Robin H. Chambers AO

Robin H. Chambers AO

Special Counsel
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Credentials
  • Insight

Mr. Robin Chambers AO is the co-founder of Chambers & Company and has been the Senior Partner since its establishment in 1984. He has served as Chadbourne's Special Counsel – China since 2003 and spends approximately half of each year working in China. He was formerly General Counsel of CRA Limited (now Rio Tinto Limited) for 14 years and lead lawyer on major mining projects in Australia involving billions of dollars of equity investment and export sales contracts. His practice primarily involves acting as the lead lawyer on international projects, with particular focus on China.

Mr. Chambers AO has advised a number of major Chinese state-owned enterprises on their investments in Australia over a 30-year period. He has also advised U.S., European and Australian corporations on a range of projects in China. He has leading edge experience on the negotiation and documentation of numerous joint ventures in Australia and overseas, together with project management experience coordinating the participation of numerous interested parties at all stages and the project financing of major projects by international banking syndicates. His involvement extends to projects in more than 30 countries.

2014 Projects

  • Appointed as Vice Chairman – Legal Affairs of Guoxin International Development Co., Ltd. in April 2014. 
  • Appointed to the position of Economic Expert to the Chinese Consulate Expertise Panel in Melbourne in March 2014.
  • Appointed in conjunction with China’s largest law firm, Dacheng Law Offices to advise China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) on its acquisition of a 25% interest in Paladin’s uranium project in Namibia. CNNC is China’s largest nuclear power utility.
  • Appointed as adviser to Puralube Holding GmbH on its joint venture with Weichai Power Co., Ltd, a major Chinese State Owned Enterprise, on the construction of reprocessed oil facilities across China in 2014. 

1984 to 2013 Other Projects

  • Appointed as lead lawyer to the Chinese Government’s AUD$420 million Channar joint venture between the Chinese Ministry of Metallurgical Industry and Hamersley Iron in 1984 which was China’s first major overseas investment.
  • Appointed as lead lawyer for four of China’s largest steel mills, namely Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Corporation Limited (WISCO), Hebei Iron & Steel (Group) Corporation Ltd (formerly Tangshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd (Tanggang)), Maanshan Iron & Steel Company Limited (Magang) and Jiangsu Shagang Group Co Ltd (Shagang) on the Wheelarra joint venture with BHP Billiton, which is China’s largest operating joint venture in Australia. The sales contracts for this project and the Channar project exceeded AU$30 billion.
  • Appointed as adviser to numerous Australian and US corporations on a range of Chinese joint ventures during the 1980's and 1990's.
  • Appointed as adviser on 6 other iron ore projects in Australia involving Chinese steel mills.
  • Appointed as adviser to Sinosteel on China’s first uranium project in Australia signed in April 2007.
  • Appointed as adviser to Yunnan Tin Company Group Limited, the world’s largest tin producer, on China’s first resources Australian IPO in May 2007.
  • Appointed as adviser to General Chemical Corporation of the United States on its major joint venture with Tangshan Sanyou, one of China's largest chemical producers for the transshipment of a chemical plant from Michigan to China in the period from 2001 to 2003.
  • Appointed as adviser to Cryogenic Fuel Technology Pty Limited, attending negotiations and preparing documentation of a major production sharing agreement for the development of a coal-bed methane project in Henan Province connected to one of the largest coal mines in China in September 2008. The capex for this project is estimated to be US$600 million.
  • Appointed as adviser on the assignment of coal bed methane exploration rights from a US company to another, in which China United Coalbed Methane Co., Ltd (CUCBM) is the Chinese Party to three related production sharing agreements.
  • Appointed as adviser to China Development Bank on its loan to a Chinese company to acquire equity of an Australian mining company.
  • Appointed as adviser to a German waste oil recycling company, Puralube GmbH on its waste oil joint venture in China in 2009. This project has been revived in 2014 in a new joint venture with Weichai Power Co., Ltd.
  • Appointed as adviser to a German company on its negotiation and cooperation with China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) in relation to used oil recycling in China.
  • Appointed as adviser to OAO Rosneft Oil Company, Russia’s largest oil company, on a real estate transaction in connection with the establishment of its operations in China.
  • Appointed as adviser to a major US steel company in negotiations with four Chinese major steel mills in connection with a potential transaction.
  • Appointed as adviser regarding Chinese investment in the $5 billion Oakajee Port and Rail Infrastructure Project in Western Australian in October 2009.
  • Appointed as adviser to Harbin Power Engineering Corporation, China’s largest power engineering enterprise on a joint venture with HRL Ltd for an $850 million clean coal project in the La Trobe Valley in Victoria in 2008.
  • Appointed as adviser to China National Electrical Engineering Corporation with HRL on their replacement project to do an EPC contract for 600MW IDGCC power plant in Australia for the Victorian Clean Coal project in October 2009.
  • Appointed as adviser to Yunnan Tin Group, China’s largest tin producer, on the Renison Tin joint venture with Metals X Corporation in Tasmania in 2009 to 2010.
  • Appointed as adviser to WISCO, one of China's largest steel mills, on the Eyre Iron joint venture with Centrex Metals Ltd and the Hawks Nest Iron Ore joint venture with Western Plains, both in South Australia during 2009 to 2010.
  • Appointed as adviser to Risun Chemicals Group Limited, China's largest coke producer, on its share acquisition and joint ventures with an Australian coal company in 2010.
  • Appointed as adviser to Henan Yuguang, China's largest lead producer, on its Australian lead joint venture and share subscription in Kimberley Metals, a company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), and their joint exploration and development of a lead and silver mine in the Kimberley area in 2010.
  • Appointed as adviser to Sinosteel on the Australian law aspects of its IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2009.
  • Appointed as adviser to the China Bank of Communications on its loan to an Australian company controlled by a Chinese private enterprise for its acquisition of an ASX listed company which holds the tenements for an iron ore mine in West Africa in 2010.
  • Appointed as adviser to Asia Gas Pipeline LLP (AGP), whose Chinese shareholder is Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline Company Limited (Tap Line), a wholly subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNCP), on its gas transportation arrangements.
  • Appointed as adviser to Sinosteel, China's largest iron ore trader, on the negotiations for the extension of the Channar joint venture which extended over the period from 2005 to 2010.
  • Appointed as adviser to WISCO on its Port Joint Venture at Port Spencer in connection with Eyre Iron Joint Venture with Centrex Metals in 2011 to 2012.
  • Appointed as adviser to Yunnan Tin Group in connection with a take-over of a major listed Australian copper gold company in Sydney, New South Wales in 2012.
  • Appointed as adviser on a proposed joint venture with a major Chinese State Owned Enterprise of a rare earth project in 2013.
  • Appointed as adviser to HCDI Group in relation to its global commercialisation strategy for its hydrocarbon based solution for breaking down oil-sludge.
  • Appointed as general legal counsel for South African based Omega Health on its proposed complementary medicine business expansion in Australasia, Europe, Middle East and China.
  • Appointed as adviser to Singapore and London based Zamin Group on its acquisition of three Australian companies and their mining assets in Western Australia.
  • Appointed as adviser for the ASX listing of Shenhua International Ltd, a PRC-based home textiles company raising over AUD$14 million and he continues to act for and advise the company on listing rules compliance and general corporate and commercial matters.
  • Appointed as adviser for Jiangxi Topgold, a Chinese gold exploration and mining company for its pre-IPO and IPO seeking to list on the ASX.
  • Appointed as adviser to private Chinese enterprises seeking to diversify and expand their investment portfolio into mining projects, including prominent real estate development groups such as Anhui Yucai Group’s strategic investments in ASX companies Kingston Resources Ltd and Oroya Mining Ltd including share placements and issues underwriting, directors’ duties and shareholder rights.
  • Appointed as adviser to an Australian human resources company, Drake International to set up a Wholly Foreign-Own Enterprise (WFOE) in Chengdu, China.


