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Environment and planning


Meet the team

"Law firm of the Year 2018, Planning and Environmental Law, Australia", Best Lawyers

Ranked Band 2 Environment, Chambers Asia-Pacific 2016

"They understand the bigger picture - I'm very confident in their advice." Chambers Asia-Pacific 2016

"They are very competent and provide high-quality services." Chambers Asia-Pacific 2016

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2016 notes that ‘Sally Macindoe's work in this space has impressed sources, who describe her as "an absolute standout," and clients have been ‘impressed by Elisa de Wit’s extensive knowledge of climate change issues and praise her "deep, innovative understanding of the subject."’ Felicity Rourke is described as a practitioner who is "very clear and concise in her advice and plays between the legal and commercial sides." Noni Shannon is noted for her ‘extensive expertise relating to climate change, waste and water issues,’ while Rebecca Hoare is ‘highlighted for her depth of knowledge regarding the planning and environment issues associated with major infrastructure projects.’

Norton Rose Fulbright is one of only a handful of legal practices in Australia to fully cover both environment and planning law. We offer clients one of the largest dedicated practices in the country, with the expertise and experience to advise on all facets of environment, planning and climate change law.

We have strong reputation in the market place for our ability to provide innovative and strategic advice to our clients including advising on approvals and environmental assessment, appearing in State and Federal Courts in planning appeals, development challenges and land acquisition compensation claims, as well as advising on environmental compliance, risk management, incident response, prosecutions and climate change.

We have a long history of acting for developers, infrastructure providers, and landowners and in doing so we work closely with multidisciplinary teams including architects, urban planners, traffic and environmental engineers, heritage experts and other technical advisers.

We are trusted government advisors, and have advised numerous government entities on environment and planning laws, and relevant climate change laws including the introduction of a Carbon Price. Our climate change practice is widely recognised by both the private sector and government as one of the top two climate change practices in Australia.

Environment and environmental regulations are now major items on business and political agendas in Australia. We provide our clients with practical advice, helping them to understand how environmental issues will impact on their operations and how to best meet corporate responsibilities.

We can advise on the effect of planning controls and assist with the preparation of planning applications and rezoning proposals that optimise prospects of approval; amending planning schemes; managing environmental incidents and investigations; assessing environmental management systems; and negotiating with regulatory authorities and much more.

We offer you:

  • skills that not only include expert legal advice, but those of engineers, town planners and quantity surveyors who can work with clients and their consultants, at a technical level
  • the unique ability to advise seamlessly on both environment and planning law, with related advice from our climate change team
  • specialist knowledge of a full range of development projects, including residential, tourism and recreation, retail, aged care, commercial and industrial projects and major infrastructure projects such as roads, water, waste and telecommunications
  • exceptional relationships with regulators in all regions, allowing us to facilitate approvals easily
  • experience gained from advising on some of the largest projects in Australia.


"Law firm of the Year 2018, Planning and Environmental Law, Australia", Best Lawyers

“Environment - Tier 2”
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2016