Michael is one of Queensland’s leading specialist planning & development lawyers. He has practised in this jurisdiction since 1992 and is listed by Doyle’s Guide as a leading Queensland Planning & Environment lawyer. He and his team actively conduct a broad range of appeals in the Court for an extensive range of development proposals. Michael also undertakes a significant volume of work on behalf of local authorities in prosecuting enforcement proceedings in respect of development offences.

Michael also has specific expertise in the areas of environmental law, compensation for compulsory acquisition and liquor and gaming licensing.

In addition to litigating, Michael advises extensively on front end development issues including complex development applications and due diligence investigations. He also has key competencies in respect of infrastructure projects, vegetation clearing, contaminated land, heritage and land resumption. Michael’s clients include property developers, landowners, investors and local authorities.

Michael has a reputation for providing astute and commercially realistic advice and for vigorously protecting and advancing his clients’ interests.

Michael has been recognised by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in Australia in the area of Planning and Environmental Law (2016 – 2018), Land Use and Zoning Law (2017 & 2018) and Litigation (2018).

  He has also been recognised as a leading lawyer in Doyle’s Guide to Queensland Planning & Environment Lawyers (2013 – 2016).

Recent experience includes:

  • Acted successfully for a developer in the Florina Gardens (2012) matter involving in an appeal against a deemed refusal of a proposed 270 apartment residential development and restaurant situated at Nerang-Broadbeach Road Carrara, within the Guragunbah flood plain. A key issue in the proceedings concerned the appropriate level of flood free access to residential development in the flood plain and whether the measures implemented by the development were sufficient to ensure that the risk to life and property was acceptable. The decision represents a landmark decision in the development of flood prone land.
  • Advising on the Resumption of Land at Nerang-Broadbeach Road by the Coordinator-General (2011-12). This involved a land owner in relation to preparation of its claim for compensation under the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 arising as a result of the resumption of a significant parcel of land situated at Nerang-Broadbeach Road by the Coordinator-General for the purpose of the relocation of the Gold Coast Showgrounds.
  • Acted in the successful major prosecution proceedings on behalf of Sunshine Coast Regional Council v Marshall (2010-12) in relation to an unlawful filling operation which was carried out on a massive scale over 10 years, under a pretext of existing lawful use rights, ancillary use rights, and rehabilitation pursuant to extractive industry approvals. Enforcement Orders require remediation of adverse flooding impacts on adjoining properties pursuant to an agreed Site Management Remediation Plan.
  • Acting for proponent for future town centre in Ripley Valley. Extensively advised in relation to planning scheme amendments and preparation of master plans. Negotiated location of major road infrastructure with Council and DMR. Advised proponent in relation to the impact of the Ripley Valley Urban Development Area Development Scheme on its land holding, including preparation of a submission of an “affected land owner” under the Urban Land Development Authority Act 2007.