Native title in Australia

Ashurst

Ashurst has a strong proponent-side practice, advising major energy and resources companies, governments and infrastructure providers, working on major native title agreements relating to significant developments, including high-value matters and precedent-setting agreements and litigation. The team also advises traditional owners, and operates on a national basis. The team is led from Brisbane by Tony Denholder, a leading specialist within native title law, who advises major mining companies and Aboriginal corporations on an array of land access, native title and mining law issues. Clare Lawrence in Melbourne is active in legislative change, and has handled innovative governance reforms and sensitive heritage issues. Perth’s Andrew Gay is a strong performer within the Western Australia resources space, securing complex native title agreements and the successful implementation of said agreements. Also in Perth, senior associate Cheyne Jansen combines advice to proponents on native title agreements with representing clients in compensation proceedings. In Brisbane, senior associate Libby McKillop works with a number of major resources clients on land access and cultural heritage matters.

Practice head(s):

Tony Denholder

Testimonials

‘Ashurst are the leading firm in Western Australia for matters relating to Native Title. Their expertise and long-held reputation sets them apart from similar firms.’

‘Andrew Gay is a stand out amongst the legal advisers we work with across a range of matters. He is personable, knowledgeable, easy to deal with, and consistently delivers above expectations.’

‘The Ashurst team are very highly skilled and experienced, use a range of strategic approaches and can quickly deliver practical advice and results. Their fees are very reasonable, but given the service and expertise they bring, higher fees wouldn’t deter me in the least.’

‘The Ashurst Native Title practice have been a constant source of guidance and support in navigating the complex aspects of this area of law. Most impressive has been their ability to interpret legal aspects of our activities and apply this guidance in the context of our operational goals and plans.’

‘Highly engaging, superbly competent and an ability to recruit specific expertise from across the Ashurst environment to compliment the Native Title advice where required.’

‘Nationwide expertise that supports our operations.’

‘The Ashurst Native Title team holds a sound knowledge of all relevant legislation, legal issues and key industry stakeholders & native title parties, which are maintained through a demonstrated passion for this area of law. All advice is tailored to client needs and delivered in a practical fashion allowing for a quick absorption of key, salient issues.’

‘Clare Lawrence – incredible strategy and knowledge. Absolute trust in her ability to provide timely advice. Nothing is ever too much.’

Key clients

Transport for New South Wales

New Century Resources

Evolution Mining

Regis Resources

nbn

Gold Fields Australia

Glencore

Yancoal

AGL

Urban Utilities

Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation/Northern Land Council

Adani

Urban Utilities

Work highlights

  • Advised New Century Resources Limited as the owners of Century Mine on the site’s operations, closure and re-start.
  • Advising Evolution on a range of indigenous land law issues in relation to the Cowal Gold mine near West Wyalong in New South Wales.
  • Advising Regis Resources on indigenous land law issues for all aspects of the McPhillamy’s Gold Project, a greenfield open cut gold mine and associated water pipeline and powerline development in central west NSW.

Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz combines an active proponent-side practice with specialist work on behalf of traditional owners, handling large-scale energy and resources projects, native title agreements and cultural heritage negotiations, including a number of major High Court cases relating to native title. The team is led by experienced practitioner Mark Geritz, who continues to advise on infrastructure developments, Indigenous Land Use agreements, and ground-breaking representations of Aboriginal land councils. Tosin Aro is entirely dedicated to native title work, and advises governments, proponents and traditional owners on major developments and negotiations. Stuart MacGregor is heavily involved in energy and minerals-related work, while Melbourne’s Damien Gardiner focuses on environmental, planning, native title and land acquisition work, acting for non-governmental respondents to native title claims. Mentioned lawyers are based in Brisbane unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Mark Geritz

Testimonials

‘The team has a very good knowledge base and is pragmatic in their approach to solutions.’

‘Subject matter experts. Excellent sector knowledge and relationships. Tosin Aro is a standout performer. Great advice, practical, responsive.’

‘Tosin Aro is a terrific lawyer. Very personable, great at making native title law accessible and easy to understand. Without a doubt his ability to work with our counterparties made it easier to finalise our negotiations with indigenous parties.’

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

‘Mark Geritz and Tosin Aro – handle all our native title and cultural heritage work. They know law and how to give us the support we need, in a clear and efficient manner.’

