammonia production complex (including 80GL desalination plant, 14GW electrolysis plant and 34,240 tons per day ammonia production plant) and offshore export facility
  • Advised Shell on the sale to Global Infrastructure Partners of a 26.25% interest in QCLNG Common Facilities for US$2.5 billion. This multi-billion dollar transaction is one of Shell’s most significant commercial undertakings in Australia in recent years and globally, is one of the first significant acquisitions by an infrastructure player in mid-stream LNG assets.
  • Advised Vestas on AUD$415 million first of kind payment deferral transaction for Australian wind projects. This is the largest known payment deferral facility for a renewable energy project in the world.

DLA Piper

With a strong international network, DLA Piper handles cross-border projects, including inbound and outbound investment opportunities in the energy and natural resources sector. In a major recent highlight, the firm advised Saracen Mineral Holdings on its AUD16bn merger with Northern Star Resources. Alex Jones, based in Perth, focuses on the mining and infrastructure sectors, providing cohesive services to clients involved in major domestic and offshore projects. Brisbane partner Stephen Webb has a very strong contentious practice, focusing primarily on representing foreign governments in disputes involving natural resources. In Melbourne, Fleur Gibbons is well-known for handling competition and access law cases involving electricity and gas companies. On the transactional side, Alex Reagan in Sydney is a key partner.

Practice head(s):

Alex Jones; Natasha Luther-Jones

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Webb; Fleur Gibbons; Alex Reagan

White & Case

White & Case’s Melbourne team focuses predominantly on renewable energy transactions and oil & gas projects, in which it tends to handle financing arrangements. It is also well-known for advising international clients on the development of offshore windfarms. Brendan Quinn has impressive credentials in project financing, acting for financiers, borrowers and sponsors in connection with large-scale conventional and renewable energy mandates. Andrew Clark stands out for his leading role in significant renewable energy projects across Australia and Asia, whereas John Tivey is well-regarded for his work in cross-border mining projects. Jared Muller and Adeline Pang are also core members of the group. The team has been boosted since Christopher Flynn has joined from Gilbert + Tobin.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Clark; Brendan Quinn; John Tivey

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Flynn; Jared Muller; Adeline Pang

Key clients

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP)

Star of the South Wind Farm Pty Ltd

Neoen Australia Pty Ltd (Neoen)

Hana Financial Investment

Merricks Capital

Nexif Energy

Amp Power Australia

Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Pty Ltd

Future Global Resources Limited

Electrum Strategic Opportunities Fund II LP (Electrum)

Société Générale

Macquarie Group

AusNet Services Group

ElectraNet Pty Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), as sponsor, on the development and NT$90bn ($3bn) financing of the 589 MW Changfang and Xidao offshore wind project off the coast of Changhua County in Taiwan.
  • Advised on Star of the South, Australia’s first proposed offshore wind farm, located in Gippsland, Victoria.
  • Assisted Neoen with the development and project financing of the Victorian Big Battery Project. This will be the biggest battery developed in Australia to date, and one of the biggest battery storage projects in the world.

HFW

Combining expertise in project delivery and corporate transactions, HFW is particularly active in the utilities, downstream oil & gas renewable energy sectors. It is also well-known for handling regulatory issues arising in the energy sector, including advice on market reforms, and assisting clients with innovative clean energy matters, such as virtual battery storage trials. Jo Garland leads the practice from Perth, focusing predominantly on energy transition projects, in which she provides clients with full-life cycle advice from project development through to operation and maintenance. Melbourne partner Robert Desmond is highly experienced in downstream and midstream petroleum mandates, in which he focuses predominantly on joint venture and financing arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Jo Garland

Other key lawyers:

Robert Desmond

Key clients

Electricity Generation and Retail Corporation, trading as Synergy (large electricity retailer with 1m + customers and AUD 3bn + revenue)

Sandfire Resources

BGC

Yara Pilbara Pty Ltd

Powerwest

Chaucer Energy Limited

CleanTech Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised a large utility on a $35m pilot to demonstrate the capability of batteries, rooftop solar panels and large appliances to be coordinated into virtual power plants.
  • Advised on multi-million dollar power contracts for several key Australian/international miners, including renewable and thermal power options and complex performance guarantees and liability regimes.
  • Advised a large utility on key regulatory amendments to allow for the transition from traditional energy sources and roles to new and innovative sources of supply and management.

