A global LNG leader with French culture is Stephen’s perfect fit

As General Counsel for Total E&P Australia, Stephen is responsible for all legal matters, from providing legal advice during commercial negotiations and on Total’s non-operated Australian oil and gas projects to managing all aspects of corporate law for the subsidiary. He returned to Australia in early 2013 after a four-year stint in Total’s corporate headquarters in Paris which for him was the perfect fit, providing exposure to a global LNG business and enabling him to utilize his French language skills. 

Global LNG leadership a major attraction

When Stephen joined Total in 2009, a key driver was to work for a global leader in the LNG industry where he had the chance to flex his skills internationally. Based in Paris for Total as part of the Exploration & Production legal division, Stephen, who has both a Masters in Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and French, certainly got what he’d bargained for. In this role he provided legal advice on deals as diverse as oil sands in Canada to unconventional gas shales in Denmark to a new country entry in Africa.

Using difference as a competitive advantage

During his time at Total, Stephen has found that he has to use a broad range of skills to deal with multiple challenges at the same time, where being adaptable, pragmatic and finding creative solutions is key. He finds the backing of a company the size of Total is invaluable, bringing credibility and strength in negotiations, and believes that Total’s unique culture often gives it an advantage over its competitors, with the French sense of adventure and strong technical capabilities allowing it to take a different approach to growing its business and finding new ways to deliver better energy.

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"I’ve worked on many complex legal issues in different jurisdictions and on both conventional and unconventional energy projects. I simply wouldn’t have had this experience if I wasn’t working for a leading international energy company like Total."

Short Resume

  • 2013–present

    General Counsel, Total E&P Australia, Perth

  • 2009–2012

    Senior Counsel, E&P Division, Total SA, Paris

  • 2001-2009

    Special Counsel & Team Manager, LNG Projects, Woodside Energy Ltd

  • 1999-2001

    Senior Associate, Gadens, Perth

  • 1996-1999

    Senior Solicitor, Ince & Co, London

  • 1991-1995

    Senior Associate, Dwyer Durack, Perth

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