Photo, Meredith Gibbs

Meredith Gibbs

Special Counsel
Baker & McKenzie

Biography

Meredith Gibbs is a Special Counsel focusing on environmental, water and climate change law.

Clients value Meredith's ability to understand their needs and her sensible, down-to-earth approach. Meredith has acted for a range of corporate clients in the energy, resources, agriculture and telecommunications sectors, together with water corporations, government departments and other statutory bodies.

Practice Focus

Meredith advises on a wide variety of regulatory issues and commercial arrangements in the areas of Commonwealth and State environmental laws, contaminated land and groundwater matters, associated waste disposal and clean-up issues, executive officer liability, incident response and environmental due diligence. She also has extensive experience in Crown land matters, government contracting and procurement arrangements, water regulation and environmental risk audits.

Meredith has advised on various aspects of climate change law including liability for geosequestration of greenhouse gases, emissions trading, green financing and professional liability in the context of extreme weather events. She has a keen interest in carbon capture and storage and is the inaugural Legal Fellow of the Global CCS Institute.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advising a prominent national property developer on PFAS site contamination and removal of PFAS contaminated soil from a former firefighting training site, and advising in relation to development of land in the Willamtown area including PFAS and EPBC Act issues.
  • Advising BP Australia on contamination issues as tenant of a petrol station site and advising a major property developer in relation to a former BP refinery site with substantial soil and groundwater contamination and remediation required, including advising on contractual allocation of risk for site remediation and indemnity obligations.
  • Acting for defendants in EPA prosecutions for illegal waste and storage disposal.
  • Advising Telstra on the asbestos-contaminated soil and asbestos pit remediation issues arising from the NBN roll-out across all Australian jurisdictions including advising on intra and interstate waste tracking, waste disposal issues and D&O liability for non-compliance.
  • Advising on environmental incident response and management for a range of clients, including advising water authorities on sewer spills and Santos on environmental compliance issues arising from a gas leak at one of its processing plants.
  • Advising the environmental aspects of a various M&A transactions, for example advising on the bid for the national business of United Petroleum, advising on the environmental liability aspects of the purchase of an Australian gas and fuel transport business (predominantly Qld, NSW, Vic and SA) and various car dealerships, including undertaking due diligence and advising on liability for contamination of fuel depots and petrol station sites (freehold, leasehold and franchised sites), environmental approval compliance, EPBC Act and Heritage Act compliance, asbestos exposure issues, and drafting appropriate contractual indemnities/structuring of purchase documentation.
  • Trusted advisor to Coliban Water including advising on contracting and procurement arrangements for the renewal of a major operating and maintenance services contract (including advising on EOI, RFT and probity issues) and drafting all relevant legal documents; advising in relation to the Goldfields Superpipe project and preparing joint venture documentation for the management of the pipeline; advising on contracting styles (BOOT, alliance etc), leading negotiations and document preparation for the Kyneton Reclamation Plant Services Agreement; advising in relation to modifications to various treatment plants; advising in relation to energy performance contracts and other sustainability projects.
  • Advising Melbourne metropolitan water corporations on regulatory issues; drafting and negotiating recycled water supply agreements; drafting metering agreements; advising on sewer spills and EPA enforcement; assisting with audit and compliance policy development; drafting biosolids agreements; advising on climate change, NGERS and carbon pricing liabilities; general commercial advice.
  • Advising CCS project proponents on long-term liability and permitting regimes for the underground storage of carbon dioxide under the proposed Wandoan power project; advising a confidential client on all contractual documentation and certain regulatory issues for the Peterhead CCS project; advising the Victorian government on permitting and administrative issues relating to onshore and offshore underground storage of carbon dioxide; drafting a proposed MoU for government departments and the Victorian EPA regarding the enforcement arrangements under Victorian CCS legislation.
  • Providing advice on the implementation and repeal of the Clean Energy Act 2011 (Cth) and related legislation in the mining, electricity/gas and water sectors, including contractual carbon pass-through issues, CFI, international carbon linking and Kyoto Protocol mechanisms, NGERS compliance, executive officer liability, international carbon trading and continuous disclosure/listing rules and reporting requirements.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Australian Water Association – Victorian Branch Committee Member
  • Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association
  • Victorian Women Lawyers

Admissions

  • High Court of Australia (1992)
  • Federal Court of Australia~Australia (1992)

Education

  • University of Otago (PhD) (2001)
  • Australian National University (LLB Honours) (1991)
  • Australian National University (BA) (1989)

Languages

  • English