May 26, 2024
Doyle's Guide

Editorial Commentary – Planning & Environment, Perth 2015

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A subdued resources market and a property market that has been somewhat active but largely one-dimension has seen some challenging times for Perth’s planning and environment lawyers. There’s still work and most have managed to adapt and make the best of a difficult environment however there are murmurings that a handful of firms may see some change within the planning and environment teams in the coming 12-18 months should current market conditions persist.

The big winners in recent times have been mixed across the established stronger environment practices at large firms Clayton Utz and Herbert Smith Freehills as well as the smaller specialist/boutique practices such as Moharich & More, Glen McLeod Legal and McLeods.

At Clayton Utz and HSF the talents of Brad Wylynko and Tony Van Merwyk continue to remain as the first choice on environment matters and while this situation isn’t a new dynamic each firm’s succession plans in Mark Etherington (Clayton Utz) and Michael Voros (HSF) now seem to be stepping up to play a significant role in their own right.

The state’s specialist planning and environment firms are viewed as having their true strengths more in planning matters than in environment. While the more established McLeods continues to be the firm of choice for the state’s local government authorities it’s Moharich & More and Glen McLeod Legal, two firms only five years old that now sit ahead of many more established players.

With the upper levels of our rankings comprised largely of either large national/international firms or specialist firms and an absence of a “mid-tier” level of pricing amongst WA’s planning and environment lawyers there are questions as to just what role mid-tier firms will play in the planning and environment market in the short-term.



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