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Kirstie Richards

Special Counsel
+61.2.9513.2512
Fax +61.2.9513.2399

Ms. Richards is an environmental and planning lawyer who focuses on large scale projects in the energy, renewables, oil and gas, mining and infrastructure sectors. She has more than 15 years' experience advising on planning, environmental and regulatory approvals, pollution and contamination, environmental legal risk management and allocation, crisis management (including regulatory investigations, enforcement and prosecutions) and land access (including compensation, mining and petroleum access and neighbour agreements) and environmental and planning litigation.

Ms. Richards guides her clients through the complex process of environmental projects and as a result has developed strong and trusted relationships with her core clients. She works seamlessly between both in-house legal and the business teams to help them reach their objectives. Ms. Richards' clients include public and private energy and gas generator and retailers, renewable companies and government agencies.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Ms. Richards was a Special Counsel in the Sydney based environment, planning and communities team of a top tier law firm.

Ms. Richards was also Tipstaff to Justice Pain of the NSW Land and Environment Court in 2004.

Whilst at another law firm, Ms. Richards advised:
  • AGL on the:
    • planning, environmental and contamination issues associated with its acquisition and operation of the Bayswater and Liddell Power Stations
    • NSW and Commonwealth planning and approval, environmental, petroleum law, pipeline license and land access issues associated with the Newcastle Gas Storage Project, the Camden Gas Project, the Gloucester Gas Project and the Hunter Gas Project
    • NSW and Commonwealth planning and approval issues associated with the Silverton Wind Farm and the Coopers Gap Wind Farm
    • a range of regulatory and stakeholder management issues including incident response and enforcement action by environmental regulators.
  • BHPB on the environmental and planning issues associated with the Mt Arthur Coal Mine, including incident response and regulatory issues.
  • EnergyAustalia on the planning and environmental issues associated with the Wallerawang and Mount Piper Power Stations and the Springvale Water Treatment Project.
  • Lendlease on certain planning issues associated with its Barangaroo development.
  • Orica on the remediation, regulation and divestment of a number of contaminated sites in Botany, NSW including negotiating environmental liability allocations and environmental deeds.
  • Caltex on contaminated sites regulation and remediation in relation to its national network of sites, the divestment of surplus sites and pollution incident response, including regulatory investigations and prosecutions.
  • Goldwind Australia on the NSW and Commonwealth planning and approval issues associated with the Gullen Range Wind Farm, the White Rock Wind Farm, the Coppabella Wind Farm, the Gullen Range Solar Farm and the White Rock Solar Farm.
  • Union Fenosa Wind Australia on the NSW and Commonwealth planning and approval issues associated the Crookwell 2 Wind Farm, the Crookwell 3 Wind Farm and the Paling Yards Wind Farm.
  • Yancoal on the environmental and planning aspects of its acquisition of Coal and Allied which holds a majority interest in the Mount Thorley and Warkworth Mines and the Hunter Valley Operations Mine as well as a stake in the Port Waratah coal loading facility at Newcastle and various development projects.
  • NSW Ports on the planning, environmental and contamination related aspects of its acquisition of Port Botany and Port Kembla from the State of NSW.
  • Consortium on the planning, environmental and contamination related aspects of their bid to acquire the Port of Newcastle from the State of NSW.
  • Consortiums on the planning, environmental and contamination related aspects of their bids to acquire Transgrid and Endeavour Energy from the State of NSW.
  • Jemena on successful claims for compensation for mine subsidence issues affecting the Eastern Gas Pipeline.
  • Kepco Bylong Australia on certain planning and mining issues associated with the Bylong Coal Project, including successfully negotiating one of the first enforceable undertakings under the Mining Act 1992 (NSW).
  • NSW Government entities on a range of projects including advising:
    • on the planning and approval issues associated with Snowy 2.0 and the proposed divestment of NSW's interest in the Snowy Hydro Corporation
    • the Art Gallery of New South Wales on the planning issues associated with the Sydney Modern Project
    • the Department of Finance and Services on the planning and heritage aspects of the redevelopment and long term lease of sandstone Department of Education and Department of Lands buildings in Sydney
    • Health Infrastructure on the planning issues associated with the redevelopment of the Royal North Shore Hospital
    • Transport for NSW on the planning aspects of the South West Rail Link and the Commuter Car Park Program.
  • Various clients on the planning and environmental issues, including planning pathways and compliance issues and neighbor agreements, associated with the Bango Wind Farm, the Biala Wind Farm, the Boco Rock Wind Farm, the Bodangora Wind Farm, the Bulgana Wind Farm, the Capital Wind Farm, the Conroy's Gap Wind Farm, the Cullerin Range Wind Farm, the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, the Flyers Creek Wind Farm, the Glen Innes Wind Farm, the Gunning Wind Farm, the Jupiter Wind Farm, the Liverpool Range Wind Farm, the Mt Hope Wind Farm, the Rye Park Wind Farm, the Sapphire Wind Farm, the Taralga Wind Farm and the Ungula Wind Farm.
  • Various clients on environmental and planning issues associated with a number of NSW mines and development projects including the Metropolitan Colliery, the Boggabri Mine, the Springvale Mine and the Mt Pleasant Mine.
  • Advising a confidential bidder on the contamination, environmental and planning issues associated with its proposed acquisition of Shell’s Australian marketing and distribution assets.