Chris Owen

Partner | National Pro Bono Team Leader | Chair ESG Group
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

T:+61 8 6212 3126
T:+61 8 6212 3126
Chris Owen

Chris Owen



Chris Owen is a litigation lawyer based in Perth and leads the firm's national pro bono program in Australia.

Chris has more than 15 years' experience working in pro bono and has supervised the pro bono contributions of hundreds of lawyers for more than a decade. He has previously worked in London as a partner in the litigation team of an international law firm where he led the ESG (environment, social and governance) disputes group and co-chaired the firm's international pro bono practice. 

Chris brings valuable experience, having collaborated with major financial institutions and corporate clients on pro bono matters. He has a broad range of pro bono expertise, including advising at legal clinics, assisting indigenous communities obtaining access to justice, conducting advocacy on behalf of clients in court proceedings and advising on international pro bono projects. He has particular interests in business and human rights, environment and climate change, and access to justice.

Professional experience

Expand all Collapse all
  • Master of Arts (English law), University of Cambridge, Downing College (2000-3)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Oxford institute of Legal Practice (2003-4)
  • Master of International Law, University of Cambridge, Downing College, (2004-5)
  • LLB Australian Law (selected modules), Murdoch University, WA (2020-21)
  • Practical Legal Training, College of Law (selected modules), Australia (2020-1)

Additional qualifications

  • Higher Rights of Audience England and Wales (all civil courts) - 2010
  • Solicitor, England and Wales 2007
  • Lawyer, Western Australia 2021

Experience prior to joining Norton Rose Fulbright:

  • Working with Peace Brigades International to produce a toolbox of resources to assist human rights defenders in their work protecting citizens around the world. 
  • Representing the Maasai in Tanzania in several land rights disputes and assisting them in negotiating settlement agreements to protect their lands from expropriation.
  • Working in collaboration with the Thomson Reuters Foundation and UK Government on a project to deliver child labour training to local police and public prosecutors in Ethiopia and DRC.
  • Advising the World Wildlife Fund on claimant actions against financial entities that have invested in projects leading to deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.
  • Advising on a mass tort claim for harm to citizens caused by mining activities.
  • Advising Greenpeace through the International Senior Lawyers program on potential strategies for bringing a claim relating to large-scale water pollution by a manufacturing company in Kenya.
  • Advising an indigenous community on strategies to prevent a palm oil facility expanding in Indonesia.
  • Sitting on the UK's UN Global Compact working group, which liaises with business to detect and prevent the worst forms of child labour.
  • Conducting court advocacy for vulnerable, otherwise unrepresented individuals.
  • English