Protecting and strengthening agribusiness operations

Miller Harris Lawyers’ portfolio of agribusiness clients appreciate the fact that we understand the importance of this regional and foundational industry. Increasing demand from developing Asian markets and our proximity to these markets, means agribusiness operators in Cairns and North Queensland are ideally positioned to prosper from a range of opportunities that are expected to arise in the short to medium term. We work closely with our clients to help assess and realise these opportunities in a strategic and secure way.

Our agribusiness lawyers work with clients in the dairy, sugar, fishing, fruit and vegetable and forestry farming sectors has strengthened our knowledge and experience in a variety of technical farming legalities including infrastructure development, environmental laws and licensing, cooperative agreements, supply chain advice, organisational structuring and more.

We offer legal advice and services for:

Contract preparation and advice

Agribusiness clients' contractual requirements can include agreements with customers, suppliers, landowners and other stakeholders. Negotiating and securing contracts that correctly reflect the commercial arrangements agreed and, provide appropriate protection against the risks involved, is key to underpinning the strength of your agribusiness. We work closely with our clients to ensure contractual arrangements are well understood, appropriately documented, reflect the commercial terms agreed and adequately protect your rights. We can also review and advise on contracts and agreements prepared by your customers, suppliers and/or other business stakeholders.

Structuring and restructuring

We recognise that, as an agribusinesses operator, you are subject to numerous external factors beyond your control that can significantly impact profitability of your operation from year to year. We therefore work closely with you to develop flexible business structures that can respond to both opportunity and challenge.

Dispute resolution

Should disputes arrive over land, stock, contracts, water rights or other property, Miller Harris Lawyers can assist in achieving the best outcome for you. We take the time to understand the history surrounding any dispute and work on your behalf to negotiate a swift and beneficial outcome.

Environmental law

Navigating and complying with increasingly complex environmental law and licensing regulatory systems is one of our most valuable offerings to our agribusiness clients. We work with you to understand the implications of changing regulations and to ensure compliance, as well as best practice. Our team keep abreast of developments in environmental law and are proactive in advising our clients on the potential impacts on operations from these changes and how such impacts can be mitigated.

Water licenses, rights and entitlements

As one of the most precious assets to your business, your water rights and usage needs to be defended at all times. We can ensure that systems are put in place to help protect your water rights and entitlements, as well as advising on licensing issues including transfers and compliance requirements.

Livestock acquisition

While we may not be experts in livestock, we understand the investment that they represent to your business and can assist you in negotiating acquisition terms and forecasting for stock growth.

Share farming

Many agribusinesses can benefit from receiving income from share farm agreements. It is important that arrangements are clearly documented, flexible and clearly understood by all parties involved. We can assist you with the preparation of agreements as well as providing advice on your rights and obligations under existing agreements and arrangements.

Tenure advice

Miller Harris Lawyers has experience with the various types of land tenure associated with farmland including freehold, leasehold, pastoral leases, Crown leases, forestry rights, access rights and easements. We are aware of the specific issues that can arise under these differing tenure arrangements and can advise you on how your security of tenure can be protected. Miller Harris Lawyers is also able to assist where disputes over tenure and access rights have arisen.

Meet the experts in

Sean Walsh


Sean is an experienced business and commercial lawyer, having practised exclusively in these areas for almost 30 years.

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Melissa Nielsen


Melissa has extensive experience in all facets of business, commercial and property law with her clientele base ranging from larger publicly-listed corporations through to privately-owned companies and self-employed clients.

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Nigel Hales


Nigel is the only Queensland Law Society accredited property law specialist in Cairns.

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Rachelle Parker

Senior Associate

Rachelle is one of our commercial lawyers based in our Mareeba office.  She primarily practices in the area of commercial and property law.

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