Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Leading firms

Twivey Lawyers handles both contentious and non-contentious matters acting for both corporate and private clients. It also has close affiliations with international law firms.

Leading firms in Papua New Guinea

Ashurst

Ashurst's Papua New Guinea team is led by partner Richard Flynn in Port Moresby. Energy and infrastructure projects are a key part of the team's work, including advising Total on the proposed US$13bn Papua LNG Project. Jason Brooks, Tim Glenn, Ian Shepherd, Derek Wood are all highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Richard Flynn

Testimonials

‘The Ashurst PNG litigation team masters the laws of PNG as well as the procedures and the ins and outs of the judicial system, is able to advise on very complex litigation, is extremly responsive and in fact at the forefront of the issues.’

‘Derek Wood is the lead partner for our litigation matters. Derek is extremely meticulous, organised, able to pay attention to details and yet keep a high level view of issues. He masters the laws, both of PNG and internal principles that may apply. He is extremely responsive and hard working.’

‘Ashurst PNG has a range of legal professionals at various levels and in specific speciality areas. While our contact for most of our matters is Richard Flynn, we have Tim Glenn handling a number of key matters for the group. Our relationship with both Richard and Tim is long standing which serves us well. Matters are prioritised and any urgent activities are escalated and actioned without any difficulties. Draft documents provided are of a high quality and generally required limited changes which assists in timely progress of the matters.’

‘Richard Flynn and Tim Glenn have a long standing relationship with our group which gives us confidence to handle each matter in the most appropriate manner. They have a good understanding of our position on most matters and provide a balanced opinion on the most appropriate course of action.’

‘This firm has professional knowledge, experience, integrity, awareness of domestic circumstances, continuity and depth of professional personnel, and adequate support staff. No other PNG firm can compete to the same extent on all these fronts.’

‘Ian Shepherd has long-experience, knowledge, and expertise in all aspects of legal practice in PNG. Derek Wood and Jason Brooks each have considerable experience and knowledge of PNG law and court practice, and apply themselves diligently, specialising in litigation. Richard Flynn specialises in commercial and resources law, and brings considerable knowledge and experience to the task.’

Key clients

BSP Capital Limited

Bank of South Pacific Limited

Bewani Oil Palm Plantations Limited

Commonwealth of Australia

Credit Suisse AG

New Britain Palm Oil Limited

Kina Petroleum Limited

Paladin Holdings Pte Ltd

Total E&P PNG Limited

Air Niugini Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting as PNG legal counsel on the proposed US$13bn Papua LNG Project operated by Total with co-venturers ExxonMobil, Oil Search and PNG Government parties.
  • Advising PNGX listed BSP Financial Group Limited (formerly Bank of South Pacific Limited) in connection with its dual listing on the official list of the Australian Securities Exchange.
  • Advising Air Niugini Limited on the proposed acquisition of 40% of PNG Air Limited.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has particular strength in projects, energy and natural resources, as well as operating across M&A, banking, competition and disputes. Partner Vaughan Mills leads the Port Moresby team, strongly supported by Nick Thorne and experienced litigator Allan Mana. At associate level, Andrea Moffat is highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Vaughan Mills

Testimonials

‘We have been using the Corrs team out of Australia to assist with PNG related regulatory matters and an extremely complex transaction. They have been outstanding. First, in terms of reactivity, availability, it has been more than what we could expect with team members being available day and night and week-end. Their knowledge of PNG law and their capacity to quickly put in writing any necessary advice has been outstanding. On the transactional side, they have been able to bring various teams and expertise to assist.’

‘Nick Thorne is our lead partner, spearheading the challenging transaction we are in. Nick is clearly a young and rising star. His mastering of regulatory matters is outstanding. He is able to always guide us in the right direction. His capacity to keep an eye on the ever moving pieces of this big transaction is amazing. He never drops a ball. We have very much enjoyed working with him. Andrea Moffatt is the lead associate. Also very available, meticulous and attention to details, also never missing a beat. Clearly an upcoming star.’

‘The most unique characteristics of this PNG practice are its extensive experience and commercial approach – overlayed by a solid understanding of the context and culture in PNG (which is critical).’

‘Vaughan Mills (partner) – his vast experience, sensible approach and strong understanding of PNG positions him very well as a trusted adviser.’

