Rising Stars

John Clayton - Clayton Utz

Environment and planning in Australia


The powerhouse environment and planning team at Ashurst continues to be a market leader, advising domestic and international corporations and governments on a broad range of environmental and regulatory matters. These include major infrastructure, mining and renewables projects, environmental litigation and climate change issues. Headed in Sydney by environmental law authority Tony Hill, the team’s client portfolio includes EnergyAustralia and Crown Resorts. The full service practice also covers environmental risk management, local government obligations and requirements, investigations and enforcement, and contamination disputes. The group also incliudes resources sector expert Mark Brennan in Sydney, John Briggs and associate Paul Wilson in Brisbane, and senior energy consultant Robert Jamieson and compliance specialist Jane Hall in Melbourne.

Practice head(s):

Tony Hill


‘The Ashurst team provides definitive advice. We get a clear, succinct answer to our questions. Where there are options, these are described clearly with the respective advantages and disadvantages. The padding and unnecessary discussion we have seen from other practices is not present.’

‘Mark Brennan is simply excellent. His experience and focus on black letter law is excellent.’

‘Rob Jamieson has extraordinary experience.’

‘Jane Hall is a highly personable and experienced ambassador for the firm.’

Key clients

NSW Government

Victorian Government

Queensland Government

Melbourne City Council

Malabar Coal


Alcoa of Australia



Crown Resorts Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Woodside Energy’s newly established carbon business unit on all aspects of the implementation of its carbon market strategy.
  • Advising Alcoa on the closure and remediation of two of its sites (Point Henry aluminum smelter and Anglesea coal mine and power station), two of the largest sites currently under active management by Victorian EPA.
  • Advised the NSW Government (Roads and Maritime Service – now TfNSW) on the 33km WestConnex project which will bring together a number of road projects which together to form a link in Sydney’s Orbital Network.

Clayton Utz

The environment and planning practice at Clayton Utz remains a market leader, advising domestic and multinational corporations, developers, and governments on a broad spectrum of environmental law matters. These include environment and planning litigation, climate change matters, drought contingency projects, energy projects with a focus on mine development and rehabilitation, and major transport infrastructure projects. Led by environmental and planning law authority Karen Trainor in Brisbane, the group represents such clients as the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the New South Government. The team is backed by climate change law expert Brendan Bateman and special counsel John Clayton in Sydney, infrastructure projects specialist Kathryn Pacey in Brisbane, and, in Melbourne, Damien Gardiner, who advises on renewables.

Practice head(s):

Karen Trainor


‘One of the key strengths of the environment and planning practice is their experience and ability to tailor advice for the audience. They understand our business and are proactive in identifying potential risks which need to be considered. We see great value in the advice provided by Clayton Utz. Their advice is well respected and shows a combination of a deep understanding of our business and expertise in the subject matter.’

‘Claire Smith  technically excellent while providing right-sized advice capable of being utilized by the business. One of Claire’s key strengths is her ability to understand a client’s business and the challenges facing it.’

‘This team understood our requirements, the issues related to our concerns, and our tight budget as well as the legal implications – and could recommend solutions.’

‘Strong senior team, with well-trained juniors. Advice is generally more succinct and understandable than other firms, even where underlying analysis is complex.’

‘Easy to provide instructions to and discuss complex problems with. Assists with conveying advice to executives.’

‘Brad Wylynko and Mark Etherington are experienced and wired into the environmental and planning regulatory world.’

Key clients

Australian Rail Track Corporation

Blackstone Real Estate Australia

Cameco Australia

EnergyAustralia Group

Graymont Limited

Local Governments such as Brisbane City Council, Ipswich City Council and City of Gold Coast

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New South Government including Sydney Metro Authority, Transport for NSW, WaterNSW, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Queensland Government including Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning

Victorian Government including Department of Transport / Department of Treasury and Finance, Major Transport Infrastructure Authority

Origin Energy

Singtel Optus


Urban Utilities

Water Corporation (WA)