Jones Day

Jones Day focuses on M&A in the energy sector, in addition to advising clients on financing transactions, legislative and policy issues, joint ventures and commercial agreements. It is also a popular choice for clients involved in disputes regarding the competition aspects of M&A transactions, in which it acts for claimants and defendants. Brisbane partner Andrew Smith tends to advise clients on downstream issues, project infrastructure, financing and acquisitions and disposals. In Sydney, Tony Wassaf is a standout partner, known for advising clients on various aspects of mining pipeline and energy projects, including project financing, regulatory issues and foreign investment laws.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Smith

Other key lawyers:

Tony Wassaf

Testimonials

Tony Wassaf suits me perfectly: he is always available, avoids long detailed advices where they are not necessary and provides prompt, insightful, accurate guidance. He does not waste my time and his in trying to sell me services that I do not want or need which is a distinguishing feature from some other professional advisers.’

Key clients

Canadian Solar Pty Limited

Alinta Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised Canadian Solar on solar power purchase agreements (PPA) to help the company meet its renewable energy goals.

McCullough Robertson

McCullough Robertson concentrates on the core areas in the field: natural resources, renewable energy, electricity and oil & gas. It handles a wide range of corporate transactions underpinning major projects, in addition to providing specific regulatory advice regarding environmental law, native title and cultural heritage issues, as well as ESG issues. Damien Clarke leads the firm’s Brisbane practice, specialising in M&A, tax structuring and commercial agreements. In an ongoing highlight, he is advising New Hope Corporate on the acquisition of an 80% interest in the Bengalla JV for $1.75bn. Kate Swain leads the team in New South Wales, focusing primarily on environment and planning matters in the energy sector, both on the contentious and regulatory side. John Kettle  is a highly experienced competition and corporate lawyer who advises on major transactions and projects in regulated industries focusing on energy (pipes and wires) and utilities.

Practice head(s):

Damien Clarke; Kate Swain

Other key lawyers:

John Kettle

Testimonials

‘Single point of contact through personal engagement with a very senior partner in the firm who provides access to other partners in the energy area ably support the small amount of work we conduct in this area. They continued to maintain status quo on competitive billing rates.’

Key clients

Peabody Energy

Bowdens Silver

Batchfire Resources

Futura Resources

Evolution Mining

Vitrinite Pty Ltd

Bluff PCI Management Pty Ltd

New Century Resources

Sungrow

Aeon Metals

Senex

Bowen River Utilities

Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG)

Sunrise Energy Metals (formerly Clean TeQ)

Tag Oil

Square Resources

Malabar Coal

NQ Minerals

Energy Storage Pty Ltd

CS Energy

Metallica Minerals

Work highlights

    Piper Alderman

    Piper Alderman specialises in complex transmission infrastructure and battery storage projects. It is also known for advising clients on electricity connection arrangements, M&A and disputes relating to energy and resources developments in Australia. Furthermore, the firm has significant experience in upstream and downstream oil and gas projects taking place in South Australia and Queensland, in which it provides transactional and regulatory support. Martin Lovell, based in Adelaide, stands out for his strong credentials across the electricity sector, particularly in relation to project financing and agreements enabling the transition to green energy. Fellow Adelaide partner Kathryn Walker frequently handles the commercial aspects of infrastructure and renewable energy projects, whereas Sydney partner Sina Kassra is a go-to lawyer for energy clients engaged in capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions.

    Practice head(s):

    Gordon Grieve; Martin Lovell

    Other key lawyers:

    Kathryn Walker; Sina Kassra

    Testimonials

    ‘We have found our ongoing engagement with PiperAlderman’s Energy Practice seamless. Seamless in the sense that when matters arise across the entire spectrum of legal advice covering areas such as commercial transactions, M&A activities, JOAs, FIRB , tenure / landholder and native title, there is always an expert available with the expertise and network to bring about outcomes. That is crucial for us as a client to know that we have partnered with a law firm that we can rely on and trust to act in our best interest no matter what the issue is.’

    ‘The experience of the team involved, hands on by senior Partners. Results and strategic focused ’

    ‘Genuine, actually interested and real actual experience in the case, not just another number ’

    ‘This team is ‘magic circle’ quality, but in Adelaide. You can’t get better than that.’

