Australia: Norton Rose Fulbright announces new Papua New Guinea office amid surge in energy, mining and infrastructure work
Last Updated: 1 December 2016

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright announced today that it has opened a new office in Papua New Guinea to service a broad range of growing sectors and industries as part of an expanded Asia Pacific network.

Norton Rose Fulbright has a long history working in PNG, largely from its Australian offices, on cross-border transactions and projects. The firm has done significant work for the PNG Government and private enterprises over many years. Recently we advised on several high-profile energy, mining, infrastructure and telecommunications deals, engaged in dispute resolution, and also assisted in the development of key legislation. Much of this work has been done working closely with advisors based in PNG.

A major focus of the PNG practice will be continuing our strong track record of advice to government, as well as assisting clients to benefit from expected growth in sectors such as infrastructure, power, ports, roads, property, mining (particularly gold and copper), oil and gas and financial services.

The PNG office opens with national lawyer Karo Lelai on the ground and dedicated regional support from Sydney corporate partners Anthony Latimer and Steve Johns, among others. Mrs Lelai joins as the principal of our Port Moresby office after serving as general counsel to Kumul Minerals (formerly Petromin) since July 2014 as well as in other legal roles.
The addition of a PNG office further strengthens Norton Rose Fulbright's Asia Pacific strategy. It will complement and work closely with our established offices in Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney), mainland China (Beijing and Shanghai), Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. It also boosts our coverage of the Pacific Rim, with a growing presence on the US western seaboard and Canada, and follows our announcement last month of a combination with Vancouver-based law firm Bull Housser.

The new PNG office comes after the launch in January 2016 of our association in Indonesia with TNB & Partners, run by the three founding partners Tasdikiah Siregar, Benny Bernarto and Nadia Soraya. Norton Rose Fulbright, working with Indonesian counsel, has now been assisting clients in Indonesia for 25 years.

Norton Rose Fulbright chief executive Peter Martyr commented:
"The Asia Pacific region's energy, infrastructure, mining and commodities industries have a vibrant future and we see significant opportunities for many of our local and international clients. It is pleasing to see our expansion in this important region as we continue to cement our position as a world-class global business with a growing Pacific Rim practice."

Norton Rose Fulbright managing partner in Australia, Wayne Spanner commented:
"We have been encouraged for some time by our clients to set up a permanent base in PNG and are pleased to have settled on a winning combination of local experience and broad regional support. We now have considerable depth of experience in advising on PNG oil and gas projects, which along with other resources and infrastructure-led investment, present a tremendous opportunity for the PNG people, its economy, and the local and international clients that work there."

Norton Rose Fulbright partner Anthony Latimer commented:
"From conversations with our clients and others, it is clear that the PNG economy is on the cusp of an exciting period of growth across a range of sectors. We see this as a vital time to solidify our commitment to the country with a permanent presence there, and look forward to helping our clients make the most of the opportunities that are soon to emerge."

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