Mining, Resources & Energy

Many of Banco’s barristers have extensive experience in large and complex disputes concerning mining, resources and energy. This extends to a familiarity with the unique legal and technical aspects of disputes in this arena and encompasses a range of industries, including coal, oil, iron ore, gas, solar, wind and hydroelectricity, and mining and exploration operations of all kinds throughout Australia and internationally. Our depth of experience includes a sophisticated understanding of the commercial landscape and the latest developments and innovations in the markets in which our clients operate.

Our counsel are routinely sought after to advise companies and boards on difficult legal or strategic questions (either on retainer from leading law firms, or by direct engagement with in-house counsel), as well as to appear in court and arbitral proceedings. Counsel has advised and assisted in matters ranging from upstream, midstream, and downstream operations, joint venture disputes, exploration agreements, mining leases, and pricing disputes. Clients have included major miners and energy producers, developers and subcontractors, financers, and insurers.

Recent work in the area includes:

  • Samsung v Duro, A SIAC arbitration in Singapore concerning an iron ore processing facility in WA where claims for damages exceeded $1 billion. John Sheahan QC and Jonathon Redwood SC acted for Samsung;

  • an international arbitration under the ICC Arbitration Rules, conducted in Singapore over 2 months in 2019, concerning a dispute over the construction of mining infrastructure with claims totalling almost $300m. Tim Breakspear and Sebastian Hartford Davis appeared for an international oil & gas consortium;

  • a large domestic arbitration concerning the Sunraysia solar farm in New South Wales. Jonathon Redwood SC and Katherine Sutton are acting in this arbitration

Banco Chambers’ expertise in the mining, resources, and energy sectors is neatly complemented by the depth of expertise it also enjoys in competition law, particularly in pricing disputes, and arbitrations. Our counsel regularly advise in disputes of this kind including in relation to wholesale and retail energy markets, pricing arbitrations, regulatory matters, and advice questions concerning the operation of the National Electricity Rules. In addition to advice and appearance work, Banco barristers Justin Gleeson SC, Ruth Higgins SC and Jonathon Redwood SC are each also appointed arbitrators to the Australian Energy Regulator’s pool of arbitrators for determining disputes under the National Electricity Rules. Examples of Banco barristers’ work in this area includes:

  • A pricing arbitration seated in Melbourne listed for hearing in 2021 in which Cameron Moore SC and Tim Breakspear are appearing for an east coast gas supplier; and

  • A dispute under the National Gas Rules concerning an energy producer’s access rights to significant gas pipeline infrastructure in which Justin Gleeson SC presided as arbitrator and Ruth Higgins SC appeared for the energy producer.