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Areas of Expertise

Celebrating her 50th year as a lawyer in 2022, Mary-Lynne has built an impressive legal practice that focuses exclusively on environmental and planning law. She has extensive experience drafting and advising on planning and heritage agreements, as well as the complex area of biobanking.

Mary-Lynne’s experience acting for councils means she understands the planning challenges local governments face in depth. She provides specialist expertise in managing the details of heritage issues and regularly drafts Environmental Conservation Agreements, Heritage Agreements and Voluntary Planning Agreements for both applicants and councils.

Over the past seven years, Mary-Lynne has served as the NSW government appointed chair of a Sydney Joint Regional Planning Panel, specialising in development for 16 Western Sydney councils. She is also an Adjunct Professor in Sydney University’s Architecture faculty, where she lectures on planning and heritage law.



  • Bachelor of Laws (University of Sydney)


  • Adjunct Professor in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Sydney

  • Lecturer in Masters of Urban and Regional Planning and Masters of Conservation in Architecture Faculty of University of Sydney

  • Lecturer in Planning and Heritage Law

  • Founding Chair of first integrated health advocacy program at Liverpool City Council

  • Chair of Sydney West Joint Regional Planning Panel

  • Fellow of Australian Property Institute

  • Honorary Fellow Planning Institute of Australia

  • Member Fairfield Independent Hearing Assessment Panel

  • Member Leichhardt Independent Hearing Assessment Panel

  • Member of the Heritage Council of NSW


A word from Mary-Lynne

"Over my career much has changed. I was delighted with the development of the Land and Environment Court in 1979 - and heartily endorse its adoption of ADR principles. The court has led the way in reducing costs and complexity in most court cases – has provided fair and timely solutions to disputes whether large or small and has developed its unique jurisprudence for efficient problem solving in a way that can include builder and developer, council and resident alike."


Career highlights

  • Advising on complex planning and environmental litigation in the Land and Environment court since its inception, appearing as a solicitor advocate as well as briefing experienced or senior counsel for local government clients.

  • Pursuing litigation against unlawful uses in Sydney including brothels, gambling parlours, hotels and other late night uses in the inner city, objections in the liquor licensing court regarding hotel applications and issues regarding anti-social behaviour.

  • Managing Tree Preservation Orders: a part of the tree application jurisprudence in the Land and Environment court since its inception.

  • Maintaining a regular program of education for relevant property professionals and has been appointed Adjunct Professor by Sydney University for her work within the Urban and Regional planning section of the Faculty of Architecture.


Specific areas of focus

  • Heritage law

  • Environmental planning law

  • Building and development control

  • Protection of the environment and public health

  • Local government law