‘This practice is unique because the team that specialises in Native title is also very competent in all other aspects of approvals for resources projects and operations and it works in tandem with the planning and environment team providing a holistic approach and view.’

‘Working with the Native Title team and in particular with Mark Geritz is a partnership where you the focus is achieving the best outcomes for all parties. With Mark and his team you never feel that it is about the billable.’

Key clients

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) – Inland Rail Programme

South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council

Northern Territory Government, represented by the Department of the Chief Minister

Power and Water Corporation

Stanwell Corporation Limited

Australia Pacific LNG Pty Limited

Origin Energy

AWE Limited (Mitsui/Beach)

Federal Court native title claims (Vale, APLNG, Origin Energy, Cement Australia, Gulf Coast)

Idemitsu Australia Resources

Celestino Pty Ltd

TransGrid

Enel Green Power

CleanCo Queensland

Lendlease Communities (Pine Valley) Pty Limited

Stockland

Peak Iron Mines Pty Ltd

Wik and Wik-Way Traditional Owners

Building Queensland

Vale

ConocoPhillips

U&D Mining

QCoal

Adani Mining

Ensham Resources

Fortescue Metals Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the SWALSC on its negotiations with the Western Australian State Government since 2009 on what is overwhelmingly the largest native title settlement ever attempted in Australia.
  • Advising the ARTC on all native title and Aboriginal heritage issues related to the development of the Inland Rail Project, a new fast speed freight rail connection to be built between Melbourne and Brisbane.
  • Advising the Northern Territory Government on native title issues, including relating to Sun Cable’s proposed Australia-ASEAN Power Link, a 10GW solar farm and a 20-30GW hour storage facility to be located in the Barkly Region.

Allens

Allens handles a wide range of native title issues, including agreements, advice and due diligence, litigation, mediation and policy issues. Primarily acting on the proponent side, the firm works on Indigenous engagement strategies for multi-national mining companies, native title implementation work, and issues relating to large-scale, complex projects. Practice head Ben Zillman has great experience in native title and cultural heritage law, negotiating agreements between proponents and Indigenous groups, and representing clients in disputes. Melbourne’s Jillian Button focuses on planning and environmental matters, regularly advising on native title considerations and approvals. Senior associate Giselle Kilvert is active on behalf of energy and resources clients, drafting and negotiating native title and cultural heritage agreements. All lawyers mentioned are in Brisbane unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Ben Zillman

Other key lawyers:

Jillian Button; Giselle Kilvert

Testimonials

‘I dealt with one partner and one associate, they were both very knowledgeable, prompt in replying to emails and phone messages, produced quality material (reports/negotiation documents), etc.’

‘The individual I worked with had exceptional knowledge of Native Title legislation, as well as the Resource Industry. They were open in their communication style, provided valuable and timely advice and information. They were prepared to travel, on relatively short notice, and were readily available on the phone or email as required. Ben Zillman was the partner I worked with, and he was a standout in my opinion.’

Key clients

Rio Tinto

Glencore

CITIC

Origin

Stanmore Coal

Sunwater

Gladstone Area Water Board

AngloGold Ashanti

Fitzroy Australia Resources

Comet Ridge

Diatreme Resources

Aurelia Metals Limited

Iluka Resources

Work highlights

  • Advising Glencore on the native title status of land, and requirements for native title agreements, in respect of the Valeria Project, which involves several mining tenements and rail and other infrastructure corridors.
  • Advising Comet Ridge on drafting native title agreements for the grant of petroleum tenements for the Mahalo North Project, including attending and representing the client in negotiations with the Traditional Owners, the Gaangalu Nation People.
  • Advising Stanmore Coal on a native title agreement and cultural heritage management plan for the grant of mining lease for the Isaac Downs Coal Project.

Arnold Bloch Leibler

Arnold Bloch Leibler fields a specialist owner-side practice, working with a diverse range of Indigenous owners, corporations and land councils, handling issues of ownership and compensation alongside sophisticated work on corporate governance, succession planning, and project development on the owner-side, including Aboriginal solar energy projects. The team also works with public sector organisations on unified native title policies, including one for the Victoria Department of Transport. The team is led by Peter Seidel, a vastly experienced native title practitioner who has been at the forefront of owner-side developments, with Bridgid Cowling also a key member of the team, regularly working on precedent-setting issues within the space; she was promoted to senior counsel in mid-2021.