Work highlights

  • Advising Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) in relation to environmental and planning aspects of the A$14.5 billion Inland Rail Program project.
  • Advising on the A$2.5 billion Project EnergyConnect involving the construction of an interconnector between the power grids of New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.
  • Acting on a claim being made against the State of Victoria regarding the impact of the emerging contaminant Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on the construction of the West Gate Tunnel Project.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The multidisciplinary team at Norton Rose Fulbright remains a leader in this area, leveraging its expertise on a broad span of environmental and planning law matters to advise developers, landowners, infrastructure providers and governments. Work covered includes environmental prosecutions, climate change risk assessments, renewable energy projects, commercial and residential infrastructure developments, mining and resources projects, and waste sector issues. Led by Elizabeth Wild in Sydney, the team’s client base includes household names Shell, Qantas, and Transport for NSW. The group is backed by climate change expert Elisa de Wit in Melbourne and native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage specialist Rebecca Hoare in Brisbane.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Wild


‘There is access to an incredible depth of knowledge and expertise within the firm.’

‘Rebecca Hoare is incredibly knowledgeable in all areas of environmental protection and land use – she was completely engaged with us at every stage; the communication was always concise, open and honest.’

Key clients

Ampol (formerly Caltex)

Commonwealth Government

Transport for NSW


Goodman International

Renew Estate


Property NSW

Victorian Government (including VicRoads and Department of Health and Human Services)

Investa Property Group


Newmark Capital Limited

Suez Recycling & Recovery Pty Ltd

Growthpoint Australia Limited

Cleanaway Pty Ltd

Country Carbon

Gold Coast City Council

CWP Renewables

Qantas Airways Limited


Work highlights

  • Acted for Transport for NSW in a successful prosecution of a company and its director for the transport and storage of waste at an unlicensed facility.
  • Acting for Recovered Energy Australia in its application for the Works Approval required for its energy from waste (EfW) gasification facility proposed in western Melbourne.
  • Assisting Multicom Resources in securing approvals and mining tenure for new vanadium mine, a declared ‘Major Project’ by the Queensland Government.


The group at Allens provides a top-level service to domestic and international corporations, governments and other prestigious clients on the environmental and planning aspects of major projects; work spans a broad range of sectors, such as logistics, mining and resources, energy, transport infrastructure, and oil and gas. Headed by the well-regarded Bill McCredie in Brisbane, the team’s full service offering covers environmental prosecution, mine rehabilitation, strategic approvals, judicial review, environmental criminal defence proceedings, Aboriginal lands rights matters, and water licensing proceedings. The group also includes Felicity Rourke in Sydney, climate change impact head Jillian Button in Melbourne, and Eve Lynch in Perth.

Practice head(s):

Bill McCredie


‘Passionate about the law and our business. Exceptional technical knowledge but also highly commercial and practical. Very receptive to feedback.’

Key clients

Yarra Valley Water

Pembroke Resources

Qube RE Services (No 2) Pty Ltd and Qube Holdings Limited

Snowy Hydro Limited



Work highlights

  • Advised Snowy Hydro Limited (Snowy Hydro) on strategic energy projects being developed in Australia– the Snowy 2.0 Expansion Scheme, as well as the development of the former Kurri Kurri aluminium smelter site for a gas-fired power station.
  • Advised in relation to Federal environmental approval, state planning assessment and approval and a range of local government approvals from three separate local authorities for the $352m Rookwood Weir project – one of Queensland’s greenfield water infrastructure projects.
  • Advising Qube on all planning, environmental, heritage and contamination aspects of the Moorebank Logistics Park development in South West Sydney.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

The team at Corrs Chambers Westgarth advises a range of major national and international companies and governmental bodies on both contentious and non-contentious environmental law and planning matters, handling major projects across a broad span of industries. Such sectors include energy, telecoms, mining, natural resources and transport. Headed by Louise Camenzuli in Sydney, the group’s client portfolio includes household names such as McDonald’s, Woolworths, and the Australian Rail Track Corporation. The team’s comprehensive service extends to matters concerning land resumption, contamination response, regulatory compliance, EPA work approvals, issues of native title, and environmental impact assessments. The group is backed by urban renewal expert Christine Covington in Sydney, and experienced environmental litigator Michael Leong and Brent Lillywhite in Brisbane.

