Bick & Steele: Expert due diligence lawyers


Carrying out proper environmental and planning law due diligence is a critical step in any significant property or development project transaction and many business acquisition and refinancing matters.

The acquisition of contaminated land or land subject to other significant environmental constraints can have serious financial and compliance implications which can be expensive and time consuming to resolve. In a worst case scenario, these issues can be a “show stopper” for a development project.

The environmental due diligence process includes a technical assessment (to confirm whether the land is or might be contaminated or subject to other environmental constraints) and a legal due diligence process to determine how the risks and liabilities for any contamination (and other environmental risks) are assigned post-transaction (and how such assignment can be modified if necessary) and analyse any regulatory obligations triggered by the contamination.

The carrying out of a significant development project will almost always require an appropriate land use approval (such as a development consent) and may require additional “subsidiary” approvals with respect to water, heritage, road works, vegetation clearing, resource extraction and so on.

The planning due diligence process involves an analysis of the development potential of the relevant land (including key constraints) and the existing suite of planning and subsidiary approvals to confirm whether the proposed land use is authorised and, if not, how it can be authorised.

How we can help

Based in Sydney, we assist clients across NSW by providing expert environment and planning due diligence reports (including in collaboration with other legal specialists) on significant property and development project transactions.

At Bick & Steele, we can help you by:

  • undertaking expert legal review of technical environmental reports to advise on potential legal implications;

  • reviewing the proposed allocation of environmental risk in transaction documents (and advising on how those risks can be reassigned);

  • reviewing land use approvals and subsidiary approvals to confirm whether land can lawfully as contemplated and, if not, the optimum pathway for obtaining those approvals.

Our experience

Our Directors have conducted environment and planning law due diligence in respect of some of Australia’s most complex and high profile property and development project transactions. These include major transactions in the urban development, infrastructure, resources, and renewable energy sectors.

Examples of projects with respect to which our Directors have demonstrated their experience providing environment and planning law due diligence services can be found here.

Contact us

To see how we can help you, please contact us.