Solicitor for the NT
The Solicitor for the Northern Territory (SFNT) provides the NT Government with high quality, timely, whole-of-government legal services on strategic issues. It maintains excellence and integrity in the Government's legal dealings by the provision of quality advice, representation and documentation to Government Ministers, agencies and employees. SFNT is a body corporate established under the Law Officers Act. It was established in 1986 as part of legislation that abolished the office of the Crown Solicitor.
The Law Officers Act provides that the Chief Executive of the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice is the person who appoints lawyers who may act in the name of the SFNT. Collectively, these lawyers are the SFNT, and notices of appointment to so act are published in the NT Government Gazette. The SFNT incorporates the Aboriginal Land, Commercial and Litigation Divisions. It also manages Agency Based Lawyers, the Graham Nicholson Law Collection and Agency Legal Services.
The Aboriginal Land Division provides specialist legal services to the Northern Territory Government on Native Title and Aboriginal land and related matters It provides advice, legal representation and assistance on issues concerning, or claims under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cth). It also provides advice in areas such as mining, property, land acquisition, pastoral and Crown Lands legislation.
The Division retains a core group of experienced solicitors to provide in-house legal advice and representation on whole of Government strategic or sensitive issues involving native title or Aboriginal Land matters. The matters litigated or negotiated can be politically sensitive having the potential to affect outcomes for other matters and influence future relationships with Indigenous groups.
The Commercial Division provides strategic commercial legal advice to the Northern Territory Government, its agencies and statutory bodies. The Division applies a whole of Government perspective to its legal advice in areas including:
Land development and management
A wide range of general commercial matters.
The Commercial Division is currently involved in various major projects in the Northern Territory including the Darwin City Waterfront Redevelopment, the Inpex Project, the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program, the Darwin Correctional Centre Public Private Partnership and the Marine Supply Base Project.
The Litigation Division is responsible for civil litigation and administrative law matters and provides legal services including advice and representation on a range of issues to protect and advance the interests of the Northern Territory. Requests for advice come from Ministers and various other Government agencies and departments. The Division aims to:
- Provide high quality legal representation for the Northern Territory before all courts and tribunals.
- Provide accurate, timely and practical legal advice as to the rights and liabilities of government.
- Maintain specialist legal services to provide legal advice to the Attorney General, other Ministers and Cabinet, other government agencies, especially as to high priority or strategic issues.
- Assist agencies with strategic management or outsourced legal services managed by the Agency Legal Services Unit.
Criminal Property Forfeiture Unit – was established in 2007 to assist the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and Commissioner of Police with Criminal Property Forfeiture matters. There are a mix of Local Court matters and Supreme Court matters underway.
Solicitor for the Northern Territory
Level 1 Old Admiralty Towers
68 The Esplanade, Darwin NT
GPO Box 1722
DARWIN, NT 0801
Email address: legalservices.SFNT@nt.gov.au