Our People

Sean Rush LLB, LLM (dist)

Sean is an international petroleum lawyer licensed to practice law in New Zealand and the UK. He commenced his career with Agip UK in London 1996 and moved to senior roles with Dragon Oil (interim General Counsel) and then with Petro-Canada (Legal Manager North West Europe/Senior Counsel International) until their merger with Suncor in 2009. Thereafter Sean was a partner and Head of Oil and Gas at London law firm Memery Crystal through to 2012. He was noted in the 'Legal 500' for his 'pragmatism, persistence and availability.' Sean returned to New Zealand in 2013 as the Upstream Commercial Manager for Todd Energy, New Zealand's largest domestic oil and gas company giving him visibility across all of New Zealand's major oil and gas producing fields including Maui, Pohokura, Kapuni and the Maui pipeline. He formed Spindletop in February 2015.

Sean is a former Chairman of the International Bar Association's UK Energy Lawyer's Group and is the first resident New Zealander to be appointed to the global Board of Directors for the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. He has a Master's in Petroleum Law and Policy (with distinction) from Dundee's Centre for Energy, Mineral and Petroleum Law and Policy.

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Email: seanrush@spindletop.co.nz
Phone: 027 706 7360 New Zealand; 07740 183 076 United Kingdom
Skype: s_e_rush

Kathryn Sykes BA, LLB (Hons)

Kathryn is an international petroleum legal adviser admitted to practice law in the UK and New Zealand.

Kathryn commenced practice with New Zealand leading law firm, Bell Gully, and moved to be sole in-house counsel with OMV New Zealand from 2004 – 2006. After moving to London she became a senior associate with Baker Botts and spent time in both their London and Dubai offices. Thereafter she consulted to Centrica’s upstream team in Windsor before being appointed as Senior Counsel with Marathon’s Upstream legal team in London. Kathryn provided advice to Marathon's North Sea operations and shale gas opportunities in Poland. Since returning to New Zealand Kathryn has acted as Programme Manager on a major Government infrastructure PPP project and a senior solicitor for the Ministry of Primary Industries.

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Email: kathrynsykes@spindletop.co.nz

Frederik (Frik) Badenhorst B.Juris, LLB (Hons), LLM

Frik is an experienced legal professional with extensive international in-house counsel and private law firm experience in a variety of disciplines, including oil and gas, energy, mining and construction law and supply chain. A South African by birth, training and qualification from 2004 - 2015 Frik was a senior counsel with SASOL, South Africa's leading energy and chemicals company. At SASOL, Frik was exposed to a wide range of commercial arrangements including upstream oil and gas, gas to liquids processing and mining. In doing so Frik advised in regards to projects located in numerous jurisdictions including Mozambique, South Africa, Canada, Gabon and Australia. Frik advises on commercial issues common in mining and petroleum both in New Zealand and internationally including JV arrangements, product storage, lifting and sales, processing agreements, farm outs, shareholder agreements, EPC, streaming and royalty agreements, on and offshore drilling and well site support agreements.

Frik is a member of the AIPN and the Law Society of Northern Province, South Africa.

Email: frikbadenhorst@spindletop.co.nz

Duncan Milne BA, LLB

Duncan commenced his career in the Canadian oil and gas industry in 1997 in various technical capacities including data mapping, well site management and health and safety compliance. He switched to law in 2006 working for leading Canadian law firm, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, as an energy litigator and regulatory analyst to Alberta’s ‘oil patch' through to 2010.

Since 2010 Duncan has had in-house management roles in Australian service companies supporting the oil and gas sector as well as working for New Zealand operators providing legal and regulatory advice.

Duncan is admitted to practice law in New Zealand, New South Wales and Alberta.

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Email: duncanmilne@spindletop.co.nz