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:

  • Sandfire Resources Limited on its $167 million acquisition of MOD Resources by way of scheme of arrangement.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (Papua New Guinea’s national oil company) on gas field development.

  • A major precious metal streaming company on a proposed streaming arrangement to finance a significant gold acquisition.

  • 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.

  • In a lead capacity on 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.

  • Rio Tinto on its proposed US100billion iron ore joint venture with BHPB , and in relation to it moving from annual iron ore pricing negotiations to floating prices linked to iron ore indices.

  • On extensive resources-related native title, royalty, title, Investor/State Agreement, project development and rail and port onshore and offshore work (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.