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 infrastructure, and public international law specialist.

He is a trusted advisor to private and government clients and has advised in over 55 countries. His clients include Papua New Guinea, Alinta, Beach Energy Limited, Harbour Energy, Qenos, Meridian, Total SA, KKR, Cooper Energy, Engie, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (PNG’s national oil company) and Rio Tinto.

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). 

Chris presents or lectures 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 is a member of the Legal Advisory Task Force to the Energy Charter Treaty.

Chris is admitted to practice in New South Wales, Queensland, and England and Wales.

Chris’s experience includes advising:

Energy:

  • 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).
  • Papua New Guinea on its USD 13 billion P’nyang LNG expansion project across from Exxon Mobil, Oil Search and JX Nippon.
  • A bidder on its ‘first in market’ innovative solutions to supply the South Australian and the New South Wales governments with 100% of its electricity supply requirements from a renewable portfolio.
  • An international consortium on the design and implementation of a ‘first in world’ portfolio of sustainable base-load integrated hybrid hydrogen, solar and lithium power projects in Australia.
  • 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.
  • Total E&P Australia Pty Ltd in relation to its participation in the GLNG joint venture and certain related gas supply arrangements.
  • RiverCity on the restructuring of the operational arrangements for the RiverCity Tunnel project in Brisbane (including re-negotiating complex long-term flexible pricing variations).
  • FRV on the structuring and development, and the subsequent sale, of its 24MW Royalla Solar Project, the largest project of its kind in Australia.
  • Pilbara Solar in relation to the feasibility and structuring of a solar farm in conjunction with an Aboriginal corporation in Western Australia, as well as advising on the relevant EPC and O&M terms.
  • A bidder on the landmark South Australian first-in-world 100MW Grid Connected Battery project.
  • 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.
  • Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (Papua New Guinea’s national oil company), on a range of transactions, and legislative and regulatory reform initiatives.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • National Australia Bank Limited and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as financiers to Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, funding the multimillion-dollar construction of the Clare Solar Farm project.
  • Balkanu Pty Ltd on its proposed 100MW Archer Point Windfarm project with Denham Capital, including the establishment of a 30km transmission line to grid connection.
  • SAS Trustee Corporation on the contracts for difference and power trading arrangements in place on its proposed acquisition of the Waterloo Wind Farm.
  • AusNet on the development, structuring and operation of a ‘behind-the-meter’ roof-top residential, commercial and industrial roof-top solar PPA business in Victoria.
  • Nexsource Power on its entry into, and the operation of its business in, Australia.

Public International Law

  • A Pacific state on its obligations under certain bilateral free trade agreements and the general agreement on tariffs and trade.
  • A South East Asian state in respect of its defence of certain claims made under a bilateral investment treaty.
  • A US investment fund on claims against Australia under various free trade agreements.
  • A South East Asian state in respect on certain maritime boundary delimitation matters with its neighbour, and related joint petroleum development matters.
  • A South East Asian state on certain matters of international law relating to its upstream oil industry.
  • An interested party on maritime boundary delimitation matters in the Timor Sea, and certain aspects of, and the operation of, the Proliferation Security Initiative.
  • An Australian listed company on its claim under Australia’s BIT with a Middle East state for expropriation of its assets by that State.
  • A leading independent European oil company in respect of its rights under, and the resolution of, its production sharing contract with an African state over an area also claimed by an adjacent African state.
  • An African state National Oil Company, on international boundary delimitation and resource capture issues.
  • An international mining company on its obligations in respect of its mining operations in the deep sea seabed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • Numerous private clients in relation to their rights and obligations under various bilateral investment treaties and with respect to the application and operation of international sanctions regimes.

Pro-Bono

  • For the defence in R v Collaery (ongoing).
  • Chris led the international legal team that helped to secure the release of Peter Greste from an Egyptian jail.
  • Chris provided assistance to counsel assisting in resisting the capital punishment of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Christopher was listed as a Best Lawyer in the areas of Natural Resources Law and Oil & Gas Law. 

Best Lawyers Australia 2021

Christopher is recognised in the Project Development category.

IFLR1000

Christopher is recognised as a leading individual.

LEGAL 500 ASIA PACIFIC 2020 ENERGY

‘Chris Flynn is an outstanding lawyer who is very commercially minded and solutions focused. No obstacle seems too big for Chris to handle.’

LEGAL 500 ASIA PACIFIC 2020 ENERGY

Chris is listed as a recommended Lawyer.

LEGAL 500 ASIA PACIFIC 2020 NATURAL RESOURCES

Christopher is one of three lawyers listed as a Leading Individual and Global Elite Thought Leader in Who’s Who Legal 2020 in Energy in the Asia Pacific region.

WHO’S WHO LEGAL 2020

“The outstanding Chris Flynn of Gilbert + Tobin is very responsive and highly knowledgeable in the field” and is distinguished among peers as a leading light in the energy sector.”

WHO’S WHO LEGAL 2020