August 19, 2022
Doyle's Guide

Leading Planning & Environment Barristers – Queensland, 2013

This listing details leading Senior Counsel and Junior Counsel practising within the area of planning and/or environment.  It is compiled on the back of feedback from solicitors practising within these areas.

Senior Counsel

Market Leader

Daniel Gore QC – Level 11, Inns of Court

Preeminent

Mark Hinson SC – Level 29, Santos Place
Christopher Hughes SC – Level 16, Quay Central
Rodney Litster SC – Level 4, Quay Central

Leading

Graham Gibson QC – Gerard Brennan Chambers

Recommended

John Gallagher QC – Level 11, Inns of Court
Sandy Thompson SC – Gerard Brennan Chambers

Junior Counsel

Preeminent

Ben Job – Level 14, Quay Central
Nicole Kefford – Level 4, Quay Central
Michael Williamson – Level 4, Quay Central

Leading

Stephen Fynes-Clinton – Level 17, Inns of Court
James Houston – Level 14, Quay Central
James Lyons – Level 4, Quay Central
Timothy Trotter – Level 16, Inns of Court
Stewart Ure – Level 16, Inns of Court

Recommended

Mark Johnston – 30 West Chambers
Errol Morzone – Level 11, Inns of Court
Dominic Pyle – Level 29, Santos Place
Andrew Skoien – Level 33, 400 George St

Editorial Commentary

Danny Gore QC continues to be the Queensland legal profession’s first choice counsel drawing equal levels of praise for each of his intellect and advocacy skills.  The regard in which Gore is held ensures that retaining his services can be challenging and this, in turn looks to have seen the gap between Gore and other favoured Senior Counsel narrowing significantly.

In this regard Mark Hinson SC was “always a favourite” and “the smartest lawyer int he room” while Graham Gibson QC was viewed as an expert in matters with an administrative element.   Rod Litster SC’s work within and knowledge of planning matters was “without peer”.   The ability of Chris Hughes SC, particularly when on the other side of Gore QC were also noted.

Amongst Junior Counsel Nicole Kefford was “always simply fantastic”, Ben Job was a “polished gentleman” and Tim Trotter’s experience and “guile” were noted.  Michael Williamson widely regarded for his intellect was seen to have moved his practice forward in “adding an aggressive streak”.

Former King & Company Partner Stephen Fynes-Clinton presence in the area is increasing and he was described as “outstanding, both in service and intellect”.  James Lyons, approaching his fifth year at the bar was noted as “exceeding expectations”.

Despite the difficulties present in retaining first choice counsel pricing at the bar has remained relatively constrained.  Rates for Senior Counsel typically ranged between $6,000-$9,000 per day however many practitioners felt that a figure close to $7,000 was “market” and “reasonable”. Rates for Junior Counsel typically ranged between $3,500-$5,000 per day with the previous market acceptance ceiling of $4,000 per day having been pushed aside for a figure closer to $4,500.

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