Practice head(s):

Peter Seidel

Other key lawyers:

Bridgid Cowling

Testimonials

‘Bridgid Cowling in particular brings extensive first hand experience in working within Indigenous organisations to the team. This is invaluable for being able to have practical discussions around options and understanding that any formal advice comes from a place of very strong understanding of the operating conditions, implications and context in which Indigenous organisations work.’

‘Great track record of providing social change pro bono work. The whole team listens and genuinely works within a self determination framework.’

‘Peter Seidel and Bridgid Cowling are trusted by Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal allies. Their work with the Aboriginal community and people like me who refer Aboriginal organisations and people is wonderful. They are trusted advisors.’

‘Arnold Bloch Leibler have a strong leaning towards community and social responsibility and particularly working with Indigenous organisations for fair outcomes.’

‘Peter Seidel and Bridgid Cowling have always provided a highly professional service and we have successfully negotiated several mining related agreements with their assistance. Even with Covid impacts they were still able liaise effectively with us via video links and their turnaround of documents is always efficient while always allowing for our input and concerns where appropriate.’

Key clients

Anindilyakwa Land Council

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation

Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation

Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation

Country Needs People Ltd

First Australians Capital

The Lowitja Institute

Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation

Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence

First Nations Futures

Saltwater Country Inc

Black Duck Foods Ltd

First Nations Foundation

Birrarangga Film Festival

Nairm Marr Djambana Inc

Wantok Musik Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advising the Anindilyakwa Land Council on its functions and obligations under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 and providing it with ongoing commercial, corporate governance, corporate structure and tax-related advice.
  • Advised Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation on its contribution to the Commonwealth Inquiry into the destruction by Rio Tinto of 46,000 year old caves at the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
  • Advised Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation on its application to be formally recognised as the Traditional Owners of the mid Murray region of Northern Victoria under the Traditional Owners’ Settlement Act.

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin works on both the proponent and title holder-side, handling a wide array of issues including native title agreements and enforcement work, dispute resolution, internal governance issues, and statutory entitlements. The Perth-based time is active on behalf of a number of corporate, public sector and Aboriginal clients within Western Australia, with practice head Marshall McKenna a leading figure in native title issues within the state and nationally. Recently-promoted senior counsel Lauren Shave plays a key role in proponent-side work, particularly sensitive issues such as Section 24 MD applications, while senior associate Arabella Tolé is another member of the team for contentious issues.

Practice head(s):

Marshall McKenna

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Shave; Arabella Tolé

Testimonials

‘The team I work with at Gilbert + Tobin are a commercial litigation firm with secondary expertise in the native title trust sector. This makes them uniquely placed to assist in disputes and advice work.’

‘Marshall McKenna has a broad knowledge base around native title, including trust and corporate structures that manage native title benefits.’

‘The G&T team have comprehensive knowledge in the Native Title space. They are always looking for a solution to your problem and don’t just tell you about the legal framework.’

‘Marshall McKenna of G+T is always very helpful & willing to go above & beyond to achieve good results. Marshall is always easy to work with and very accommodating. His knowledge is very detailed and uses this to form good strategies. Good value for money.’

‘The G+T Native Title team has substantial experience in Heritage and Native Title agreement negotiation and agreement management. They keep abreast of pending and potential legislation changes as well as disputes and court proceedings across the industry relevant to Heritage and Native Title. Advice is considered, timely and succinct. Their team is respected both by mining companies and Native Title groups and Indigenous Groups.’

Key clients

Metals X Ltd

Onslow Salt Pty Ltd

CITIC Pacific Mining Management Pty Ltd

Australian Executor Trustee Limited

Covalent Lithium Pty Ltd

Tellus Holdings Ltd

Westgold Resources Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented Onslow Salt Pty Ltd in Federal Court proceedings commenced by the Buurabalayji Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation against Onslow Salt and the State of Western Australia between 10 July 2017 and 1 April 2021.
  • Represented CITIC in an application before the Supreme Court of Western Australia for interpleader relief.
  • Advised Nifty Copper Pty Ltd and Maroochydore Copper Pty Ltd, both wholly owned subsidiaries of Metals X Limited, on the signing of a Body Corporate Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation on behalf of Martu people.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons handles native title negotiations, Aboriginal land and cultural heritage agreements, and litigation, acting for major proponents for energy, resources and infrastructure projects, native title parties and government bodies. The team is led by Brisbane-based Scott Singleton, who is the primary native title adviser to a number of major energy and resources companies, as well as governments, and is also active on behalf of traditional owners. Perth’s Sally Audeyev primarily advises proponents on native title considerations for projects across Western Australia and Southern Australia, as well as advising on the implementation of native title and Aboriginal land rights agreements. Melbourne-based Nick Testro has specialist knowledge of the Traditional Owner Settlement Act, negotiating agreements in relation to all aspects of Aboriginal cultural heritage on a national basis.

