Gavin Scott

Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

Gavin Scott

Gavin Scott



Gavin Scott is one of Australia's leading native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage lawyers. He has guided major Traditional Owner agreement projects for Santos, Shell, BHP, Arrow Energy, Rio Tinto and Anglo American and numerous major renewables projects developed by FFI, RES, Squadron Energy, EDF and Energy Estate. Gavin is also at the forefront of the developing best practice stakeholder engagement strategies, the impact and use of international standards, and the resolution of disputes through culturally appropriate grievance mechanisms.

Professional experience

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  • Australia 29

·     Advising Anglo American plc in relation to a comprehensive review and modernisation of its native title and cultural heritage arrangements across its Australian operations, involving re-engagement with relevant traditional owner groups and re-drafting of native title and cultural heritage agreements. 

·     Successfully defending 2 attempts to seek stop orders under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act from an Aboriginal Group against APA Group Limited relating to the construction of a major gas pipeline looping project.

·     Assisting Arrow Energy on a comprehensive review of entire ILUA portfolio and developing strategy to modernise agreements to bring the standard up to an international best practice level.

·     Assisting Asian Renewable Energy Hub and Western Green Energy Hub in relation to the negotiation of Indigenous Land Use Agreements for mass scale wind and solar project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, and in the South of Western Australia, including development of corporate and management charters embedding principles of mutual respect, recognition and trust between management and traditional owners in the development of these projects.

·     Australian Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd providing strategic overview of Native Title and Cultural Heritage matters for potential renewables project in South Australia.

·     Australian Gasfields Limited assisting client negotiating a Comprehensive Native Title Agreement with the Boonthumurra People in relation to the grant of new gas tenements.

·     Bravus – acting for the Wangan and Jagalingou People in respect of setting up charitable trusts and corporate entity to received significant compensation payments under Indigenous Land Use Agreement with Bravus.

·     Cape Flattery Silica Mines Pty Limited providing Cultural Heritage and Stakeholder engagement advice for Cape Flattery Silica Mine project on an ongoing basis for a number of years.

·     Chevron Australia Pty Ltd providing advice on the new Western Australia Cultural Heritage legislation, providing advice on NOPSEMA offshore stakeholder engagement processes following the Santos/Barossa case.

·     Clarke Creek Energy Pty Ltd providing strategic advice on Cultural Heritage issues in relation to one of Australia's largest windfarms.

·     Cleanaway Pty Ltd providing advice on structuring of a joint venture project with an Indigenous owned joint venture partner.

·     Cooper Energy Limited providing advice on offshore petroleum regime following Santos/Bravosa case and assisting client to review stakeholder engagement processes.

·     CWP Renewables Pty Ltd providing Native Title and Cultural Heritage support for numerous New South Wales and Queensland's renewables projects.

·     Advising Downer EDI Ltd in relation to relation to the consolidation of its existing joint venture arrangements with the Waanyi People and implementation of a new unit trust structure for the joint venture, locking in 50% Indigenous employment.

·     EDF Renewables Australia Pty Ltd providing Cultural heritage and Native Title support for two separate renewables projects in Queensland; one wind farm and one solar farm.

·     Advising ERA on Aboriginal Land Rights Act and Native Title issues associated with this land use of the township in Jabiru.

·     Advising the Equator Principles Association in relation to the 4th version of the Equator Principles, including facilitating workshops with financial institutions and resource companies in relation to Free, Prior and Informed Consent and stakeholder engagement issues.

·     Government of British Columbia providing expert advice on Australian Native Title Legal Regime which was to be used for comparative analysis in a major Native Title piece of Litigation in British Columbia, Canada.

·     Gransolar Construction Australia Pty Ltd providing urgent Cultural Heritage Legal advice in relation to potential breach of duty of care under the Cultural Heritage regime.

·     Acting for Gur A Baradharaw Kid Torres Strait Sea and Land Council Torres Strait Islander Corporation in a complex restructuring project designed to enable the delivery of employment and training services directly by traditional owners to traditional owners, rather than through a non- indigenous service company.

·     Advising Horizon Power on the proposed reform of the Aboriginal Heritage Act (WA).

·     Jangga Operations Pty Ltd providing pro-bono legal support to an Indigenous organisation to set up an appropriate corporate structure for the benefit of the Jangga community.

·     Ngan Aak Kunch Aboriginal Corporation providing legal support for the negotiation of a major Indigenous Land Use Agreement to be developed with Glencore for its Bauxite project near Weipa.

·     Northern Land Council providing legal support for the review and re-drafting of a suite of Exploration Agreements to be used by the Northern Land Council with mining and gas explorers.

·     Waverley Council providing advice on Native Title extinguishment for developments within the Waverley Council area.

·     Powerlink Queensland assisting Powerlink with the development of a claim wide Cultural Heritage Management Plan which will assist in the development of three new projects to be constricted by Powerlink.

·     QCoal Pty Ltd providing legal support to draft and negotiate a new over-arching Cultural Heritage Management Plan which will be applicable to all QCoal operations in Queensland including, facilitating meetings with the relevant Native Title Group.

·     Advising Shell/QGC on a detailed review of native title and cultural heritage agreement portfolio for the QGC project  and providing ongoing strategic advice and represent at Traditional Owner meetings with a 3 year retainer to assist in the implementation matters that may need legal advice during that period in early 2018.

·     RES Australia Pty Ltd providing Native Title and Cultural Heritage legal support for the Mt Rainbow, Mt Sugarloaf and Moah Creek renewables projects including numerous meetings on country with Native Title Groups, education sessions with client and drafting of a Comprehensive Indigenous Land Use Agreement and negotiation protocol.

·     Advising Rio Tinto on the Gumatj Native Title Compensation Claim, the largest claim made in Australia to date.

·     Select Carbon Pty Ltd providing legal support for the development of an agreement of a carbon farming project in Western Australia.

·     Shalina Resources Limited advising on strategy to respond to allegations of human rights issues raised by Greenpeace Amity International in respect of a project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

·     South West Aboriginal Land & Sea Council providing pro-bono legal support on the development and drafting of implantation agreements.

·     Assisting South32 Limited undertake a risk review of its traditional owner agreement portfolio and analysing its existing agreements, relationships and negotiation practices against international best practice standards, as well as drafting protocols, relationship an cultural heritage agreements and other process documents. 

·     Stanmore Resources Limited providing Native Title legal support in relation to comprehensive suite of project agreements and Indigenous Land Use Agreements for Queensland Coal Mining operations.

·     Stockland Development Pty Ltd providing many years of legal support in relation to Queensland property projects, including a Queensland first relationship agreement between a Native Title Group and a Property Developer, developing Cultural Heritage Plans, defending injunctions of sort in relation to Cultural Heritage and declarations sought under the Commonwealth Heritage regime.

·     Vestas Development Australia Pty Ltd providing early stage legal support for potential South Australian Renewables project.

·     Best Lawyers Australia - Lawyer of the Year, Mining Law 2018 and Lawyer of the Year, Natural Resources 2013 & 2018.

·     Best Lawyers Australia – Leading individual in mining, oil and gas, native title and natural resources 2013 2023.

·     Chambers Asia-Pacific – ranked for native title 2013 to 2023 (Band1).

·     Who's Who legal Australia 2017 – one of only 2 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".

  • English


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