  • Appointed by the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb AO MP, as a member of Australia’s first Trade and Investment Policy Advisory Council (TIPAC) for his unsurpassed experience in China.
  • At the invitation of the Chinese Government, member of Australia’s first legal delegation to China in 1981, and has a 33-year history of involvement with China.
  • Appointed as adviser to the China State Council’s Economic Legislative Centre in 1981 headed by Mr. Gu Ming to advise on the drafting of China’s new joint venture laws.
  • Advised the National People’s Congress Economic Legislation Commission in 1985 after invitation from its Deputy Director, Mr. Song Rufen on China’s joint venture law, corporations law, etc.
  • Appointed by the Australian Attorney General Alexander Downer to the prestigious Australia-China Council advising the Australian government on Australian-Chinese education and cultural projects.
  • At the invitation of the Australian Ambassador to China, participated in the Australia China Free Trade Agreement negotiations on resources projects in November 2005.
  • A member of the top level delegation to China in July 2006 led by the Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock making submissions to China on Australian legal services to China.


  • In June 2012, Mr. Chambers AO received the prestigious award of the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for “his distinguished services to Australia-China relations, particularly through the promotion of trade and investment relationships in the minerals and metals sector, and as an adviser on international corporations law.”

Activities and affiliations

  • Member: Law Institute of Victoria; Law Council of Australia; International Bar Association; Australian Mining and Petroleum Law Association (AMPLA) (co-founder, president and life member); Board and Executive Committee Australia China Business Council (ACBC) nationally and in Victoria (since 1986); Advisory Board, Advisory Board, International Centre for Excellence in Asia-Pacific Studies, Australia National University; China Working Group on Legal Services, International Legal Services Advisory Council (ILSAC); Australia China Council; Australian Institute of Company Directors; Pacific Institute of Australia; Asia Society, Australasia Centre; Australian Institute of International Affairs (honorary member); Officer of the Order of Australia.
  • Director: Sinosteel Australia Pty Ltd and Sinosteel Channar Pty Ltd (Australian subsidiaries of Sinosteel Corporation, Beijing, China and member of the Joint Venture Policy Committee); YTC Resources Limited (Australian investment of Yunnan Tin Company Group Limited (YTG), Kunming, China); Wugang Australia Resources Investment Pty Ltd (Australian subsidiary of Wuhan Iron & Steel Corporation, Wuhan, China); Member of the Management Committee of the Renison Tin Joint Venture representing YTG.


3 of 33 events