Special Counsel
LLB (Hons), BSc, GradDip Applied Corporate Governance

Current practice

Sophie has a broad administrative law practice, with particular specialty in environment and planning law matters. Sophie has experience working on complex and multifaceted legal issues and is dedicated to collaborating with clients to deliver efficient and sustainable solutions.

Sophie's practice includes providing expert advice and acting in litigation on behalf of government clients in relation to:

  • statutory approvals and powers for the delivery of major projects;
  • the regulation, management and remediation of contaminated land;
  • planning controls, including the interpretation of, and amendments to, planning schemes;
  • statutory interpretation and the exercise of statutory powers; and
  • merits and judicial review matters in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Victorian courts.

Experience

Sophie joined the VGSO in 2020, after 10 years' a major national law firm specialising in public law. Her previous experience includes working for all tiers of Government,  including corporate Commonwealth entities and State and Local Government in Victoria and NSW. Sophie is highly regarded for her communication skills and ability to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders to deliver positive outcomes.

Sophie has significant expertise and detailed knowledge of environmental law matters at both a State and Commonwealth level. Her experience includes a number of years' working on issues concerning PFAS contamination, including strategic advice on legal obligations, the development of regulatory standards and management plans as well as acting in sensitive and high profile litigation concerning contamination management and remediation.

Sophie's experience also includes complex advice regarding approval pathways and environmental assessment for major projects. This work has included balancing the interests of numerous clients and stakeholders and acting for government clients at public committee and panel hearings as well as judicial review proceedings arising from decisions made under planning and environmental legislation.

Sophie has experience in the negotiation and drafting of contracts, including the preparation of water licences as well as access and compensation agreements for natural resource projects.  Sophie also acted for Commonwealth government clients on the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

Sophie is the Company Secretary for Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand. She enjoys supporting this small not-for-profit organisation with its mission to connect disadvantaged farmers and works with consumers, promote fairer trading conditions and empower farmers and workers to combat poverty and strengthen their trading position.

Memberships and professional associations

  • Law Institute of Victoria
  • Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association