Practice head(s):

Scott Singleton

Other key lawyers:

Nick Testro; Sally Audeyev

Testimonials

‘Highly flexible and interested in leveraging relationships with native title parties to deliver quality outcomes for all parties. Collaborative and take time to listen to the commercial drivers of projects and to understand the development elements of construction and operation to draft agreements that minimise concerns of Native title parties whilst delivering solid consents and certainty for clients.’

‘Scott Singleton – a very intelligent lawyer who understands native title and cultural heritage law incredibly well. very well respected by many many Native Title parties and their legal advisers which provides a strong platform of trust for any new engagements he takes on for clients.’

‘Nick Testro – a well established team member who has a broad background in Native Title having worked for land councils, Govt and private practice which provides him with useful insights into the views of counterparties and the ability to structure engagements to the benefit of all.’

‘This team is technically outstanding, great lawyers, depth of experience in the field, great people skills, working knowledge and personal connections on both sides of politics from state to local government / land council level. The firm provide a full service top level legal capability which is on boarded by the Native Title team without friction to assist with my corporate needs again to manage the best outcome for clients.’

‘Scott Singleton – Partner – has excellent people skills, a strong background in Native Title having completed a doctorate in that area, experience in politics as chief adviser to several state ministers and an outcomes driven approach that typically involves multi disciplinary solutions. Nick Testro was legal officer for several land councils and brings a working knowledge of those organisations and their perspectives to the table. The balance of the team are gifted and committed to exceeding client requirements.’

Key clients

APA Group

Barengi Gadjin Land Council

BHP

Department of Defence

Department of Industry Science Energy and Resources

Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation

Epuron Pty Ltd

Gladstone Ports Corporation

GBM Resources

Glencore

Intrapec

Nambucca Valley Council

Origin Energy Limited

RES Australia

Sunwater

Telstra

Transgrid

Tronox

Urbex Pty Ltd

Westside Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Telstra on all its native title, Aboriginal land and Aboriginal cultural heritage requirements.
  • Advising BHP on business critical native title and heritage matters relating to its Western Australian iron ore operations.
  • Advising Epuron on all of its native title, cultural heritage, environment and planning and real estate legal needs, negotiating indigenous land use agreements and cultural heritage management with the native title parties for its Lotus Creek Wind Farm (Qld), Specimen Hill Wind Farm (Qld), Chalumbin Wind Farm (Qld) and Burrendong Wind Farm (NSW) projects.

McCullough Robertson

McCullough Robertson works with a diverse range of clients, primarily project proponents, including domestic and international energy and resources companies, government departments in Queensland, and Aboriginal shire councils. The team primarily advises on native title considerations for projects, as well as handling cultural heritage disputes, compensation claims, and social infrastructure in Aboriginal communities. Specialist native title practitioner Dominic McGann  leads the Brisbane-based team, and is a highly respected figure within the space. Liam Davis is another focused native title practitioner, and has in-house experience within the energy sector, while Newcastle-based Kate Swain advises companies and individuals on planning and land rights issues.

Practice head(s):

Dominic McGann

Other key lawyers:

Liam Davis; Kate Swain

Testimonials

‘Provides industry leading expertise fronted by personal engagement with the lead partner in this area and very ably supported by a thorough and accurate team. Is able to provide innovative connectivity to key personnel in the government sector of Native Title practice. For the significant body of work progressed to date and the medium term future work planned has continued to maintain status quo on competitive billing rate.’

‘The lead partner, Dominic McGann is an industry leader in Native Title and brings that strategic and detail expertise to bear.’

‘The core strength that the firm brings to the native title/cultural heritage space is its expertise. The two representatives who deliver this service for us have a profound knowledge of the legislation and a depth of experience in applying that legislation in real-world situations. This is of inestimable value.’

‘Partner Liam Davis takes a holistic approach to Native Title practice, balancing the core legal aspects with the all-important relationships management. Liam’s approach is tailored to the client with his friendly, professional approach making him a valued part of the team.’