    ‘Martin Lovell is an excellent lawyer, incredible hardworking, commercially astute and a market leader in the Energy sector, not just in South Australia, but Australia wide. He really takes the time to understand the business and to deliver high quality outcomes.’

    ‘What we are looking for in our legal team is a highly specialized group of professionals who are prepared to take instructions on what outcomes are required to move a project along. These projects may take many years to evolve into reality. A well connected team of professionals is absolutely essential in the energy sector. Piper Alderman have the right approach, contacts and knowledge in the energy sector to add a great deal of value to our complicated projects.’

    ‘We have no hesitation in putting Kathryn Walker in the top 5% of legal professionals we currently deal with. She ‘gets’ it she doesn’t need to be educated in the planning and energy sectors which relate to our projects and she takes the lead. Outcome focused from day one, understanding our strengths and weaknesses being prepared to work in a team to deliver projects is important to us.’

    ‘Martin and his team are approachable and are commercial. I appreciate their ability to provide me with a quick and easy to understand solutions to complex commercial problems I present.’

    ‘Martin is quick, commercial and personable. I have no hesitation in having him represent our company when negotiating with third parties. His co-operative approach to commercial negotiations have helped resolve a number of issues this business has had to the satisfaction of both parties.’

    ‘The team has unmatched technical expertise in the intricacies of the Australian Energy Market, particularly in relation to connection matters around AEMO/AEMC/Electranet which is arguably the most critical component of a new energy generation project. ’

    ‘Martin Lovell matches legal knowledge with an excellent technical knowledge of issues that potential energy generation projects face particularly around Transmission Connection Agreement matters. He is generous with his time and takes a genuine interest in his clients projects, introducing them to his wider network where possible to help them success.’

    ‘The Piper Alderman team in the Energy sector (transactions and regulatory) has an exceptional depth of experience in both upstream and downstream sectors. Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide offices each have senior lawyers experienced in these areas, and my favourable experiences include practitioners at each of these offices.’

    Key clients

    Akuo Energy

    Alinta Energy

    Bengal Energy

    BOC Limited

    Byron Energy Limited

    Civilex Victoria Pty Ltd

    Clarke Energy

    ElectraNet

    Flinders University

    Galilee Energy

    Gas2Grid Limited

    GPT Group

    Infigen Energy

    Leigh Creek Energy

    Lucas Total Contract Solutions

    Maoneng Group

    Next Business Energy Pty Ltd

    NRG Technologies

    Raphael Energy

    SAPgen

    SA Power Networks

    Solar Edge Technologies

    Sunified

    Talon Petroleum

    Warrego Energy

    Wave Rider Energy

    Work highlights

    • Advised ElectraNet in relation to their $2.28bn SA-NSW Interconnector Project known as Project EnergyConnect.
    • Advised Leigh Creek Energy Limited in relation to the financing and construction of a syngas fired power station and ammonia and urea production facility, including a $2.6bn financing agreement.
    • Assisted Flinders University in the negotiation of a five-year PPA with global energy provider ENGIE, through its retail arm Simply Energy. The deal has enabled the University to achieve its goal of net-zero emissions from electricity, with all campuses and facilities powered with 100% renewable energy from campus-based solar arrays and a local windfarm.

    Squire Patton Boggs

    Focused on corporate deals and project development, Squire Patton Boggs is best known for its work in the mining, utilities and renewable energy sectors. Alongside its strong transactional practice, the firm has the capabilities to manage disputes relating to developments and insolvency issues. Recently, the team has advised numerous clients on the divestment of traditional energy assets, and separately in relation to the planning and construction of wind and solar projects. Simon Adams, who is based in Perth, assist power and gas companies with corporate transaction and competition law issues. In Sydney, Natalie Lonergan supports international energy companies with corporate arrangements, construction and procurement matters. Associates Gemma Chenik and Ben Williams are also recommended.

    Other key lawyers:

    Simon Adams; Natalie Lonergan; Simon Rear; Gemma Chenik; Ben Williams

    Testimonials

    Their long term and specialist expertise in regulatory energy law, particularly in relation to access arrangements. Considerable corporate knowledge and understanding of the Western Australian energy regulatory frameworks.’

