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Norman Waterhouse
Nick is the head of the native title, resources and renewable energy practice at Norman Waterhouse and is recognised nationally as a market leader in his chosen fields.

About Nick

Nick is one of the leading native title lawyers in Australia and has the unique distinction of having significant experience representing all three groups with major interests in this field: Government; the resources and energy industry; and Aboriginal native title holder, claimant and traditional owner groups. This has equipped Nick with an unparalleled insight into the differing interests and imperatives of all parties involved, allowing him to achieve swift and lasting outcomes when undertaking negotiations.

In this work, Nick has negotiated and advised on a number of market defining mining, energy and infrastructure agreements, many of which have State-wide economic significance.

Nick also holds an advanced degree in economics from the University of Adelaide, with a particular interest in resources and environmental economics. This further enables Nick to practically help resolve negotiations between Aboriginal, Government and corporate parties.

Nick also specialises in the fields of constitutional and administrative law, and has conducted significant reported litigation (both as solicitor and counsel) in these areas throughout Courts and Tribunals including the High Court of Australia.

Throughout his career, Nick has undertaken a number of test cases and leading litigations, including:

  • Representing Local Government in respect of the historic Kaurna native title determination.
  • Finalising the Barngarla native title determination in Croft on behalf of the Barngarla Native Title Claim Group v State of South Australia (No 3) [2018] FCA 552.
  • The historic High Court constitutional law challenge to the Federal WorkChoices legislation: New South Wales v the Commonwealth of Australia [2006] 231 ALR 1.
  • Acting as successful counsel in the Full Court of the Supreme Court of South Australia in the landmark case of Starkey & Ors v the State of South Australia and Ors [2011] SASCFC 164, and acting in relation to the Special Leave proceedings in the High Court of Australia.
  • Acting as prosecutor for the City of Adelaide in their successful prosecution against members of StreetChurch for preaching without authorisation in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall.


  • Mining and Resources
  • Renewable Energy
  • Native Title and Aboriginal Heritage
  • Constitutional, Administrative law and ICAC
  • Industrial Relations


  • Chair of Accessible Housing Association 2015 – 2019


  • Doyle’s Guide’s: Leading Native title Lawyers (national)
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