Proudly PNG

Yu or ait?

Being a local isn’t just a source of pride for us, it’s a speciality. We know what makes Papua New Guineans tick and how we like to do business. It’s these traits that our clients have come to trust and why we are uniquely positioned to help you.

Contact us to discover the difference.

Lukim yu.

Special Counsel
David Denniston


Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Laws

Admitted as a Solicitor - NSW (2003) QLD (2006) ACT (2013) High Court (2018) & PNG (2016)

Professional Background

Prior to LLLS, in PNG, David spent over 7 years consulting to international donors, large conglomerates, State Owned Enterprises, and advising government.

David previously practiced in Australia with major law firms and government.

Areas of Experience

Commercial, land, property, government, disputes, energy & resources, development, environment, climate change, water, employment, governance, international development.

Commercial, compliance & governance:

  • Company law, foreign certification, security agreements, share sale agreements, director’s responsibilities & indemnities, competition, superannuation investment, customs & excise.
  • Google, Mastercard, Coca Cola, Stripe – data protection, payments, sanctions, whistle-blower.
  • Falck – non-citizen and citizen employment contracts and agreement for contractor services.
  • Australian Department of Home Affairs (PNG) – contracts & contract management, assurance & audit program, compliance, risk & corporate governance, employment.
  • PNG Government - contracts, procurement, and public finance advice.
  • Murray Darling Basin Authority - procurement, grants, intergovernmental agreements, public finance laws, administrative decisions, delegations, IP, copyright & moral rights.
  • Royal Australian Navy - Seaworthiness Project - Defining controls to hazards and risks for the Seaworthiness Outcome with respect to international maritime laws.

Energy & resources projects, mergers & acquisitions, due diligence:

  • Water PNG – Public & private infrastructure development, SOE institutional framework and legal and operational status advice.
  • PNG & Bougainville mining laws – opportunities, risks, M&As.
  • BHP Olympic Dam expansion - regulatory approvals and verification of the EIS for the mine and a new airport, town, railway, rock dump, pipeline and desalination plant.
  • BHP proposed combination with Rio Tinto – due diligence and remedies advice (substantial lessening of competition) to the EC, and third-party consent & material contract issues.
  • WICET (coal export terminal) - regulatory approvals from brownfield to operation and financing decisions. Drafting regulatory parts of the asset agreement and framework deed.
  • Mitsui – due diligence, international uranium regulatory framework for uranium exploration, mining, handling, transport, export and possession, and permits, for a large merger.
  • Newmont - mining tenement, operational and environmental regulatory compliance matters, transfer of mining tenures and environmental authorities.
  • Santos - project approvals for Gladstone LNG hub, including a pipeline and railway.

Environment & planning, infrastructure, water, climate change, land, property, native title:

  • RenewWest – REDD+, climate change laws, forestry licences, carbon capture
  • United Nations Environment Program – PNG legal framework for the AFOLU, energy & adaptation sectors, for its 2021-30 Paris climate change commitments (NDC).
  • Rio Tinto Coal - environmental authorities and management plans, mine rehabilitation.
  • Environmental offsets and social impact mitigation advice.
  • Mobil Oil & Shell - liability of representatives, executive officers and corporations regarding past and future land contamination, environmental harm and notification requirements.
  • Deloitte - Water issues including ownership, tenure, transfer and contractual performance re: water rights in the sale of the Lady Annie mine to Cape Lambert.
  • Gold Coast City Council – water service delivery and infrastructure requirements, and infrastructure charging for major developments.
  • Murray Darling Basin Authority - power to flood private and public land, environmental watering, land acquisition & compensation, water infrastructure construction, water markets, water use compliance.
  • Santos, Bechtel, Surat Basin Railway, WICET - GHG reporting, ETS carbon permits, LNG activity definition under the EITE scheme, energy efficiency & clean energy schemes.

Land, property, customary land, native title, cultural heritage:

  • American Embassy, Pacific Industries, Samaritan Aviation – transfer of land and title matters, including customary land conversion and probate.
  • Smit Lamnalco – sub-lease, planning and zoning matters.
  • Water PNG – Advised on over 200 State Lease issues of all types.
  • Steamships – advised on over 300 tenure matters incl. contested State Lease allocations, fee simple titles, survey’s, titles, Land Board decisions, fraudulent transactions, land rent, valuations, forfeitures, encumbrances, easements, encroachments, reserves, caveats, access, covenants, statutory compliance, subdivisions, consolidations, title conversion, vacant land - incl. prepare maters for trial. Advised on conveyances and sub-leases.
  • NSW Government – transactions for the sale and purchase of land (commercial, industrial, residential, heritage, National Park. Lease & licence agreements, easements and caveats.
  • Gold Coast City Council – development application advice incl. objections, plans & zoning.
  • Skycorp Developments - development applications and approvals, appeal and adverse submissions for a 44 level residential tower, Brisbane.
  • Numerous clients – native title advice re: law and claims, future acts, and prescribed body corporates. Aboriginal cultural heritage laws and impacts.


  • PNG Government - many administrative reviews and commercial trials re: ICT regulation, contracts, land, employment, maritime, leadership tribunal, and criminal review.
  • Hidden Valley Mine, PNG - defence of a claim for environmental nuisance and damages from gold and silver mining operations.
  • Kagara Zinc – tenement and environmental authorities, tenement application procedure, and appeal rights for the reduction of tenement areas.
  • Gold Coast City Council – many environment & planning trials for greenfield and brownfield residential and commercial developments, including objections and planning instruments.
  • Murray Darling Basin Authority – implementation of the Basin Plan & powers under the Water Act. Damages claim for environmental watering, flood mitigation & regulated flows.
  • NSW Government – many land valuation and compulsory acquisition trials for industrial, commercial, and heritage land and buildings.
  • Torres Strait Native Title Office - land and sea native title applications, lndigenous Land Use Agreements, future acts.

International Development:

  • Expertise France – establishing a foreign enterprise, tax exempt status
  • American Embassy – Vienna Conventions, Foreign Currency Accounts, tax exemptions
  • DFAT & Attorney General’s Department (Australia) / Department of Justice & Attorney General (PNG) – technical & practice management, capacity building, education, bilateral agreements.


  • Law Society of Papua New Guinea
  • Commonwealth Lawyers Association – PNG Council Member
  • Governance Institute of Australia - Affiliated
  • Association of Corporate Counsel (Australia)
  • South Pacific Lawyers Association
  • Business Link Pacific – SME Business Advisor
  • Officer – Australian Army (Reserves)