Michael is a leading public law, environment, planning, approvals, and land access lawyer who advises all levels of government, major utilities, energy companies, developers and other private entities. He leads the firm’s NSW Local Government practice and advises on local government governance, projects and powers of local councils. He is a leading administrative lawyer and advises on a wide range of environmental issues.
Michael appears in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Land & Environment Court (including as an advocate) in development appeals, criminal and civil enforcement and compulsory acquisition matters, and in the Federal Court in native title applications. He also prosecutes environmental and planning offences in both the Land & Environment Court and the Local Court.
Michael is recommended by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2023) guide for his work in Environment & Planning, and Native Title.
Department of the Environment and Energy
Advising on entering bilateral agreements regarding the assessment and approval of controlled actions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Assisting Airservices Australia in its response to the existence of contamination at a number of airports in Australia. Michael has assisted Airservices in developing its legal response to matters arising as a result of contamination and have represented Airservices in tribunals and Courts with respect to the existence of contamination on its leased estate.
Northern Beaches Council
Acted for Northern Beaches Council (formerly Manly Council) in 5 criminal prosecutions in the Land & Environment Court. The prosecutions primarily concerned breaches of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The impact of the unlawful work was significant because it was carried out in an area declared to be critical habitat under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW).
NSW councils and developers
Acting for a number of NSW councils (and developers) in development appeals, often as advocate.
Acting for a number of agencies in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal on pure administrative law. Michael has appeared for the NSW Commissioner of Police on multiple occasions as advocate to defend decisions made with respect to the granting of licences and other permits under the Firearms Act 1996, Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 and the Security Industry Act 1997.