Australia: Native Title Law 2017

In our first look at native title law in Australia, we identify 12 leading practitioners who are highlighted for their expertise in native title and land claims, the negotiation and drafting of indigenous land agreements, related dispute resolution and cultural heritage protection matters. 

Most Highly Regarded
1. Philip Hunter HWL Ebsworth, Brisbane
2. Gavin Scott Ashurst Australia, Brisbane

Multinational firm ASHURST demonstrates its strong native title law offering with three of its practitioners commended for their standout work in the field. 
Gavin Scott enjoys a great reputation as one of the leading native title practitioners in the country. He is recognised for his exceptional work handling related dispute resolution matters from meditations and negotiations to litigation in the High Court of Australia.  
Tony Denholder is joint practice head of firm’s native title law group, an area in which he is considered a true specialist. He is highlighted by peers for his top-tier work in the area.
Geoff Gishubl is well versed in handling an array of native title law issues including indigenous land use agreements and claim negotiations with Aboriginal groups.

HWL EBSWORTH’s Philip Hunter is a “pre-eminent” lawyer, particularly when it comes to the traditional owner side of native title law. He is considered “a major player” in the field and is known for his “great reputation and experience”. One source effuses: “He is the best of the lawyers acting for indigenous groups in Australia.”

Jenny Humphris at HOLDING REDLICH boasts “a strong reputation” among peers who praise her excellent local government practice as well as her impressive work handling native title determination applications. According to one peer it is “a niche that she completely dominates.”

At HOPGOODGANIM LAWYERS, “big name” Jonathan Fulcher wins praise for his work for indigenous groups and boasts significant experience handling development project negotiations. He is widely respected for his “great academic knowledge of the law.”

GILBERT + TOBIN’s Marshall McKenna is a seasoned litigator commercial litigation practice and is an expert when it comes to native title matters. Environmental approvals and Aboriginal heritage-related disputes are just some of the areas in which he excels.

At ALLENS, Ben Zillmann is “exceedingly well regarded in the native title field” by peers and clients alike. They commend him for his invaluable experience in the space which encompasses the drafting of native title agreements, related disputes and cultural heritage management plans.

Scott Singleton at KING & WOOD MALLESONS heads the firm’s native title, Aboriginal land and cultural heritage group. He is regarded as one of the country’s standout practitioners in the field, and is frequently engaged in handling issues relating to mining, development and utility projects.

Andrew Chalk at native title and Aboriginal land rights boutique CHALK & BEHRENDT is very active in the space. His specialised practice focuses on the representation of clients in negotiations, native title claim proceedings, appeals and cultural heritage protection matters.   

MCCULLOUGH ROBERTSON’s Dominic McGann is “certainly a well-established name in the field”. With over 25 years of experience, he is considered a real authority on native title matters.

At GILKERSON LEGAL, Oliver Gilkerson is a native title law expert and is highly sought after by clients who include local governments, native title bodies and various regional authorities.  

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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