Practice head(s):

Louise Camenzuli


‘We have built a very strong and respected working relationship with the team at Corrs – the knowledge and skills provided are exceptional. All requests are handled in a timely manner and information is responded to with consideration of the recipient with follow-up calls or additional training if required.’

‘Christine Covington has extensive expertise in the planning field and is well-known and well-regarded. Her experience means advice can often be obtained via a phone call rather than a research project. She can be analytical when necessary, but also provides practical advice and solutions to complex problems.’

‘In my view, Corrs Chambers Westgarth has an unrivalled knowledge and understanding of all matters relating to Queensland planning law.’

‘Michael Leong will always pick up the phone if he can and, if he can’t, he will always call back promptly. We have a sense of comfort when we have Michael and his team looking after our interests.’

‘Michael Leong is by far the most knowledgeable, personable, switched-on, and accessible planning partner we’ve dealt with. He is 100% outcome-driven and does not appear to driven by “one-upping” his planning peers. I appreciate Michael’s honesty and take great comfort in knowing that his deep understanding of the law and the property development industry will serve us in good stead when we need him.’

‘Brent Lillywhite and his team listen carefully and respond quickly with advice you can rely upon. ’

‘Some of the key features that set Corrs Chambers Westgarth apart are the availability and quality of their partners, and the strength and collaborative spirit of their entire team to get the right outcome.’

‘Christine Covington is an exceptional leader and provides a level of unsurpassed service. She is always available to her clients, responsive, and provides practical and commercial advice with industry insight.’

Key clients


MACH Energy

Infrastructure NSW

John Holland




Australian Rail Track Corporation and Sydney Trains

Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL)

Regional Growth Development Corporation – New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC)


Billbergia Group


Sekisui House (SH Coolum Pty Ltd)

Vitale Projects

Water NSW


Walker Street Developments Pty Ltd (Billbergia) and Prolet Pty Ltd

Toowoomba Regional Council

Grocon and Oxford Properties

Pulse Consortium

Work highlights

  • Advising Infrastructure NSW on the urban renewal development project at central Barangaroo in Sydney.
  • Advising Santos in connection with its AUD$3.5bn Narrabri coal seam gas project on various environment and planning issues arising from the assessment of its application before the Independent Planning Commission for approval of the Narrabri Gas Project.
  • Advising John Holland on a range of contentious contamination and approvals issues associated with the delivery of the AUD$6.7bn West Gate Tunnel project, particularly issues associated with PFAS contamination.

Herbert Smith Freehills

The experienced team at Herbert Smith Freehills advises domestic and international corporations and government agencies on the planning and environmental law aspects of major projects across a wide span of industry sectors. These include mining, real estate (urban development projects), transport infrastructure (major road projects), health infrastructure (hospitals), renewable energy (wind and solar farms), and gas and oil. Led by Peter Briggs in the Sydney office, the group’s services extend to land access and assembly, crisis management, regulatory reform, and community engagement strategies. The team includes climate change impact expert Heidi Asten in Melbourne and heritage and native title specialist Melanie Debenham in Perth.

Practice head(s):

Peter Briggs

Other key lawyers:

Heidi Asten; Melanie Debenham

Key clients

NSW Health Infrastructure

Transport for NSW


Chamber of Minerals and Energy (WA); Minerals Council of Australia No

State Solicitors Office and Main Roads WA

Work highlights

  • Advising a wide range of developer, owner, and investor clients on integrated land access and approval strategies and related litigation for wind and solar farm projects throughout Australia.
  • Advising clients including including Jinding Australia, Risland Australia, Parklea Developments, Lifestyle Communities, Lendlease, Mirvac, QIC, Charter Hall and Atlassian on post-planning approval, including the implementation phase, such as negotiating planning agreements and amendments to planning approvals.
  • Continuing to provide Health Administration Corporation (Health Infrastructure) strategic advice and representation on the planning and acquisition and compensation issues associated with the Randwick Campus Redevelopment Project.

