Peter Seidel is the partner responsible for co-ordinating Arnold Bloch Leibler’s public interest law contributions and is head of the firm’s native title practice. His position emphasises the notion of giving back to the community and acknowledges a commitment that both he and the firm have to pro bono work. Notably, Peter represented the Yorta Yorta Aboriginal peoples in their landmark native title claim, High Court appeal and associated legal transactions.
He has a particular skill for dealing with delicate, sensitive legal issues; he’s taken a huge weight off my shoulders over the years.
Client quote, Chambers Asia Pacific
In 2008, Peter was appointed an Adjunct Professor of Law at La Trobe University. In this position, Peter advises the University’s law school on the direction of its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and strengthens its connections with the legal profession. He also supports La Trobe’s public interest law programme by advising on its development and taking part in its teaching.
In his public interest law co-ordinating role at Arnold Bloch Leibler, Peter also receives and acts on requests for pro-bono legal assistance through Justice Connect, having previously served on the board of the Public Interest Law Clearing House from 2002 to 2007.
Peter has been highlighted as one of Australia’s leading lawyers in the area of native title since 2008 in successive editions of Chambers Asia-Pacific. Peter is widely acclaimed for his deep commitment to his work with traditional owners. One client highlights: “He has a particular skill for dealing with delicate, sensitive legal issues; he’s taken a huge weight off my shoulders over the years.” Amongst other important Indigenous bodies, Peter acts as a trusted adviser to Anindilyakwa Land Council, Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, Yamatji Malpa Aboriginal, Native Title Services Victoria and the Wantok Musik Foundation. Peter is also recognised by Best Lawyers® International in the areas of native title law and public law. Most recently, Peter was ranked by Doyle’s Guide as ‘recommended’ in the category of Leading Native Title Lawyers – Australia, 2015.
Peter joined Arnold Bloch Leibler as a lawyer in 1993 and became a partner in 2002. Previously, he completed a three-year position at the Federal Court of Australia as associate to Acting Chief Justice Sweeney. He is entered on the High Court Register of Practitioners and is entitled to practice as a barrister and solicitor of both the Federal Court and Supreme Court of Victoria.
Peter was the inaugural recipient of the Pro Bono Award at the 2004 LIV’s President’s Awards. In 2006, he received the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Human Rights Award in the law category in recognition of his significant contribution to the promotion and advancement of human rights in Australia. In 2007, Peter received the Victorian Law Foundation’s Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award for his pro-bono service to Indigenous peoples. In 2014 Peter was a finalist in the LIV’s pro-bono lawyer of the year.
Peter heads the public interest law practice of the firm. His practice focuses on the following areas:
public interest law, advising peak, charitable and not-for-profit Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations on governance and constitutional related issues, promoting cultural, social justice and environmental outcomes;
native title and associated tax, governance, structuring and general commercial advice, concentrating on achieving effective, practical and sustainable outcomes, respecting at all times his clients’ goals, and the importance of obtaining their free, prior and informed consent; and commercial law and commercial litigation, including contractual advice, alternative dispute resolution, consultancy and service agreements.