Biography

Chris is a partner and head of Gilbert + Tobin's Energy + Resources group and is a member of the firm’s Board of partners.

He is an energy and resources specialist, being a trusted advisor to private and government clients in the energy and resources sector and he has advised in these areas in over 55 countries. His clients include Beach Energy Limited, Meridian, Total SA, KKR, Cooper Energy, Engie, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (PNG’s national oil company), Rio Tinto, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, GLNG Operations and Orica Limited.

He advises on a broad range of transactions in the sector including acquisitions, divestments, listings, debt facilities, structured and project financings, restructurings, and joint ventures. Chris presents at, and has been asked to comment on these areas, at leading international universities and conferences, and by international print and broadcast media (including Bloomberg, Reuters, the AFR, the BBC World Service and Fairfax). He lectures in international petroleum law at the University of Western Australia.

Previously he worked as a senior member of an oil and gas team at a leading international law firm in London, and as Vice President, Business Development & General Counsel at a Canadian upstream international oil and gas company.

Chris holds a Master of Letters from the University of St Andrews (taken as a Chevening Scholar), a Master of Laws (International Law) from the University of Sydney and Bachelors degrees in Law (Honours) and Commerce (Accounting and Finance) from Griffith University.  He also studied at the University of Salamanca (as an Ambassadorial Scholar). He is admitted to practice in New South Wales, Queensland, and England and Wales.

He is also a member of the Legal Advisory Task Force to the Energy Charter Treaty.

Chris’s experience includes advising:

  • Harbour Energy Limited on its AUD 14.4 billion proposal to acquire Santos Limited.
  • Beach Energy Limited on its AUD 1.585 billion acquisition of Lattice Energy Limited (Origin’s conventional upstream oil and gas business) from Origin Energy Limited (together with multiple related gas offtake arrangements).
  • Yancoal Australia Independent Board Committee on its $3.2 billion capital raising as well as its $3.36 billion acquisition of Coal & Allied from Rio Tinto.
  • CVC, the Carlyle Group and Neptune Energy on the Australian aspects of Neptune’s USD 3.9 billion acquisition of Engie’s global petroleum exploration and production business.
  • Engie on its landmark gas-to-power arrangements with Origin Energy for the Pelican Point Power Station.
  • Rio Tinto in respect of its coal handling, transportation and processing arrangements in Queensland.
  • An Asia-Pacific government on maritime boundary delimitation and related joint petroleum development from a contested area.
  • Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (Papua New Guinea’s national oil company), on a range of transactions, and legislative and regulatory reform initiatives.
  • An Australian company in respect of a potential expropriation claim in North Africa.
  • Numerous multi-national companies and corporate officers in respect of the implications of international sanctions regimes, including those applying to North Korea, Iran, Syria and Libya.
  • GLNG Operations Pty Ltd (part of the Santos GLNG facility structure), on its upstream gas supply arrangements.
  • Origin Energy Limited and Sasol Limited on their joint farm-in to a number of permits in the Beetaloo Basin, Northern Territory from Falcon Oil & Gas.
  • GDF Suez in respect of its gas transportation and supply arrangements in Eastern Australia with Santos Limited and Epic.
  • Orica Limited in respect of its Gas Supply Agreements with Exxon Mobil, BHP Billiton and Strike Energy.
  • FRV on the development, and subsequent sale, of its Royalla Solar Project.
  • A leading UK ‘behind-the-meter’ rooftop solar project group on its entry into, and the development of its business in Australia.
  • NSW Treasury on the Network Electricity Reform Program involving the integration of the three NSW electricity distributors, Essential Energy, Endeavour Energy and Ausgrid.

Christopher is recognised in the Oil & Gas Law category.

Best Lawyers Australia 2020

Christopher is recognised in the Project Development category.

IFLR1000