King & Wood Mallesons

The team at King & Wood Mallesonsexecute their role with a high level of attention to detail and insight‘, litigating environmental and planning law matters for prestigious clients and advising on large-scale projects across a wide range of industries. These sectors include transport infrastructure, government, social housing, mining and resources, gas and energy. Headed by regulatory authority Matthew Austin in Brisbane, environmental planning expert Debra Townsend in Sydney, and environmental reform specialist Mark Beaufoy in Melbourne, the team’s client portfolio includes key market players Glencore, Rio Tinto, and General Motors Australia. The group’s full service extends to cover native title and heritage issues, land access and compensation, contaminated land, and mining rehabilitation.


‘Exceptional technical knowledge.’

‘The team’s strengths and key capabilities include a very strong culture of teamwork, the pursuit of providing timely and practical advice, and being accessible.’

‘Debra Townsend combines being a leader, with bringing on a team of leaders. She has an inclusive and insightful approach to how to get and give the best from and to her team while letting them see by her example how possible it is to try to achieve a work/life balance working for a large law firm.’

‘The King & Wood Mallesons environment and planning team are personable, professional, attentive, and accommodating. Rather than go through the motions of legal steps and processes, the team execute their role with a high level of attention to detail and insight, which supports their clients, and are experts in litigation.’

‘Anna Vella brings a depth of experience and knowledge that provides helpful insights, strategic thinking, and attention to detail.’

Key clients

Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science

Rio Tinto

Brookfield Capital

University of New South Wales

Dexus Property Services Pty Limited

Telstra Corporation Limited

Infrastructure NSW

BlueScope Steel Limited

Aurizon Holdings Limited

Frasers Property Limited


BHP Billiton


Australian Rail Track Corporation

Gladstone Ports Corporation

AGL Energy Ltd


Charter hall

Tasmanian Government

GMH, General Motors Australia and New Zealand Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for EMR Capital a major mining acquisition, a competitive deal to secure the gold mining tenements associated with the Ravenswood Gold Mine in Queensland. Ravenswood Gold Mine has 51 mining tenements and various environmental approvals with associated estimated rehabilitation costs of greater than A$100m.
  • Acted on the A$2bn Brisbane CBD Waterfront Precinct redevelopment.
  • Advised Stockland on their urban growth area developments over the last 12 months including Minta Farm, Cloverton and Craigieburn West.

Minter Ellison

The team at Minter Ellison advises clients on planning, environmental, and compliance aspects of major projects across a broad spectrum of industries. These include transport infrastructure, energy, mining and resources, property, tech, and government. The group’s comprehensive service extends to waste management, climate change impact, pollution control, heritage law, regulatory issues, and environmental litigation. Led by resources authority Simon Ball at the Sydney office, the group is backed by project development expert Tim Hanmore and biodiversity specialist Antra Hood in Brisbane, and, in Sydney, by Luke Walker , who 'provides exceptional customer service and translates the law into plain clear English.'

Practice head(s):

Simon Ball

Other key lawyers:

Tim Hanmore; Antra Hood; Luke Walker


‘We chose to work with Minter Ellison on environment and planning issues because we can trust their exceptional knowledge of both the law and the industry sectors and have held them in high regard whilst working with them on many matters for decades. Their strengths are their talent pool, legal knowledge, network, relationships with barristers, consultants, etc, and they have a very high level of customer service from reception through to senior partners. Their communication and case/matter management is excellent – clear, fast, and timely. The transition to working from home during covid has been seamless for us, the customer. Billing is very clear, transparent and on time, unlike other firms we have used in other areas. ’

‘We work with Luke Walker and value his exceptional knowledge of all the planning and environmental laws, regulations, and processes. Luke provides exceptional customer service, and easily translates the law and judicial and barrister-speak into plain clear English.’

‘Personalised service, attention to detail, broad project knowledge, extensive experience, genuine client care.’

‘Tim Hanmore (partner), Tegun Middleton and Alex Skilling are a fantastic group of intelligent individuals who work seamlessly together. They’re easy to talk to and understand clients’ requirements on a detailed level which makes discussions and advice concise and perfectly tailored.’

‘Luke Walker is a key standout. Luke gives pragmatic advice and is able to communicate this advice to commercial stakeholders in a clear and concise manner, without too much legalese.’

