Kevin Stephens is Ward Keller’s longest serving Partner, with 19 years in the role and a total of 25 years’ service with the firm.
Born and raised in Darwin, Kevin’s long association with the Territory has facilitated his strong relationships with mining, resources, infrastructure and pastoral clients as well as government and land councils. He has extensive experience in advising interstate and overseas clients on Territory laws and issues.
Kevin is the Partner responsible for the mining and energy, infrastructure and pastoral sectors.
In the mining and energy sector, Kevin acts for gold producers, base metal miners, explorers (both majors and juniors) and royalty holders in the Territory. He has experience in negotiation and preparation of agreements for mine and tenement acquisitions, farm-in and joint venture agreements, exploration agreements, royalty agreements, mining and supply contracts, native title and land rights agreements.
Kevin advises on all aspects of mining and petroleum law, Territory revenue law, Territory mineral royalties, Aboriginal land law, native title law, sacred site law and environmental regulation.He has extensive experience in negotiating both Land Rights Act agreements and native title agreements with land councils. Kevin is a member and NT Branch President of AMPLA: The Resources and Energy Law Association.
In the projects and infrastructure sector, Kevin is the Territory lawyer for the operator of the main gas transmission pipeline in the Northern Territory. He undertakes tenure acquisition and maintenance, regulatory compliance and gas sales and transmission contracts.He was the Territory lawyer for the consortium that successfully bid for, constructed and operated the Alice Springs to Darwin Railway project, a public private partnership project involving due diligence, tenure acquisition and maintenance, regulatory compliance and commercial contracts. Kevin participated in the deregulation of the Northern Territory electricity market and provided regulatory advice and prepared tender documentation and electricity purchase agreements.
In the pastoral sector, Kevin is the lawyer for some of the Territory’s largest pastoral operators and land holders. He provides legal advice on pastoral land development and operational issues and, since 1994, has been heavily involved in native title issues and advice. He is the lawyer for the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association.
Kevin has significant practical experience in environmental regulation and issues. He represents clients across the mining, energy, waste management, projects and infrastructure sectors with all aspects of environmental regulation, assessment, approvals, notifications and liabilities. In 2015 Kevin authored and presented a number of seminars to the Territory legal profession on Territory environment law and regulation, including the regulation of pollution and waste.
Kevin is also the Territory lawyer for Darwin’s only casino and has more than 17 years’ experience in advising on all regulatory and commercial issues related to Territory casino operations.
Kevin is currently engaged in a beard growing competition with Gandalf (aka Michael Grove, Managing Partner). Luckily, Emma Farnell (Senior Associate in the mining and resource team) has more sense than the lot of them.
Areas of Law
- mining & resources
- projects and infrastructure
- environmental law & regulation
Qualifications & Memberships
- Bachelor of Laws, Adelaide University
- Bachelor of Economics, Adelaide University
- Admitted as a Legal Practitioner in the Northern Territory (1994)
- Registered on the Register of Practitioners of Australian Federal Courts (1997)
- NT Branch President of the Resource Lawyers' Association (AMPLA) and board member of the national board.