King & Wood Mallesons

Native Title Department

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What the team is known for Provides strategic advice, on a national basis, to blue-chip clients in the energy and natural resources and infrastructure sectors. Handles the full range of native title issues including Aboriginal land and cultural heritage agreements and their implementation, benefit management structures and compensation. Highly experienced in assisting with native title and cultural heritage matters associated with large-scale projects, and frequently instructed by federal and state government entities on a range of Aboriginal land issues. Further noted for integrating multidisciplinary advice on native title and environmental concerns, access agreements and approvals for resources and infrastructure projects as well as tenure protection in claim determinations and heritage reforms.

Strengths One client reports: "King & Wood Mallesons are exceptional native title lawyers; they are considered and want the best outcome for clients and traditional owners."

Another client says: "The KWM team are our number one go-to for legal services concerning native title and cultural heritage matters."

Work highlights Assisted BHP in negotiating an indigenous land use agreement with the Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation, designed to address all native title matters relating to the operation of the South Walker Creek mine.

Notable practitioners

Nick Testro
offers experience of acting across a wide range of practice area matters, including indigenous land use agreements, tenement grant compensation and sacred site compliance. One client describes him as "a very sharp and knowledgeable native title lawyer who's very perceptive in regard to issues and has a genuine talent for recognising how relationships and personalities can impact negotiations." Another characterises him as "always calm and considered, and a valuable member of the team with fantastic experience."

Sally Audeyev
is particularly well placed to provide integrated advice on matters with mixed native title and environmental elements to mining industry clients and government bodies. One client calls her "a calm, clear and persuasive adviser who thoroughly understands the client's objectives and the risks we face." Another describes her as "an absolute expert who is practical, always able to build a response we can rely on and able to meet our sometimes crazy timeframes."

Scott Singleton
is a renowned practitioner in the space, particularly noted by clients as an exceptional negotiator. One client says: "He is very experienced at native title negotiations, thinks very strategically about how to approach them and understands how they differ from normal commercial negotiations." Another client adds: "Scott is a team player who adds value to any transaction through his strong technical knowledge and through the numerous relationships he has developed over time with traditional owners, their legal advisers, and regulators."