Samantha Daly Partner

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

She advises her clients on all aspects of planning and environment regulation including approvals, compliance, development contributions, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, water, biodiversity offsets, native title, cultural heritage, contaminated land and pollution. 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 also practices in the area of modern slavery and regularly advises clients on their reporting obligations in Australia as well as achieving 'best practice' in their industry. 

Samantha has contributed to some of the largest resources projects in Australia and is a trusted advisor for a number of industry groups in the energy and resources and education sectors.

She was recognised as a leading Environment and Climate Change lawyer in Doyle’s Guide in 2019 - 2023 and listed in Best Lawyers in Australia from 2017 - 2023. She was a finalist in the 2021 Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards in the ‘Planning and Environment’ category and the 2021 Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards in the category of ‘Partner of the Year- BigLaw’. She was also included in Australasian Lawyer’s Elite Women 2021 list – being only one of 50 women nationally to achieve this listing.



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.


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

The NSW housing supply problem – the making of the TOD SEPP and 4 other areas to watch

The NSW State Government is well underway in utilising a number of levers to address the housing supply crisis, particularly with the commencement of the TOD SEPP. The question remains as to...

Commonwealth Nature Repair Bill passes: offsets are off the menu

Both houses of Parliament have now passed the Commonwealth Nature Repair Bill 2023 (Bill). The Bill received the Governor’s assent on 11 December 2023.

Embracing the energy transition: NSW energy policy updates

The NSW Government has proposed a new draft Energy Policy Framework consisting of a number of guidelines and supplementary documentation to support a more streamlined decision making process for...



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.