    Key clients

    GE Renewable Energy

    Itochu Corporation

    Luco Energy Pty Ltd

    Pareto Securities

    Pilot Energy Pty Ltd

    Southernpec (Australia) Pty Ltd

    Synergy

    Tamboran Resources Limited

    TransAlta

    Veolia Central and Eastern Europe

    Hive Legal

    Based in Melbourne, Hive Legal is active in the field of renewable energy, handling a variety of contentious and non-contentious matters. Recent areas of particular focus include assisting companies engaged in large-scale solar projects and advising gas and electricity clients in relation to significant market and regulatory reforms. Founding partner Mitzi Gilligan is recognised in the industry for her corporate and commercial expertise, in addition to her strong working knowledge of the evolving regulatory framework governing activity in the energy sector. Andrew Brookes has a diverse practice, encompassing commercial, regulatory and contentious issues in the electricity and renewable energy space.

    Practice head(s):

    Mitzi Gilligan; Andrew Brookes

    Key clients

    Alcoa of Australia

    Origin Energy

    Lochard Energy

    Jacana Energy

    Reposit Power

    Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

    GreenSync

    ENGIE / Simply Energy

    Work highlights

    • Advised Lochard Energy in its Supreme Court of Victoria claim against EnergyAustralia in relation to the acquisition of the Iona gas storage facility in 2015. Assisted Lochard with strategy and prospects, pleadings, particulars, preparation of lay and expert evidence, expert conclaves, discovery, directions hearings, mediation and preparations for trial. Also provided advice Lochard Energy on an ongoing retainer and project basis for all of its gas contracting and gas regulatory matters.
    • Advised Alcoa of Australia Limited on the regulatory framework under which prudent discounts to electricity network services may be provided under the National Electricity Rules, including advising Alcoa on all stages of a rule change proposal put to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) (in collaboration with the Victorian Government) to amend the rules governing that process.
    • Advised Reposit Power on a wide range of regulatory, commercial and contractual matters affecting its growing business. This includes advising on customer terms and conditions, negotiating agreements with electricity retailers, electricity networks and other significant commercial partners, and providing specialist advice on energy regulatory, consumer law and privacy issues.

    Jackson McDonald

    Jackson McDonald, based in Perth, focuses primarily on energy regulation, assisting private clients and industry bodies looking to navigate and shape the legislation governing the sector. Alongside this core offering the firm maintains a strong oil and gas practice, committed to counselling clients through equity and investment deals relating to large LNG projects in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Matthew Bowen specialises in commercial agreements, energy contracting and statutory compliance in key areas such as competition and trade law. Adel van der Walt has standout expertise in inbound and outbound transactions in the energy and natural resources sector, with a particular focus on LNG projects in Australia. Associate Cheryl Dickson is recommended for her work in the oil and gas sector.

    Practice head(s):

    Matthew Bowen

    Other key lawyers:

    Adel van der Walt; Cheryl Dickson; Luke Paterson

    Testimonials

    ‘The uniqueness of Jackson McDonald; unmatched experience in the West Australian Energy market. Professionalism and empathy of the team. You’re not a client, for JacMac its personal. High level of diversity across the team and willingness to develop new talent.’

    ‘Stand-out Partners – Matt Bowen, Adel van der Walt, Luke Paterson.’

    ‘Stand out seniors – Cheryl Dickson.’ 

    ‘I value their honesty and strategic thinking in what is a highly regulated and political market place.’

    Key clients

    Energy Policy WA

    Tersum Energy

    Juno Minerals Limited

    Indigenous Business Australia (ESA with PepsiCo)

    Metro Power (Energy Services Agreement)

    Work highlights

    • Assisted Energy Policy WA on the Pilbara Electricity Reforms. The Reforms relate to the implementation of a light-handed regulatory regime to facilitate third party access to electricity network assets in the Pilbara, and establish an independent system operator to enhance network security, manage ancillary services and facilitate overall network coordination and planning in the region.
    • Advised Tersum (now also known as Clear Energy) on a range of commercial and regulatory matters related to the planning and implementation of community energy projects in regional towns in WA.
    • Acted for Juno Minerals Limited (Company) in support of their application to the Official List of ASX by way of an initial public offering of its securities (Share Offer).