Key clients

Peabody Energy

Batchfire Resources

Sojitz Corporation

Frasers Property Australia

Jellinbah Group

Vitrinite Pty Ltd

Senex Energy Limited

Evolution Mining

Ensham Resources Pty Ltd

Ravenswood Gold

Bowen River Utilities

Carbon: Land Restoration Fund, Climate Friendly, Natural Carbon, Clean Energy Regulator and landholders

Queensland Government Departments Department of Transport and Main Roads Department of Development, Tourism and Innovation Department of Regional Development Manufacturing and Water Queensland Treasury Department of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Partnerships

Wentworth Shire Council, Fraser Coast Council, Ipswich City Council

Aeon Metals Limited

Queensland Beekeeper’s Association

Bowden’s Silver

Seqwater

Work highlights

  • Advising Peabody Energy on the native title aspects of all its mines and exploration projects.
  • Advising Batchfire on managing existing agreements with the Gaangalu People while at the same time developing new agreements with the Gaangalu Nation People, which raises difficult inter-group issues.
  • Advising Vitrinite on a range of issues associated with its projects – from its overall approval strategy and stakeholder management engagement, to a range of commercial issues.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper primarily advises on the proponent side, with its native title team sitting within the project development practice and advising on native title considerations relating to infrastructure developments, energy, and mining projects. Areas of expertise include cultural heritage issues, engaging with Indigenous communities, and sustainability concerns. Rhys Davies leads the team from Melbourne and Perth, and has a particular focus on the renewable energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Rhys Davies

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Perincek

Testimonials

‘Have a very good understanding of the law and practical implementation of the law. The practical implementation in an increasing sensitive area of business is integral to ensure reputational ESG implications are avoided.’

‘Rhys Davies and Katherine Perincek both have extensive experience in working with multiple different native title groups, particularly Western Australia. The rapport they bring with native title representative bodies and native title groups is invaluable.’

‘DLAP provide a whole of business service that spans the realms of land title aspects, whilst having the dedicated team to drill down on issues and work up solutions having regard to the client’s immediate and stretch goals. Being across the ever changing landscape of native title enables the team to respond to all circumstances arising. Guidance to agreement making and identification / resolution of complex scenarios makes the clients task more achievable.’

‘Rhys Davies is considered and thorough in his assessment of issues having such a breadth of experience whilst keeping abreast of the nuance and particular changes that constantly occur. Rhys has assisted us on many occasions as technical and legal challenges arise.’

Key clients

Emirates

Alinta Energy

OZ Minerals

Saracen Mineral Holdings

Lynas

Gold Road Resources

Sandfire Resources

Powercor

API Management

Salt Lake Potash

Altura Mining

Luminous Energy

Kalium Lakes

BCI Minerals

Wiluna Mining Corporation

Vena Energy

Leichhardt Industrials

Rise Renewables

West Wyalong Local Aboriginal Council

Work highlights

  • Advising OZ Minerals in relation to its Indigenous engagement, native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage in connection with the development of the A$1bn West Musgrave Nickel-Copper Project in Western Australia.
  • Engaged as project counsel in relation to the Lake Way Project in Western Australia.
  • Advised Luminous Energy in relation to the negotiation of a cultural heritage management agreement and a subsequent protocol, both of which were critical to the development, financing and successful sale of the significant Columboola Solar Project in Queensland.

Jackson McDonald

Jackson McDonald is a key name for Western Australia-based native title work, primarily advising Indigenous organisations on the establishment of native title benefit structures, corporate governance considerations, and economic development work. The team has integrated expertise in not-for-profit law, employment matters and litigation, forming long-term relationships with Indigenous clients and government departments. The Perth-based team is led by Emma Chinnery, a specialist in corporate and trust structures for use by traditional owners, and a trusted adviser to land councils and Aboriginal organisations and corporations.

Practice head(s):

Emma Chinnery

Testimonials

‘Jackson MacDonald has a strong team and focus on corporate governance and trust issues associated with Aboriginal corporations.’

‘Emma Chimnery – Emma is fantastic to work with and has excellent knowledge, empathy and commitment which makes her a valuable asset to her clients. Emma is focused on getting real, practical and long term outcomes to the benefit of her clients.’