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of Transport for NSW, defending it against proceedings brought by the owner (RD Miller) of land adjoining the Bega Bypass of the Princes Highway in the Land and Environment Court of NSW and the Court of Appeal.
  • Acting on behalf of Transport for NSW for its role in the delivery of the Inland Rail project, which includes negotiating with landholders in relation to section 29 & section 30 agreements, preparing and reviewing documents in relation to the compulsory acquisition, and acting on behalf of TfNSW in Land and Environment Court proceedings.
  • Advising on all planning and advice work at both a State and Federal level in respect of the Watermark Coal Project – the development of a new open cut coal mine 25km from Gunnedah in the Liverpool Plains.

White & Case

The Melbourne team at White & Case leverages the significant experience of its team to assist government bodies and major corporations with the environmental and planning law elements of major projects across a broad span of industries. Such sectors include renewable energy, transport, mining and resources and government. Headed by environmental law authority Tim Power, the team also includes renewable energy expert Michelle Keen, and rail and road specialist Fiona Curl; clients include French renewable energy company Neoen and Hana Financial Investment.

Practice head(s):

Tim Power

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Keen; Fiona Curl


‘The team has a very strong reputation and practice history for assisting the planning and compliance of wind energy facilities and battery energy storage systems in Victoria.’

‘Michelle Keen is highly engaged in renewables planning policy and issues and can help drive successful planning permit applications and assessments.’

Key clients

Copenhagen Infrastructure Projects (CIP)

Star of the South

Suburban Rail Loop Authority

Kalbar Operations Pty Ltd

Victorian Government, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

WestWind Energy Pty Ltd

Hana Financial Investment


Work highlights

  • Advised Copenhagen Infrastructure Projects (CIP) on its acquisition of an interest in the Murchison Hydrogen Project in Western Australia, including a particular emphasis on environmental impact assessment and native title issues.
  • Advised Star of the South. a proposed offshore wind farm, located in Gippsland, Victoria. The project involves the construction of wind turbines and offshore substations in Commonwealth waters, submarine cables from the wind farm to the shore, and transmission cables and substations connecting to the National Electricity Market.
  • Advising the Suburban Rail Loop Authority in relation to the investment case, land assembly, and environment and planning assessment and approvals for the AUD$50bn Suburban Rail Loop Project.

Baker McKenzie

The group at Baker McKenzie advises clients on a wide range of environment and planning issues, such as biodiversity, climate change and energy efficiency. The team assists domestic and international corporations involved in infrastructure, and major projects, as well M&A transactions, across a broad range of sectors. These include water, transport, renewable energy, waste, mining, pharmaceuticals, tech, property, and oil and gas. Headed by global climate change head Ilona Millar in Sydney, the group includes special counsel and environment policy expert Lauren Kirkwood in Brisbane, and special counsel and planning specialist Guy Dwyer in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Ilona Millar

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Kirkwood; Guy Dwyer

Key clients


Enviropacific Services Ltd

Queensland Government – Queensland Treasury and Department of Environment and Science

South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA)

Vic Forest

Accounting for Nature

Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists

Asian Development Bank

Global CCS Institute

Work highlights

  • Advised SECCCA on the responsibilities of, and legal obligations imposed upon, local government in Victoria, under statute and under the common law, to conduct climate vulnerability assessments on potentially vulnerable assets and infrastructure in their respective municipalities.
  • Acting as lead legal advisors to the Queensland Treasury and Department of Environment and Science on the AUD$500m Land Restoration Fund established by the government as its flagship climate change mitigation policy action to invest in carbon farming and conservation/co-benefits projects in Queensland.
  • Acting for VicForests in a series of complex and landmark proceedings in the Federal Court and Victorian Supreme Court brought by conservation groups alleging various breaches and anticipated breaches of Federal and State environment laws in respect of forestry operations.