‘Nick Thorne (partner) and Andrea Moffat (senior associate) – have very sound experience and understanding, combined with a commercial and practical approach.’

‘Allan Mana (partner, Port Moresby) – a very senior litigator in PNG, well-respected with great knowledge and understanding of the judicial system and landscape in PNG.’

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

Bank of Papua New Guinea

Bank of South Pacific Limited

Barrick (Niugini) Limited

British American Tobacco (PNG) Limited

Credit Corporation (PNG) Limited

Department of Mineral Policy & Geohazards Management

Goodman Fielder

Harmony Gold

Highlands Pacific Limited

Innovest Limited

Kina Securities Limited

Kumul Consolidated Holdings

National Superannuation Fund Limited

Nautilus Minerals Inc.

Newcrest Mining Limited

NKW Group Limited

Ok Tedi Mining

Oil Search Limited

Pacific Energy Consulting

Paradise Foods Limited

PNG Forest Products Limited

PNG Power Limited

RTG Mining Inc.

Total E&P PNG Limited

Twinza Oil Limited

Vocus Group Limited (previously Vocus Communications Limited)

Westpac Bank -PNG- Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold on the Wafi-Golpu Project, a proposed underground copper/gold mine which will represent a PNG first when mining gets underway.
  • Representing Total in strategically important litigation over the US$13bn Papua LNG Project.
  • Advising Pacific Energy Consulting with respect to a land dispute with Tribune (MT Kare Gold) involving overlapping land tenure, a subject which has yet to be fully tested in the PNG courts.

Dentons

Dentons has broad experience across banking and finance, energy and mining, and projects and infrastructure, as well as advising the state on legislation and structural reforms. Led by Stephen Massa, who divides his time between Port Moresby and Sydney, the team also includes litigation lead Erik Andersen and Steve Patrick, who heads the commercial, corporate and division team in Port Moresby.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Massa

Other key lawyers:

Erik Andersen; Steve Patrick

Testimonials

‘The team has excellent and up-to-date knowledge of the Papua New Guinea legal environment, and has a team of highly skilled and experienced lawyers. Their understanding of the social and political climate, as well as the legal aspects of the engagement, were highly valuable.’

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Westpac Banking Corporation

ExxonMobil

Total

Goodman Fielder

Asian Development Bank

Independent State of Papua New Guinea (The Government)

Central Bank of Papua New Guinea

International Finance Corporation

Kumul Petroleum Holdings (the State’s national oil and gas company)

Origin

Kina Securities Limited

Aeon

Kumul Mineral holdings Limited

PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd

Moni Plus

Total Exploration & Production

Work highlights

  • Advising Kina Bank on its acquisition of Westpac’s Pacific business in Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
  • Engaged by PNG Power Ltd, PNG’s primary electricity provider, to draft a precedent Power Purchase Agreement for use in solicited proposals across various types of power projects (eg hydro, wind, solar etc).
  • Acting for the state-owned mining company at the centre of the most contentious matter in the PNG courts in FY 2020/2021, regarding the Porgera Gold Mine, which for many years has been one of the largest contributors to the country’s GDP and exports.

Allens

Allens has particular expertise in energy and resources, and banking and finance. Since David Hill's retirement, the practice has been led by Richard Kriedemann. Paul Brittain provides support from Brisbane, while Emmanuel Auru is a recommended associate. Dakan Doiwa joined in 2021 as senior litigation counsel.

Practice head(s):

Richard Kriedemann

Other key lawyers:

Emmanuel Auru; Paul Brittain

Key clients

Oil Search Limited

Newcrest Mining Limited

Westpac PNG

Ok Tedi Mining Limited

Bank South Pacific

ANZ PNG

Steamships Trading Company Limited

The Economic and Social InfrastructureProgram (ESIP) and Cardno

Work highlights

  • Advising Oil Search Limited on its placement and rights issue of ordinary shares to raise approximately AU$1.16bn.
  • Advising ESIP and Cardno on the legal review of the land acquisition for the construction of a proposed AU$30m solar plant in Lae, Morobe Province in PNG.
  • Advising on infrastructure financing to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea for the national economic road transportation network project ‘Connect PNG’.