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David Morris

David Morris

Chief Executive Officer, Environmental Defenders Office

Join us at our annual conference 2020 to hear David speak on the panel session: Stepping up the business response – promoting the good and stopping the bad.

David Morris is an environmental lawyer and Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO). David was appointed as the first CEO of the newly merged national EDO in September 2019. David is responsible for leadership and management of the EDO’s public interest law practice and overseeing the delivery of the EDO’s strategic direction.

Before the EDO merger, David was the CEO of EDO New South Wales from 2017. Under David’s leadership EDO NSW has lead legal responses to pressing environmental issues through education, law reform advocacy and the conduct of internationally significant litigation outcomes, including as one of the solicitors for Groundswell Gloucester in the Rocky Hill Litigation – the first case in which a global carbon budget was accepted and used as a ground for refusal of a Greenfield coal project.

For moving into leadership roles, David practiced environmental law in litigation groups in private practice, government and for over four years in public interest law as the Principal Lawyer of the Environmental Defenders Office Northern Territory (EDONT). In the Northern Territory, David ran a broad environmental law practice which particularly focused on legal issues related to mining, fracking, water and cultural heritage. David regularly acted for NGOs, community groups and Aboriginal traditional owners. Under David’s leadership EDONT clients achieved successful litigation outcomes in the Federal Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory and the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal. At EDONT David played a leadership role in policy and law reform advocacy and taught environment and planning law subjects at Charles Darwin University.

In 2016, David was awarded the Law Council of Australia’s Mahla Pearlman AO Australian Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year Award for “his outstanding environmental law advocacy on behalf of traditional owners of the Northern Territory”.

In voluntary roles, David was heavily involved in Surf Lifesaving and between 2015 and 2018 David was a Director of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

David has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from Monash University.

At the tipping point