Clyde & Co LLP

The environment and planning group at Clyde & Co LLP advises national and international clients on high-profile projects in the agribusiness, energy, government, infrastructure, urban development, and manufacturing sectors. The team provides a comprehensive service, from project assessment and risk identification to operational and incident response matters. In Sydney, Jacinta Studdert heads the team, assisting boards and senior management with the handling of environmental risk and compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

Jacinta Studdert

Other key lawyers:

Brooke Moerk

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd regarding the application of Commonwealth and NSW environment and planning legislation to the works of the NSW Bushfire Recovery Project, the $2 billion fund established through the National Bushfire Recovery Agency in response to the devastating bushfires across NSW.
  • Ongoing advice to Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd regarding environment and planning legislation relevant to delivery of the W2B Project. The W2B Project is an AUD4.3 billion upgrade to provide 155 kilometres of safer four-lane divided road between Woolgoolga and Ballina.
  • Full legal full legal compliance review for Qube Holdings LTD following an environmental incident on Kooragang Island including extensive document review and advice on licences, approvals , contracts and policies.

Colin Biggers & Paisley

The planning, government infrastructure and environment group at Colin Biggers & Paisley advises local governments and developers of residential communities, offering a comprehensive range of services, including advice on impact assessments, management, compliance, licensing, contamination, and enforcement. On the planning end of the spectrum, the group assists with the development of residential communities and commercial projects, reviews planning instruments, infrastructure agreements, prepares planning schemes, and handles planning disputes, acting regularly for both local councils and developers. Headed by environmental law authority Ian Wright and planning service expert Ben Caldwell in Queensland, and environmental litigation specialist Todd Neal in New South Wales, the team is backed by associate Nadia Czachor in Queensland.

Practice head(s):

Ian Wright; Ben Caldwell; Todd Neal

Other key lawyers:

Nadia Czachor

Key clients

Brisbane City Council

Kings Hill Development Pty Ltd

Logan City Council

Mackay Regional Council

Moreton Bay Regional Council

Ozy Homes Pty Ltd

Pacific Planning Pty Ltd

Polaris Coomera Pty Ltd

Sunshine Coast Regional Council

Toowoomba Regional Council

Tyne Container Services Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising the Sunshine Coast Regional Council on the development of the Palmview Master Planned Area, which will include land and work contributions for 480 ha. of ecological and landscape protection and rehabilitation areas.
  • Advising Logan City Council on the funding ($1.2bn) and delivery of local government infrastructure to support the Yarrabilba and Greater Flagstone Priority Development Areas (PDAs).
  • Defending a not-for-profit, charitable organisation Marist Youth Care Ltd (trading as Marist180) in Class 4 Land and Environment Court proceedings.

Hall & Wilcox

The environment and planning group at Hall & Wilcox leverages multidisciplinary expertise to advise social infrastructure providers, state and local government bodies and other stakeholders in both the public and private sectors on environmental and planning law elements of major projects across a diverse range of industry sectors. These include renewable energy, waste, construction, real estate, government, pharmaceuticals, and transport infrastructure. The team is headed by environmental disputes expert Natalie Bannister and environmental planning authority Meg Lee in Melbourne, local governance specialist in Stan Kondilios in Sydney, and new partner Brendan Tobin in Newcastle, who arrived in April 2021.


‘The level of service is excellent. In all factors related to response times, business acumen/industry knowledge, appropriateness of advice, strength in depth of team and value for money, with those I interact directly with at Hall & Wilcox exceed on all these points.’

‘Partner access is good and the knowledge of the staff is very good. We look to our external providers to be a value add. Hall & Wilcox does that very well. They understand that there will not be a high volume of work asked, but that when called upon, it is about their ability to mobilise resources that matters.’

‘Stan Kondilios is a very experienced and quality performer in this area. We value Stan’s input when it is required.’

‘The scale of Hall & Wilcox has also meant that where other firms may be conflicted from acting we can generally rely on Hall & Wilcox to assist.’

