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:

  • Acting for Whitehaven Coal on its bid for Rio Tinto’s Queensland coal assets (ultimately sold for more than US$4b), including on its acquisition of Rio Tinto’s 75% interest in the Winchester South project for US200m, and its subsequent purchase of the remaining 25% interest from Scentre for a pro rata amount.
  • Acting for a major precious metal streaming company on a proposed streaming arrangement to finance a significant gold acquisition.
  • Acting for a major private equity fund on (Australian) Foreign Investment Review Board approval of multiple investments in resources companies, and on a proposed cornerstone investment in a graphite project.
  • Acting on numerous acquisitions, sales, development, joint venturing and financing of, and offtake arrangements relating to, gold, bauxite/alumina, copper, minerals sands, iron ore, coal, nickel, zinc, potash, lithium, niobium and other resources projects.
  • Extensive experience acting on offtake agreements in relation to commodities where the market is opaque.
  • Leading the ultimately successful defence of the application for access to Rio Tinto’s 1700km Pilbara rail network - the largest private rail network in the world.
  • Acting as legal and joint commercial lead for Rio Tinto on the proposed US100billion iron ore joint venture between BHPB and Rio Tinto, and on Rio Tinto moving from annual iron ore pricing negotiations to floating prices linked to iron ore indices.
  • Extensive resources-related State Agreement, native title, royalty, title, and rail and port work.
  • Extensive Investor/State Agreement and project development work offshore (including China, Armenia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Guinea, DR of Congo, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia).

Phil was recognised for Mining Law.

Best Lawyers Australia 2020

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