Photo, Lauren Kirkwood

Lauren Kirkwood

Special Counsel
Baker & McKenzie

Biography

Lauren Kirkwood is a special counsel in Baker McKenzie’s Environmental Markets practice in Brisbane. She is highly experienced in the environmental and tenure aspects of major infrastructure, energy and resources projects, as well as Australian climate change law and policy issues. She was selected by her peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in Australia 2017 for Planning and Environment and in 2017 was invited by the Queensland Environment Minister to sit on his Queensland Climate Advisory Council.

Practice Focus

Lauren advises clients on project approval strategies, environmental enforcement and compliance (state and Commonwealth), contaminated land, planning law, cultural heritage and water matters for new developments and infrastructure expansions. She has advised clients on the identification and mitigation of environmental risk relevant to the sale and purchase of commercial, industrial, agricultural and residential facilities in Australia, including contamination remediation liability risk and key approval/land use requirements. She also advises on environmental compliance for existing and new operations, particularly initial responses to environmental regulators in the event of enforcement action.

Her work in the climate change law and policy area has included advising on the development and financing of Emissions Reduction Fund projects, carbon market analysis and on climate change risk disclosure regulation and policy, and advising on corporate reporting requirements under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER scheme).

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised on the development of Emissions Reduction Fund carbon emissions reductions projects, including Commonwealth and state-level consent and eligibility requirements.
  • Advised on the interpretation of Emissions Reduction Fund methods and on review rights regarding decisions of the Clean Energy Regulator, and on the transition of Carbon Farming Initiative projects and associated commercial arrangements into the Emissions Reduction Fund.
  • Preparing reviews of local market relevance of the Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosure’s recommendations in various countries.
  • Preparing carbon market and regulation analysis for global companies.
  • Advising on environmental and planning issues for the sale, purchase and development of renewable energy facilities in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
  • Advising not-for-profit foundation on conservation finance projects (legal due diligence).
  • Advising a waste and recycling processing company on approval requirements for the expansion of existing waste processing and disposal facilities, and for the beneficial reuse of certain wastes.
  • Advising companies on environmental compliance incidents and negotiations with environmental regulators.
  • Advising companies and landowners on biodiversity offsets transactions.
  • Advising both government and bidders on environmental and planning issues for government asset privatisations in Queensland and New South Wales.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Queensland Climate Advisory Council - Member
  • Queensland chain of responsibility statutory guideline working group member
  • Australian Resources and Energy Law Journal - Board Member
  • Australian Mining and Petroleum Law Association
  • Queensland Environmental Law Association

Admissions

  • High Court of Australia~Australia (2009)
  • Queensland~Australia (2003)
  • New South Wales~Australia (2002)

Education

  • Australian National University (Master of Laws Environmental Law)
  • Bond University (Bachelor of Laws)
  • Bond University (B. Communication)