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Elise Higgs

Elise Higgs

Senior Associate

Elise provides strategic and practical legal advice and partners with clients to navigate complex disputes, particularly across the mining, construction and infrastructure sectors.



In addition to a broad range of advisory work, Elise has acted for national and international companies in litigation in the Supreme Courts and the Federal Court and Court of Appeal, and in alternative dispute resolution processes including international arbitration and expert determination.

Elise’s experience includes:

  • acting for 9 coal companies in a Supreme Court of Queensland judicial review proceeding relating to access arrangements for the Central Queensland Coal Network
  • acting for a global mining company in judicial review proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia and Court of Appeal relating to an Indigenous Land Use Agreement for the development of a large coal mine in Queensland
  • acting for a global mining company in an expert determination of a force majeure dispute under a coal supply agreement by a former Queensland Court of Appeal judge*
  • defending a global mining company in proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales concerning a contractual dispute*
  • acting for a global mining company in an ICC Arbitration against subsidiaries of an ASX listed company in relation to the acquisition of a resource in South America*
  • acting for an Australian-Malaysian joint venture contractor in a $388m Supreme Court of Queensland proceeding relating to the construction of a coal export terminal and parallel alternative dispute resolution process
  • defending a global construction contractor in a proceeding commenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria by a subcontractor in relation to a large construction project in Melbourne
  • advising a global construction contractor in relation to complex upstream and downstream disputes relating to a major road infrastructure project in Brisbane
  • advising global mining and telecommunications companies on regulatory and reputational issues, including in relation to investigations, and anti-bribery and sanctions compliance
  • acting for one of Australia’s leading private property development companies in Supreme Court of Queensland and Federal Court of Australia proceedings relating to alleged breaches of contract and the Australian Consumer Law
  • advising global and national construction contractors on strategy in respect of multi-level insurance claims for property damage involving protracted negotiations with insurers
  • acting for a global construction company in an application under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) for adjudication of payment claim relating to a contract for the design and construct of a high rise development

*see Background



Elise holds a Bachelor of Laws (graduating with First Class Honours and the University Medal in Law) and Bachelor of Politics, Government and International Relations (graduating with First Class Honours) from Griffith University.

Elise was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2012. She joined Herbert Smith Freehills in 2015.  Previously, Elise worked for over 3 years at a major international law firm (experience marked with a * above was gained at that firm).