Who We Are

A law firm that puts people and planet ahead of profit

Our team of highly experienced lawyers deliver quality legal services in the fields of environmental law, human rights, administrative law and planning law.

We aim to make these high quality services affordable to everyone and extend access to justice to people making a positive difference in the world, helping them achieve their goals for the benefit of all.

Sean Ryan LLM, LLB, BSc, GradDipLP

Our team is led by Principal Lawyer Sean Ryan, who has 20 years of experience in providing legal advice and representation to clients in government, industry and community sectors.

“As a child I watched my local bushland cleared for development and learnt about global impacts of climate change.  Now, as a parent, I am committed to helping find ways we can care for each other’s needs as a society without compromising the environment we leave for our children and grandchildren.

I have learnt about the environment through the lenses of law, science, economics and culture.  I have worked on our relationship to the natural world in the public sector (in Queensland Government) private sector (at a top-tier private law firm) and community sector (at the Environmental Defenders Office – EDO).

For over 10 years at EDO I ran public interest climate litigation for clients in the Queensland Land Court, Supreme Court of Queensland, Queensland Appeal Court, Federal Court, Federal Appeal Court and High Court. This culminated in the first ever refusal of a coal mine on climate and human rights grounds in Australia.

Helping my clients achieve their aims to protect culture and nature for future generations is incredibly rewarding.

Working with First Nations clients, I have come to appreciate that we have a lot to learn from the world’s oldest living cultures about how to live sustainably on this continent.

I also saw the opportunity to create something new, a specialist environmental law firm that balances commercial return with public interest outcomes while putting clients and the administration of justice first.  Ninox Law aims to break from the typical models of law firms to create a small, nimble firm that is place based and client focused,  protecting our environment by empowering those that care for nature with affordable legal services.” Sean Ryan, Principal Lawyer

“Sean Ryan is an exceptional environmental lawyer and an outstanding manager able to lead teams working on multiple, complex cases spanning different jurisdictions. He is meticulous and hardworking but, more than that, he is a strategic litigator, able to identify cases worth running from those that aren’t. He is calm and measured under the intense pressure of high-profile litigation. He is also a pleasure to work with and cares greatly for the lawyers working for him, encouraging them not only to work hard and show initiative, but also to balance their work for long-term success.” – Dr Chris McGrath, barrister-at-law.

Alison Rose BA, JD, GradDipLP

Our Special Counsel, Alison Rose, is a highly effective strategic litigator with over seven years experience who, with Sean, has achieved groundbreaking results for her clients in climate and environmental justice cases.

“I believe there is no environmental justice without social justice.  I came to the law after working for years alongside those trying to create a better future for us all, completing a Juris Doctor with distinction in 2016. My research thesis was on the impact Adaptive Environmental Management has on genuine community participation in the environmental assessment of large coal and gas projects. 

For clients I have run cases twice invalidating the approval process for the North Galilee Water Scheme proposed by Adani Mining Pty Ltd and the historic Youth Verdict case finding that a Queensland coal mine should be refused on climate and human rights grounds. I have appeared for clients in the Queensland Land Court, Supreme Court, Federal Court and Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

I am particularly proud of our work advocating for cultural rights in the Youth Verdict case, which resulted in the Land Court taking evidence ‘on country’ and following First Law protocols for the first time in a mining objection hearing.

I believe the key to our success is that we take the time to listen to our clients and learn from them so that we can develop effective legal strategies together.  I am particularly committed to working with First Nations clients and their communities to centre First Law by identifying and preventing limitations to their human rights, including their right to self-determination.“  Alison Rose, Special Counsel

Alison is also the Sabin Centre for Climate Justice National Rapporteur for Australia and a Director of the Women’s Climate Congress board.