Gavin Scott

Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

Gavin Scott

Gavin Scott



Gavin Scott is a corporate and resources partner based in Brisbane who specialises in the development of natural resources projects.

He is a well-recognised expert in developing strategies to manage social, human rights and governance risks to projects, particularly those related to community impact, native title / first nations issues and cultural heritage.

He has over 20 years' experience of developing natural resources projects in Australia, PNG and Indonesia. He has been involved in many of Australia's key hard rock and gas projects, including in Queensland's CSG to LNG industry from its inception. He has also advised on the development of major gas pipelines, linear infrastructure, solar and wind farms, as well as agribusiness and residential development projects.

Through his unique Aboriginal land law and cultural heritage expertise, he is well known for developing innovative solutions to facilitate community engagement, land access and native title approvals. He also has expertise in formulating engagement strategies with Government departments and pastoral land owners.

Gavin's practice also extends to advising clients on modern slavery obligations, human rights, anti-bribery and corruption, and governance structures for the delivery of benefits to impacted communities.

Gavin's clients include BHP, Shell, Tri-Star Petroleum, Jemena, Anglo America, Queensland Government, APA, AGL and Stockland.

Gavin joined us from another global law firm where he managed a successful natural resources and native title team for many years.

Professional experience

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  • Masters of Law (Environmental Resources Law), Queensland University of Technology (2000)
  • Bachelor of Law, Queensland University of Technology (1994)
  • Bachelor of Business, University of Southern Queensland (1992)
  • High Court of Australia 1998
  • Supreme Court of Queensland 1996
  • Shell/QGC – management of Queensland native title portfolio resulting in significant strategic advice, implementation of indigenous stakeholder engagement strategy, representation in Federal Court litigation.
  • GLNG project – lead advisor since 2007 on native title and cultural heritage engagement strategy. GLNG is a project undertaken by Santos, Total, Kogas and Petronas. Gavin's strategic advice resulted in over 20 successful negotiated agreements with Aboriginal groups impacted by gas field development and a 450km gas pipeline.
  • Tri-Star Petroleum – developing native title and cultural heritage strategy for new petroleum field.
  • Santos Narrabri Project – lead advisor since 2013 on statutory approvals and native title issues in relation to the project, including assisting the client in liaising with relevant NSW Government departments and conducting numerous meeting with Aboriginal Groups on country.
  • Asian Renewable Energy Hub – lead advisor on complex indigenous land use agreement for mass scale wind and solar project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
  • Multicom Resources – lead advisor on mining approvals, land access and cultural heritage for major Vanadium mine in North-West Queensland.
  • Stockland – lead advisor on Aboriginal cultural heritage for 2 major South-East Queensland property subdivisions.
  • Downer EDI Mining – development of ground breaking joint venture agreement between Downer and the Waauyi traditional owners for the delivery of a major mining services contract for New Century mine.
  • Queensland Department of Natural  Resources, Mines and Energy – providing advice on abandoned mine issues and standard of landholder agreements.
  • APA – designing and implementing engagement strategy for easements and native title approvals for a 1000km looping project between Wallumbilla and Moomba. Providing urgent advice on potential Aboriginal cultural heritage dispute threatening to interrupt construction schedule for major new gas pipeline in South-East Queensland. 
  • Whitehaven Coal – representing Whitehaven Coal since 2013 in negotiations with Aboriginal group for grant of a new mining lease in New South Wales, conducting numerous native title engagement meetings with Aboriginal groups and liaising with NSW government departments.
  • Renewable Projects – advising numerous project sponsors (CWP, Renew Estate, RES Australia and Energy) on strategies to engage with Aboriginal parties, development of cultural heritage management processes and benefits delivery structures.
  • Jemena – developing cultural heritage strategy for Atlas Pipeline Project.
  • Total – advising on stakeholder and community engagement strategies in PNG and on overlapping resource tenure issues.
  • BHP – advising on comparative law issues for IndoMet coal project in Kalimantan exploring local law requirements for tribal group engagement with international standards.
  • Best Lawyers Australia – Lawyer of the Year, Mining Law 2018 and Lawyer of the Year, Natural Resources 2013.
  • Best Lawyers Australia – Leading individual in mining, oil and gas, native title and natural resources 2013 – 2017.
  • Chambers Asia-Pacific – ranked for native title 2013 to 2017.
  • Who's Who legal Australia 2017 – one of only two practioners in Australia noted in premier category for native title.
  • Winner "Best Article" Australian Resources and Energy Law Journal 2016 "The new reality for major projects: Working with FPIC in the resources sector".
  • Board member of Queensland University of Technology Law Faculty Academic Board
  • AMPLA Queensland President
  • Queensland Law Society Resources Committee
  • Land Court Resource User's Group
  • English


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