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Areas of Expertise

Steven advises local government authorities, State authorities and private sector clients on a wide range of environment, planning and local government law. This includes commencing legal proceedings and representing clients in various Courts and Tribunals.

Steven regularly appears as a solicitor-advocate in litigation relating to development appeals, tree matters, compulsory acquisitions of land and civil enforcement in the Land and Environment Court, and has appeared in the local court, the Supreme Court of NSW and the Federal Court of Australia.

Steven also works with the firm’s property lawyers on general land and property matters.

As well as being a lawyer, Steven is also an experienced town planner and prior to joining Bartier Perry, had a distinguished 12-year career as a town planner, consultant and manager in local government in NSW.

This background means Steven has a distinct insight into the workings of local government and the planning/development industry, which has proved to be invaluable to public and private sector clients alike. Steven understands that there are many different outcomes that can constitute a win in the eyes of clients and uses his insights and experience to get the right results.



  • Juris Doctor (UTS), including University Award for Planning and Development Law

  • Bachelor of Arts with Honours (University of Wales)

  • Admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia

  • Full Member – Planning Institute of Australia

  • Member – Environmental and Planning Law Association NSW


A word from Steven

Whether I am acting for a government authority, a developer or another stakeholder in the planning process, I take great satisfaction from being able to contribute towards good, just, outcomes.

My experience allows me to recognise and advise my clients on practical and commercial outcomes that can be achieved in the circumstances. I always try to add value in this way, as well as ensuring my client’s legal rights are protected and their obligations are understood.


Career highlights

  • Successfully representing developer clients in appeal proceedings and appearing in various negotiations, conciliation conferences and final hearings to secure development consents

  • Acted for the Council of the City of Ryde on the compulsory acquisitions of land in North Ryde, including:

    • Successfully running judicial review proceedings in the Supreme Court, in which the determinations of compensation made by the NSW Valuer General were set aside

    • Defending appeals commenced by the former landowners in the Land and Environment Court, in which the final determinations of compensation generally reflected the Valuer General’s re-made determinations of compensation

    • Interlocutory proceedings in the NSW Court of Appeal.

  • Advising Lake Macquarie City Council on the lawful approach to the assessment of a particularly contentious development application and successfully defending Council against an appeal of the same matter in the Land and Environment Court

  • Acting for Tenterfield Shire Council in native title matter, including:

    • Appearing in the Federal Court of Australia less than 24 hours after receiving instructions

    • Advising Council on the validity and implications of the native title claim made over Council owned-land

    • Assisting Council officers with the preparation of a report on the issue and recommendations to be put to the elected members of the Council for resolution

    • Successfully resolving the matter so that Council could enter into consent orders and negotiating the Court away from making an adverse costs order against Council

    • Advising Council on extinguishment of native title over land affected by the orders.

  • Representing a community group against a significant, undesirable development proposal that was ultimately refused by the Court

  • Guest lecturer in Heritage Law and Policy at the University of Sydney


Specific areas of focus

  • Town planning and development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and Regulation, including: 

    • Development assessment and appeals

    • Environmental planning instruments

    • Development control plans and other planning policies

    • Planning proposals and voluntary planning agreements

  • Litigation relating to the compulsory acquisition of land and compensation under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991

  • ​Local Government Act and Regulation

  • Heritage Act and Regulation

  • Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997

  • Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006

  • Related Acts and Regulations