FREDERICK JORDAN CHAMBERS  |  SYDNEY

With 20 years experience as a barrister, Louise has extensive expertise in environment, planning and local government law, real property and equitable land claims, strata and community title law and building & construction disputes. She has a detailed knowledge of the BCA and all aspects of the certification of buildings under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) particularly with respect to Fire Safety in new and existing residential and commercial buildings. She has acted for a number of Owners Corporations in the Land and Environment Court facing enforcement action, including contempt of court proceedings for fire safety and other defects in residential flat buildings and commercial strata title buildings. For example see Council of the City of Sydney v Owners SP 18820 [2017] NSWLEC 81. Her working knowledge of current legislative provisions governing strata title buildings is extensive.

She has acted for and against local councils, farmers, architects, developers, public interest groups, private certifiers and owners corporations and appeared in leading cases in the High Court of Australia and other superior Courts and Tribunals, which have established important legal principles that are currently applied and cited regularly across all Australian jurisdictions: see Heavens Door P/L v Hillpalm P/L and Wilkie v Blacktown City Council & Ors.

Louise is valued by solicitors who regularly brief her for possessing a strong practical approach to problem solving within a solid legal framework of protecting and advancing her clients’ rights whilst recognising the potential pitfalls of any given litigation scenario.

Her experience as a barrister is complemented by a two year stint as in-house counsel at the City of Sydney, conducting significant litigation, see City of Sydney cases. The particular focus was on the enforcement of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) and related environment protection and local government legislation, and providing complex legal advice to the Council in all aspects of local government and planning law and real property issues. 

Louise has maintained a wide ranging interest in environmental advocacy and issues throughout her 25 year career as a lawyer and barrister and has given pro bono advice in many public interest matters. For example, in 2010 briefed by the EDO (NSW) through the SI Public Solicitor's Office, Landowners Advocacy and Legal Support Unit, she travelled to the Solomon Islands to advise the Kolombangara Island Biodiversity Conservation Association, in the Western Province, concerning alleged unlawful logging of the unique 'cloud forests' on their island.

Louise has widespread training and experience in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. She is the author of Crown Lands and Protected Areas in The Environmental Law Handbook – Planning & Land Use in New South Wales (6th Edition, 2015), published by Thomson Reuters and is a regular speaker, delivering presentations and papers on a broad range of substantive and procedural law issues.