Results driven – Practical – Industry Knowledge - Strength – Fixed Fee Package Option

These attributes are what makes our Mining Team unique. We have dedicated team of lawyers who live and breathe mining and collaborate to provide specialist commercial, industrial relations, debt collection and litigation advice.

We do not sit in a high-rise in a capital city…we are right where the action is! We are focused on mining contractors, and we understand the unique challenges facing the one-man operator right through to large ASX listed companies.

To avoid pitfalls, quality legal advice and systems, balanced against a practical approach, are essential. Without this, you could lose contracts, get sued or lose your assets and rights.

Our passion is black coal mining – both surface and underground. In fact, the majority of our employees’ spouses work in the industry…so it really is our livelihood in many ways.

We cannot only provide you with specialist advice on the law, but we understand the whole end to end process. Whether it’s construction, ventilation services, secondary support services, engineering to labour hire – we can ensure you are protected and get the best outcome.

We have exceptional knowledge and experience in industrial specific issues, such as the Black Coal Long Service Leave Scheme and Black Lung claims. We are regularly involved in large contracts and tenders and particularly, negotiating scary clauses such as liquidated damages, retentions, indemnities and guarantees/security.

A lot of clients engaging in work in the black coal industry may also be caught by the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act and Subcontractors’ charges regime. Our Building and Construction Lawyer is a guru in this field.

Specifically, the types of services we can offer Mining Contractors include:

  • Commercial Agreements/Contracts – drafting, review and advice;
  • Assistance with tenders;
  • Employment, HR and Industrial Relations advice, including Enterprise Agreements;
  • Work health and safety advices and investigations;
  • Personal Property Securities advice, registrations and disputes (ie. on insolvency). This is particularly important if you hire equipment;
  • Debt collection;
  • Intellectual Property – copyright, trademarks, patents and advice;
  • Superannuation;
  • Legal Audit;
  • Joint ventures, strategic alliances and ‘rollups’;
  • Shareholders’ Agreements;
  • Buy/Sell and Critical Event Agreements;
  • Building and construction; and
  • Corporate advice.

Leading the Mining Team are Directors, Suzanne Brown and Scott McSwan.


Suzanne is Mackay’s only Business Law Accredited Specialist (and one of only 23 in Queensland). In 2015, she was awarded as one of the “30 Under 30 Best Lawyers in Australia” in Energy and Resources.

Suzanne sat on the Board of North Queensland Bulk Ports for 3 years – which is one of Australia’s largest port authorities by tonnage throughput (largely black coal) and responsible more than half Queensland’s trade. She was also recognised as one of the Courier Mail’s “20 Under 40 Business Leaders in Queensland”. She’s one of the best in her field and knows her way around a mine site and coal port (a perfect mix)!   


Similarly, Scott McSwan (IR and Litigation Principal) is an industrial relations expert and particularly skilled in mining-specific legal issues, including Enterprise Agreements.

We are proud to be the honorary solicitors and also members of Resource Industry Network. We are also members of the Bowen Basin Mining Club.

In 2017, we were finalists in the Resource Industry Network Chairman’s Awards in the categories of Leading from the Front and Out of the Box.

A testament to our skills and reputation, we act for majority of the larger mining contractors in the Mackay region.

Give us a call today and get the best in the business on your side.

Our Mining Package Option

We have actively sought feedback and listened to concerns of our mining clients. We asked them questions like “what they wanted from a lawyer?” and “how they wanted to pay?”.

In summary, we learnt that mining contractors wanted practical legal advice from senior lawyers who understood their industry and business and they wanted round the clock, high value, proactive service with certainty over the cost and the ability to pay over time (not just in a lump sum). The mining contractors’ did not want a “traditional lawyer” – they wanted to be talked to in language they could understand, have a level of comfort and trust and develop a ‘partnership’ relationship.

That is how the Mining Package was born!

The Mining Package is revolutionary and incredibly innovative. It has been developed specifically for the mining contractors – delivering exactly what they asked for! It would most certainly be one of a kind in the whole of Australia.

Our Mining Package provides for:

  • A free legal audit – to identify strengths and weakness of business;
  • An annual legal package, containing all the common legal work we anticipate will arise over that period;
  • Fixed fee – which is broken up into equal monthly payments, so businesses can budget and plan their cashflow;
  • Unlimited phone support;
  • Package Manager – responsible for co-ordinating any practice area specialists working on the file and engage with the client no less than weekly;
  • A set number of meetings each year with the Board and/or Senior Management, to review and discuss business needs and opportunities;
  • A set number of private training sessions/seminars for staff on chosen topics;
  • Free helpful newsletters containing general legal advice and updates on a variety of issues, including changes in the law and industry relevant issues developing.
  • Free seminars and training on legal issues as above.
  • Clients have the mobile contact, and 24/7 access to our Package Manager. Many businesses in the mining sector operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and so could have issues arising out of usual working hours; and
  • Included scoped services selected by the clients – which are usually in the areas of Industrial Relations, Commercial and Debt Recovery.

The fixed fee Mining Package has certainly proven to be a popular option, however we are also happy to provide piecemeal advice

Free Employment Package

We also offer a free Employment Package membership to our clients and currently have over 100 members!

This “package” concept flies in the face of the traditional way in which lawyers “do business” and charge their clients. It includes:

  • No joining costs or obligation to solely use our practice;
  • A no cost, “get to know you” meeting so we can understand the client’s particular business operations and needs;
  • Free helpful newsletters containing general legal advice and updates on a variety of issues, including changes in the law and industry relevant issues developing. For example, our “Employment Law Talk” released this week was on whether employers had to pay their employees for days shut during the cyclone;
  • Free seminars and training on legal issues as above. For example, in the last few months we have run a seminar for “Understanding Employment Law for Employers in the Manufacturing and Engineering Sector” and on “Managing Discipline and Dismissal”. We provide a light breakfast of coffee, croissants and fresh fruit for attendees (at our cost);
  • Clients have the mobile contact, and 24/7 access to our IR solicitor.
  • Flexibility in payment – access to a monthly credit account for work done, or we can agree a monthly fixed retainer fee, at the client’s option to suit their cash flow and business planning;
  • If we review Employment Contracts, they get added to a free “Employment Contracts Register”. The benefits of this are that the client receives annual reminders to review their contracts; regular “tips” and legislative and/or case updates which may impact on the contracts.
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