Key clients

APA Group

Renex Op Co Pty Ltd

Cleanaway Waste Management Limited

Hunter & Central Coast Development Corporation

City of Ryde

AusNet Services

CSL Behring (Australia) Pty Ltd

Victorian Planning Authority

Altogether Group (Formerly Flow Systems)

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

Andritz Hydro GmbH

City of Kingston

TC (Tallwoods) Pty Ltd

Infinergy Pacific

Work highlights

  • Acted for one of two joint proponents for environmental and planning approvals of the Crib Point Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project through preparation of an EES.
  • Advising Renex on a wide range of regulatory compliance and licensing issues relating to its high-temperature waste treatment facility in Dandenong South, Victoria.
  • Advising Cleanaway on planning and environmental approvals for a site to receive and treat the Westgate Tunnel spoil.

K&L Gates

With locations spanning five continents, the planning and environment team at K&L Gates utilises the strength of the US firm’s global network to assist clients on large-scale projects across the mining, infrastructure, oil and gas, energy and renewables sectors. Kirstie Richards leads in Sydney, advising on pollution and contamination, regulatory approvals, risk and crisis management, land access, and environmental litigation. Supported by former in-house NSW Environment Protection Authority lawyer Luke Salem, the team’s client portfolio includes the NSW Government and EnergyAustralia.

Practice head(s):

Kirstie Richards

Other key lawyers:

Luke Salem


‘The team is efficient, knowledgeable, practicable and cost sensitive.’

‘Kirstie Richards is one of the best partners I’ve every worked with. She is efficient, cost sensitive, practicable and knowledgeable. She understands the client’s needs and works hard to assist the business in achieving their objectives. She is truly an asset.’ 

Key clients



Tilt Renewables

Infigen Energy



Newtricity Developments Biala Pty Limited

NSW Government

Lendlease Samsung Bouygues Joint Venture

Great Southern Waste Technologies

VE Property

Generator Property Management

Work highlights

  • Acted for Great Southern Waste Technologies Pty Ltd in relation to their proposed waste-to-energy facility at 70 Ordish Road, Dandenong, including successfully defending a merits appeal brought in relation to their works approval application.
  • Acted for VE Property in relation to the remediation and divestment of a number of major industrial sites associated with the legacy operations of Shell (now Viva Energy) in Australia.
  • Assisting Tilt to obtain successfully approval to a significant modification to the $700M Rye Park Wind Farm to increase the size of the turbines and modify the project layout as required to take the project to construction.


The planning and environment group at Maddocks utilises the experience of its multidisciplinary team to advise clients including government agencies, local authorities, water authorities, and private energy providers on a broad spectrum of environmental and planning matters. These include contaminated land management, regulatory compliance, urban renewal projects, climate change issues, resources conservation, criminal enforcement in acquisition matters. The group also assists clients with approvals across the government, transport infrastructure, and renewable energy sectors. Headed by environment regulation expert Michael Winram  in Sydney and environmental advocacy expert Maria Marshall  in Melbourne, the team’s portfolio includes Transport for NSW and Airservices Australia. The group is backed by environmental law authority Patrick Ibbotson  in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Michael Winram; Maria Marshall

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Ibbotson


‘Excellent understanding of local government needs. Good value adds in terms of training etc. Very helpful with provision of secondees when required. Always responsive and available to discuss matters quickly. Good quality and practical advice.’

‘Michael Winram is always wonderful to work with – responsive, efficient, quick to understand issues and provide succinct advice.’

Key clients

Airservices Australia

55 NSW Local Councils

76 of the 79 Vic Local Councils

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE)

Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Department of Regional NSW

Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

Transport for NSW

CSR Limited

Fire and Rescue NSW

Moorebank Intermodal Company

Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation

Work highlights

  • Continues to act for the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, as the only private law firm, in benchmarking the environmental assessment and approval processes, and statutory conservation mechanisms, in each State and Territory against the environmental standards specified in the Commonwealth’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
  • For the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, investigated and advised on the interaction of the Mining Act and the Planning Act.
  • Advised Victorian local councils, statutory authorities and developers on VCAT cases, planning panels and advisory committees, dealing with all types of planning disputes from heritage controls, activity centre structure plans, precinct structure plans, development contribution plan.

McCullough Robertson

The environment and planning group at McCullough Robertson advises local and international corporations in the mining and resources sector. It also assists government agencies with major water and transport infrastructure projects. The team is led by Stuart MacNaughton in Brisbane and Patrick Holland in Sydney.