Principal Solicitor
LLB (Hons), BA

Current practice

Mark's practice has a particular focus on assisting government with statutory approvals and powers, particularly in the delivery of government projects. 

That practice includes regularly assisting authorities with land delivery (including compulsory acquisition and land compensation issues), and in dealing with planning, environment and heritage issues, and related matters.  Mark also assists government clients to understand and use powers under a range of legislation, including project delivery legislation. 

Mark also co-leads the Emergency Management Practice Group at VGSO and has expertise in a range of emergency management matters. 

Mark is an experienced practitioner in many other areas of administrative and public law, regularly providing legal advice and representing government in judicial review and other litigated matters.  

Experience

 Mark regularly assists departments and agencies in relation to:

  • Land acquisition, compensation, valuation and related matters:  Mark has a decade of experience advising authorities on compulsory acquisition and compensation matters, and has acted for acquiring authorities at VCAT and in the Supreme Court.   Mark has assisted  many agencies and authorities to assemble land, including in the context of large transport projects (such as the City Link Tullamarine Freeway project, Western Highway duplication, and Level Crossing Removal projects).
  • Planning, environment and heritage: Mark regularly advises government in relation to planning, environment, Aboriginal heritage, built heritage, and related matters.  His experience in environmental law matters includes advice and litigation under Victorian and Commonwealth legislation, particularly the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Environment Protection Act (1970 and 2017), Environment Effects Act 1978, and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth).  Prominent examples including assisting Victoria with the renegotiation of Regional Forests Agreements, and assisting whole of government taskforces with environmental risks at waste facilities.
  • Judicial review: Mark has represented government in a number of judicial review proceedings in the Supreme Court.  That has included judicial review matters arising from high profile projects (such as East West Link, 'Skyrail', Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel, Western Highway duplication, Golden Plains Wind Farm, North East Link), and about decisions made under project, planning, environment, heritage and Aboriginal heritage legislation (for example, challenges brought by Friends of Leadbeater's Possum, Australian Society for Kangaroos).
  • Emergency management: Mark has detailed knowledge of legal issues arising in the emergency management context.  Mark's experience has included matters such as the creation of community fire refuges, review of the State Emergency Response Plan, management of major emergencies such as fires and landslides, operation of the fire services property levy, powers of the new Fire Rescue Victoria (as well as CFA, EMV and other entities), and assisting whole of government responses to critical issues (such as fire risk at waste and recycling facilities).
  • Transport/ roads: Mark has detailed knowledge of transport and roads matters. Prominent examples include assisting with the restructuring of transport bodies (leading to the abolition of VicRoads and PTV) and assisting transport bodies with legal advice and delegations, particularly with navigating the Road Management Act 2004.
  • Project delivery: Mark has also assisted government clients to deliver projects generally.  Mark's advice included identifying and advising about project delivery options and powers, such as under the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act 2009, the Transport Integration Act 2010 and the Project Development and Construction Management Act 1994.
  • Legislative and regulatory review:  Mark also has expertise in assisting with legislative amendment and review, including the preparation of drafting instructions.  Examples have included transport restructuring, EPA regulations review, Planning and Environment Act amendments, and Road Management Act amendments.
  • Other administrative law matters:  Mark has significant expertise and experience in statutory interpretation and administrative law.  His expertise has a particular focus on the powers of statutory corporations, the exercise of powers affecting private land or other rights, the use of executive power, and on matters concerning the imposition of fees and charges. 

In all areas, Mark provides clear, strategic advice, focussed on the particular needs of government, and assists government to identify solutions and to resolve complex issues.

Mark's work is always informed by a detailed understanding of the workings of Government, having worked at VGSO for several years, and having commenced his career as a graduate and legal officer at the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department in Canberra. 

Memberships and professional associations

  • Law Institute of Victoria