The firm has hired partner Kirstie Richards and senior associates Luke Salem and Alec Kibblewhite to lead the firm’s Australian planning and environment capabilities.
Kirstie Richards is an environmental and planning partner with a particular focus on energy, renewables, infrastructure and oil and gas sectors. The team advise energy generators, renewable energy developers and construction companies on complex large scale environmental projects. They join from K&L Gates where Kirstie established and led its environment and planning practice nationally.
The practice includes planning and environmental approval pathways, environmental legal risk management and incident response, pollution and contamination, biodiversity offsets and land access matters.
Australia office head at Pinsent Masons, Matt Croagh said: “The increased rate in project development in Australia reflects worldwide trends as governments and businesses seek to double down on the development of renewable energy resources. Kirstie, along with her team, brings a wealth of domestic expertise to reinforce our Australian full-service energy and infrastructure offering, building on the firm’s extensive reputation in planning law internationally.”
Kirstie has advised on a number of high-profile projects including the $3 billion Clarke Creek Wind and Solar Farm project in Queensland, the Tallawarra B Power Station, and the 200MW Collector wind farm project in NSW.
Kirstie is the latest partner to join the firm in Australia, bringing the total number of partners across Melbourne, Perth and Sydney to 24.
Commenting on her appointment Kirstie: “Now, more than ever, it is critical that all major energy and infrastructure projects successfully manage and integrate planning and environmental issues. My team and I are looking forward to joining Pinsent Masons and its sector led approach which support clients across entire project lifecycles.”
Pinsent Masons has advised some of Australia’s most significant energy deals. This includes advising joint venture SecureEnergy on its EnergyConnect project – a landmark energy interconnector project that has been declared critical state significant infrastructure by the New South Wales government.