Brett Thornton

Special Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

Brett Thornton

Brett Thornton


Related services and key industries


Brett Thornton is an energy and corporate lawyer based in Sydney. 

Brett's practice focuses on the construction, development, acquisition and operation of energy and infrastructure projects. He previously spent several years working in the Middle East and Japan, during which time he also worked in-house at Mubadala Petroleum and Sojitz Corporation and brings extensive energy project delivery experience with an international context and strong domestic capabilities to advise a variety of energy clients on their successful project delivery in Australia. 

Professional experience

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  • Supreme Court of Victoria 2007
  • Supreme Court of New South Wales 2018

Renewable Energy

  • Hanwha Energy – advising on the acquisition and development of its portfolio of solar development assets in Australia including its project development agreements, connection agreements, EPC, offtake agreements, FIRB applications and potential acquisitions of other solar projects
  • Snowy Hydro – advising on its procurement of 400-800MW of renewable energy generation
  • Sojitz Corporation – advising on a power purchase agreement for an LNG-to-power project in Asia
  • A European utility – advising on the acquisition of a portfolio of wind and solar projects in Australia
  • Hanwha Energy – advising on its offtake arrangements with a small / medium sized retailer including pros and cons of adopting the various structuring options for offtakes in the National Electricity Market (i.e. contract for difference, re-allocation and intermediary)
  • A European investment fund – advising on the proposed acquisition of an early stage solar project in Queensland
  • An International energy company - advising on the acquisition of a portfolio of solar projects in Australia
  • An investment fund – advising on the supply, installation and ongoing development and operation of rooftop solar power systems, battery storage and electric vehicle charging stations under a framework portfolio offtake arrangement
  • A foreign investor – advising on the due diligence and transaction documentation and regulatory aspects of its acquisition of an imbedded network provider in Australia


Oil & Gas (previous firm experience)

  • The Republic of Iraq Ministry of Oil – in connection with the $17 billion Basrah Gas Project (joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell plc and Mitsubishi) to capture natural gas currently being flared and process it for both domestic power generation and LNG export
  • The Republic of Iraq Ministry of Oil – on all aspects of the Iraq-Jordan Export Pipeline Project, (Intergovernmental agreement, BOOT contract, crude and gas offtake, and bankability considerations)
  • Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) – on the acquisition of an upstream operating interest in the  Kurdistan Region of Iraq and subsequent operational, construction and procurement agreements
  • An international oil company – in its bid for an onshore oil concession in Abu Dhabi
  • An international oil and gas company – on the proposed development of a brownfields gas project and export pipeline in Uzbekistan
  • An international oil company – on a proposed acquisition of an upstream interest in Malaysia
  • An international oil company – in connection with a proposed upstream oil project in Iran under an Iranian buy-back contract
  • An investment fund – on a proposed acquisition of an upstream interest in Pakistan
  • Ghazanfar Group – on its joint venture arrangements with respect to its 20% participating interest in the Sanduqli Block and Mazar-i-Sharif Block in Northern Afghanistan


    LNG & Marketing (previous firm experience)

  • Mubadala Petroleum – on the establishment of Emirates LNG and the development of its LNG receiving facility in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
  • Woodside Petroleum – on the pre-Feed development of the Browse LNG Project in Western Australia
  • A Japanese trading company – on its long-term LNG sale and purchase agreements for a US based LNG project
  • A Japanese energy company – on its proposed investment in an LNG project in Canada
  • Dubai Supply Authority (DUSUP) – on its master LNG supply agreement and gas swap arrangements for its UAE based FSRU
  • A Chinese energy company – on the establishment of its LNG marketing business and negotiation of LNG supply agreements
  • A Saudi Arabian chemical company – on various chemical terminalling, storage and handling agreements
  • A Japanese energy company – on the negotiation of long-term LNG supply arrangements based on spot master agreements and applicable destination restriction issues
  • A Japanese trading company – on a proposed investment in a US petrochemical project, including product off-take and marketing agreements and joint venture arrangements
  • Sadara Chemical Company – on the drafting and negotiating of its petrochemical offtake agreements


    Other project development experience

  • A Middle Eastern government entity – on the drafting of its energy efficiency legal framework
  • A UAE district cooling provider – on the development of a chilled cooling plant in Bahrain and the negotiation of chilled water supply agreements
  • Emirates Aluminium Company (EMAL) – on the development and construction of a US$10b aluminium smelter in the United Arab Emirates
  • A Saudi construction company – on the negotiation of its consortium agreement, project concession agreement, and bid preparation in relation to the Riyadh Metro Project
  • A Spanish consortium – on the development of the Haramain High Speed Rail Project
  • Two international oil companies – on their renegotiation of a Development and Production Sharing Agreement and the development of a liquids facility
  • Occidental Petroleum – on the drafting of its EPC agreements for an offshore platform
  • An infrastructure investment fund – on its disposal of transport infrastructure held and operated under a BOOT arrangement
  • A consortium – on the development of a water project in New South Wales
  • Member, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)
  • Member, New South Wales Law Society


National Hydrogen Strategy Australia

Publication | August 1, 2019