Samantha Daly Partner

Samantha is a planning and environment lawyer specialising in the property, infrastructure, energy and resources industries.

She acts for major miners, infrastructure providers and large developers, and advises her clients on all aspects of planning and environment regulation including planning and environmental approvals, compliance, development contributions, water, biodiversity offsets, native title, contaminated land and pollution offences. She also regularly assists clients in assessing project risks and provides practical advice for her clients in responding to regulatory investigations as well as acting for her clients in planning and environment litigation.

Samantha has contributed to some of the largest mining projects in Australia and has a 100% success rate in obtaining planning and environment approvals for her clients.

She was recognised as a leading Environment and Climate Change lawyer in Doyles Guide in 2019 and 2020, listed in Best Lawyers in Australia in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 and was a finalist in the 2017 Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards in the categories of Planning and Environment and Projects, Energy and Resources. She was also recently selected as a finalist in the 2019 NSW Exceptional Woman in Mining Award.



Grafil Pty Ltd

Acting for Grafil Pty Ltd (Grafil) and Robert Mackenzie (director of Grafil) in relation to a criminal prosecution brought by the EPA in which it is alleged that Grafil/ Mackenzie used land as a waste facility without lawful authority.


Assisted Glencore in obtaining the State and Federal planning and environmental approvals required for the A$150 million Mount Owen Continued Operations Project.

Global Mining Client

Acted in prosecutions in respect of charges of polluting waters, failure to notify a pollution incident and breach of licence conditions.


Advised GrainCorp in respect of a number of environmental matters relating to their grain business across their NSW, Victorian and Queensland operations.

NSW Minerals Council

Advised the peak industry body representing the mining industry in NSW in respect of a number of key policy and legislative reforms including recent proposed changes to the NSW planning, biodiversity and mining legislation.

Association of Independent Schools NSW (AIS)

Advised a number of AIS’ member schools in relation to planning approvals required for school expansion projects.


Recommended leading environment and climate change lawyer New South Wales
Doyles Guide 2019-2021
Native title, planning and environment partner of the year (finalist)
Lawyers Weekly, 2020
Finalist for exceptional woman in mining
Women in Mining Awards, 2019
Recognised in mining and planning & environmental law
Best Lawyers, since 2017
Finalist for partner of the year in projects, energy & resources category
Lawyers Weekly, 2017
Finalist for partner of the year in the category of planning and environment
Lawyers, Weekly, 2017
NSW Women Lawyers Achievement Awards, 2015 and 2017
Women in Law Awards, 2015

Career & qualifications


  • Master of Laws, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), University of Technology Sydney
  • Bachelor of Business, University of Technology Sydney
  • Graduate Diploma (Legal Practice), University of Technology Sydney


  • New South Wales Law Society
  • Environment and Planning Law Association New South Wales
  • New South Wales Minerals Council 
  • Association of Mining and Exploration Companies

Insights Read more insight

Varying Development Standards: A Case for Change

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) is seeking feedback on its proposed reforms to clause 4.6 of the Standard Instrument – Local Environmental Plan (Standard Instrument)...

Should creating environmental planning instruments be subject to greater Parliamentary oversight?

Last week, the Regulation Committee of the NSW Legislative Council announced it was conducting an inquiry into whether State Environmental Planning Policies, or SEPPs, should be made disallowable...

One step closer to single-touch environmental approvals under the EPBC Act

Less than a month after the release of the Final Report of the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act), the Government has sought to...



External publications

  • Emerging issues for the Australian resources sector in 2017
  • Commencement of Land Access Arbitration Reforms
  • Biodiversity Conservation Act in NSW - impact of changes to laws governing biodiversity conservation and management
  • Compulsory land acquisition reforms: a more 'caring' approach
  • Crown land in NSW - consolidation of ownership, use and management
  • Review of the Environment Impact Assessment Process - Changes to approval process for large projects
  • Characterisation of prospecting activities in NSW
  • Digging Deeper into Resources Legislation and Policy
  • Commencement of the Resource Legislation Package in NSW
  • Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council v Minister for Planning and Infrastructure
  • Review of Commonwealth EPBC Act water trigger
  • Extension to NSW mining purposes exemption
  • NSW mining lease applications - new protocol for proof of extinguishment of native title
  • Proposed reforms to water regulation and pricing in NSW


  • Submission to the Department of Planning and Environment regarding the draft State Environmental Planning Policy (Educational Establishments and Child Care Facilities) 2017
  • Assisted the NSW Minerals Council and UDIA NSW during 2016 and 2017 in respect of submissions relating to proposed biodiversity, mining and planning reforms in NSW.


  • Presentation at the NSW Minerals Council’s Exploration Forum 2017 on Beware of the significant improvement – the implications of the Hume Coal case for exploration activities in NSW
  • Presentation at the NSW Minerals Council’s Exploration Forum 2016 on Allocation, Access and Activity Approvals – How the Recent Reforms to the Mining Act will impact on NSW Explorers
  • Presentations at a series of workshops conducted by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia on Environmental assessment requirements for the provision of public infrastructure.