Queensland emerges as energy powerhouse

By Stefanie Garber|14 May 2015
Liam Davis McCullough Robertson

The Sunshine State continues to be a major hub for resources deals, supplying most of finalists in the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Energy & Resources category.

The six finalists working in Queensland were mainly involved in mining and natural gas projects, native title matters and landholder rights.

Liam Davis (pictured), a senior associate at McCullough Robertson Lawyers, advised mining company Adani on its $7 billion Carmichael Coal Project in central Queensland.

He was also involved in native title negotiations between Senex Energy and traditional landowners, as well as between Glencore Bauxite and the Aurukun community and Ngan-Aak Kunch Aboriginal Corporation.


Suzanne Brown created McKays Solicitors’ Mining Team at the age of just 26 after identifying a gap in the Mackay market.

In the past three years the practice has attracted high-profile clients such as PIMs Group, the second-largest underground coal contractor in Queensland. Ms Brown has also been appointed a director of the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation and chair of the Human Resources and Industry Relations Committee.

Brisbane-based Clayton Utz senior lawyer Prue Warner has advised on native title negotiations all over the country, including the Australia Pacific LNG Project in Queensland, the South West Indigenous Land Use Agreement in Western Australia and the Icthys LNG Project in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Ms Warner also completed a secondment at Origin Energy, where her manager, Martin Aylward described her as “an inquiring lawyer with sound commercial acumen”.

As part of global firm King & Wood Mallesons, Carolyn Wong has become the lead senior associate for the BG Group, co-leading the $5 billion sale of its export pipeline.


Ms Wong is an example of a fly-in, fly-out lawyer, servicing clients in Queensland but living in Melbourne. She encourages other organisations to adopt flexible working policies, saying “flexibility and mobility are paramount, particularly for women”.

Another Queensland-based lawyer, Libby McKillop from Ashurst, has advised major energy providers BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto Australia and Whitehaven Coal on native title matters.

Meanwhile, Eugene McAuley is an associate at three-office firm McCarthy Durie, with a specialisation on landholder rights.

Other finalists in this category include King & Wood Mallesons lawyer Calumn Srike and Gilbert + Tobin lawyer Emma McLeod from Western Australia, Corrs Chamber Westgarth lawyer Louise Lee from New South Wales and Norton Rose Fulbright senior associate Tom Heading from Victoria.

The Energy and Resources Award will be presented at the 30 under 30 gala event in Sydney - secure your tickets here.

Queensland emerges as energy powerhouse
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