Biography

Phil is a partner in Gilbert + Tobin's Energy + Resources group. 

He is a former General Counsel, Iron Ore and Managing Director, Australia for Rio Tinto. Phil specialises in unregulated M&A and project and infrastructure development in the resources and energy sector.

Phil is recognised not only for his extensive legal experience, but also for his extensive commercial and Government experience.  In addition to his former positions at Rio Tinto, he is a former director of the Business Council of Australia, a former director of the Minerals Council of Australia, a former Chairman of the $5.5 billion Rio Tinto Staff Superannuation Fund and a former partner, Perth managing partner and head of international operations for another major law firm.

Phil holds the qualifications of Bachelor of Jurisprudence, Bachelor of Laws and Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia.  He has also completed a business leader development programme at the Australian Graduate School of Management and a senior leadership development programme at the London Business School.

Phil’s experience includes advising:

  • On numerous acquisitions, sales, development, joint venturing and financing (including streaming) of, and State Agreement and offtake arrangements for, gold, bauxite/alumina, copper, minerals sands, iron ore, coal, nickel, zinc, potash, lithium, niobium, graphite, oil, gas and other resources and energy projects and on related rail and port infrastructure.
  • In this context on extensive development of suites of template contracts, most recently for Galaxy Lithium and Westgold Resources, on major construction and services/equipment procurement contracts and as head of legal support for Expansion Projects at Rio Tinto during a period of massive expansion of its iron ore operations.
  • Whitehaven Coal on its bid for Rio Tinto’s Queensland coal assets (ultimately sold for US$4b+), including on its US250m+ acquisition of the Winchester South project.
  • Resource Capital Funds on its investment in the US$650m Khoemacau project in Botswana and in obtaining a unique three year land and business entities FIRB exemption certificate relating to investment in Australian mining assets and companies.
  • Sandfire Resources Limited on its $167 million acquisition of MOD Resources by way of scheme of arrangement.
  • On successful defence of the application for access to Rio Tinto’s 1700km Pilbara rail network, as legal and joint commercial lead for Rio Tinto on the proposed US100billion iron ore joint venture between BHPB and Rio Tinto, and Rio Tinto when it moved from annual iron ore pricing negotiations to floating prices linked to iron ore indices.
  • Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (Papua New Guinea’s national oil company) on gas field development.
  • On Risk Management Frameworks (including designing those) across a range of industries and on governance policies (including ABC) and their implementation.
  • On extensive Investor/State Agreement and project development work offshore (including in China, Armenia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Guinea, DR of Congo, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea and Zambia).

Phil was listed as a Best Lawyer in the areas of Energy Law, Mining Law and Natural Resources Law.

Best Lawyers Australia 2021

Legal500 Asia Pacific Guide said that Phil Edmands ‘can assess legal issues in full commercial context’, has ‘a strong understanding of regulatory and legal issues’ and ‘inspires confidence’

Legal500 2019

Phil was recognised as a leading Energy and Resources lawyer. 

Doyle's Guide 2017

Phil is listed as a recommended Lawyer. 

LEGAL 500 ASIA PACIFIC 2020 NATURAL RESOURCES