‘The team at Jackson MacDonald has the necessary experience with the specific matters we required advice on, which in our case was establishing a Benefits Management Structure. Jackson MacDonald were able to provide advice, examples that the group could relate to, and ideas about any potential issues. They were also quick to find answers to questions they may not have been familiar with, and got back to us with feedback. The billing was clear, the advice detailed, and the communication impressive.’

Key clients

Western Australian State Government – Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Department of State Development – Yamatji Nation Native Title Settlement

Western Australian State Government – Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Noongar South West Native Title Settlement (South West Region)

Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (Pilbara Region)

Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (Pilbara Region)

Waardi Limited (Kimberley Region)

Meenangu Wajarri Aboriginal Corporation – Wajarri Yamatji (Mid-West Region)

The PKKP Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (Pilbara Region), PKKP Enterprises Ltd (Pilbara Region), Perpetual Trustees Company Limited (Australia wide) as trustee for the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People Charitable Trust and Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People Direct Benefits Trust

Gelganyem Limited and related entities (Kimberley Region)

Ngarluma & Yindjibarndi Foundation Limited (Pilbara Region)

Tjiwarl (Aboriginal Corporation) RNTBC (Goldfields Region)

Work highlights

  • Advised Western Australian State Government – Department of the Premier and Cabinet on the establishment and implementation of the innovative Yamatji Nation governance structure, to receive and manage $450m in cash benefits plus land and other assets under the Yamatji Nation Native Title Settlement.
  • Advising Gelganyem Limited Group on implementing a significant restructure to streamline the corporate group in preparation for closure of the Argyle Diamond Mine.
  • Advising Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC on a range of commercial arrangements with third parties to protect the traditional owners’ interests and priorities around intellectual property, cultural material and heritage.

Maddocks

Maddocks has a predominantly owner-side practice with a strong focus on work for Aboriginal land councils. The team handles land rights disputes, native title claims and cultural heritage issues, including protections for cultural sites and challenging the impacts of infrastructure developments. The Sydney-based team is led by Michael Winram , an experienced environmental and planning practitioner with a strong record in local government and land rights matters. Patrick Ibbotson works on the proponent side, advising businesses and local governments on compliance with native title legislation.

Practice head(s):

Michael Winram

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Ibbotson

Testimonials

‘This practice was unique in that it was sensitive to the diversity of Aboriginal culture, individuals and how it represented our organisation through mediation and collaboration of both parties involved.’

‘We were very lucky to have had Maddocks on our side and feel confident in saying that without their assistance the court case would not have gone forward.’

Key clients

Numerous Victorian Local Councils

Numerous NSW Local Councils

Airservices Australia

Multiple Aboriginal Land Councils in Victoria & NSW

Multiple Aboriginal Corporations

Work highlights

  • Representing Wagonga Local Aboriginal Land Council in an application to the Federal Court for a determination of native title over land WLALC owns.
  • Advised Armidale LALC on a potential non-claimant application.
  • Advised Eurobodalla Shire Council on a native title due diligence for Crown land needed for a critical infrastructure project.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright advises project proponents on native title considerations, working in close collaboration with its global projects and energy teams. Areas of strength for the practice, led by focused native title practitioner Gavin Scott , include native title compensation issues, ESG risk management work, aboriginal cultural heritage jurisprudence mandates, and energy transition matters as they relate to native title. The team is based in Brisbane and also has expertise in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Scott

Testimonials

‘This practice offers excellent value for money and a high level of client service despite being a relatively small team. The advice produced is clear, concise and timely. This practice has a proven track record in dealing with traditional owners and their representatives (including legal representatives) and the individual practitioners are focused on fostering best practice and innovative approaches to agreement making and relationship building.’

‘Gavin Scott has been instrumental in helping our business strengthen its relationships with traditional owner groups. Gavin brings a wealth of experience and legal expertise to the table, but it is his ability to identify and apply innovative approaches and to communicate these in an effective, inclusive and relatable manner that set him apart.’

Key clients

Rio Tinto

Shell Australia

Stockland Australia

Asian Renewable Energy Hub

Chevron Australia

South32

Villawood, Major Victorian Developer

McConnell Dowell

Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd

Horizon Power

Western Green Energy Hub

Work highlights

  • Advising South 32 on several cultural heritage-related matters.
  • Advising Horizon Power on the consequences of a proposed bill to update and modernise Western Australia’s Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation.
  • Advising Western Green Energy Hub on the comprehensive structuring of a joint venture native title agreement and aboriginal cultural heritage advice in relation to the early stages of the project.