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Leading firms in Papua New Guinea

Ashurst

The four resident and four non-resident partners at Ashurst are known for their work advising governments and multinational corporations on the full range of corporate and M&A work, such as key inbound investments in the resources sector, as well as on high-value matters for local banks regarding capital financing. Additionally, the team has a strong litigation practice related to constitutional law matters, lending transactions, and regulatory work regarding brownfield resource projects. Managing partner Richard Flynn is experienced in capital markets and energy and and resources financing, as is litigation specialist Tim Glenn. Notably, Jason Brooks and Derek Wood are both highly regarded litigators.

Practice head(s):

Richard Flynn

Other key lawyers:

Tim Glenn; Jason Brooks; Derek Wood

Key clients

BSP Capital Ltd

Bank of South Pacific Ltd

Bewani Oil Palm Plantations Ltd

Commonwealth of Australia

Credit Suisse AG

New Britain Palm Oil Ltd

Kina Petroleum Ltd

Paladin Holdings Pte Ltd

Total E&P PNG Ltd

Air Niugini Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted as PNG legal counsel on the proposed $13bn Papua LNG Project operated by Total with co-venturers ExxonMobil, Oil Search and PNG Government parties.
  • Acted for the Wafi Golpu Joint Venture, a 50:50 unincorporated joint venture between subsidiaries of Harmony and Newcrest Mining, on pre-development construction activities for the Wafi Golpu Project, a $3bn copper and gold project.
  • Acted for Bank of China on the establishment of its operations in Papua New Guinea.

Dentons

The highly-regarded team at Dentons have broad sector experience in areas such as banking and finance, especially lending and insolvency, as well as past experience advising on regulatory work on structural reforms and major legislation. It also has extensive litigation work regarding energy, mining, and projects and infrastructure. In 2020, the team saw an increase in inbound investment from Chinese clients regarding key major hydropower projects and airports. Practice leader Stephen Massa is experienced in a broad range of high-value corporate and commercial work, while Erik Anderson is known for litigating significant and complex matters on behalf of businesses in PNG. Additionally, Steve Patrick advises on corporate/M&A matters regarding energy and natural resources.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Massa

Other key lawyers:

Erik Anderson

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd

Westpac Banking Corporation

ExxonMobil

Total

Goodman Fielder

Asian Development Bank

Independent State of Papua New Guinea

Central Bank of Papua New Guinea

International Finance Corporation

Kumul Petrolium Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea in a £3.3bn arbitration matter brought by the Independent Timbers & Stevedoring Ltd.

Allens

Operating out of Port Moresby, the full-service team at Allens practices both local and international law, advising local, foreign, and multinational companies on both corporate matters and local markets. The team has particular sector expertise in both project development and litigation expertise regarding energy and resources, construction financing, and banking and finance. Practice co-lead David Hill litigates on behalf of prominent corporations and works alongside practice co-lead Richard Kriedemann, who is an expert in M&A and corporate work. Additionally, Brisbane-based Paul Brittain is experienced in cross-border finance work, while consultant Vincent Bull works in energy and natural resources. In 2019, the team was bolstered by the addition of senior associate Emmanuel Auru from the competition regulator ICCC.

Practice head(s):

David Hill; Richard Kriedemann

Key clients

Oil Search Ltd

Steamships Trading Company Ltd

Westpac PNG

Bank South Pacific

International Container Terminal Services Inc

Newcrest Mining Ltd

Ok Tedi Mining Ltd

European Investment Bank

ANZ PNG

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Based in Port Moresby and Australia, Corrs Chambers Westgarth advises international clients on significant mandates regarding a wide range of matters relating to cross-border transactional work, including project financing and construction, natural resources, litigation, and employment and tax law. The team has a particular niche speciality in international business obligations in supply chain matters. Practice leader Vaughan Mills is experienced in commercial law relating to complex natural resources and infrastructure projects, as well as on transactions. Litigation lawyer Allan Mana is highly experienced in mining and natural resources-related matters. Additionally, Ryan Warokra and Nick Thorne are both highly regarded for their work in natural resources law and general commercial law.

Practice head(s):

Vaughan Mills

Other key lawyers:

Allan Mana; Ryan Warokra; Nick Thorne

Testimonials

Ryan Waroka was our direct contact in Corrs; he always responds to our queries in a prompt manner, regardless the time of the day; he was very efficient in pointing us in the right direction, i.e. who would be the best Corrs person to work on a specific issue we might have.’

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

Bank of Papua New Guinea

Bank of South Pacific Ltd

Barrick (Niugini) Ltd

British American Tobacco PNG Ltd

Credit Corporation PNG Ltd

Department of Mineral Policy & Geohazards Management

Goodman Fielder

Harmony Gold

Highlands Pacific Ltd

Innovest

Kina Securities Ltd

Kumul Consolidated Holdings

National Superannuation Fund Ltd

Nautilus Minerals Inc

Newcrest Mining Ltd

NKW Group Ltd

Ok Tedi Mining

Oil Search Ltd

Pacific Energy Consulting

Paradise Food Ltd

PNG Forest Products Ltd

PNG Power Ltd

RTG Mining Inc.

Total E&P PNG Ltd

Twinza Oil Ltd

Vocus Group Ltd

Westpac Bank PNG Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold on the Wafi-Golpu Project, a proposed multibillion-dollar underground copper/gold mine of national significance for PNG.
  • Advised Oil Search, the largest oil and gas exploration and development company incorporated in Papua New Guinea, which operates all of PNG’s oilfields.
  • Advised Bank of South Pacific on the refinancing of WR Carpenter.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Now solely operating out of its Australia offices, the PNG team at Norton Rose Fulbright is highly experienced advising international clients on matters related to inbound investment into areas such as energy and natural resources, transport, and urban development. Head of the team Keira Brennan focuses primarily on corporate, M&A, and energy, while special counsel Paul Toua has taken on a more active leadership role in the team on corporate energy and resources matters. Principal consultant Karo Lelai departed for private practice in June 2020, but will continue to consult on key matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Toua; Keira Brennan

Testimonials

Partners Karo Lelai in Port Moresby and Gavin Scott in Brisbane are terrific. Counsel Paul Toua is also terrific.’

Key clients

China Railway Construction Engineering (PNG) Limited

PNG Ports Corporation Limited

Star Mountain Plaza Limited

Papua New Guinea APEC 2018 Co-ordination Authority (The Independent State of Papua New Guinea)

Mineral Resources Development Company Limited

New Britain Palm Oil Limited

Virgin Australia Airlines (SE Asia) Pty Limited

PNG Air Limited

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

PUMA Energy PNG Ltd

Tribune Mt Care Gold Ltd

Nissan Motor Asia Pacific Company Limited

Igiri Petroleum Limited

RK Raggiana Medical Group Ltd

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) on the procurement of the Ramu 2 hydropower project, a proposed 180MW hydroelectric power station on the Ramu River.
  • Advising on compliance issues under the Mining Act, Companies Act and Investment Promotion Act
  • Advising the client in a matter relating to one of their material property assets in Papua New Guinea.

O'Briens Lawyers

O'Briens Lawyers provides strong commercial advice for international clients seeking to invest in PNG, as well as acting as a local firm for some of the bigger international firms on PNG-related matters. Practice head Steven O’Brien is known for his strong work in corporate and finance matters in the natural resources sector. Michael Goodwin and Daniel Bidar departed for private practice.

Practice head(s):

Steven O’Brien

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Bidar