Samantha Daly Partner

Meet Samantha

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.


Finalist, Exceptional Woman in Mining
2019 Women in Mining Awards
Listed as a leading lawyer in Planning and Environmental Law
Best Lawyers Australia, 2017 - 2020
Finalist, Partner of the Year: Projects, Energy and Resources
Lawyers Weekly, 2017
Finalist, Partner of the Year: Planning and Environment
Lawyers, Weekly, 2017
Women in Law Awards, 2015
NSW Women Lawyers Achievement Awards, 2015 and 2017
Recognised as a leading Environment and Climate Change lawyers
Doyles Guide 2019-2020

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 of Legal Practice – University of Technology, Sydney


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

Insights Read more insight

Queensland Government introduces further mine rehabilitation reforms

Recent amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) (EP Act) further reform the mine rehabilitation regime in Queensland.

A single-touch approach to environmental approvals: First tranche of EPBC Act reforms introduced

This latest review commenced on 19 October 2019 and examines the operation of the EPBC Act and the extent to which its objectives have been achieved.

Modern slavery reporting in Australia: COVID-19 and other updates

Deadlines to lodge your Modern Slavery Statement(s) have now shifted to account for the disruption and complications caused by COVID-19.



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.